Timbers announce 2006 schedule

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers kick off the 2006 regular season on Saturday, April 22, when they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C., it was announced today as the club unveiled its 28-game schedule for the upcoming United Soccer Leagues (USL) First Division campaign.

The Timbers open the home portion of their schedule on Friday, May 5, again facing the Whitecaps in a 7 p.m. kickoff at PGE Park.

Season tickets, club seats, group packages, party suites, flex plans and mini-plans for the 2006 campaign are currently on sale. Timbers’ ticket plans start as low as $63 and are available by contacting the team’s ticket office at (503) 553-5555. Additional details on Timbers ticket plans can be found at www.portlandtimbers.com.

The Timbers’ schedule again consists of 28 matches, with home-and-home contests against each of their 11 USL First Division opponents and an additional home-and-home set against their three regional rivals; Portland will play the Minnesota Thunder, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver four times each in 2006 (2 home, 2 away).

Portland and Seattle renew their longtime rivalry at Qwest Field on Friday, June 2, with the Sounders, the defending USL First Division champions, making the return trip to PGE Park on Saturday, June 3.

The 14-game home schedule is a great combination of Thursday and weekend games, including the following breakdown: Thursdays (3), Fridays (5), Saturdays (3), Sundays (3). Standard home game times are 7 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Among the home highlights, Miami FC, an expansion franchise in 2006, makes its first appearance at PGE Park on Sunday, July 2, while the Timbers round out their run at the playoffs with the benefit of six straight home matches to complete the regular season.

The Timbers, who were 10-9-9 (39 points) in 2005, wrap up the regular season with the Atlanta Silverbacks at PGE Park on Thursday, Sept. 7. The USL First Division playoffs, utilizing the same format of the previous year, begin the following week with a pair of two-leg, aggregate-score series in the first round, featuring third to sixth place teams with the top two teams from the regular season receiving byes to the semifinals. The semifinals will also be two-leg, aggregate-score series the following week, with the USL First Division championship game taking place on Sept. 30.

2006 TIMBERS SCHEDULE NOTES
HOME DATES BY DAY OF THE WEEK:
Thursday (3), Friday (5), Saturday (3), Sunday (3)

ROAD DATES BY DAY OF THE WEEK:
Thursday (2), Friday (4), Saturday (6), Sunday (2)

HOME DATES BY MONTH:
April (0), May (4), June (2), July (2), August (4), September (2)

ROAD DATES BY MONTH:
April (1), May (3), June (5), July (5), August (0), September (0)

LONGEST HOME STRETCH:
6 matches (Aug. 4 - Sept. 7)

LONGEST ROAD STRETCH:
4 matches (June 15-30)

BACK-TO-BACK MATCHES (on back-to-back days):
5 (May 5-6, June 2-3, June 17-18, July 14-15, July 21-22)