Timbers add trio to roster

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have re-signed veterans Brian Winters and Scott Benedetti, it was announced today. The Timbers also added a second goalkeeper to the club, agreeing to terms with Bayard Elfvin on a one-year contract.

Benedetti and Winters join teammate Gavin Wilkinson as those who have been with the Timbers since their inaugural A-League season in 2001. Winters has signed a two-year deal with the team, while Benedetti is under a one-year contract.

“I am delighted that both Benedetti and Winters are re-signing with the club,” said Timbers head coach Bobby Howe. “Being two of the three original Timbers, their experience will be invaluable to the development of the team this season.”

Winters, a three-time captain, has played more minutes than any other Timber in three seasons with 7,175 minutes over 73 games from 2001-03. Benedetti has logged 5,047 minutes over 63 matches with the Timbers, scoring four goals in three seasons.

Tallying seven goals and 11 assists in 2000, Winters helped the Minnesota Thunder to a second straight appearance in the A-League championship game prior to coming to Portland for its inaugural campaign. Known primarily for his aggressive defense, Winters has notched four assists over his three-year tenure in Portland. The 26-year-old was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team from 1998-2000, playing in 15 games, and was selected as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic qualifying team for the 2000 Sydney Games.

During his collegiate career, the Tacoma, Wash., native was a two-time captain at the University of Portland, playing under the legendary Clive Charles.

A Portland native, Benedetti also played at the University of Portland from1985-88. Benedetti, 37, has enjoyed a long professional career, including stints with Nottingham Forest of the English First Division, UNAM Pumas of the Mexican First Division and with the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, where he played from 1996-97 appearing in 35 games and scoring three goals. In the A-League, Benedetti has amassed 116 points on 50 goals and 16 assists in 11 seasons with the Timbers, Miami Freedom, Colorado Foxes and Seattle Storm.

Internationally, Benedetti was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, earning a cap in a friendly vs. Peru in 1996.

Elfvin, 23, played collegiate soccer at Ashland (OH) University, leaving the school as its all-time leader in shutouts (14) and goals-against average (1.23). Elfvin compiled a 31-12-2 record at Ashland and concluded his collegiate career in 2002 with 245 saves, second-best in school history.

“Bayard Elfvin comes highly recommended,” said Howe. “We’re looking for him to push Josh Saunders for the starting position.”

TIMBERS NOTES: Today is the last day of informal workouts at PGE Park … training camp officially starts tomorrow at 10 a.m., with all signed players set to report with the exception of McKinley Tennyson, who will be in camp Monday, April 5 … the Timbers kick off the 2004 season vs. Seattle at PGE Park, Saturday, May 1 at 7 p.m. … individual-game and season tickets are now on sale … for ticket information, call 553-5555.