PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers’ inaugural season in MLS begins with three road games, no doubt creating a heightened sense of anticipation leading up to the team’s first home game on April 14.
But though a first look at the team’s full MLS schedule reveals several highlights, none is more important than game No. 1.
On March 19, the Timbers will play in Colorado to open a new chapter of the franchise's history against the MLS Cup champion Rapids.
“Seeing this team play together for its first official game will be tremendous, as will our first home game,” Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said. “Every other game, the opportunity to gain three points [for a win] is exciting.”
The Timbers have a pair of three-game road trips during the season, but there is also a favorable stretch for Portland fans to get well acquainted with their team. Between April 30 and July 10, the Timbers have eight home dates in 11 games.
And that July 10 date is one that Timbers fans may be quick to circle on the calendar. It is the lone appearance of the rival Seattle Sounders in Portland, which will be aired live on ESPN.
Additionally, ESPN2 has scheduled Portland’s first home game, against the Chicago Fire, on April 14. And the Timbers’ first MLS game at Qwest Field against the Seattle Sounders on May 14 is also on the ESPN2 schedule.
The LA Galaxy will bring two of the most popular players in MLS, Landon Donovan and David Beckham, for their first appearance in Portland on Aug. 3.