PORTLAND, Ore. – When Italy’s Juventus Primavera comes to Portland on Saturday to play an exhibition match against the Timbers at PGE Park, fans won’t just see the future stars of one of the most famous European clubs in Juventus, but they’ll also see three of Italy’s top up-and-coming international standouts.
With the UEFA 2008 European Championships brining attention to the sport of soccer at the international stage, Juventus Primavera features three Italian Youth National Team members in goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio, and midfielders Rossi Fausto and Simone Esposito - young superstars working their way to the highest levels of the game.
The trio of Pinsoglio, Fausto and Esposito, all members of Italy’s U-21 National Team, helped Juventus Primavera finish the 2007-08 Campionato (Championship) Primavera season among the best in the league and advance to the quarterfinals by defeating AC Milan Primavera, who the Timbers played in an exhibition match last season. Fausto scored the team’s only goal in the second leg of the two-match series which proved to be the series-winning strike.
Juventus Primavera fell in the quarterfinal round to Fiorentina Primavera.
Now in their second season with the Primavera squad, both Pinsoglio and Esposito were members of last season’s team that captured the Primavera Super Cup – a championship match between the league’s champion and the Primavera Italian Cup winner.
In addition to their rising international players, Juventus Primavera also features a handful of players who have seen time with Juventus’ first team which competes in the Serie A – the top tier of Italian professional soccer. Among those called up were defender Salvatore D'Elia, midfielder Luca Castiglia and forward Donato Bottone, who scored a goal in a friendly against Biellese early in the season.
Saturday’s match at PGE Park against Juventus Primavera presented by Peroni Italy begins at 7 p.m. and is the Timbers’ first exhibition match of the 2008 season. Tickets start at $15 and are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400. For more information on suites or discounts for groups of 15 or more, contact the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.
Announced earlier this month, the Timbers will take on top-level Mexican club Monarcas Morelia on July 3 at PGE Park presented by Allstate and Widmer.