PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have signed Solomon Islands forward Benjamin Totori for the 2008 season, it was announced today pending USSF and international clearance. Totori is a member of the Solomon Islands National Team.
A member of Waitakere United of the New Zealand Football championship, Totori is expected to join the team following the NZFC season in May.
Totori, 22, made his Solomon Islands National Team debut in 2007 with four goals in five 2010 World Cup qualification matches. Recently, Totori competed with the Solomon Islands U-23 National Team during the Oceania Football Confederation’s 2008 Olympic qualification tournament in March. In five games, Totori scored 10 goals to earn the tournament’s Golden Boot Award and helped the Solomon Islands finish second in the tournament. Totori has been a member of the Solomon Islands National Team pool since he was 15.
This season with Waitakere United, Totori has scored 10 goals in 18 matches to help the club maintain its first-place position in the NZFC. His 10 goals rank among league leaders in scoring, and he is currently third in the race for NZFC’s Golden Boot Award – annually given to the league’s leading scorer. Totori began his professional career in New Zealand with Youngheart Manawatu in 2005-06, and was named the club’s Rookie of the Year.
With Totori, the Timbers now have 23 signed players entering the 2008 season.
Portland opens the 2008 USL First Division season tonight against the Puerto Rico Islanders at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Tonight, the Timbers highlight the career of long-time team icon Jim Serrill – better known as “Timber Jim” – on Timber Jim Retirement Night. Tickets, starting at $11, are available at the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phoning (503) 224-4400.