Timbers host California, Carolina this weekend

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers play host to both USL First Division expansion clubs, the California Victory and Carolina Railhawks, this weekend at PGE Park wrapping up a four-game homestand during the month of May. The Timbers face California on Friday at 7 p.m. and then Carolina Sunday at 6 p.m. After Sunday, the Timbers will have played five of their first six regular-season matches at home.
The Timbers (2-1-1, 7pts) are 2-0-1 at PGE Park in their three home matches this season and recorded a 2-0 win over the Rochester Raging Rhinos in their last match on May 13. The Timbers have had a 10-day break between matches.
California (0-2-1, 1pt) has allowed six goals in its last two matches and continues to look for its first win in franchise history. Carolina (2-1-3, 9pts) has won its last two matches and ends a three-game road trip to the Northwest against the Timbers on Sunday.
Friday marks the first of five regular-season meetings against the Victory this season. Originally scheduled to meet only three times, the USL added two additional matches to balance the Timbers’ schedule after the Virginia Beach Mariners were removed from the USL First Division prior to the season.
Timbers sign a third goalkeeper, Steve Reese, for 2007 season
The Timbers announced today the signing of goalkeeper Steve Reese for the 2007 season. Reese, who played for the PDL Cascade Surge in 2006, has played professionally overseas in Romania and England and spent time with Major League Soccer’s Red Bull New York in 2004.
Last season with the Surge, Reese was 1-4-0 in six appearances. He played 367 minutes, recorded 26 saves and allowed nine goals for a 2.70 goals-against average. Reese, 26, was an assistant coach for the women’s program at Oregon State University in 2006 and is the Director of Coaching for a youth club he started in Salem, Ore.
Scrimmage against OUSA U-23s set for June 2 at Sheldon High School in Eugene
Breaking up another extended break between regular-season matches, the Timbers will travel to Eugene to face the Oregon United Soccer Academy’s U-23 team on June 2 at Sheldon High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tickets are $6.
Prior to the match, there will be a free futsal clinic ran by OUSA coach and Brazilian native Jose da Silva from 3-4 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m.
For more information log on to www.oregonunitedsoccer.com.
After starting the season with a 2-2 draw in Vancouver, the California Victory, one of two USL First Division expansion clubs in 2007, have lost their last two matches and have been outscored 6-2 in that span. The Victory are closely linked with Spanish side Deportivo Alavez, who’s president, Dmitry Piterman, also owns the USL franchise. With a record of 0-2-1 (1pt) California continues to search for its first win in franchise history.
The Victory will have to play without team captain and defender Chris Schwarze against the Timbers on Friday. Schwarze is serving the second of a two-match suspension for being ejected from California’s match against Rochester on May 12. To help fill Schwarze’s absence on the backline, the Victory signed defender Ryan Suarez, a former MLS player and a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps 2006 championship team.
Their trip to Porltand kicks off a weekend of back-to-back matches. On Saturday, the Victory host the Seattle Sounders at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, Calif. at 7 p.m.
After starting their first season 0-3-1, the Carolina Railhawks, another USL First Division expansion club, have won two straight – defeating Atlanta 2-1 on May 12 and Charleston 1-0 on May 19. Carolina is currently ranked fifth in the USL First Division with a record of 2-1-3 (9pts). The Railhawks make their first road trip to the Northwest in Week 6 of the season playing Seattle on May 23, Vancouver on May 25 and Portland Sunday.
The Railhawks have 12 players on their roster with experience at the USL First Division or MLS levels. Defender Chad Dombrowski, brother of Timbers midfielder Neil Dombrowski, has played in all six matches for the Railhawks and is among team leaders in minutes played. Midfielder Kupono Low has scored three of Carolina’s four goals on the season.
The Timbers visit the Railhawks in Cary, NC., on September 1.