Timbers host regular-season home finale Thursday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers play host to the Charleston Battery in the club’s regular-season home finale on Fan Appreciation Night Thursday at PGE Park at 7 p.m. Just two points from the final playoff spot, Portland continues its push for the postseason.

Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday features the Timbers’ annual Jersey-Off-Our-Back Night, presented by Fred Meyer, which allows fans the opportunity to bid on their favorite Timbers player’s game-worn jersey through a silent auction held throughout the game. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Portland Beavers & Portland Timbers Community Fund. Fans with the winning bids will personally receive their player’s Rose City red jersey after the match.

Tickets, starting at $11, are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400.

In ninth place, the Timbers (7-11-10, 31pts) are one of six teams battling for the bottom two playoff spots. Portland is two points behind the Minnesota Thunder in the final playoff spot. A win Thursday would propel the Timbers back into the playoff picture as they aim for their sixth postseason berth in eight seasons in the USL First Division.

Portland returns home from a two-game road trip to face the Battery, which comes to PGE Park on a seven-match winless streak. The Timbers are 0-1-1 against the Battery (10-10-7, 37pts) in two previous meetings this season, including a hard-fought 1-1 draw at PGE Park on Aug. 9. Portland faced Charleston in the regular-season home finale in 2007, a game in which a modern-franchise record crowd of 15,833 watched the Timbers record a 1-0 win on a late goal by defender Justin Thompson. Portland is 3-1-1 against the Battery at PGE Park since 2001.

A live broadcast of Thursday’s regular-season home finale is available through www.portlandtimbers.com; with a live video webcast available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.

Including Thursday’s match, the Timbers have just two matches remaining on their regular-season schedule. Portland concludes the regular season on Sept. 20 on the road against the Carolina RailHawks.

Charleston embarks on its final road trip of the 2008 regular-season to face the Timbers on Thursday and Minnesota Thunder on Saturday. Charleston suffered a 3-1 loss to the Carolina RailHawks over the weekend to extend its winless streak in league play to seven matches; its last win came on Aug. 3 over the Vancouver Whitecaps at home. The Battery currently sit in sixth place in the USL First Division. Charleston has registered only one win away from home this season, posting a 1-8-4 record on the road.