SAN JOSE -- The Earthquakes have traded reserve midfielder Brad Ring to the Portland Timbers for a 2014 draft pick, the Quakes announced Thursday.

Ring, 26, played as a defensive midfielder and center back this season but couldn't break into the lineup with the rise of Sam Cronin in the central midfield. Ring appeared in only five games for the Quakes over the past two seasons after a career-high 21 games in 2011.

He appeared in 34 games for San Jose since being picked 17th overall in the 2009 draft out of Indiana. Ring missed his rookie season because of a hip injury.

In July, he said, "I'm hoping for a fair shot at being a consistent starter on a team. Hopefully it is here but if they don't that somewhere where someone does see that."

Interim coach Mark Watson struggled with finding playing time for Ring but appreciated his professionalism.

"It's a tough one," he said this summer. "I consider Brad a big part of this squad. He doesn't get a chance to play a lot of minutes, but he's a great pro. When he does get his chance he gives it everything he has got.

Watson added that Ring's biggest asset is his versatility.

"He can play anywhere across the back line and playing holding mid," the coach said. "In terms of character and work rate he's a 10 out of 10."

Ring joins a Portland team in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race with 39 points and a 9-5-12 record. The Quakes (9-11-7), eighth out of nine teams in the West, play host to the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night.

Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.