Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Blues are excited to announce they have added striker Bright Dike on loan from the Portland Timbers. The 25-year-old, who appeared in 11 matches for the MLS side in 2011, joined Head Coach Charlie Naimo’s squad for yesterday’s training session in Fullerton and is expected to be with the club for the remainder of the current USL PRO campaign, with the Timbers reserving the right to recall him if needed.
"Portland contacted us and asked whether we’d be interested if the opportunity came up,” Naimo said. “It was a no-brainer for us and we feel very fortunate to be adding a classy player like Bright to our roster and hopefully have him here for a while to come.”
Dike himself made the decision to join the highly ambitious USL PRO side after being one of only four players retained by the MLS-bound Timbers in 2011, following a breakout season in the USSF D2 Pro League that saw him score 10 goals in 23 appearances. The Oklahoma native hasn’t featured in Portland’s first nine matches of the 2012 MLS campaign but has started in all three Reserve League fixtures for the club and tallied twice.
“The Timbers coaches told me I needed to get more minutes at a high level and that there were a few possible destinations,” Dike explained. “From what they said, it seemed like the Blues were the best fit, with coaches who can really help my game and who are determined to get the most out of every player. After one day of training, that’s exactly the impression I have. They know what they want to see on the field and what they expect out of us.”
Dike played his college ball at Notre Dame from 2005 to 2009, redshirting his junior season before starting all 21 matches as a senior and leading the Fighting Irish in both goals (12) and points (29). His performances in 2009 earned the attacking ace a selection to the All-Big East Championship team. During his college years, he also briefly suited up for Premier Development League (PDL) side Indiana Invaders.
Having been drafted by the Columbus Crew in the first round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Dike ended up signing with the Timbers. After two years in the Rose City, he is excited about the change in scenery and about joining a talented Blues squad whose camaraderie could go a long way in keeping spirits high over the course of a grueling USL PRO season.
“I instantly sensed that all the players get along great and want each other to succeed, which you don’t always have with professional teams,” the newest member of the Fullerton-based club said. “Regardless of how long I’ll be here, I want to help them win the title by performing at my best. To me, wanting to win every time you take the field is just part of being a professional. My other goal is to really progress here and to leave a different player than when I arrived.”
Charlie Naimo has no doubt that Dike already possesses all the tools to be a dangerous weapon for his side in 2012.
“Bright brings a load of strength and athleticism, and I’m sure defenders around the league will be worried about having to face him,” he said. “Having him in the lineup will be especially beneficial to us when we play on some of those fields with smaller dimensions. Sometimes some brute strength is exactly what you need to break though in games like that.
“After seeing Bright train, he also brings the skill on the ball to be very successful in this league. I think he’ll be tremendous for us both when the team is playing well and in some of those more chippy, less attractive affairs. We couldn’t be any more excited to have him joining our team.”