Timbers to play Germany's Bayern Munich II July 2

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers will play host to Germany’s Bayern Munich II, the reserve team of famed Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, in an exhibition match on Thursday, July 2, at PGE Park at 7 p.m., it was announced today.

Tickets for the international exhibition start at $15 and go on sale to the public on Saturday, May 2, at 10 a.m., through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Timbers season-ticket holders have access to an exclusive pre-sale period starting April 29.

With 21 league championships and an additional 30 titles from other domestic and international competitions to its credit, Bayern Munich is one of the top clubs in Germany and throughout Europe. Its reserve team, Bayern Munich II, features the club’s future stars and also several rising international standouts for Germany – a three-time World Cup champion.

Bayern Munich II currently boasts several players who have seen time with the club’s first team, including midfielder Stephan Fürstner and defender Christian Saba, as well as others with experience on the international stage, including forward Deniz Yilmaz and midfielder Mehmet Ekici, who led the German U-17 National Team to a third-place finish in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and defender Björn Kopplin, who was on the German National Team that captured the 2008 UEFA U-19 Championship.

There are six players currently on Bayern Munich’s first team who have worked their way up through the club’s reserve team, including goalkeeper Michael Rensing and German National Team members Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Bayern Munich II competes in the newly established German third division, called 3rd Liga, which consists of third-tier teams as well as other professional reserve teams of top-level clubs. Over the past 10 years, Bayern Munich II has finished in the top 10 in the standings all but one season and captured a third-division title in 2004. The team is coached by former Bundesliga standouts Hermann Gerland and Gerd Müller, who led Germany to the World Cup title in 1974 and scored 365 goals during his Bundesliga career.

The Timbers kick off their 2009 USL First Division season Saturday on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7 p.m. A live broadcast of the match is available on 95.5 The Game or online at www.portlandtimbers.com. A live video webcast is also available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.

Founded in 1900, Bayern Munich has risen to become one Germany’s top clubs, winning 21 league championships and 22 other titles in various domestic competitions. The club has also found success in several international competitions, winning the Champions League Cup in 2001, the UEFA Cup in 1996 and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2001. Since 1994, its reserve team, Bayern Munich II, has been a steady contender in Germany’s third division, winning the Regionalliga Süd championship in 2004. Bayern Munich II has also won its share of domestic tournaments, earning the Bavarian Cup in 2002 and the Oberbayern Cup in 1995, 2001 and 2002. Bayern Munich II currently sits in fifth place in the 3rd Liga; the 2008-09 season ends May 23.