Portland took four players in the MLS SuperDraft on Friday and Tuesday. Jeremy Ebobisse, Michael Amick, Russell Cicerone, and Romilio Hernandez are the newest members of the team. So let’s get to know these Portland Timbers draft picks.
Better Know the Portland Timbers Draft Picks
The MLS SuperDraft may be increasing in irrelevance every year, but it’s possible that at least one of these players turns into a productive MLS level player.
Of the four selections, there is only one name most Timbers fans will need to remember. That would be Jeremy Ebobisse from Duke University. He played two seasons with the Blue Devils before signing an MLS contract. He spent the 2016 season with Charleston Battery in the USL after not latching on with an MLS side. He is also a strong part of the United States U-20 setup. He has scored eight goals in nine appearances with the team.
He is a power forward who can eventually mold himself into a natural replacement for Fanendo Adi. I expect he will start the season at the T2 level in order to get some consistent playing time. Making his senior team debut in 2017 would be far from out of the question, though. He likely stands as the third option at striker before the season begins, so an injury to Adi or Jack McInerney would see him promoted fairly quickly.
He was taken by the Timbers after they sent $100,000 in General Allocation Money to Houston Dynamo for the fourth overall selection. He was highlighted by our own Benny Lafortune as one of the ten players to watch in the draft.
UCLA defender Michael Amick was taken 32nd overall in the second round. He is littered with NCAA honors. His best year was 2014, where he was named All Pac-12 and on the NCAA College Cup All Tournament team. He was captain of the UCLA squad for three seasons as well. He has international experience at the U-18 and U-20 level for the United States.
Amick will likely peak with Portland Timbers 2 and, barring some unexpected injuries or development, probably won’t see senior team action.
Cicerone is a midfielder/forward who was taken in the fourth round. He played his college ball at the University of Buffalo and is the second Bull to be taken in the MLS SuperDraft. He was Mid American Conference Player of the Year in 2015. He started 71 games while setting a school record for assists with 22. He also scored 42 times, which is second best in school history and third best in MAC history. He also featured with Michigan Bucks on the USLPDL during the collegiate offseason.
Despite his high output, he still doesn’t figure to go much further than the T2 level.
Like Cicerone, Romilio Hernandez was taken in the fourth round of the draft. The midfielder out of Louisville started 22 matches for the Cardinals last year. He helped the team into the quarterfinals of the College Cup for the fourth time in seven years. Internationally, he represented El Salvador at the U-20 level.
Like most fourth round picks, he is not considered much more than a shot in the dark, don’t expect to see Hernandez on the senior team at any point.
Of these four, the one to remember will be Ebobisse. While still a little raw, he is the one who can develop into something for the future as a power forward and a possible successor to Fanendo Adi. He may never reach that level, but he at least has the potential to get there.