Timbers tango with Puerto Rico tonight at PGE Park

The Portland Timbers take on the Puerto Rico Islanders tonight at PGE Park on a Miller Lite Thursday. Tonight's match will be shown live on FSN. A live audio broadcast is available here at portlandtimbers.com; with a video webcast available through USL Live.

The first 1,000 fans tonight receive a 2008 Timbers team poster on Latino Night presented by Cricket Wireless.

Click here to review tonight's match notes.

Starting lineups:

POR:
GK- Brad Knighton
D- Justin Thompson
D- Scot Thompson
D- Cameron Knowles
D- Leonard Griffin
M- Neil Dombrowski
M- Miguel Guante
M- Shawn Higgins
M- Chris Brown
F- Chris Bagley
F- Takayuki Suzuki

PR:
GK- Bill Gaudette
D- Scott Jones
D-Nigel Henry
D- John Krause
D- Christian Arrieta
M- Noah Delgado
M- Johnathan Steele
M- Edwin Miranda
M- Petter Villegas
F- Josh Hansen
F- Fabrice Noel

Match Preview:

The Timbers return to USL First Division action tonight against the Islanders following an 11-day layoff between league matches. In between league fixtures, the Timbers played host to the Monarcas Morelia of the Mexican Primera Division - Mexico’s top tier - in two exhibition matches. One of those took place at PGE Park on July 3, which drew a season-high 11,932 fans who watched the Mexican side capture a 2-0 win.
 
With a 2-0 road win over the Atlanta Silverbacks in their last league match, the Timbers started the second half of their 2008 season. Chris Bagley and Chris Brown - playing the midfield position - scored in each half to aid in the win. It was the team’s eighth shutout in 16 games this season.
 
The Timbers remain in third place in a tightly packed USL First Division. While six points behind table leaders the Charleston Battery, the Timbers are just four points away from being knocked out of playoff contention.
 
Since Puerto Rico joined the USL First Division in 2004 as an expansion club, Portland has posted a 5-0-0 record against the Islanders at PGE Park, including a 1-0 win on April 17 to open the 2008 season. The Timbers have outscored the Islanders 14-2 in their previous five meetings in Portland and have logged shutouts in two of their last three contests against Puerto Rico at PGE Park.
 
In their last meeting on May 16 in Puerto Rico, Portland midfielder Lawrence Olum and Brown tallied unanswered goals to help the Timbers rally back from a two-goal deficit to capture a 2-2 draw on the road. At the time, the draw helped Portland maintain an unbeaten record at 3-0-3.
 
Midfielder Tom Poltl serves the final match of his three-game, league-imposed suspension tonight for his red card issued on June 12 against the Atlanta Silverbacks.
 
Tonight’s match against Puerto Rico is the first of four league matches for the Timbers during the month of July.

Match Highlights:

25th minute- Shot by Islander Joshua Hansen off crossbar
26th minute- Portland Substitution: Jamil Walker in for Chris Bagley
32nd minute- Puerto Rico Booking: Yellow card issued to John Krause
38th minute- Puerto Rico Goal: The Islanders take a 1-0 lead on a goal from forward Fabrice Noel.  Off a long cross from Johnathan Steele from outside the 18, a leaping Noel struck it with his right foot to just inside the far post. 
45th minute- Puerto Rico Goal.  Off a high header from Nigel Henry, Islander forward Josh Hansen cracked a ball low to the far post from the right edge of the area.

Halftime Stats:
Goals:POR-0 PR-2
Shots:POR- 2 PR-7
Shots on Goal:POR-1 PR-3
Fouls:POR-13 PR-10
Corner Kicks:POR-1 PR-5

46th minute- Portland Substitutions: Lawrence Olum for Takayuki Suzuki and Tim Karalexis in for Justin Thompson.
51st minute- Portland Booking: Yellow card issued to Timber Scott Thompson.
65th minute- Incredible save by Islander goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.  Cross from right side by Timber Scot Thompson, headed on just in front of the goal by Lawrence Olum.  Gaudette managed to get a left hand on the ball, deflected it off the crossbar for the save.
70th minute- Off the woodwork: Jamil Walker fires one from just inside the 18, deflects off far post
74th minute- Puerto Rico Substitution: Osei Telesford and ALberto Delgado in for Peter Villegas and Fabrice Noel
76th minute- Portland Substitution: Benjamin Totori in for Jamil Walker
84th minute- Portland Booking: Yellow card issued to Timber Leonard Griffin
89th minute- Puerto Rico Substitution: Sandy Gbandi in for Johnathan Steele

Final: Puerto Rico defeats Portland 2-0