Coach-General Manager Gavin Wilkinson had kind words for three trialists in particular after the first of five friendly preseason matches Wednesday. Luc Harrington, a 6-2, 23-year-old forward who has been in the league, 'looked hungry and finished a couple of quality chances.' Rookie forward Bryan Jordan, 5-8, from Oregon State 'looked good … he can play out wide, as well.' And defender Brian Bell 'looked tidy.'
• Rookie forward David Hague also showed well. 'He came in with a typical striker's mentality, somewhat selfish and looking to shoot, but he worked his backside off in the match,' Wilkinson says.
• Overall, Wilkinson emphasizes, 'it's a hardworking team, and that showed. I appreciate how hard the boys are working. They've come in with a tremendous attitude.'
• Josh Wicks went the distance in goal, with Bayard Elfvin still making the transition from indoor to outdoor soccer. 'Josh wasn't really tested,' Wilkinson says, 'but he did a fantastic job with what he had to do.' The Timbers will go with two keepers this season.
• The Timbers will play a quarter of their 28 league games against the two expansion teams. Portland will have five matches against first-year California; two meetings were added to the schedule (July 7 in San Francisco, July 15 at PGE Park) after Virginia Beach folded Wednesday. The Timbers will play home and away against the other new club, Carolina.
• Look for Portland to host two exhibition matches this year, Wilkinson says.