Timbers primed for season

Portland begins Sunday in Los Angeles
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

Season eight is just about active for the Portland Timbers, and their many fans.

After an off-season of trades, signings and a new coach, the Timbers will begin the Major League Soccer regular season Sunday at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles against the Galaxy.

Portland will enter the pitchas the top returning team from the Western Conference last season, although that resulted in a playoff loss immediately, which kept the franchise from the CONCACAF Cup, which would have been its second foray into the North American Champions League.

The Timbers did, though, regain the Cacadia Cup by virtue of its three wins against the Vancouver Whitecaps and a pair of draws against the Seattle Sounders. Portland had eight differenct players score its nine Cup goals and secured the Cup for the first time since 2012 after having held it in 2009 and 2010 while playing the USL.

Portland will be looking to win its second MLS title, three years after winning its first.

Giovanni Savarese takes over as head coach after Caleb Porter capped a very successful five-year run. In the past two months, the team signed a handful of international players geared toward making the team's offense much more impressive.

And, the Timbers traded much beloved midfielder Darlington Nagbe to Atlanta.

The MLS season begins with 23 teams as LAFC joins the league. The season begins Saturday.

Miami and Nashville have been awarded franchises as the league moves toward 26 teams by 2021.

 

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