Timbers Announce Strategic Partnerships with Portland Rain, Girls ODP ProgramMay 2, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Portland Timbers
The collaborative partnership between the Timbers and OYSA on the Girls ODP program will provide the state with a recognized, high-level development system for elite female soccer players, one that is designed to coexist with youth clubs in sharing player development and allowing players to stay connected to their local clubs.
In partnership with the Rain, the Timbers will provide financial support to the club during the 2012 WPSL season and the Rain will become a member of the newly formed adidas Timbers Alliance. The Rain serves as the highest level of women's soccer in Oregon and features some of the top female athletes and collegiate players from Portland and throughout the state.
"We have a deep passion for developing the sport of soccer in Oregon," said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson. "It is important that the Timbers look at all ways in helping to develop the sport and the state's soccer community. We are pleased to be able to help the Rain and look forward to working with the club as part of the adidas Timbers Alliance."
Similar to the Timbers Boys ODP program, the new Timbers Girls ODP program will aid in the development of home-grown talent through a network of Regional Training Centers located throughout Oregon. The program will target elite female players in the U-12 to U-14 age groups in each area. From the Regional Training Centers, a pool of players will be chosen to form girls state ODP teams at various age levels for regional and national competitions.
The Rain, reestablished in 2008, are led by head coach Janine Szpara and play a 10-match, regular-season schedule in the WPSL from May to August. Management and day-to-day operation of the Rain during the 2012 season will be a collaborative effort between Timbers and Rain personnel.
"The Portland Rain has existed for many years and has served as the elite level for women players in the area," said Szpara. "This alliance with the Timbers brings us closer to making professional women's soccer in Portland a reality."
As members of the adidas Timbers Alliance, the Rain will wear red and white adidas Timbers Alliance kits, with the alliance patch on the sleeve for the 2012 WPSL season. The WPSL is a 70-club, nationwide league.
In preparation for the upcoming season, the Rain will conduct an open tryout on Sunday, May 6, at Clackamas Community College from 1-4 p.m. Click here for additional information or to register for the tryout. The Rain will play their home opener as part of the opening night celebrations at the Timbers-ODP Friendship Cup on Friday, May 25, at Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District's Howard M. Terpenning Complex at 7 p.m. Admission is free of charge.
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