PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers will play English League Championship side Preston North End on July 28 at PGE Park, it was announced today. Preston, who will be the Timbers’ third international opponent this season, visits Portland on its 2007-08 preseason West Coast tour. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“The Timbers and English teams have played some exciting matches in Portland the last few years, and we expect Preston to be no different,” said Gavin Wilkinson, head coach and general manager of the Timbers. “Preston North End has made runs at promotion into the English Premier League the last three seasons and has proved to be one of the top clubs in the Championship.
“This will be a great opportunity for soccer fans in Portland to come out and show their support for the sport.”
Tickets for the Preston North End match presented by The Oregonian and Widmer, which range in price from $17-$32, go on sale Monday, May 21, at 10 a.m. at the PGE Park box office or at area Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (503) 224-4400.
One of the founding members of the English Football League in 1888, Preston North End, finished the 2006-07 season in seventh place in the Coca-Cola Championship (England’s second tier) with a record of 22-16-8 (75pts) and just one point away from a playoff berth for the opportunity to be promoted to the English Premier League.
Known as the “Lilywhites,” Preston North End is the first team in English soccer history to accomplish “The Double” – posting a perfect record in league play and winning the Football Association (FA) Cup – in 1889. Preston North End is one of the few teams in England to have won championships at four different levels. Based in Preston, Lancashire, in northwest England, Preston North End was formed in 1880 and has won two FA Cups and eight league titles in its 127-year history.
Preston North End’s roster boasts several current and former national team members, including 2006-07 leading scorer, forward David Nugent, who plays for England’s “B” National Team as well as the U-21 National Team. Goalkeeper Wayne Henderson, who began his pro career at the age of 17 with Premier League club Aston Villa, has four caps with the Ireland National Team. Defenders Graham Alexander and Callum Davidson have both made recent appearances with the Scotland National Team, while striker Patrick Agyemang represented his home country of Ghana in 2006 World Cup qualifying matches.
With Preston North End, the Timbers will have played three English clubs in the past three years starting with Sunderland in 2005. Last year, the Timbers defeated Coventry City 4-3 on penalties. In 2005, the Timbers and Sunderland battled to a 0-0 draw.
The Timbers (2-1-1, 7pts) face both USL First Division expansion clubs, the California Victory and Carolina Railhawks, next weekend at PGE Park. The Timbers are 2-0-1 at home this season.
For information on discounted tickets for groups of 15 or more, call the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.
ABOUT PRESTON NORTH END
Founded in 1880, Preston North End was one of the founding members of the English Football League in 1888. The club was successful early in its history, winning the top division title in 1888-89 and 1889-90, and recorded the first “Double” in English soccer history going undefeated in both league and FA Cup matches. Only Arsenal has recorded an undefeated regular season since, accomplishing the feat in 2003-04. In 1938, Preston North End captured its second FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
In the early 1960s, Preston North End was relegated to the second division, now called the Coca-Cola Championship. In 1964, Preston North End made its seventh FA Cup finals appearance, but lost to West Ham United. Preston North End slid to the third division (now League One) in 1973 and would ultimately drop as low as the fourth division (now League Two) in 1985. Since 1990, Preston North End has made a steady climb back to the Championship, earning a promotion in 1995-96 and then returning to the second division after the 1999-2000 season.
In recent years, Preston North End has become a promotion contender fighting for a chance to play in England’s top tier, the English Premier League. The Lilywhites reached the Championship playoff final in 2004-05, but lost to West Ham United. The following season, Preston North End lost to Leeds United in the semifinals, ending another run at a promotion. In 2006-07, Preston North End finished one point from a promotion playoff spot.
Preston North End plays its home matches at Deepdale Stadium. Built in 1875, Deepdale is one of the oldest stadiums in England and seats approximately 20,500 people.
PRESTON NORTH END PROFESSIONAL ERA – 1888 – PRESENT
Football Association (FA) Cups: 2
FA Cup Runner up: 5
1887-88, 1921-22, 1936-37, 1953-54, 1963-64
Football League Division 1 Champions: 2
Football League Division 1 Runner up: 6
1890-91, 1891-92, 1892-93, 1905-06, 1952-53, 1957-58
English League One Champions: 1
English League Two Champions: 1
Football League Division 2 Champions: 3
1903-04, 1912-13, 1950-51
Football League Division 3 Champions: 1
War Cup: 1