PORTLAND, Ore. – Todd Wharton led a group of four new signings announced on Wednesday by the Portland Timbers 2, returning the midfielder to the Pacific Northwest and the Timbers organization where he previously featured for the Portland Timbers U-23s in USL League Two.
Wharton will be joined by fellow midfielder Carlos Anguiano, who joins the professional ranks after previously competing for T2 as an Academy signing, defender Niko De Vera and goalkeeper Jake Leeker for the 2019 USL Championship season. Portland also announced on Wednesday it had signed defenders Harold Hanson and Max Ornstil to new contracts and exercised a contract option on Arturo Diz Pe.
The 24-year-old Wharton featured for Rio Grande Valley FC over the past three USL Championship seasons as he made 63 appearances and tallied six goals and eight assists. In 2018, Wharton posted career-highs in goals (5) and assists (5). A native of Richmond, Va., Wharton played four years of collegiate soccer at the University of Virginia (2012-15), helping the Cavaliers win the 2014 NCAA National Championship. Prior to his senior season, Wharton also made 12 appearances for the Timbers U-23s as he led the side to postseason while earning USL League Two All-League honors.
A fellow alum of the Timbers U-23s, De Vera spent his rookie professional season in 2018 with the New York Red Bulls II where he appeared in 27 matches and made 22 starts to help the side reach the Eastern Conference Final of the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs. A Portland Timbers Academy product, De Vera played collegiate soccer at the University of Akron (2014-17), where he appeared in 60 matches (41 starts) and registered one goal and seven assists across four seasons. Additionally, De Vera played two seasons with the Portland Timbers U-23s (2016-17), where he made 27 appearances and was named to the USL League Two All-Western Conference team in 2016.
Diz Pe tallied one goal and two assists in 15 appearances (14 starts) during the 2018 USL regular season. At the international level, Diz Pe has earned 13 caps for the Cuban National Team. The Havana, Cuba, native was part of the team that won the 2012 Caribbean Cup, defeating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 in the Caribbean Cup Final.
Leeker played his first professional season with Real Monarchs SLC in 2018, logging six shutouts in 17 starts. A native of St. Louis, Mo., the 23-year-old Leeker played collegiate soccer at the University of Memphis (2014-17), where he appeared in 47 matches and posted 10 clean sheets.
Anguiano appeared in 13 matches and made 8 starts over the past two seasons for T2 (2017-18) as a member of the Portland Timbers Academy. The Salem, Ore., native made his debut for T2 as a 17-year-old in a 1-1 draw at Reno 1868 FC on July 22, 2017. Anguiano played in nine matches (5 starts) for T2 in 2018, logging 464 minutes.
Hanson, 19, played the previous two seasons (2017-18) for T2 after signing with the club as a 17-year-old. In 2018, the Ontario, Calif., native made 14 appearances (5 starts) and scored one goal, in helping T2 qualify for the first USL Cup Playoffs appearance in club history. Hanson scored his first professional goal against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on June 17, 2018. During the 2017 USL Championship season, Hanson appeared in 23 games (21 starts) and tallied two assists. Additionally, Hanson made his MLS debut for the Portland Timbers, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on July 23, 2017.
Ornstil, 24, who enters his third season with T2, appeared in 27 matches (16 starts) with three goals scored across two seasons (2017-18) for Portland since joining the club from Portland Timbers U23 in the USL League Two in 2016. During the 2018 Championship regular season, Ornstil made eight appearances in 357 minutes played.