MatchDay Preview: Eredivisie champions visit JELD-WEN Field
PORTLAND, Ore.– The Portland Timbers play host to renowned Dutch club AFC Ajax on Wednesday in an international exhibition match at JELD-WEN Field at 7 p.m. Earlier this month, Ajax won its 30th Eredivisie (first division) championship and qualified for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League.
Ajax visits the Rose City as part of a two-stop tour across the United States. The club’s travel roster features nine of the 11 starters from its Eredivisie title match on May 15, as well as two of its top three leading scorers in Siem De Jong (12 goals) and Miralem Sulejamani (8 goals) from the 2010-11 season. Also making their way to Portland are Ajax’s Dutch internationals in goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and defender Gregory van der Wiel, who both played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
On May 22, Ajax defeated MLS side D.C. United 2-1 in a friendly at RFK Stadium to open its tour. After a go-ahead goal by Sulejamani, defender Anita Vurnon clinched the win for the Dutch side, scoring the game-winner in the 87th minute.
The exhibition between the Timbers and Ajax will be broadcast live on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM, with a live video webcast online at www.portlandtimbers.com.
Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Ajax was founded in 1900 and is one of the most storied clubs in European soccer. It is one of only five clubs to repeat as European champions, winning the European Champions Cup three consecutive years from 1971-73. Ajax won three major European titles in 1972, taking home the national championship, Dutch Cup and European Champions Cup.
Since 2000, Ajax has claimed 10 domestic championships, including three first-division championships (2002, 2004, 2011), three National Cup titles (2004, 2006, 2007) and four Dutch Super Cups (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007). The club won its last European Champions Cup, now known as Champions League, in 1995.
AFC Ajax Travel Roster to Portland:
Goalkeepers (3): Maarten Stekelenburg, Jeroen Verhoeven, Kenneth Vermeer
Defenders (7): Toby Alderweireld, Daley Blind, André Ooijer, Oleguer, Gregory van der Wiel, Jan Vertonghen, Anita Vurnon
Midfielders (3): Siem De Jong, Demy de Zeeuw, Eyong Enoh
Forwards (4): Aras Özbiliz, Miralem Sulejmani, Dario Cvitanich, Lorenzo Ebecilio