The A-League soccer club had some good news when it opened training camp Thursday: Midfielder Jake Sagare is returning to the team. The Yakima native and ex-Washington Husky, who will turn 24 on Monday, has chosen to leave Halifax Town in England and play a second season in the A-League.
The Timbers are still trying to bring back midfielder Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar, but he has been wavering.
Backup goalkeeper Bernard Elfvin is expected to be out about two weeks, with a shoulder injury still being examined. The Timbers have brought in goalies Steve Reese and former University of Portland player Justin Carter.
Other camp invites from last week's tryout include ex-UP midfielders Eric Cronkrite and Jarrod Weis.
Right guard Kanan Sanchez is off the team again. Sanchez was suspended last spring for missing offseason workouts, then started every game in 2003. He remains on scholarship but will miss spring practice for what Oregon State coach Mike Riley calls non-football-related reasons. Roy Schuening, a redshirt freshman from Pendleton, will take Sanchez's spot this spring.
Mark your calendars. A big-time game is slated in Eugene in 2008.
Oregon has made its 2004 schedule tougher by finalizing a deal to play the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Okla., on Sept. 18, as part of a home-and-home agreement. The Sooners will return the favor and play at Autzen Stadium in 2008.
This year's Oklahoma game will replace Nevada on the UO schedule, with the Ducks promising to play at Reno in a future season.
'Oregon football is now at a level where we can compete with the best programs in the country,' Athletic Director Bill Moos says. 'I feel we owe it to our players and our fans to make every effort to schedule marquee teams on a home-and-home basis.'
The Sooners are replacing Florida A&M with the Ducks, possibly enhancing their standing with the Bowl Championship Series.
'Oklahoma needed the game more than we did,' says coach Mike Bellotti, noting that the Sooners' other nonconference opponents are Bowling Green and Arkansas State.
Oregon and Oklahoma will exchange $300,000 guarantees to the visiting schools. Each game is slated to be on national television.
The Ducks are 0-4 against the Sooners.
Portland games remaining: Saturday Ð New Orleans; Tuesday Ð at L.A. Lakers; Wednesday Ð Golden State; April 9 Ð at San Antonio; April 10 Ð at Denver; April 12 Ð San Antonio; April 14 Ð L.A. Lakers.
Denver games remaining: Tonight Ð Houston; Wednesday Ð at Phoenix; April 9 Ð at Houston; April 10 Ð Portland; April 12 Ð Sacramento; April 14 Ð at San Antonio.
Utah games remaining: Tonight Ð San Antonio; Sunday Ð at L.A. Clippers; Thursday Ð at Dallas; April 10 Ð Houston; April 12 Ð at Minnesota; April 14 Ð Phoenix.
• Paul Allen is donating $13.5 million to help look for alien life.
The Blazer owner's previous gift of $11.5 million helped fund a radio telescope in Northern California. His new donation will help researchers build a bigger, better telescope that will enable them to expand their search from about 750 nearby stars to up to a million over the next decade.
'Obviously, if you could discover a signal, that would be one of the breakthroughs of all time,' Allen told The Seattle Times. 'The subject of a lot of science fiction is actual contact with alien races, and, of course, all that is very special and fun to me.'
The Triple-A club plans to announce a new PGE Park lease agreement today for baseball and soccer and hopes to have a long-term management solution soon.
'There is an ownership group lined up, but the (Pacific Coast League) wants the lease in their name first,' says a source close to the negotiations.
The Beavers open Thursday at Las Vegas. Their roster includes veteran outfielder Xavier Nady, 2003 PCL stolen-base king Bernie Castro and reliever Bart Miadich from Lake Oswego.
One player who won't be with them is outfielder Brian Hunter, the veteran from Vancouver, Wash. The parent San Diego Padres traded Hunter to St. Louis for outfielder Kerry Robinson.
Portland's home opener is April 16, also against Las Vegas. The Beavers drew 6,513 for last year's first home game and averaged 3,566 for the first eight-game homestand.
UO track and field
The Oregon men's track team has added a transfer sprinter, national junior college 400-meter champion Kedar Inico from Barton County College in Great Bend, Kan. A junior eligible to compete this spring, Inico has a personal best of 46.39 seconds, which would rank fifth on the all-time UO list.
Joey Harrington has his backups for 2004. The Detroit Lions have re-signed -No. 2 quarterback Mike McMahon, 25, and agreed to terms with Rick Mirer, 34, who replaces Ty Detmer as the No. 3 -signal-caller.
The Portland Shockwave opens its eight-game Independent Women's Football League season at 5 p.m. Saturday, facing the Eugene Edge at Churchill High School. Other teams in the league are the Corvallis Pride, Tacoma Majestics and Boise Xtreme.
Ñ Tribune staff