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Soccer - Pro

Timbers go big time in 2011

    You can reserve tickets to the Portland Timbers’ first Major League Soccer season in 2011 by putting down a $50 deposit. If you buy tickets for the 2009 minor-league season, you are in the front of the line for 2011.

    And, yes, the team will still be called the Timbers when it goes big time.

    But let’s back it up.

    As expected, Timbers owner Merritt Paulson was awarded Major League Soccer’s 18th team Friday during a rambunctious news conference at the Hilton Portland hotel.

    Drew Mahalic, chief executive officer of the Oregon Sports Authority, said MLS brings Portland its second big-league team behind the Trail Blazers, shattering a glass ceiling the city has tried and failed to break many times.

    The gathering was dominated by chants and songs from the Timbers Army, the group of fans wearing trademark green that many have credited for creating the buzz that attracted the league to Portland. The fan dedication has given the Rose City the added moniker of Soccer City USA.

    “If it wasn’t for Soccer City USA, we wouldn’t be here,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in making official what was widely reported this week. “How could you have a city named Soccer City and not have an MLS team?”

    — Excerpt from OregonLive.com, March 20, 2009


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