No. 4 pick Jeremy Ebobisse happy to go to Timbers after Superdraft wait

Jeremy Ebobisse had to wait a few minutes longer than he might have expected to find out his fate in Friday's MLS SuperDraft. He's not complaining, though.

Ebobisse had been projected as the top overall pick in some mock drafts, but didn't go until the Portland Timbers -- who traded up with the Houston Dynamo to grab the young forward -- took him at No. 4.

"It’s unrealistic for me not to listen to any of those things, but I definitely try not give them any weight," Ebobisse told reporters after his selection. "At the end of the day it’s just speculation, and if I listen to all the speculation, it’ll just drive me crazy. So I try to shut out and be insulated with the whole process, and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out."

Widespread speculation had been that Ebobisse, who passed up his junior season at Duke to sign an MLS contract and then go on loan in USL while he waited for the SuperDraft, would be snatched up by expansion side Minnesota United with the No.1 pick.

Instead, the Loons took UCLA forward Abu Danladi and Atlanta United, the other expansion club in 2017, went with Syracuse defender Miles Robinson. The Chicago Fire traded the third pick to New York City FC, who used it on Akron forward Jonathan Lewis

Then, finally, it was Ebobisse's turn.

"I spent a lot of time with my family and friends right here, all panicking together, not knowing where we were going," he said. "In the end we just had to calm down, because we were in good positions and it worked out for all of us. Me going to Portland, can’t be more proud."

Ebobisse, a late arrival at the Combine because he was with the US under-20 national team, scored in his only Combine outing but didn't get a chance to meet with the Timbers before the SuperDraft. Until MLS Commissioner Don Garber called him to the stage, Ebobisse didn't know Portland intended to make a trade to get him if they could.

"When I heard my name called up on the big board, that was the first time I heard," he said. "But I had spoken with Coach Caleb Porter and he had shown a lot of interest in me, so I’m excited to get to work under him."

Ebobisse isn't as familiar with Portland as he is with other MLS clubs, being an East Coast guy, but he likes what he's seen of the Timbers.

"I know that Portland has a great history," he said "Obviously the MLS Cup in 2015 was an incredible moment for them, and that’s the first order of business in my mind. The team is ready to push for another MLS Cup, and that’s gotta be the goal for everyone, and I want to play my part."

Porter's approach to the game also suits his own style, Ebobisse said.

"I think Caleb Porter’s teams play a nice style of soccer, from his time at Akron and the U-23 national team and at Portland," he said. "I think that I thrive on that kind of service – they have great players in the midfield, with Darlington Nagbe, I’m sure he’s giving great service to the forwards, so hopefully I can get on a good end of that and produce for the team."

The Timbers also enjoy rabid home support at Providence Park -- something Ebobisse has yet to experience in person.

"I’ve never been to a game in Portland, no," he said. "But I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Timbers Army and everyone else."

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