Timbers sign New Zealand international Aaran Lines

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have signed midfielder Aaran Lines to a one-year contract, it was announced today.

Lines, 28, has extensive international experience with the New Zealand Men’s National Team, collecting 41 caps over his career with the “All Whites.”

"We are delighted to have signed a player of Aaran's caliber and experience,” head coach Bobby Howe said. “He will not only bring us additional leadership on the field, but also, as a natural left-footed player, he will provide excellent balance to the team."

Fellow Kiwi Gavin Wilkinson has played internationally with Lines in over a dozen contests, last appearing together on the same team during the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup in France.

”Aaran is a skillful and intelligent player,” Wilkinson said. “I expect him to add the same level of creativity on the left side that Hugo (Alcaraz-Cuellar) provides on the right.”

Making his U.S. professional debut this coming season, Lines has played for clubs in Germany, New Zealand and Poland, most recently appearing in 24 matches with Arka Gdynia of the Polish First Division in 2004.

Prior to his stint at Arka Gdynia, Lines spent time with Ruch Chorzow of the Polish Second Division, Desdner SC of the German Third Bundesliga, the Auckland Football Kingz of the Australian National League, VfL Osnabruck of the German Second Bundesliga and SV Werder Bremen of the German First Bundesliga.

Lines played from 1993-97 for Werder Bremen, counting games on the youth, reserve and first teams with the storied German club.

The Timbers will take on the Seattle Sounders in a preseason exhibition match at PGE Park on Saturday, April 9. Portland kicks off the 2005 regular season at PGE Park on Saturday, April 23, against the Toronto Lynx.

Season tickets, club seats, group packages, party suites, flex plans and mini-plans for the 2005 campaign are currently on sale. Timbers’ ticket plans start as low as $37.00 and are available by contacting the team’s ticket office at (503) 553-5555.

TRANSACTION: Portland Timbers (USL First Division) signed midfielder Aaran Lines.