The Timbers will play only one preseason game against another First Division team (Vancouver, 4 p.m. Sunday, Alder Creek Middle School), but Portland coach Gavin Wilkinson says that’s enough. “It would be lovely to have MLS teams come play us, but it becomes what’s realistic and what’s affordable,” he says of the schedule. “It’s better than what we’ve had in the past. We’ll play seven games, and in every one the expectations and the quality should be a lot higher.” As for the absence of preseason games against Seattle, “I think we play them enough during the season, why throw another game in the mix,” Wilkinson says. • Midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer, 24, led the Timbers in scoring last year with eight goals and eight assists, and played in all 28 games. His role could be slightly different, and even more varied, this season. “I think a lot was thrown on his shoulders and he felt a lot of responsibility to score,” Wilkinson says. “He was the only one putting the ball in the back of the net for us. I’d like to see a little more disciplined Luke this season, but with the same productivity.” — Steve Brandon

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