PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers play two games in three days this week as they host the Minnesota Thunder on Thursday and the Northwest-rival Seattle Sounders on Saturday at PGE Park. Kickoff for both matches is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Portland (1-0-0, 3pts) captured a 1-0 win in its 2008 USL First Division opener against the Puerto Rico Islanders on April 17 at PGE Park. New forward Chris Brown scored his first goal of the season in the 71st minute on an assist from midfielder Tom Poltl. Also making his Timbers regular-season debut, goalkeeper Ray Burse collected three saves to record his first shutout of the season.
Seattle’s visit to PGE Park Saturday marks one of its final two appearances in Portland as a member of the USL First Division. The city of Seattle was awarded a Major League Soccer franchise for the 2009 season, meaning the end of the United Soccer Leagues franchise following the conclusion of the season. The final regular-season matchup between the two rivals is set for August 7 at PGE Park.
The Timbers are looking for their first win against either Minnesota (0-0-0, 0pts) or Seattle (0-0-1, 1pt) since the 2006 season. Last season, the Timbers recorded a combined 0-2-4 record against both teams. Portland is 4-3-4 against Minnesota and 6-6-2 against Seattle at PGE Park since 2001.
Starting at $11, tickets for both matches are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.
A live broadcast of the match can be heard online at www.portlandtimbers.com or in Spanish on “La X” 1040 AM. A live video webcast of the match is available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.
ABOUT MINNESOTA THUNDER
Featuring a new logo, the Thunder open their 2008 USL First Division season against the Timbers at PGE Park Thursday. Minnesota’s 2008 roster includes just eight returning players from the 2007 squad, including forwards Aaron Paye and Leo Gibson who ranked among the team’s leading scorers last season. In their lone visit to Portland in 2007, the Thunder battled the Timbers to a 0-0 draw on Aug. 9 at PGE Park. Minnesota finished the 2007 season in 10th place with a 5-12-11 (26pts) record.
ABOUT SEATTLE SOUNDERS
Over the weekend, the Sounders, the defending USL First Division champion, picked up a point on the road in their first game of the season. A goal by midfielder Kenji Treschuk in second-half stoppage time helped the Sounders to a 1-1 draw with the Charleston Battery. Saturday’s match is the first of two trips to the Rose City for the Sounders in 2008. Seattle returns its entire starting lineup from the 2007 USL First Division championship match, including 2007 league MVP Sebastien LeToux.