Timbers' week includes historic match with Seattle

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers play host to a pair of matches this week at PGE Park, featuring a historic match against the rival Seattle Sounders Thursday at 8 p.m. Portland then faces the league-leading Charleston Battery on Nike Night on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Thursday’s match against Seattle marks the final regular-season match in the rivalry between the two Northwest clubs as members of the USL First Division. The city of Seattle was awarded an expansion Major League Soccer franchise which will begin play in 2009 to end one of the strongest rivalries in the United Soccer Leagues.
The season-series finale between the Timbers and Sounders will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel. The first 1,000 fans on Thursday receive a Timbers rally towel; gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Since 2001, the Timbers and Sounders (7-6-8, 29pts) have battled through 31 regular-season matches, including Portland’s first home match at PGE Park as a USL First Division club on May 11, 2001, and four playoff matches. The Timbers are 11-15-5 in regular-season matches against Seattle, but holds a 7-6-2 advantage at PGE Park against the Sounders. The Timbers are 1-0-1 against Seattle this season, including a 2-0 win April 26 at PGE Park.
On Saturday, the Battery (10-6-4, 34pts) make their first of two regular-season trips to Portland for Nike Night presented by Tursi’s Soccer Store. The first 1,000 kids 12 and under receive a Nike soccer ball as the Timbers wrap up a series of two matches in three days.
The Timbers (5-7-9, 24pts) will face Seattle and Charleston without the services of forward Chris Brown, the team's leading scorer, who will finish the final two games of his three-game, league-imposed suspension from his red card issued on July 24. Portland currently sits in seventh place in the USL First Division table at 24 points and are just 10 points behind Charleston and Vancouver tied for first. The top seven teams advance to the postseason.
The Sounders make their final regular-season visit to PGE Park on Thursday as a member of the USL First Division. With a 2-1 road win over the Puerto Rico Islanders on Aug. 1, the Sounders have won their last two matches. The Sounders have added four new players since they last played the Timbers in early May, including midfielders Nikolas Besagno and Ciaran O’Brien on loan from MLS’s Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids, respectively. Their match in Portland is one of just two road matches remaining this season for the Sounders – they play their final seven games at home. Seattle travels to face the Minnesota Thunder on Sunday.
The Battery broke a three-game winless streak with a 2-0 victory over the Whitecaps on Aug. 3 to move into a two-way tie with Vancouver at the top of the table with 34 points. Charleston makes a stop in the Midwest to face the Minnesota Thunder on Aug. 7 before arriving in Portland on Saturday. The Battery plays eight of their last 10 regular-season matches on the road where they are 1-4-2 this season. Following Saturday’s contest, Charleston travels to face the Atlanta Silverbacks, Puerto Rico Islanders and Miami FC Blues before its next home match on Aug. 29 against the Islanders.