Watch out, Timbers: British are coming
The World Cup may be winding down, but the next English season is just warming up. Teams are making foreign tours to breed new players and try to dispel a month of couch-potato time.
The Portland Timbers, fresh off Sunday's 1-0 home loss to Miami, will play an exhibition match at 7 p.m. Saturday at PGE Park against English club Coventry City. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $30.
Coventry City plays in England's Coca-Cola Championship, one level below the Premier League. The Sky Blues finished a respectable eighth last season, and coach Micky Adams is something of a promotion specialist, having taken three teams up a level in his managerial career.
Coventry's youth system has produced 5-7, 144-pound forward Gary McSheffrey, who was the youngest player ever to appear in the premiership when he made his debut eight years ago at age 16. McSheffrey led the Sky Blues in goals last season, with 15 in 43 starts.
Striker Stern John will not be on the American trip. He has been given extended leave until July 17 after playing for Trinidad and Tobago at the World Cup in Germany.
Coventry is a city of 305,000 in the English Midlands, 95 miles northwest of London. It was famously described in the ska band the Specials' song 'Concrete Jungle.' The city is famous for Rover car manufacturers and Lady Godiva.
(with thanks to Coventry fan Kev Monks)
Full name: Coventry City Football Club
Home colors: Sky blue and white
Away colors: Black
Stadium: Ricoh Arena, Coventry, England (since 2005)
Manager: Micky Adams
League: The Coca-Cola Championship
Position 2005-06 season: Eighth
Majors trophies: F.A. Cup winners 1987
Nickname: Sky Blues
Mascot: Sky Blue Sam
Best songs: 'The Sky Blue Song,' 'We Hate Leicester'
Style of play: Patient buildup with a clinical finish
Fun fact: Coventry City is the only club in England to have the cross of St. George on its crest. Legend says that St. George once lived in Coventry.
Famous players: Willie Carr, Steve Ogrizovic, Brian Kilcline, Dion Dublin, Gary McAllister and Peter Ndlovu