Timbers U23s Sign Four College Standouts to 2017 Roster

(Alex Heilmann, Christo Michaelson, Ben White, and Timur Zhividze have all signed to play with the Timbers U23s in 2017.)

SALEM, Ore. – The Timbers U23s announced on Monday morning the signing of four players that will join the Timbers U23 squad during the 2017 season. Cal State Fullerton’s Alex Heilmann, Gonzaga University’s Christo Michaelson and Ben White, and Corban University’s Timur Zhividze are the latest four commitments for the 2017 Timbers U23s, pending league approval.

“Each of these players have abilities that fill essential needs for our team to play within our desired system,” said Timbers U23 head coach Aaron Lewis. “In addition to their quality skill-sets, I know they all possess big-time work rates and team-first attitudes that will add momentum into our team-first culture.”

Heilmann joins the Timbers U23s following a standout collegiate career that finished at Cal State Fullerton. He experienced a phenomenal senior season with CSU Fullerton, leading the Big West with 12 goals in his first collegiate season playing as a forward. He collected All-Big West First-Team honors, was named the Big West Offensive Athlete of the Week two times, and garnered College Soccer News’ National Player of the Week once. Additionally, Heilmann was named to the NSCAA All-Far West Region Third Team, becoming the Titan’s first player to earn such an accolade since 2014.

Michaelson, who hails from Lake Oswego, Ore., served as one of Gonzaga’s key playmakers throughout the 2016 season, scoring four goals while dishing out three assists for a total of 11 points, ranking third on the team. Michaelson, a midfielder who played in all 18 games for the Bulldogs, made 17 starts and scored one game-winning goal. For his efforts, he garnered All-WCC Honorable-Mention accolades.

White, a teammate of Michaelson at Gonzaga, has collected All-WCC First-Team and WCC All-Freshman Team plaudits during his time with the Bulldogs. He also earned All-WCC Honorable-Mention accolades for his standout play during the 2016 season in which he scored two goals as a defender and dished out four assists to rank second on the team. While starting and playing in 14 games during the most recent season, he served as the team’s lynchpin across the back line.

Zhividze, who collected NAIA All-America Third-Team honors in 2016, was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Player of the Year. During his historic 2016 campaign, he led the conference with 23 goals and 11 assists while serving as Corban’s primary attacking threat. Of his 23 scores, eight were game-winning goals, including a pair of goals in the NAIA National Tournament where he led the Warriors to the NAIA Final 16.

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