Timbers secure goalkeepers for 2007

The Portland Timbers announced today the signing of goalkeepers Bayard Elfvin and Josh Wicks for the 2007 season. Elfvin returns for his third season with the Timbers, while Wicks joins the squad after winning the USL First Division championship with the Vancouver Whitecaps last season.

Elfvin, 26, played in six matches for the Timbers last season, recording shutouts in three of those appearances. He finished the 2006 season with a 0.89 goals-against average, allowed five goals and made a career-high 25 saves.

“I'm delighted to have Bayard back,” said Timbers head coach and general manager Gavin Wilkinson. “Bayard was one of the shining lights of last season; he was consistent and brings a professional approach to the game.”

A native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Elfvin began his professional career with the Timbers in 2004. He appeared in four matches and allowed three goals, helping Portland finish the 2004 season at the top of the table. Elfvin made two spot appearances for the Virginia Beach Mariners in 2005. At Ashland University (Ohio), Elfvin compiled a 31-12-2 career record and finished his time at Ashland as the school’s career leader in shutouts (14) and goals-against average (1.23).

Wicks, 23, made five appearances and recorded two shutouts with the Whitecaps last season, helping the club capture the 2006 USL First Division championship. As a rookie in 2005, Wicks started the final 11 matches of the season and led the Whitecaps into the postseason with five shutout performances. In his two years in Vancouver, Wicks assembled a 0.56 goals-against average.

“Josh is an extremely gifted and athletic keeper,” said Wilkinson. “He is young, but also has experienced success with Vancouver, and I expect him to bring the same winning mentality and energy here to Portland.”

Wicks attended Cal State-Bakersfield, where he set several career goalkeeping records, including starts (79), saves (358), goals-against average (1.01) and shutouts (34).

The announcement brings the Timbers’ list of signed players to 17.

The Timbers kick off the 2007 USL First Division season on April 21 against the Puerto Rico Islanders at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Season ticket packages are still available, while single-game tickets go on sale March 24 at 10 a.m. For more information, contact the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.