January 8, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Portland Timbers
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have signed midfielder and Timbers U-23s product Steven Evans as the club's second Homegrown Player, it was announced today. The Portland native joins the club after three standout seasons at the University of Portland. Per league and club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Evans, 21, played four seasons with the Timbers' development team from 2009-12, helping guide the Timbers U-23s to the 2010 Premier Development League championship and three playoff appearances. He recently finished his junior season at the University of Portland, where he was a three-time All-West Coast Conference (WCC) selection.
"We have watched Steven develop first-hand over the years, with Eastside Timbers at the youth levels and recently with the Timbers U-23s, into a quality young player," said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. "Being able to develop and produce first-team players through our development system is an important goal of our organization. We are delighted to sign Steven as a Homegrown Player."
The club's 2012 Timbers U-23s Player of the Year, Evans played in 17 games for the Timbers U-23s during the 2012 Premier Development League campaign, recording four goals and one assist and leading the team to the Western Conference semifinals. He assisted on the game-winning goal in the 2010 PDL title match, helping the Timbers U-23s become the first undefeated champion in league history. Evans, a member of the inaugural Timbers U-23s team in 2009, ranks among the team's all-time leaders in games played (42) and goals (8).
"I have always wanted to play for the Timbers; this is something I've been working toward since I started playing the game," said Evans. "I grew up watching the Timbers, and the opportunity to play professionally in my hometown is a dream come true. I couldn't be more excited."
At the University of Portland, Evans tallied a career-best 14 goals in 19 matches during his junior season in 2012, finishing second in the conference and eighth among NCAA leaders in goals scored. He was named to the All-WCC First Team for a second straight season and garnered NSCAA All-Far West Region second-team honors. Evans ranked among the WCC's leading goal-scorers in each of the last two seasons and was also named the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year. In total, he compiled 24 goals and 12 assists in 53 career matches.
Evans, who was called into camp with the U.S. U-20 National Team in December 2010, was an all-state player at Portland's Central Catholic High School during his prep career. He played club soccer for Eastside Timbers, a member of the adidas Timbers Alliance, and was a member of the Eastside team that won the U.S. Youth Soccer U-18 national championship in 2010. Evans was also a four-year member of the Timbers/Oregon Olympic Development Program (ODP) from 2004-08.
Evans joins forward Brent Richards, a native of Camas, Wash., as the Timbers' two Homegrown Players. He also becomes the fifth player from the Timbers U-23s to sign with the first team.