- Portland Timbers defender Scot Thompson will leave the club for two weeks to become a trialist for Sunderland AFC of the English Premier League, it was announced today.

Sunderland officials were impressed with the second-year Timber during the exhibition between the two teams on July 23 at PGE Park and negotiated the tryout in England as a result.

”It’s the greatest opportunity of my life, and I’m going to give it 110 percent,” Thompson said. “We’re at a critical point in our season and are dealing with some injuries, so me leaving does not help, but it’s a catch-22. I want to be here and help the team, but this is a chance I can’t pass up.”

Thompson, who has dual British-American citizenship, will miss the Timbers’ matches at Minnesota on Aug. 13 and against Seattle on Aug. 20, returning in time for the team’s match at Charleston on Aug. 27.

The second-year Timber, under contract through 2006, has started in all 19 games this season at the back, with three goals and an assist to his credit.

The Timbers’ next match takes them to Montreal, where they’ll battle the defending champion-Impact on Wednesday, Aug. 10.