Timbers acquire Dallas midfielder

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



The Portland Timbers on Friday acquired a midfielder with some U.S. national team experience, trading Jeremy Hall to FC Dallas for Eric Alexander.

Here are the press releases from the Timbers and from FC Dallas:

Timbers statement:

The Portland Timbers have acquired midfielder Eric Alexander from FC Dallas in exchange for midfielder/defender Jeremy Hall, it was announced today. Timbers general manager/technical director Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.

Alexander, 23, made 39 appearances (28 starts) in FC Dallas’ midfield over the last two seasons after joining the club as a third-round selection (44th overall) in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Alexander played in 22 of FC Dallas’s 24 games this season after scoring two goals and providing three assists in 17 games (12 starts) his rookie year.

A U.S. international, Alexander was invited to the January 2011 U.S. National Team camp and earned his first cap when he came on as an 83rd-minute substitute for Alejandro Bedoya against Chile on Jan. 22, 2011.

“Eric is a young player, with both MLS and playoff experience; he played in the MLS Cup last year,” said Wilkinson. “He will be a great addition to the squad and will be given the opportunity to succeed.”

Born in Portage, Mich., Alexander scored 12 goals and collected 13 assists in 91 games (80 starts) during his four-year collegiate career at Indiana University. After being named the top freshman in the country by ESPNSoccernet in 2006, Alexander went on to become a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2007 and was a two-time, second-team All-Big Ten choice. He was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Hall, 22, made 17 appearances (all starts) for the Timbers this season, recording three assists while splitting time between midfield and right back. He was acquired by Portland in a trade with the New York Red Bulls on Nov. 22, 2010. A three-year professional, Hall spent the previous two seasons with New York.

“Jeremy has been nothing but first class for this organization, and we wish him all the best,” said Wilkinson.

Eric Alexander

Position: Midfielder

Height: 6-0

Weight: 165

Born: April 14, 1988, in Portage, Mich.

Birthplace: Portage, Mich.

Last Club: FC Dallas

College: Indiana Univ.

Citizenship: United States

FC Dallas statement:

FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas has traded second-year midfielder Eric Alexander to the Portland Timbers in exchange for defender Jeremy Hall, the club announced today. Per team and league regulations, details of the contract were not released.

“This trade is one that was really made to help our defensive line,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “With all the competitions we’re in, all the traveling and all the playing we’re doing, we felt like we did not have enough depth in our defense. We feel like we have a lot of good midfielders and as much as Eric has contributed to our team, we just feel like we have to protect our defense in case we have injuries or suspensions.”

Alexander played 39 games for FC Dallas since being drafted in the third round (44th overall) by FC Dallas in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. The 23-year old scored two goals and assisted on three others during his first full season in MLS. Alexander has started 16 games for FC Dallas this season, recording a career-high 17 shots in 1,218 minutes played.

Since joining Portland via a trade with the New York Red Bulls on Nov. 11, 2010, Hall has started 17 matches for the Timbers. He has recorded three assists in 1,424 minutes. The 22-year old defender was originally drafted by the Red Bulls in the first round (11th overall) in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland. Hall played 37 regular season games and made 31 starts over his two years with New York, logging two assists.

“Jeremy is a player that I was really fortunate to work with when I went on the Generation adidas trip to Madrid last year,” said Hyndman. “I think he’s a solid defender that can play on both sides of the ball, he can get forward, he can serve. He can also go into the midfield and play. I think he’ll be well-liked by the team. I think he fits into the mold of what our team’s all about.”

Hall led Maryland with 14 goals, seven assists and 35 points in 2008, helping the school win the 2008 NCAA championship. In three years at Maryland, Hall played in 66 games, tallying 26 goals and 14 assists. He was a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., where he earned 22 caps with the U.S. U-17 National Team. In 2005, he started 12 games, including six starts at the U-17 World Championships in Peru.

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