On July 21, the Portland Timbers announced that Corban University head men's soccer coach, Aaron Lewis, was named the Salem-Area RTC (Regional Training Centers) Boys Director of soccer operations.
Lewis will perform these duties on top of his coaching responsibilities with the Warrior men's soccer team.
"This appointment by the Timbers reflects Aaron's outstanding knowledge of and passion for the game, and his heart for developing the next generation of players," said Corban University Director of Athletics Greg Eide. "We believe Aaron is one of the best and brightest young coaches in the game at any level, and we are thankful he is a Warrior."
The goal of the Regional Training Centers is to increase participation in each part of the state for the ODP (Olympic Development Program) by limiting travel and expense while also creating good competition and helping players to improve. It will also help the Timbers find the top talent in all parts of the state of Oregon.
The ODP program was originally created in 1977 as the US Youth Soccer Select Team Program. It remains one of the top ways to identify and bring the top talents from each state to compete at the national level for the United States. In addition to training and tactics, US Youth Soccer ODP offers competition such as the Regional and National ODP Championships, as well as further participation in major international tournaments.
As the RTC Director for the Salem area, Lewis will serve as the mentor for all staff and will handle all tryouts for the RTC, supervise fields and training schedules, as well as assisting with each age group as the senior staff coach. Lewis will ensure that the RTC staff follows the Timbers' and Thorns' RTC Curriculum and will provide coaching evaluations at the end of the fall and spring RTC seasons for all RTC staff. In addition, he will follow up with all players who do not make the ODP pool, making sure that each one receives an evaluation at the end of the season.
"This is an exciting opportunity to grow the game of soccer in our area, and provide me a chance to connect with players and coaches throughout our state," Lewis said. "I believe that Corban University, and our Warrior Soccer program, will be highlighted through this agreement."
Tryouts for the boys’ teams will take place at Corban University on Warrior Field in late August. The sessions will run from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. each evening under the supervision of Lewis and his Salem Timbers RTC Staff. Official dates of tryouts will be announced soon.