Timbers host two special events, Atlanta this week

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers play host to two special events plus a regular-season match at PGE Park this week, as they face their first-round opponent in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, the Atlanta Silverbacks in a league match on Thursday and Juventus Primavera in an exhibition match on Saturday presented by Peroni Italy.
 
Thursday’s match against the Silverbacks is the second of five matches this season broadcast live on FSN and is the Timbers' annual Teddy Bear Toss event. The Timbers invite fans to donate new stuffed animals by tossing them onto the field following the first goal scored by the team on Thursday. The first 1,000 fans also recieve a Timbers car flag presented by Les Schwab.
 
Portland begins its quest for the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday against Hollywood United of the U.S. Adult Soccer Association in a first-round matchup at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Hollywood United’s roster features eight-year Major League Soccer veteran Brian Dunseth and two former Timbers in midfielder Alex Bengard (2004) and forward Matt Taylor (2007). Timbers defender Cameron Knowles will not be available for Tuesday’s match due to a one-game, U.S. Soccer-imposed suspension for a red card issued in last season’s second round U.S. Open Cup match against the Seattle Sounders.
 
Tickets for the Timbers’ U.S. Open Cup match against Hollywood United are $10 and can be purchased through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400. Discounted group tickets and special suite packages are available by contacting the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.
 
One of Italy’s top up-and-coming teams comes to Portland when Juventus Primavera takes on the Timbers in an exhibition match at PGE Park presented by Peroni Italy; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Juventus Primavera recently finished its 2007-08 season among the best in the Campionato Primavera and advanced to the league quarterfinal. A part of well-known Italian club Juventus, the Primavera team features four youth international players, including goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio and midfielders Fausto Rossi and Simone Esposito, who are all members of Italian Youth National Teams.
 
Tickets for the Timbers’ first exhibition match of the 2008 season start at $15 and are available through the PGE Park box office or Ticketmaster.
 
Between special events, the Timbers face the Silverbacks on Thursday live on FSN in USL First Division action at PGE Park at 7 p.m. The last time the two sides met, the Silverbacks defeated the Timbers on penalty kicks in the league semifinal at PGE Park on Sept. 23. Portland is 3-3-1 against Atlanta since 2001, including a 1-0-1 record last season. Tickets start at $11 and are available through the PGE Park Box office or Ticketmaster.
 
The Timbers’ three home matches this week conclude a stretch of seven games in 16 days.
 
ABOUT HOLLYWOOD UNITED
Hollywood United is a member of the Coast Soccer League and is affiliated with U.S. Soccer through the U.S. Adult Soccer Association. Based in Los Angeles, Calif., Hollywood United is known for participating in charity events and often features celebrities and former professional athletes on its teams. Started by actor Anthony Lapaglia, Hollywood United qualified for its first U.S. Open Cup tournament in 2008.
 
ABOUT JUVENTUS PRIMAVERA
A team of up-and-coming players for famous Italian club Juventus, its Primavera squad features four youth international players and several who have already seen action with Juventus’ first team which competes in the Serie A – the top tier of Italian professional soccer. Juventus Primavera competes in Italy’s Campionato Primavera, a 42-team league comprised of the top feeder teams from each of Italy’s Serie A and B clubs. In its 46-year history, Juventus’ Primavera team has captured several titles both in league and nationwide competitions.
 
ABOUT ATLANTA SILVERBACKS
The Silverbacks (3-3-3, 12pts) begin a two-game road trip on Thursday in Portland. Atlanta played the Puerto Rico Islanders to a 1-1 draw on June 6 to end a three-game losing streak. The Silverbacks rank among league leaders in scoring with 12 goals in nine matches, but have also conceded a league-high 15 goals. Thursday is Atlanta’s only regular-season visit to PGE Park in 2008.