PORTLAND, Ore. — Sunday marks the start of the 2014 Rose City Invitational, presented by Parklane Mattresses, as Vancouver Whitecaps FC faces Jamaican club Portmore United at 2:30 p.m. (Pacifc) and the Portland Timbers square off against the San Jose Earthquakes at 5 p.m. (Pacific) in a doubleheader at Providence Park.
- TICKETS: Rose City Invitational
The Rose City Invitational is a round-robin style tournament featuring host Portland, MLS clubs Vancouver and San Jose and Jamaican side Portmore United each playing the other once from Feb. 23-March 1 at Providence Park. Individual tickets, which allow entry into both matches each day, start at $13 and are available online or by calling (888) 736-6849. Three-game ticket packages for the Rose City Invitational, starting at $33, are also available for purchase online. Group tickets are available by contacting the Timbers ticket office.
Sunday’s match is Portland’s first preseason game at Providence Park after concluding its two-week stay in Southern Arizona on Feb. 12 with a 1-0 win over North America Soccer League (NASL) expansion club Indy Eleven. The Timbers left Arizona with an unbeaten record of 2-0-2 over their first four preseason games. Portland enters Sunday’s match having conceded just one goal over its four games in Tucson, and have not allowed a goal in the last 329 minutes of preseason play.
During their two-week stay in southern Arizona, the Timbers earned a 1-1 draw with defending MLS Cup-champion Sporting Kansas City, a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, a scoreless draw against Seattle Sounders FC and a 1-0 win against Indy Eleven.
All Timbers matches during the Rose City Invitational will be streamed live on www.timbers.com.
ROSE CITY INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
All Times Pacific; all matches at Providence Park
Sunday, Feb. 23
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portmore United; 2:30 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes; 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 26
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC; 5 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. Portmore United; 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 1
Portmore United vs. San Jose Earthquakes; 2:30 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC; 5 p.m.
ROSE CITY INVITATIONAL TEAM CAPSULES
Portland Timbers: Head coach Caleb Porter’s side has conceded just one goal during four preseason matches in preparation for the 2014 MLS campaign. One of the top teams in MLS during the 2013 season after finishing the regular season with a Western Conference-best 57 points (14-5-15 overall), the Timbers have maintained their core group of players while adding new elements in forward Gastón Fernández and defender Norberto Paparatto. Portland also acquired versatile midfielder Steve Zakuani and midfielder/defender Jorge Villafaña, adding to the team’s depth ahead of a busy season.
Portmore United: Five-time Jamaican champions, Portmore United comes to the Rose City amidst the 2013-14 Red Stripe Premier League campaign. Head coach Calvin Lewis’s team has compiled a 6-9-7 record (25pts) through 22 games this season. Forward Odoah Nickle leads the team with four goals, while Jamaican international defender Adrian Reid ranks among team leaders in minutes played. Timbers defender Alvas Powell is on loan from Portmore United, while Vancouver Whitecaps FC rookie forward Andre Lewis also previously played for Portmore United.
San Jose Earthquakes: Just missing out on the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs, the Earthquakes removed the interim tag from Mark Watson in October, naming the former Canada Men’s National Team defender as the club’s head coach for the 2014 season. Watson earned an 11-5-3 record in five months as the team’s interim head coach in 2013, nearly guiding the Earthquakes into the postseason. San Jose enters the Rose City Invitational winless in three preseason matches. The club added 28-year-old French midfielder Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi in January and acquired former University of North Carolina forward Billy Schuler in a weighted lottery.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: A playoff team in 2012, Vancouver missed out on the postseason in 2013 and underwent a coaching change following the season as former assistant coach Carl Robinson was promoted to the head coaching post for 2014. Whitecaps FC have compiled a 2-2-0 preseason record with wins over NASL side Indy Eleven and the University of Victoria. The Cascadia club transferred leading scorer Camilo Sanvezzo to Mexican side Querétaro, but added a pair of Uruguayan players in 24-year-old midfielder/forward Sebastián Fernández and 22-year-old midfielder/forward Nicolás Mezquida and traded for defender Steven Beitashour.