Photo courtesy Diego Diaz / Portland Timbers 2
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers 2 announced on Thursday the club’s roster ahead of the 2017 USL regular season. Portland will play host to Real Monarchs SLC in the team’s home opener to kick off the 2017 season at Providence Park on Saturday, March 25; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
Players returning from the 2016 season include midfielders Villyan Bijev, Dylan Damraoui and Andre Lewis and forward Augustine Williams. Additionally, midfielder Neco Brett and goalkeeper Wade Hamilton return as signed T2 players after playing with the club last season on loan from the Portland Timbers.
Bijev, 24, played in 29 games (23 starts) in 2016 for T2, where he tallied eight goals and led the USL with 10 assists on the way to earning USL All-League First-Team honors. Brett, 24, played in 28 games (22 starts) for T2 in 2016, tallying seven goals and three assists. Damraoui, 19, played in 16 games (12 starts) last season, recording one goal and one assist. Lewis, 22, played in 24 games (24 starts) last season for T2, where he recorded one goal. Hamilton, 22, recorded 41 saves and two shutouts in 11 games started for T2 in 2016. Williams, 19, played in 11 games (10 starts) with three goals and an assist in his first season as a professional.
Newly signed players for the 2017 season include defenders Michael Amick, Lamar Batista, Harold Hanson and Max Ornstil; midfielders Tomas Granitto and Omar Mohamed; and forward Russell Cicerone. Additionally, T2 has signed defenders Kyle Bjornethun and Shaquille Jimenez, and the two players will be added to the roster pending USL and USSF approvals. Goalkeeper Christian Herrera joins T2 for the 2017 season on loan from Real Monarchs SLC.
Among the new additions to T2’s squad, Amick and Cicerone were both selected by the Timbers in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft in January. Amick recorded 73 appearances (68 starts) for UCLA during his four year career, while Cicerone played four seasons at the University of Buffalo where he recorded 42 goals and 22 assists in 71 appearances. Cicerone was also part of the 2016 PDL Champion Michigan Bucks, and scored twice in the side’s 3-2 victory against Calgary Foothills FC in the PDL Championship Game last August.
Two other additions bring USL experience, with Granitto having helped the Swope Park Rangers reach the Western Conference Final of the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. Fellow midfielder Mohamed recorded 298 minutes played in 19 games across all competitions for FC Cincinnati last season.