PORTLAND, Ore. — Before Hurricane Irene left a swath of rain-soaked damage up and down the East Coast, it wreaked a different sort of havoc on the Portland Timbers’ travel itinerary.
The Timbers flew out of Portland on Thursday morning for their scheduled match Saturday against D.C. United, only to wake up Friday and scramble back to the airport to return home. MLS postponed the match in advance of the hurricane’s arrival in the nation’s capital.
“I think it was the best move by the league, for both teams, in terms of player safety and for us getting home after the game,” captain Jack Jewsbury told the Timbers website. “It is what it is. Nothing we can do about it.”
Portland will have to wait until Oct. 19 to face United, a match that carried major playoff implications as both teams make a push for a wildcard berth. The Timbers currently sit on 32 points, tied with the Red Bulls for the 10th-and-final spot. DC are just one point behind, but have games in hand.
With no games scheduled next weekend, the Timbers won’t see game action again until a Sept. 10 road match against the Philadelphia Union.
“Safety is the first thing, and I think that’s what the league and the team has taken into consideration,” Jewsbury said. “And that’s all we can ask for.”
Defender Lovel Palmer became the latest Timbers player to earn an international call-up when he was selected Monday by Jamaica for a friendly on Saturday against Colombia in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Palmer joined three other Timbers — midfielder James Marcelin (Haiti), defender Steve Purdy (El Salvador) and defender Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica) — who have been called up by their respective national teams for the upcoming FIFA international match dates.
Palmer will rejoin the Timbers in advance of the club’s Sept. 10 road match against Philadelphia.