Timbers head East to face Miami, Puerto Rico

The Portland Timbers begin a series of four road games to end the regular season this weekend when they face Miami FC and the Puerto Rico Islanders. Portland faces Miami on Saturday at 5 p.m. (Pacific) and then Puerto Rico less than 24 hours later at 3 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday.
Both matches this weekend can be viewed live through USL Live, a video webcast at www.usllive.com. An audio broadcast for the matches against Miami and Puerto Rico will not be available through www.portlandtimbers.com.

The Timbers (12-4-8, 44pts) earned a 1-0 win over the Charleston Battery on Thursday at PGE Park in front of 15,833 fans. Defender Justin Thompson's goal in the 79th minute was his first of the season. Portland now trails the first-place Seattle Sounders (13-5-6, 45pts) by one point. Seattle hosts the Battery on Sunday at Qwest Field.

The Timbers have beaten both Miami and Puerto Rico at PGE Park this season. Portland opened the 2007 season with a 3-1 win over the Islanders on April 21. On June 30, midfielder Lawrence Olum scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute to defeat Miami 1-0. The Timbers are 1-2-0 all-time against Miami and are 4-2-0 all-time against Puerto Rico.

Portland finishes the 2007 season with four consecutive road matches. After this weekend, the Timbers will travel to face the Carolina RailHawks on Sept. 2 and then head north to face the Vancouver Whitecaps for their final match of the season on Sept. 9. The Timbers are 4-4-2 on the road this season.

The Timbers return home for the 2007 USL First Division playoffs starting Sept. 14. Portland was the first team this season to secure a spot in the postseason. A first round home date and an opponent will be announced at a later date.

With 28 points, Miami FC is just one point away from Charleston who currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot. Miami is searching for its first win since July 20 when it defeated Carolina 2-1 at home. In August, Miami FC is 0-3-1 and have lost their last three matches including two to the Puerto Rico Islanders on Aug. 17 and Aug. 19. Earlier this month, Miami FC announced a coaching change and replaced Chiquinho de Assis with former assistant Victor Pastora. Under Pastora, Miami is 0-2-0. Miami is 4-6-2 at home in 2007.

The Islanders are 2-3-1 in the month of August and snapped a three-game losing streak with back-to-back wins over Miami. Willie Sims scored all three goals in Puerto Rico's 3-2 win over Miami on Aug. 19 to earn USL First Division Player of the Week honors for Week 18. Puerto Rico has been outscored 9-4 in six matches this month. Their match against the Timbers concludes their August schedule. The Islanders finish their 2007 season schedule with road matches against the Atlanta Silverbacks and Charleston Battery. Puerto Rico is 6-2-5 at home this season.