USL Focus: Timbers 2 finally finds winning formula with mixed squad

There is no set way for how an MLS team should operate its USL second team.

The Portland Timbers are unique in that they don't have a deep youth market from which to draw from and they have used T2, their USL team, to give opportunities to young players who wanted to turn pro early and whose rights weren't tied up.

In its fourth season, T2 has finally reached the USL playoffs, going from the worst team in the league with three wins and 15 points in 2017 to 55 points in 2018 and its first postseason berth.

No. 6 T2 is at Phoenix on Friday in the Western Conference quarterfinal opener and brings with a mix of first-team players in need of playing time and young players it has signed with the hope of turning into first-team players.

The team T2 put out last weekend when it won its regular-season finale, 1-0, at Phoenix reflects that mix.

*Signed to MLS contract.

GK Alex Mangels (USA, 25). Follows a long list of former Cal keepers into the pros that includes Josh Saunders (2001-02), Stefan Frei (2005-08), David Bingham (2008–10) and Jonathan Klinsmann (2015-16).

DF Nathan Smith (USA, 24). Former U.S. U-17 and U-20 played three seasons at UCLA before joining LA Galaxy II in 2016. In his second pro season made 12 MLS appearances for the Galaxy first team.

DF Adrian Diz Pe (Cuba, 24). Debuted for Cuba when he was 18 and was one of four Cuban players signed by Mexican club Santos in 2016. This is his first USL season.

DF *Modou Jadama (Gambia, 24). Has played one MLS game in 2018 after signing with the Timbers from the Tulsa Roughnecks. Born in Gambia but raised in Atlanta. Began pro career in Chile.

DF *Marco Farfan (USA, 19). Timbers' prized academy product made MLS debut in 2017 before finishing Centennial High School in suburban Gresham. Played six MLS games in 2017 and 10 in 2018. Debuted for T2 in 2016.

MF Renzo Zambrano (Venezuela, 23). Venezuelan international joined T2 in 2017 from Spain's Rayo Vallecano.

MF Andre Lewis (Jamaica, 23). Taken by Vancouver with No. 7 pick in the 2014 SuperDraft but moved to T2 in 2016. Has yet to play in MLS in five pro seasons.

MF *Jack Barmby (England, 23). The son of former England midfielder Nick Barmby joined the Timbers on loan from Leicester City in 2016, then was acquired on a permanent transfer. Played 29 MLS games in 2016-17 but has yet to play for Timbers in 2018.

MF Marvin Loria (Costa Rica, 21). In first season with T2 after being acquired from Costa Rican power Saprissa.

MF *Dairon Asprilla (Colombia, 26). Most experienced T2 player with 78 MLS appearances for the Timbers, including 16 in 2018.

MF Max Ornstil (USA, 24). Attended Santa Clara University and played for Timbers U23s in the PDL before joining T2.

FW *Foster Langsdorf (USA, 22). Signed as a Homegrown player by the Timbers after leading Stanford to three straight NCAA National championships. Has yet to play an MLS game but scored team-high 16 goals for T2.

FW Augustine Williams (Sierra Leone, 21). Playing his third season for T2 after signing from the Nomads youth academy.
mls, usl
1 comment about "USL Focus: Timbers 2 finally finds winning formula with mixed squad".
  1. R2 Dad, October 19, 2018 at 12:09 p.m.

    "Has yet to play in MLS in five pro seasons." Definition of soccer purgatory. These guys should all be 4 years younger at this stage. They are one or two years from their prime. How is it that they'll magically get to a first team.? They're all going to RETIRE in 4 years.

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