Three Pacific Tigers Set to Join Timbers U23s for 2017 Season
SALEM, Ore. – The Timbers U23s announced on Friday morning that three University of the Pacific standouts would be joining the Timbers U23 PDL squad this summer in Salem. Andres Ochoa, Bob Groenendijk, and Wouter Verstraaten are the three commitments for the Timbers U23s, pending league approval.
“These three Pacific players had fantastic fall seasons while helping put the Tiger program on the map,” said Timbers U23 head coach Aaron Lewis. “In only their third season as a program, these players helped Pacific reach the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament and have created significant momentum in Stockton. I know all of them are hungry to develop in this setting, and we are thrilled to add them to our roster this summer.”
Ochoa, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, started and played in 18 games during the 2016 season for the Tigers, a season that saw Ochoa lead the team to a 13-4-2 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Ochoa served as one of the team’s playmakers, dishing out four assists on the season while totaling 24 shots. Prior to Pacific, Ochoa played at Archbishop Mitty High School in northern California and earned the Prep2Prep’s WCAL Player of the Year award.
Groenendijk joins the Timbers U23s following a standout sophomore season with Pacific in which he appeared in all 19 games and started in 16 as a defender. While helping the team total seven shutouts on the year and a goals-against-average of 0.97, Groenendijk was one of the key pieces of the backline that shut down opposing teams’ offenses. In addition, he scored one goal and dished out one assist on the year offensively. Prior to Pacific, Groenendijk grew up in the Netherlands and was a member of the PSV Eindhoven Academy.
Verstraaten started in all 19 games for the Tigers in 2016 as a part of the stingy backline, scoring one goal while also tallying one assist offensively. He served as one of the big reasons why the team racked up the seven shutouts defensively and the 0.97 goals-against-average. For his efforts, he was named to the West Coast Conference Second Team when the postseason accolades were awarded. Prior to playing with the Tigers, Verstraaten grew up in the Netherlands and played in the PSV Eindhoven Academy.