Timbers prep for matches in Puerto Rico, Miami

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers continue their stretch of road matches with two games in three days as they travel to face the Puerto Rico Islanders on Friday at 5 p.m. (Pacific) and Miami FC Blues on Sunday at 3 p.m. (Pacific).

Both matches can be heard live on www.portlandtimbers.com, with a live video webcast available through USL Live. 

Portland (3-0-2, 11pts) recorded a pair of 0-0 draws in two matches over a three-day span against the Rochester Rhinos and Seattle Sounders last week to remain unbeaten this season. The Timbers currently sit in first place in the USL First Division, tied with the Charleston Battery (3-1-2) with 11 points.

The Timbers’ backline has allowed just one goal in its first five games of the season, allowing goalkeeper Ray Burse to collect a league-leading four shutouts.

In games in Puerto Rico and Miami, the Timbers have a combined all-time record of 1-4-0, with their lone win coming last season with a 2-1 result against Miami on Aug. 25. Since the Islanders joined the USL First Division in 2004, the Timbers are 0-3-0 in Puerto Rico.

Portland defeated Puerto Rico 1-0 on April 17 at PGE Park on a 71st minute goal by forward Chris Brown to open the 2008 season with a win. Sunday marks the Timbers’ first of three regular-season matches against the Blues.

The Timbers return home for two matches starting May 24 as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps at PGE Park at 7 p.m. On May 26, Portland plays host to Miami in a special Memorial Day game at PGE Park; kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

Earlier this week, former Timbers forward Bryan Jordan was named to the U.S. U-23 National Team squad by head coach Peter Nowak for the upcoming Toulon International Tournament in Toulon, France. Jordan, 22, is one of four forwards selected to the squad; there are 22 total players on the roster. The U.S. U-23 team is scheduled to arrive in France on Thursday and will face Turkey (May 21), Ivory Coast (May 23) and Italy (May 23) in group play. All three matches will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel. Click here to read more.

The Islanders (1-3-0, 3pts) are in the middle of five-game home stretch as they play host to the Timbers on Friday. On May 9, the Islanders defeated Trinidad & Tobago’s San Juan Jabloteh 1-0 to take an early lead in a two-game series to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League tournament as the Caribbean representative. In their last USL First Division match on May 2, the Islanders were defeated 1-0 by the Montreal Impact. Puerto Rico is 1-2-0 at home this season, but own a 3-0-0 all-time home record over the Timbers since 2005.

Miami, which has lost three straight, faces two games in three days as it plays host to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday before taking on the Timbers on Sunday. Led by the league’s leading scorer in forward Alex Alfonso with nine points (4g, 1a), the Blues (1-4-1, 4pts) rank among league leaders in goals scored with seven total goals in six matches, but have also given up a league-high 11 goals. Following its match with the Timbers, Miami makes its first trip outside of the Southeast as they face the Minnesota Thunder on May 24.