October 3rd, 2012 by Michael Orr
According to a tweet today by Top Drawer Soccer’s JR Eskilson, the Portland Timbers are seeking to claim Home Grown Player status for Santa Clara University forward Erik Hurtado. Such a designation would make Hurtado the second Home Grown Player in Portland.
A Timbers official today confirmed to NASN Portland that the Timbers do not currently have Home Grown Player rights on Hurtado.
Santa Clara University officials did not immediately reply to an inquiry.
Hurtado is a senior at Santa Clara University. Having grown up in Beaverton, he attended Westview High School and was a part of the Westside Metros club, now known as Westside Timbers, from U10-U19, according to Timbers legend and Westside Timbers Soccer Operations Director John Bain. Hurtado played alongside Danny Mwanga from U16-U19 at Westside. Like current HGP Brent Richards, who played for a club now affiliated with the Timbers (Eastside United – now known as Eastside Timbers), Hurtado’s status would depend on a ruling from MLS as to whether or not that current affiliation can be retroactively assigned to a player whose time with the club preceded its affiliation with the Timbers. In Richards’ case, Eastside United was identified by Portland before the Timbers joined MLS, as connections with Gavin Wilkinson and Jim Rilatt (the Timbers U23 coach) provided a direct link to the senior club that was solidified with an agreement at the point of expansion. That affiliation helped allow Richards’ ascent to the first team in a way that may or may not be possible for Hurtado and others.
Another player with similar credentials to both Hurtado and Richards is Steven Evans. Currently a junior at the University of Portland, Evans has played with the Timbers U23s, attended Portland’s Central Catholic High School and was a member of Eastside United before the advent of the Timbers academy.