Timbers Acquire Ryan Johnson, Milos Kocic from Toronto FC
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers today announced that the club has acquired forward and Jamaican international Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Milos Kocic from Toronto FC in exchange for goalkeeper Joe Bendik, Portland's highest first-round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft and allocation money.
Additionally, the Timbers announced that they have acquired the No. 2 spot in the allocation order from Chivas USA in exchange for the No. 3 spot in the allocation order and either an international slot for the 2013 season (through Dec. 31, 2013) or a second-round draft pick in the 2013 SuperDraft, should Portland acquire a second-round pick.
Per club and league policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
Johnson, 28, is a veteran of six MLS seasons and was originally selected by Real Salt Lake in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft following a standout collegiate career at Oregon State University. He has played in 162 regular-season matches during his MLS career with Real Salt Lake (2006), Chicago (2006), San Jose (2008-11) and Toronto FC (2011-12), compiling 27 goals and 20 assists. He also made three MLS Cup playoff appearances with San Jose in 2010.
Johnson was Toronto FC's second-leading goal-scorer in 2012, with seven goals, and tied for the club lead with five assists. His 31 games played last season also ranked among club leaders. Johnson helped lead Toronto FC to the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, scoring five goals in 12 matches. He was also awarded the George Gross Memorial Trophy as the best player in the 2012 Canadian Championship after tallying two goals in the club's four games during the tournament.
"After weighing our immediate needs and evaluating the college pool, we felt it was in the club's best interest to give up a draft pick to secure a talented goal-scorer and an experienced player like Ryan," said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager. "He adds another weapon to our attacking group and can create goals in a number of ways. He also offers versatility in a number of positions in either a three- or two-front system."
Over his two seasons with Toronto FC, Johnson compiled 18 goals in 63 matches across all competitions.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Johnson has 24 caps with the Jamaica National Team since making his international debut in 2006. He has played in six 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for Jamaica, scoring one goal, to help the team reach CONCACAF's final round of qualifying. Johnson was Jamaica's second-leading scorer during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring two goals in four matches during the tournament. In total, Johnson has scored eight international goals.
At Oregon State University, Johnson finished his career (2002-05) as the school's record-holder for both career assists (30) and assists in a single season (13). He was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, earning first-team honors in 2004 and 2005. In total, Johnson recorded 18 goals and 30 assists in 76 career matches for the Beavers, ranking among the school's all-time scoring leaders.
Johnson will not occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.
Kocic, 27, played his fourth season in MLS in 2012, appearing in a career-high 27 matches for Toronto FC. Originally drafted in the second round by D.C. United in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, Kocic signed with Toronto FC in 2010. He also played a key role in Toronto FC advancing to the semifinals of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League, appearing in 11 matches during the tournament. In total, Kocic has played in 41 matches during his MLS career, compiling 123 saves and a 10-19-12 record.
"With the addition of Milos, we felt it was important to add another experienced goalkeeper to strengthen our depth in that position," said Wilkinson. "He has been a regular starter in this league and has worked with our goalkeeper coach Mike Toshack before, making the transition to Portland even easier."
A native of Leskovac, Serbia, Kocic finished his collegiate career at Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland), playing three seasons for the Greyhounds from 2006-08. He compiled 29 shutouts in 46 matches at Loyola and was named an All-American following his senior season in 2008, while assembling a 17-0-1 record and leading the Greyhounds to a second straight NCAA tournament appearance. He started his collegiate career at St. John's University in 2005.
Kocic will occupy an international slot on the Timbers roster.
Bendik, 23, started three of his five regular-season appearances for Portland in 2012, his first MLS season. He played 328 minutes, made 11 saves and finished the season with an 0-2-3 record. Prior to signing with the Timbers on Feb. 24, Bendik played his first two professional seasons with top-flight Norwegian club Songdal.
"Joe is a quality, hard-working professional and was always ready to step in when needed," said Wilkinson. "We wish him all the best."
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