Timbers face high-powered duo on road trip

PORTLAND, Ore.The Portland Timbers embark on a two-game road trip this weekend that sees them face the Atlanta Silverbacks and Charleston Battery – two of the league’s highest scoring teams – in back-to-back nights. The trip begins Friday in Atlanta.
 
The Timbers take on the Silverbacks on Friday at 4:55 p.m. (Pacific) and the Battery at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday. Both matches can be heard live at www.portlandtimbers.com; with a live video webcast through USL Live at www.usllive.com.
 
The Timbers captured a win in their last match on Tuesday as they topped Mexican club U.A.N.L. Tigres in an exhibition match 2-0 at PGE Park. Portland (5-6-6, 21pts) returns to league play on Friday, where it is 1-2-1 in its last four matches. In their previous USL First Division contest, the Timbers were defeated 2-0 by the Puerto Rico Islanders on July 10 at PGE Park.
 
Timbers midfielder Tom Poltl is now eligible for league action after serving a three-game, league-imposed suspension for a red card issued against Atlanta on June 12.
 
Portland and Atlanta square off for the third and final time during the 2008 regular season on Friday at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. In their last visit to Atlanta on June 28, the Timbers used goals by Chris Bagley and Chris Brown to secure a 2-0 road win. In their first meeting of the year on June 12 at PGE Park, a nine-player Timbers side nearly pulled of a win, but settled for a 2-2. Portland is 4-3-2 all-time against the Silverbacks, including a 2-2-1 record on the road.
 
The Timbers have out-scored Atlanta 4-2 in their previous two meetings and one of the Silverbacks’ two goals was an own goal committed by the Timbers on June 12. Bagley has scored both of his goals this season against the Silverbacks.
 
Atlanta has lost just once in their previous six league matches – a 2-0 loss to the Timbers – and are 2-1-3 over that span. With 21 team goals on the season, Atlanta ranks among the USL First Division’s top scoring teams.
 
Portland faces the Battery for the first time this season on Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium and takes on the table leaders in three of their next 13 matches. The last time these two teams met was Aug. 23, 2007, as the Timbers recorded a 1-0 win at PGE Park in front a modern-franchise record crowd of 15,833 at PGE Park. The Timbers are 4-4-0 against the Battery since 2001, but are just 1-3-0 in Charleston.
 
The Battery end a five-match homestand against the Timbers on Saturday. Charleston remains in first place in the USL First Division despite a 2-2-1 record over their previous five matches, including a 3-1 loss against Puerto Rico at home on July 12. Forward Randi Patterson paces the team with seven goals on the season and also ranks among the top scorers in the league.
 
The road trip with matches on back-to-back nights is the second of its kind this season for the Timbers. At the end of June, Portland played the Carolina RailHawks and Silverbacks on consecutive nights. The Timbers are 1-1-0 in matches on back-to-back days in 2008.
 
Portland returns home on July 24 to take on the RailHawks at PGE Park at 7 p.m. on a Miller Lite Thursday.