Timbers release Aaron Heinzen and Shawn Saunders

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have pared their roster down to 18 players with the release of Aaron Heinzen and Shawn Saunders, it was announced Wednesday.

"We want to thank and acknowledge the contributions of Aaron and Shawn these past few seasons and wish them all the best in their future endeavors," Timbers general manager Jim Taylor said.

Heinzen, 25, signed with the Timbers out of the University of Washington in 2003. The speedy player spread 4,379 minutes over 50 matches in green and white while adding two assists.

The Yakima, Wash., native played in 10 of 12 games for the Timbers at defender and midfielder this season before his release.

Saunders, the brother of goalkeeper Josh Saunders, played parts of two seasons with the Timbers, logging 1,440 minutes in 19 appearances. An aggressive defender, Saunders collected three assists with Portland.

The Timbers next host the Montreal Impact on Thursday, June 30, at 7 p.m.