Timbers release 2005 roster

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have announced their 2005 roster in anticipation of the season opener this Saturday, April 23, against the Toronto Lynx at PGE Park.

The Timbers, who will look to build on last year’s league-best 18-7-3 record, return 14 players from that team and have added four newcomers to the mix for the 2005 campaign.

WELCOME BACK
With a record 14 players returning to the fold this season, Portland is looking to replicate some of last year’s magic … three players (Scott Benedetti, Gavin Wilkinson and Brian Winters) are entering their fifth season with the club and have been with the team since 2001 … eleven others have prior experience in green and white, including: Fadi Afash (2002-04), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (2002-04), Byron Alvarez (2003-04), Aaron Heinzen (2003-04), Lee Morrison (2003-04), Josh Saunders (2003-04), Memo Arzate (2004), David Henning (2004), Edwin Miranda (2004), Shawn Saunders (2004), and Scot Thompson (2004).

ROSE CITY DEBUT
Portland’s roster includes four players marking their first season with the Timbers. Among those: midfielder Shaun Higgins (Orange County), midfielder Aaran Lines (Arka Gdynia), midfielder Tom Poltl (Orange County) and goalkeeper Sam Reynolds (Cal State-Fullerton). Higgins, Poltl and Reynolds were signed out of training camp, while Lines was signed in early March.

IMPORTS
Six players on the Timbers are foreign-born, including: Byron Alvarez (Mexico), Gavin Wilkinson (New Zealand), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Mexico), Aaran Lines (New Zealand), Fadi Afash (Syria) and Edwin Miranda (El Salvador).

DOMESTICS
The Timbers feature four players who were either born, raised or attended college in the Pacific Northwest … among those: Scott Benedetti (Portland), Josh Saunders (Grants Pass), Brian Winters (Tacoma) and Aaron Heinzen (Yakima).

GLOBETROTTING
Portland’s roster sports six players who have played for overseas clubs, including: Scott Benedetti (Mexico, England), Byron Alvarez (Mexico), Aaran Lines (Germany, Poland, New Zealand), Shawn Saunders (Germany), Fadi Afash (Greece, Syria) and Gavin Wilkinson (Portugal, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland).

2005 PORTLAND TIMBERS ROSTER

10 - Afash, Fadi, Forward
7 - Alcaraz-Cuellar, Hugo, Midfielder
15 - Alvarez, Byron, Forward
22 - Arzate, Memo, Midfielder
14 - Benedetti, Scott, Midfielder
23 - Heinzen, Aaron, Defender/Midfielder
4 - Henning, David, Defender
18 - Higgins, Shaun, Midfielder
20 - Lines, Aaran, Midfielder
8 - Miranda, Edwin, Defender
24 - Morrison, Lee, Defender
6 - Poltl, Tom, Midfielder
1 - Reynolds, Sam, Goalkeeper
30 - Saunders, Josh, Goalkeeper
31 - Saunders, Shawn, Midfielder/Defender
17 - Thompson, Scot, Defender
5 - Wilkinson, Gavin, Defender
11 - Winters, Brian, Midfielder