The Portland Timbers selected McHenry West graduate Ryan Sierakowski with the 23rd overall pick during Friday’s MLS SuperDraft in Chicago.
Portland, the MLS Cup runner-up in 2018, selected the Michigan State forward with the second-to-last pick in the first round of the four-round draft.
A 6-foot-1, 170-pound forward, Sierakowski was a second-team All-Big Ten performer as a senior in 2018 for the Spartans. He helped Michigan State reach the national semifinals last month before a loss to Akron ended the season just short of the national championship game.
“It’s unbelievable,” Sierakowski said during an interview on the SuperDraft live stream at mlssoccer.com. “I’ve dreamt of this moment ever since I started playing at 6 years old. The past couple weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. To be picked by Portland Timbers, it’s unbelievable, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sierakowski scored eight goals and added five assists in 23 games during his senior season. Over his four-year career at Michigan State, he scored 33 goals and had 16 assists in 82 games played.
Sierakowski did not play for the McHenry soccer team in high school. He competed with Sockers FC Academy, a Schaumburg-based club team, and also spent time playing for the Chicago Fire U18 Academy.
Portland is known for its rabid MLS fanbase. The Timbers have sold out every home game at Providence Park (capacity: 21,144) since entering MLS in 2011.
“They have an amazing fanbase and a great following,” Sierakowski said. “Portland is a great city. I’m excited to get started.”