This afternoon Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson dropped some since-deleted knowledge on twitter, mentioning the team's academy, potential homegrown players, and the upcoming announcement of the Timbers' USL Pro affiliate.
A potential USL Pro affiliate has been hinted at for some time now, with Paulson in particular mentioning it several times over the last few months. Today an enterprising twitter user, @steeple3k, asked him directly about the project.
@steeple3k mid Oct presser— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) September 25, 2014
@steeple3k expect: 1) name; 2) crest; 3) venue; 4) unique founding support program; and (maybe) 5) head coach to be announced— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) September 25, 2014
Earlier stories surrounding the USL Pro affiliates of other MLS teams had cited a mid-September cutoff date for setting up new programs, so there are still some questions to be asked about the particulars of the team. However, having a vague timeline for the Timbers' announcement is certainly an improvement over the previous waiting and hoping.
Paulson also tweeted about the Timbers' academy and some of the players coming up through the program currently, remarking that there were two older players and one younger one that could have an impact for the Timbers.
Beyond the prospect of signing homegrown players out of the academy, Paulson also mentioned the structure of the academy itself, saying that the team would be bringing in some new coaches next year and that the Timbers are spending more money than any sane team should as they build up their academy.
For their part, the academy kicked off their 2014-15 season last weekend, with the U-16's and U-18's playing Pateadores on Saturday and Strikers FC on Sunday.