Timbers return to action with weekend road trip

PORTLAND, Ore.Following a 12-day break, the Portland Timbers return to action with a two-game road trip facing the Carolina RailHawks on Friday and Atlanta Silverbacks on Saturday. The Timbers’ match on Friday in Carolina will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.
Portland (4-4-6, 18pts) takes on the RailHawks (3-4-5, 14pts) for the first time this season on Friday in Cary, N.C., at 5 p.m. (Pacific). The Timbers then face Atlanta (4-3-5, 17) on Saturday in the first of two road trips with matches on back-to-back nights at 4:55 p.m. (Pacific). Both matches will be broadcast live on www.portlandtimbers.com. A live video webcast of Saturday’s match will be available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.
Friday’s match against the RailHawks marks the Timbers’ midway point in the 2008 season.
The Timbers face the weekend road trip without the services of midfielder Tom Poltl, who is serving the first of a three-match, league-imposed suspension due to his red card in the team’s last league match on June 12. Defender Scot Thompson will miss Friday’s match against Carolina with a one-game, league-imposed suspension from his ejection also on June 12.
The Timbers and RailHawks meet for just the third time on Friday. Portland is 1-0-1 in its two previous matches against Carolina. In 2008, the RailHawks have yet to be defeated at home with a 2-0-3 record at WakeMed Soccer Park. Portland has a 3-3-2 record against the Silverbacks since 2001, including a 2-2 draw earlier this month at PGE Park. The Timbers are 1-2-3 on the road this season.
Additionally, the Timbers have come to a mutual agreement with midfielder Tom Taylor to release him from his contract. In two seasons with Portland, Taylor totaled 133 minutes in five matches.
Portland returns home July 3 for an international exhibition match against Mexican club Monarcas Morelia at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Featuring three members of the Mexican National Team, Morelia competes in the Primera Division – the highest level in Mexico – against well known clubs such as Chivas de Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and Necaxa. Tickets start at $16, and are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.
Following the Timbers exhibition match against Mexico’s Morelia on July 3 at PGE Park, the Timbers will face Morelia a second time in a special exhibition match at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on July 6 at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at the door.
The RailHawks play their first home match in league play since May 28 and only home fixture during the month of June against the Timbers on Friday. Carolina is 0-4-1 in its last five league matches, all on the road, and has been out-scored 12-3 during that span with all three goals coming in a 3-3 draw against the Rochester Rhinos on June 20. The RailHawks’ roster features former Timbers forward and 2007 USL First Division scoring champion Dan Antoniuk, who leads the team in scoring with two goals and one assist. On Tuesday, the Carolina used a penalty kick goal in the 90th minute to defeat Real Maryland 1-0 in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
The Silverbacks look to maintain their unbeaten record in the month of June (1-0-3) as they face the Timbers on Saturday. In their last league match, the Silverbacks defeated the Puerto Rico Islanders 3-1 at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. Forward Macoumba Kandji recorded two goals and an assist against Puerto Rico to claim USL First Division Player of the Week honors for Week 10. The Silverbacks were eliminated from the U.S. Open cup with a second-round loss to the Miami FC Blues on Tuesday.