Goalkeeper Josh Saunders returns to Timbers on loan from Galaxy

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers today agreed to terms with goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who returns for a fourth season with the USL First Division club on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

Last season, Saunders, who turns 25 on Thursday, tied for the league lead in minutes played (2,520), playing in each of the Timbers’ 28 matches during the regular season. Saunders was third among USL First Division goalkeepers in saves (106), and also ranked among the league leaders in wins (10; T-4th), shutouts (6; T-6th), and goals-against average (1.5; 8th).

Over his three seasons with the Timbers (2003-05), Saunders has collected 35 wins, 268 saves and 18 shutouts, all career highs in the franchise’s five seasons as a USL First Division club.

“My plan of building from the back continues,” said Chris Agnello, head coach and general manager of the Timbers. “I’m very happy that, in Josh, we’ll have one of the best goalkeepers in the league returning to our team.”

Portland kicks off its sixth USL season on Saturday, April 22, against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium. The Timbers open up the home portion of their season by playing host to the Whitecaps at PGE Park on Friday, May 5. A variety of season ticket options are available by calling the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555. For ticket information, visit the home page.

NOTES: Timbers individual-match tickets go on sale at the PGE Park box office and area Ticketmaster outlets on Saturday, March 4, at 12 noon. Individual-match tickets will also be available by phone at (503) 224-4400 or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com ... the Timbers will be hosting an open house at PGE Park on Saturday from 12 noon to 3 p.m. ... also, the team is conducting an open player tryout at PGE Park Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.