Timbers set to open season Saturday in Vancouver

PORTLAND, Ore.– The Portland Timbers kick off their ninth USL First Division season on Saturday when they take on the defending-champion Vancouver Whitecaps on the road at Swangard Stadium at 7 p.m.
 
A live broadcast of Portland’s 2009 season opener will be available on 95.5 The Game and online at www.portlandtimbers.com. A live video webcast of Saturday’s match is also available through USL Live – now a free service at www.usllive.com.
 
Saturday’s contest between the Northwest rivals marks only the third time the Timbers have opened a season on the road since joining the league in 2001. It will also be the first time Portland has begun a campaign away from PGE Park under third-year head coach Gavin Wilkinson.
 
The Timbers have won four of their last five season-opening matches, including wins over the Puerto Rico Islanders the last two seasons. The last time the Timbers faced the Whitecaps in their first game of the season was back in 2006 in Vancouver. Overall, the Timbers are 4-4-0 in USL First Division season openers.
 
Saturday’s match is the first of three games against the Whitecaps this season for the Timbers, and the team’s only regular-season trip to Vancouver. Since 2001, the Timbers are 7-17-8 in regular-season matches against the Whitecaps. 
 
Vancouver (0-1-2, 2pts) enters its fourth game of the season on Saturday, and will play its second game in five days when it faces the Timbers. The Whitecaps played the expansion Austin Aztex to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
 
Following their season opener, the Timbers make their PGE Park debut on Thursday, April 30, when they play host to the Carolina RailHawks at 7 p.m., on Opening Night presented by PGE. The first 2,000 fans receive a Timbers 2009 magnet schedule and a Tursi’s fan scroll. Tickets start at $11 and are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.