Timbers' Alvarez receives international clearance

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers forward Byron Alvarez has received USSF and international clearance and is eligible to begin league play starting Saturday in Minnesota against the Thunder.

Alvarez, Portland’s modern-franchise scoring leader, signed with the club on July 22 for the remainder of the 2008 season after appearing as a guest player in an exhibition match against Mexican club U.A.N.L. Tigres on July 15 at PGE Park.

A native of Mexico City, Mexico, Alvarez, 29, was a member of the Timbers from 2003-06 and scored 41 goals over 96 USL First Division matches. He recorded a career-high 16 goals in 2004 to help the Timbers claim the USL First Division regular-season title that season. Alvarez is a two-time all-league selection (2003, 2004) and recorded eight goals for the Charleston Battery last season.

The Timbers take on the Thunder on Saturday at the National Sports Center at 5:05 p.m. (Pacific). A live broadcast of the match can be heard on www.portlandtimbers.com; with a live video webcast available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.

Portland returns home on Aug. 7 to face the Seattle Sounders at PGE Park in the final regular-season match of one of the longest rivalries in United Soccer Leagues. Tickets start at $11 and are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phoning (503) 224-4400.