While the Portland Timbers didn't announce an official affiliation deal as part of the USL-MLS partnership announcement, they will be playing a couple more games.
The USL-MLS partnership earlier this week was first met with excitement, and then with confusion. As with everything that MLS does, it appears that this one is rife with convoluted rules and regulations that significantly dampen the general level of understanding that the average fan could ever possibly have. To be honest, I'm not 100% clear on the whole thing either. Not that it really matters, though, as the Portland Timbers opted to pass on affiliating with a team.
That doesn't mean, however, that the Timbers won't be taking part in the new partnership however, as it appears that the Portland Timbers reserves will match up against Tampa Bay FC in a home and away series. Here are the dates:
- April 7th - Portland Timbers vs. Tampa Bay FC (home)
- June 1st - Tampa Bay FC vs. Portland Timbers (away)
According to the announcement, the results of these games will impact both the MLS reserve league and the USL-Pro league respectively. So if the Portland Timbers reserves win both games it will mean an extra 6 points total. Not bad.
There's still much to learn about this new partnership and where it will eventually head, but, for now, at least it's offering the Timbers' reserve squad a couple extra games against a new opponent.
What do you think of the Portland Timbers reserves playing against USL-Pro competition?