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Thursday soccer news: Portland picks Penn State defensive midfielder; Pilots' Ray Ortiz drafted by FC Cinncinnati; T2 schedule announced

The Portland Timbers selected the 2019 Big Ten midfielder of the year in the first round of Thursday's MLS SuperDraft and University of Portland attacker Rey Ortiz was a second-round pick of FC Cincinnati.

The Timbers took Aaron Molloy with the 16th pick. A defensive midfielder, the Dublin, Ireland native was a three-year starter for Penn State. A team captain in 2019, Molloy had nine goals and six assists as a senior, helping Penn State qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014.

He was a unanimous all-Big Ten first-team selection and was named a second-team All-American by United Soccer Coaches.

Listed at 5-11, 165 pounds, Molloy was projected as one of the best defensive midfielders available in the draft. He turns 23 on Saturday.

If history is any indication, Molloy could begin his pro soccer career with T2.

• Ortiz was selected by FC Cincinnati with the 29th overall pick. A native of Mexico, Ortiz wrapped up his Pilots career in the fall with three goals and seven assists. His 24 career assists are seventh most in Portland history. His 13 assists as a sophomore were the third most in the country in 2017.

"Rey was my first recruit here at UP and it's with great pride that he has earned this opportunity," Pilots coach Nick Carlin-Voigt said. "Rey leaves the program better than he found it, which is always one of our goals for any incoming player. Cincinnati is not only getting a dynamic, talented winger, but they are getting a great person with a big heart who will give everything he has to the club."

The first two rounds of the four-round draft took place Thursday. Rounds 3 and 4 will be on Jan. 13.

T2 announces schedule — Portland Timbers 2 will open the 2020 USL Championship season on March 7 at Phoenix Rising FC.

The first home match at Hillsboro Stadium is at 5 p.m. March 22.

T2 will play all of its 17 home matches at Hillsboro Stadium asa result of a partnership with the Hillsboro Hops baseball team.

Portland plays each of the USL Championship Western Conference teams once at home and once on the road for the 34-game schedule that ends on Oct. 17. The final home match is Oct. 10 against LA Galaxy II.


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