Timbers set for trip to face Cleveland Saturday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers hit the road for a match against the expansion Cleveland City Stars on Saturday at Middlefield Cheese Stadium at 4 p.m. (Pacific). Saturday’s match features the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
 
A live broadcast of Saturday’s match in Cleveland will be available on 95.5 The Game or online at www.portlandtimbers.com. A live video webcast is also available through USL Live – now a free service at www.usllive.com.   
 
The Timbers (1-1-1, 4pts) are coming off of a 2-0 win over the Carolina RailHawks on May 2 at PGE Park, using goals from midfielders Ryan Pore and Brian Farber to pick up their first victory of the season. Goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who missed the team’s last two matches due to injury, participated in his first full training session Thursday and is available for Saturday’s match.
 
When Portland takes the field Saturday, it will play against former assistant coach Rod Underwood, who is now the head coach of the City Stars. Underwood was an assistant under Timbers head coach Gavin Wilkinson for the past two seasons before being named Cleveland’s head coach on February 5.
 
After a series of successful seasons in the USL Second Division, capped by the league title in 2008, Cleveland (0-3-0, 0pts) was promoted to the USL First Division in 2009. The City Stars have opened their season with three straight losses, including their home opener against the Rochester Rhinos on May 1.
 
The City Stars are one of two expansion clubs, along with the Austin Aztex, entering the USL First Division in 2009. The Timbers last played expansion franchises in 2007, and assembled a combined 6-0-1 record against the RailHawks and California Victory that season.
 
The Timbers return home to face Rochester on Thursday, March 14 at PGE Park at 8 p.m., live on Fox Soccer Channel. Tickets start at $11 and are available at the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.