Timbers battle Vancouver in preseason Sunday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers play their final two preseason matches this weekend against the University of Portland and Vancouver Whitecaps as they prepare for the upcoming USL First Division season.
Now four weeks into preseason training camp, the Timbers face the UP Pilots on April 13 at Merlo Field on the campus of UP. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling (503) 224-4400.
On April 15, the Timbers battle USL First Division rival, the Vancouver Whitecaps, at Alder Creek Middle School in Milwaukie, Ore. Tickets for the match up are $6, and are available by contacting Portland Parks and Recreation at (503) 823-2525.
Tickets for both matches are available at the door.
The Pilots finished the 2006 season sixth in the West Coast Conference with a record of 8-8-3, and outscored opponents 28-25 over the course of the season. With several key players, particularly on offense, returning for the 2007 season, UP is looking to battle for one of the top spots in the conference next season. Returning for the Pilots are forwards Alex Elliot and Chris Sanders, who were both All-WCC selections and finished the season tied for the team lead in points. Other returning All-WCC selections are midfielders Matthew Dallman (who led the team with six assists), Collen Warner and defender Logan Emory. The Pilots are led by head coach Bill Irwin, a former Timber, who doubles as the UP women’s coach and also coaches the U.S. U-21 Women’s National team.
In 2006, the Whitecaps won the USL First Division title and finished the regular season with a record of 12-6-10 (46pts). The Whitecaps are 2-1 this preseason and are led by 2006 USL First Division MVP Joey Gjertsen. Gjertsen finished the 2006 season as the Whitecaps leading scorer (12g, 7a, 31pts). Recently, the Whitecaps signed forward Joel Bailey, who scored two goals for the Montreal Impact last season and defender Jared Montz from the Chicago Fire. Last season the Timbers were 0-2-2 against the Whitecaps. Since 2001, the Timbers are 6-14-4 against Vancouver.

New head coach Gavin Wilkinson and the Timbers start the 2007 USL First Division season on Saturday, April 21, against the Puerto Rico Islanders at PGE Park at 7 p.m. A variety of ticket options are still available. Individual tickets are available through area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (503) 224-4400. For ticket packages, contact the Timbers’ ticket office at (503) 553-5555.