PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers announced today the club has re-signed defender Leonard Griffin for the 2008 season pending USSF approval. In 2007, Griffin was a member of the Timbers backline that led the league in several categories and set new modern-franchise records.
Last season, Griffin, 25, helped Portland lead the USL First Division in fewest goals allowed (18) and rank among league leaders with 15 shutouts. In 2007, the Timbers backline set new modern-franchise records for most shutouts (15) and fewest goals allowed (18) in a single season, and twice assembled four consecutive shutout performances.
With Griffin, the Timbers now have all four starting defenders – including Scot Thompson, Justin Thompson and Cameron Knowles - from the 2007 season back for the upcoming 2008 campaign.
“Having Leonard back for the 2008 season is a great addition for our team,” said Gavin Wilkinson, head coach and general manager of the Timbers. “He’s an intelligent player who provides us with leadership and experience.”
Griffin, a native of Palmdale, Calif., played in 27 matches for the Timbers in 2007, tallying two goals. He was named to the USL First Division Team of the Week in Week 4 after scoring his first professional goal against the Rochester Raging Rhinos on May 13.
Following the Timbers’ 2007 season, Griffin was signed by Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, but did not make an appearance due to a knee injury. Griffin opened the 2008 MLS season with Columbus but was released on April 4.
With Griffin, the Timbers have 21 signed roster players for the upcoming USL First Division season.
The Timbers kick off the 2008 season against the Puerto Rico Islanders on April 17 at PGE Park. On April 17, the Timbers will honor long-time team icon, Jim Serrill, better known as “Timber Jim,” after announcing his retirement in January. Tickets, starting at $11, are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.