Portland Timbers sign NCAA College Cup MVP, Darin Lewis, to multi-year contract
Portland, Ore. — The Portland Timbers announced today that they have signed University of Connecticut forward/midfielder, Darin Lewis, to a multi-year deal. Lewis was named the 2000 NCAA College Cup Most Valuable Player after leading the 20-3-2 Huskies to the national title. He was also instrumental in the Huskies semi-final finish in the 1999 NCAA College Cup.
“Darin Lewis is going to be an outstanding addition to the Timbers and a player our fans are going love to watch play,” said Jim Taylor, Timbers’ vice president and general manager. “He’s the whole package. Very creative, an unreal dribbler of the ball, totally unpredictable, and has the ability to bust the game wide open at any moment.”
Lewis was expected to be a top pick in this year’s Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft, but MLS rule changes regarding the limiting of senior international players (limit of 3 per team), and the fact that he wanted to stay in school at UConn and continue work on his sociology degree, left the 24-year old Trinidadian leaning toward A-League.
“A-League is clearly the best option for me at this point,” said Lewis. “The level of play is outstanding and playing for a team of this caliber is very exciting to me. I’ve won at the college level, now I want to win at the professional level. I think Portland is the best opportunity for me to achieve that. The Timbers have the potential to be a great team.”
Lewis' flair and style of play brought him attention from the Trinidadian National Team early on in his career. He has risen through the ranks and he counts eight senior international caps, following in the footsteps of his father who was Trinidad's National Team captain in the late 70's and still is a renowned soccer figure in the country.
Lewis will begin training with the Timbers on Wednesday and will officially be added to the full roster once he receives his international work visa, which is expected in the next two weeks.
The Timbers return to A-League action on Wednesday, May 23 as they play host to the El Paso Patriots at PGE Park. Kick-off is set for 7:05 p.m. The match is a key Western Conference showdown as the Timbers look to gain ground on The Patriots, who beat Portland 2-1 in double overtime earlier this year in El Paso.
Due to a Beavers baseball game broadcast conflict on flagship station AM 970 Cruisin’ Oldies, the match will be carried live on KUIK 1360 AM. Timbers matches can also be heard live online at Oregonlive.com.
DARIN LEWIS, FORWARD/MIDFIELD
Trinidad & Tobago National Team Highlights
Was recently named to Trinidad and Tobago's initial 32-player roster for the final round of World Cup Qualifying in 2001 … Has yet to earn a cap for the National Team … Also played with Trinidad's U-23 National Team.
Was named the 2000 NCAA College Cup Most Valuable Offensive Player after leading the 20-3-2 Huskies to the National Title … Was also a key component in the Huskies run to the 1999 NCAA College Cup Semifinals … A 2000 NSCAA/adidas Second Team All-American and First Team New England Region All-American … Was second the Huskies' second leading scorer with 23 points on eight goals and seven assists … As junior he was named to the 1999 NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team … Captured Big East Tournament MOP honors in 1999 when he was UConn's second-leading scorer with 32 points on 11 goals and 10 assists … Also received Second Team NSCAA All-New England honors in 1999 … Was also named to Soccer America's Team of the Week for two consecutive weeks as a junior … Transferred to UConn after two years at Mercer Community College in New Jersey … Led the Mercer squad to a pair of NJCAA appearances including the National Championship Runner-up in 1997 and a semifinal finish in 1998 ... Named a Junior College All-American …
Originally from Trinidad... Enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences... Born April 28, 1976.