The Portland Timbers take on the Minnesota Thunder tonight at the National Sports Center tonight in Blaine, Minn. at 5:05 p.m. (Pacific). Listen to the match live on portlandtimbers.com or view a live video webcast through USL Live.
Click here for tonight's match notes.
The Timbers wrapped up their July schedule with their ninth shutout of the season in a scoreless draw against the Carolina RailHawks on July 24 at PGE Park. The Timbers finished the month of July with a record of 0-2-2 in league play and posted an overall 1-4-2 mark, including three exhibition matches against Mexican clubs.
Portland managed just one goal in USL First Division matches during the month of July - a 90th minute strike bymidfielder Lawrence Olum in a 1-1 draw at Atlanta on July 19. To add to it's offensive attack, Portland acquiredforwards Bryan Jordan on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) and signed Byron Alvarez on July 22 for the remainder of the season. Combined, the two strikers recorded 13 goals and three assists for their respective teams last season.
The Timbers currently sit in seventh place place in the USL First Division and are locked in a two-way tie with the Miami FC Blues at 23 points. Only the top seven teams advance to the postseason.
Tonight's contest kicks off a five-match month of August for the Timbers (3 home, 2 road) and marks their only trip to Minnesota during the regular season. In two previous meetings this season, the Timbers are 1-0-1 against the Thunder, including a 2-1 win on April 24 at PGE Park in their first meeting. The two sides played to a 0-0 draw on June 5 in Portland. Tonight is the third and final game of the 2008 season series against Minnesota.
Portland is 10-5-10 against the Thunder, including a 5-2-5 record in Minnesota, since joining the USL First Division in 2001. The Timbers have not lost a match against the Thunder in Minnesota since 2003 - a 1-0 loss in overtime on a goal by former forward and head coach Amos Magee. Since that game, the Timbers are 2-0-5 in Minnesota against the Thunder. Last season, Portland logged a pair of draws in two matches in Minnesota.
Following tonight's game against the Thunder, the Timbers return home for a two-game homestand featuring matches against the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 7 and Charleston Battery on Aug. 9. Portland's match against Seattle is the final regular-season match between the two clubs as USL First Division rivals. The city of Seattle was awarded an expansion Major League Soccer franchise that will begin in 2009, meaning the end of the USL team.