Timbers battle Northwest rival Seattle Saturday

PORTLAND, Ore.The Portland Timbers square off with Northwest rival the Seattle Sounders Saturday night at PGE Park; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday is the first of three regular-season meetings between the two sides, and marks the first match of the 2008 Cascadia Cup chase.
 
The 2008 season marks the final season of Northwest rivalry between Portland and Seattle as members of the USL First Division. The city of Seattle was awarded a Major League Soccer franchise that will begin competition in 2009, meaning the end of Seattle’s USL franchise following the season.
 
Saturday’s match also marks the first match in the 2008 Cascadia Cup competition. The Cascadia Cup is a Northwest derby between the Timbers, Seattle and Vancouver Whitecaps. The team with the best head-to-head record against the other two teams receives the cup. In 2008, each of the three regular-season matches against the Sounders and Whitecaps count toward the Cascadia Cup standings.
 
Tickets for Saturday’s match, starting at $11, are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phoning (503) 224-4400.
 
Last season, the Timbers were 0-2-1 against Seattle and marked the first season that Portland did not record a victory over the Sounders since joining the USL First Division in 2001. In their lone meeting at PGE Park in 2007, the Timbers used late goals by Bryan Jordan and Andrew Gregor to earn a 2-2 draw on May 11.
 
All-time, the Timbers are 10-15-4 against the Sounders and 6-6-2 against Seattle at PGE Park.
 
Gregor, who joined the Timbers for a second time in his career in 2007, has played a majority of his professional career with the Sounders – 132 regular-season matches over seven seasons. He ranks among Seattle’s career leaders in nearly every offensive category.
 
In return, Seattle’s roster features former Timbers midfielder Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, who spent five seasons (2002-06) in Portland and is the modern-franchise’s career leader with 44 assists. He joined Seattle in 2007.
 
A live broadcast of Saturday’s match at PGE Park is available online at www.portlandtimbers.com or in Spanish on “La X” 1040 AM. An online video webcast is available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.
 
The 2008 regular-season series between Portland and Seattle continues on May 10, as the Timbers face the Sounders in their first road match of the season. The final regular-season meeting takes place on Aug. 7 at PGE Park.