Timbers ink Washington star Richards as first Home Grown

Photo courtesy of the Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers announced Wednesday that they have signed forward and Timbers U-23s product Brent Richards as the club’s first Home Grown player.

Richards, 21, joins the Timbers first team after three seasons with the club’s development team, the Portland Timbers U-23s, and becoming its all-time leading scorer. A native of Camas, Wash., Richards recently completed a standout collegiate career at the University of Washington.

Richards registered 26 goals and 12 assists in 37 games over three seasons (2009-11) with the Timbers U-23s in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). He led the Timbers U-23s to a historic season in 2010, as the team won the PDL championship and became the league’s first undefeated champion with a perfect 20-0-0 record. Richards was crowned the league’s MVP and the finals MVP among his several accolades that season.

A PDL All-League selection in 2010, Richards recorded another standout season for the Timbers U-23s in 2011, leading the team in scoring for a second straight year with eight goals and a team-high six assists. He received All-Western Conference honors for a second time and was named the Timbers U-23 Player of the Year following the campaign.

During his collegiate career at Washington, he compiled 31 goals and 15 assists in 72 games, leading the team in scoring, goals and game-winning goals in each of his four seasons. A four-time all-conference honoree, Richards ranks among the school’s career leaders in goals and points (77).

Richards becomes the third Timbers U-23s player to sign with the Timbers’ first team, joining midfielder Freddie Braun and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.