Timbers kick off busy week with Necaxa Wednesday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers begin a week with a series of three games in five days when they play host to Mexico’s Club Necaxa Elite on Wednesday, May 9, at PGE Park at 7 p.m. presented by Tecate. The Timbers then round out the week with USL First Division matches against the Seattle Sounders on Friday and Rochester Raging Rhinos on Sunday.
Including the match against Necaxa, the Timbers (1-1-0, 3pts) play their next five matches at home through the month of May.
The Sounders (1-2-1, 4pts) make their only trip to Portland during the 2007 season on Friday, May 11. The match will be broadcast internationally on Fox Soccer Channel. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The Timbers celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13, with a match against Rochester (1-1-2, 5pts). Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
All three matches this week can be heard live online at www.portlandtimbers.com. The match on May 13 can be viewed online through USL Live at www.usllive.com.
The Timbers suffered a 1-0 loss, their first of the 2007 season, last weekend on the road against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field. Sounder forward Nathan Knox scored the lone goal in the match. The Timbers finished the match with four shots on goal. In their first meeting of the 2007 season, the rivalry quickly returned to mid-season form as two yellow cards were issued during the match.
The Timbers look to continue their early season success at PGE Park with the team’s next five matches being played at home. The Timbers are 1-0-0 at home this season with a 3-1 win over the Puerto Rico Islanders on April 21.
The Timbers announced today that second-year forward Jaime Ambriz has been cleared to play in the remainder of the 2007 season. Ambriz was granted clearance from his former club in Switzerland and will be available for matches this week.
Club Necaxa’s Elite wraps up its 2007 U.S. Tour when they face the Timbers Wednesday at PGE Park, presented by Tecate. After four games in California, including three games in three days, Necaxa Elite arrived in Portland Monday and trained at PGE Park Tuesday.
Necaxa Elite is led by current Mexican Olympic coach Pablo Luna. A member of Mexico’s 1979 World Cup team, Luna has also coach for Mexican Primera Division clubs UNAM Pumas and Toluca.
The squad is highlighted by Mexico’s U-21 National Team goalkeeper Pablo Gonzalez, former Chvias and Mexican National Team defender Alfonzo Loera, forward Fernando Castillo, who won a Primera Division title in 2005 with Club America, and former Club America defender Oscar Gonzalez, who is also a member of Mexico’s Beach Soccer National Team.
Playing its third game in three days, Necaxa Elite fell 1-0 to the California Victory on May 5 in San Francisco.
After playing their first three matches of the season on the road, the Sounders earned their first victory of the season in a 1-0 win on May 5 over the Timbers at home. Defender Zach Scott and Knox were selected to the USL First Division Team of the Week for Week 3 with their performances last weekend.
The Sounders are 14-10-3 all-time against the Timbers, but the series is tied at 6-6-1 in matches between the two sides in Portland at PGE Park.
With two of their three regular-season matches against one another coming in less than a week, Portland and Seattle square off for the final time on Aug. 1 in Seattle.
After their match against the Timbers on Friday, the Sounders return home Saturday for a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Qwest Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Raging Rhinos visit Portland in the final match of their two-game trip west when they face the Timbers Sunday. Since a 2-1 loss in their first match of the season to Puerto Rico, Rochester has gone 1-0-2 in its last three matches.
In its last match, Rochester drew the Charleston Battery 1-1. Forward Johnny Menyongar scored the equalizer in the 58th minute to help the Raging Rhinos finish their two-game road trip with a result.
Rochester is without the services of its team captain and starting goalkeeper, Scott Vallow, who ruptured his right distal biceps tendon. Vallow injured the tendon when he blocked a shot in practice on April 18. He is expected to miss at least three months while recovering from surgery.
The Raging Rhinos play their next four games against West Coast opponents. They’ll face the California Victory on May 12, the Timbers May 13, and then the following weekend play the Sounders and Whitecaps.