Preston begins preseason schedule

The Oregonian Timbers vs. Preston North End Exhibition presented by Widmer, July 28, PGE Park, 7 p.m.
 
Preston North End, the Portland Timbers third international opponent of the season, began its 2007-08 preseason schedule over the weekend with two split squad matches. The Lilywhites’ preseason schedule includes a trip to the United States to play the Timbers on July 28 at PGE Park.
 
Preston will play English Premier League side Everton Wednesday at Deepdale before jumping the pond to the U.S. for their preseason tour. The Lilywhites invade PGE Park to battle the Timbers on July 28 at 7 p.m. Preston will also play the Seattle Sounders and Mexican side Monterrey in California before making the trip to Portland.
 
With two matches last Friday, Preston went 1-1-0 with a 5-2 win over Chorley and fell 6-2 to Bamber Bridge. Both matches were played in extremely soggy conditions, but highlights of the Lilywhites first weekend of the 2007-08 season included newly-signed midfielder Karl Hawley’s first goal in a Preston uniform and winning the Jack Kirkland Memorial trophy.
 
Preston fell behind early against Bamber Bridge and couldn’t recover. Both midfielder Lewis Neal and Danny Mayor scored for the Lilywhites. Preston manager Paul Simpson started several roster players in the first half and then featured reserve players and trialists in the second.
 
Not far away, the other half of Preston’s squad battled non-league rival, Chorley at Victory Park for the rights to the Jack Kirkland Memorial trophy. Preston dominated the annual preseason match as Hawley tallied the match’s first goal in the sixth minute and his first with Preston North End after signing in June.
 
The matches over the weekend began Preston’s era without last season’s leading scorer, striker David Nugent, who was sold to English Premier League club Portsmouth FC late last week.
 
Preston North End received disappointing news on Monday, as American midfielder Greg Dalby was denied a work permit and as a result cannot be signed by the Lilywhites for the 2007-08 season.