PORTLAND, Ore. – Former Maryland midfielder Eryk Williamson has signed with the Portland Timbers, the club announced Tuesday. Williamson heads to Portland after his MLS rights were traded to the Timbers by DC United.
Williamson had a sensational final season in College Park that saw him earn Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and All-American honors. The Alexandra, Va., native notched six goals, a team high, and added five assists. He was a second team All-Big Ten pick as a sophomore and racked up 14 goals and 13 assists for his Maryland career.
“I’m super excited to start my new career,” Williamson said. “When I was a kid, I wrote down that I wanted to become a professional soccer player and I am happy to be able to play for Portland. Maryland and Sasho helped me out a lot. I was able to play in one of the most professional programs in the country, and I’d like to thank Sasho for allowing me to be coached by such a role model and leader. I’ll always be able to look back and know that’s what prepped me to be a professional, but also a better man.”
“I will forever be proud to be a Terrapin. Playing in front of The Crew for three years was one of my favorite things about the program. There’s not a better support system in college soccer. I’m now excited to play in front of the Timbers Army.”
A US youth national team fixture, Williamson was a member of the USA U-20 National Team at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and appeared in all five matches. He scored one of the best goals of any player in a USA shirt in 2017; a 30-yard screamer against El Salvador in the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championships.
"I am delighted for Eryk Williamson to sign his first professional contract and begin his career in MLS,” head coach Sasho Cirovski said. “He had three wonderful years at Maryland and was a major contributor to our success. Whether he played as a withdrawn forward, wide midfielder/forward or in a central midfield role, he excelled. Eryk is a gifted soccer player with sublime skill rarely seen in college soccer. He has a high ceiling and I am excited to see him at the next level."
Williamson joins Gordon Wild (Atlanta United) and Jake Rozhansky (Maccabi Netanya) as former Terps that have joined professional clubs since the end of the 2017 season. Portland begins its season March 4 in Los Angeles against LA Galaxy.
Maryland MLS Homegrown Signings
Eryk Williamson, 2018, Portland Timbers
Alex Crognale, 2016, Columbus Crew
Mael Corboz, 2015, New York Red Bulls
London Woodberry, 2013, FC Dallas
Matt Kassel, 2011, New York Red Bulls
Ethan White, 2010, DC United