Timbers U23s Add Three Akron Standouts to 2017 Roster

(Manuel Cordeiro, Nate Shultz, and Niko De Vera have all signed to play with the Timbers U23 this summer.) (Photo Credit: Akron Zips Athletics)

SALEM, Ore. – The Timbers U23s announced on Wednesday that three University of Akron standouts would be playing for the Timbers U23 PDL squad this summer in Salem. Manuel Cordeiro, Nate Shultz, and Niko De Vera are the latest three commitments for the 2017 Timbers U23s, pending league approval.

Each of the three players played key roles in leading the Akron Zips to an NCAA Tournament First-Round victory over Villanova before eventually falling in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016. On the season, the Zips accumulated a 13-6-3 overall record, including capturing the program’s 12th-straight MAC Title to go along with the Mac Tournament Championship.

“These three players come from one of the best programs in the country, and we are excited to continue to embrace the relationship that our organization has with Akron,” said Timbers U23 head coach Aaron Lewis. “We feel that each of these guys possess the talent to play at the next level, and mindset to grind enough to get there.”

Cordeiro, a midfielder hailing from Porto, Portugal, appeared in 17 matches for Akron during the 2016 campaign, making 12 starts in all. He scored his first-career goal for the Zips midway through the year in a 7-0 victory over Northern Illinois. Before playing at Akron, Cordeiro received a call-up to the U-19 National Team for Portugal and helped guide Boavista FC to three team championships.

Shultz, a defender out of Mayfield, Ohio, made appearances in 18 games during the 2016 season for Akron, totaling 10 starts. As a key member of the backline, Shultz helped the Zips record an overall goals-against average of 1.09 to go with 11 shutouts on the year. In addition, he dished out one assist. Prior to Akron, Shultz played club soccer for Internationals SC of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

De Vera, a member of the Portland Timbers Academy throughout his youth, made appearances in 19 games for the Zips during the 2016 campaign, notching 11 starts. While scoring one goal and dishing out two assists on the year as a defender, he helped the Akron backline total 11 shutouts and a goals-against-average of 1.09. On top of his time with the Timbers Academy in his youth, he also played for Camas High School for two seasons, scoring 19 goals and dishing out 27 assists, leading his team to a perfect season and the 3A State Championship as a freshman.

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