Timbers Notebook: Preparing for Toronto FC

PORTLAND, Ore. – In preparation for their postseason exhibition match against Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC later this month, the Portland Timbers resumed their morning training sessions at PGE Park at the beginning of October. The Timbers will square off against the MLS expansion side on Oct. 28 at PGE Park at 5 p.m.
“Trainings have gone well,” said Timbers assistant coach Rod Underwood. “They’ve been lively and competitive this week. The first week back we really eased into things, but this week we’ve definitely picked up the intensity and focus. We’re preparing for this game like we’ve done all season and maintained our expectations in doing things the right way; things that have been successful all year.”
“We expect Toronto to come in here and play at a high level,” said Underwood. “They’ve got a great coach and experienced players who’ve spent time overseas and at the international level. Injuries have hurt them this season, but I see this team bouncing back next year. There are a lot of expectations on the Toronto players as they play for contracts and aim for a playoff spot in 2008.”
Toronto FC is the Timbers’ first postseason exhibition opponent since the team joined the USL First Division in 2001 and is Portland’s first MLS exhibition opponent since 2005.
Tickets for the Timbers exhibition match against Toronto FC start at $12 and are available through area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.
Earlier this week, Toronto FC midfielder Maurice Edu was named to the U.S. National Team for an exhibition match against Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel, Switzerland. Edu has logged over 2,000 minutes and recorded four goals and an assist in 24 matches in his rookie season with Toronto. Edu, the first overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and a candidate for MLS’s Rookie of the Year, will return for Toronto FC’s final regular-season match on Oct. 20 against New England at BMO Field.

Edu joins a list of several Toronto FC players with experience at the international level including forwards Jeff Cunningham (10 caps with the U.S. National Team) and Danny Dichio (England U-21 National Team), midfielders Carl Robinson (35 caps with Welsh National Team) and Ronnie O’Brien (Ireland Youth National Team), and defenders Tyrone Marshall (a member of the Jamaican National Team since 2000), Todd Dunivant, who made his U.S. National Team debut in 2006 against Norway, and Marvell Wynne, who was a member of the United States’ Copa America squad earlier this year.