Timbers to play Mexico's Necaxa at PGE Park

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers today announced they will play an international match against Mexico's Club Necaxa of the Primera Division on Wednesday, May 9, at PGE Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"The Timbers are excited to bring in a team like Club Necaxa to Portland," said Gavin Wilkinson, head coach and general manager of the Timbers. "We've battled Coventry City and Sunderland over the past few years, and we look to continue the tradition of welcoming international sides to Portland.

"To play against a club that plays at the highest level in Mexico and against world-famous clubs like Club America and Chivas, this will be a great test for our guys."

Club Necaxa is one of Mexico's most historic teams and has quickly joined the Primera Division's elite having won three league championships since 1994, most recently the Interliga title in 2007. Known as the "Rayos" (Lightening Bolts), Necaxa's third-place finish in the FIFA World Club Championships in 2000 is the highest placing by any Mexican club team. Necaxa is based in the city of Aguascalientes, located in west-central Mexico, and plays at Estadio Victoria, which seats nearly 28,000 people.

Necaxa's current roster includes four players who have played on the Mexican National Team, including two who competed in 2006 World Cup qualifying matches - midfielder Gerardo Galindo and defender Joaquin Beltran. Forward Aaron Padilla played for Mexico during the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup held in Seattle, while defender Salvador Cabrera suited up for "El Tri" in several international friendly matches during the 1990s.

On a five-game tour of the United States, Necaxa is scheduled to play four games in California before ending its trip in Portland against the Timbers.

Tickets, which range in price from $14-$27, go on sale Tuesday, April 17, at 10 a.m. at the PGE Park box office or at area Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (503) 224-4400.

Timbers season ticket holders will have their seats held for the Necaxa match. Season ticket holders should call Timbers ticket representative Dan Zusman at (503) 553-5452 to purchase their seats.

For information on discounted tickets for group of 15 or more, call the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.

For more information on Club Necaxa, visit www.clubnecaxa.com.

The Timbers begin the 2007 USL First Division season on Saturday, April 21, against the Puerto Rico Islanders at PGE Park at 7 p.m.

About Club Necaxa
Founded on August 21, 1923, Necaxa is one of the most historic teams in Mexico. With the support of the local light company, Club Necaxa quickly drew the nickname, the "Electricas." Early in the team's history, Necaxa quickly established itself as one of the elite teams in the Mexican league, winning titles in the 1932-22, 1934-35, 1936-37 and 1937-38 seasons. Even with its success, Necaxa was excluded from the newly formed, 10-team, professional league, Liga Mayor in the early 1940s.

Fighting its way back into prominence nearly 50 years later, Necaxa is once again one of the elite clubs in Mexico's top bracket, the Primera Division. Now known as the "Rayos," Necaxa won consecutive league championships in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. In 1999, Necaxa won the CONCACAF Champions Cup and followed that performance with a third-place finish in the 2000 FIFA World Club Championships, the highest of any Mexican club teams. From 2002-2006, Necaxa never finished lower than third place in its group and finished at the top of the table in both the 2002-03 and 2005-06 seasons.

Under first-year manager Jose Luis Trejo, Necaxa competes in Group 1 of the Mexican Primera Division, which includes world-renowned clubs Cruz Azul and Guadalajara (Chivas). Trejo, the former head coach for Cruz Azul, led Pachuca to the 2006 Clausura title before joining Necaxa in October 2006.

Club Necaxa Professional Era: 1956-66 - present
FIFA World Club Championship: 3rd place

League Championships: 3
1994-95, 1995-96, Invierno 1998

League Runner-Up:
Invierno 1996, Verano 1998, Verano 2002

CONCACAF Champions: 1

CONCACAF Champions Cup Titles: 1

Champion of Champions Cup: 2
1965-66, 1994-95

Interliga Championship: 1

Playoff Cups: 3
1960, 1966, 1994-95

Amateur League Champions: 4
1932-33, 1934-35, 1936-37, 1937-38

Amateur Mexican Cup Champions: 1

Amateur Champion of Champions Cup: 2
1931, 1935-36