The Portland Timbers have announced their preseason schedule for 2016 today, including the opposition lined up for the Simple invitational, the first matches of the year in Portland.
The Timbers will start their preseason with a week of training in Portland from January 23rd to 27th before heading to Tucson, AZ for fifteen days where they will play friendlies against FC Tucson, the Houston Dynamo, the Seattle Sounders, and Real Salt Lake. Finally, the Timbers will return to Portland and close out the preseason with the Simple Invitational, facing off against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Chicago Fire and Minnesota United.
While the Timbers have faced off against USL PDL side FC Tucson and all of their MLS opposition previously, United are a different story. Hailing from the NASL but MLS bound in 2017 or 2018, United will be familiar to Timbers fans for being the last state-side home of midfielder Miguel Ibarra who was called up to the United States Men's National Team after being drafted but not signed by the Timbers in 2012.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS TO PLAY HOST TO SIMPLE INVITATIONAL FEB. 21-27 AT PROVIDENCE PARK, OPEN PRESEASON CAMP JAN. 23
Fifth-annual preseason tournament to feature matches against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Chicago Fire, Minnesota United FC
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced details of The 2016 Simple Invitational, the team’s annual preseason tournament at Providence Park, as well as the club’s full preseason schedule. Taking place from Feb. 21-27, The Simple Invitational will feature the MLS Cup-champion Timbers as well as Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Eastern Conference-side Chicago Fire and NASL club Minnesota United FC.
The Simple Invitational once again will consist of three doubleheaders at Providence Park. Portland and Minnesota, which is slated to join MLS in 2017 or 2018, will square off Sunday, Feb. 21; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific). Chicago and Vancouver will face each other in the opening match at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific). On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Chicago will square off against Minnesota at 5 p.m. (Pacific), while the Timbers play host to Pacific Northwest-rival Vancouver on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), before closing preseason play in The Simple Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 27, against Chicago; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific).
Tickets for The Simple Invitational are included in Timbers 2016 annual member packages. Individual tickets, which allow entry to both matches each day, start at $10 and go on sale to the general public starting Friday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m. (Pacific) online at www.timbers.com. Full tournament ticket packages for The Simple Invitational, starting at $39, also will be available for purchase online.
The MLS Cup-champion Timbers are scheduled to open preseason training camp on Saturday, Jan. 23, in Portland to begin preparations for the upcoming 2016 MLS season. The club opens its preseason schedule with training in the Rose City before departing for camp in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday, Jan. 29.
After five days of training in the Rose City, the Timbers leave for a 15-day camp in Tucson, where the club will continue to train and play its first games of the preseason. Portland will play preseason games against PDL side FC Tucson on Sunday, Jan. 31, the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Feb. 6, and Real Salt Lake on Thursday, Feb. 11. All matches will take place at the Kino Sports Complex, while the matches against Houston and Seattle are part of the 2016 Desert Friendlies hosted by FC Tucson; click here for ticket information for those two games.
2016 Timbers Preseason Schedule
Saturday, Jan. 23 – First day of preseason training at Providence Park
Sunday, Jan. 31 – Preseason match vs. FC Tucson at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.; 10:30 a.m. (Pacific)
Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Preseason match vs. Houston Dynamo at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.; 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Saturday, Feb. 6 – Preseason match vs. Seattle Sounders FC at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.; 6 p.m.(Pacific)
Thursday, Feb. 11 – Preseason match vs. Real Salt Lake at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.; 10:30 a.m. (Pacific)
Sunday, Feb. 21 – Simple Invitational: Timbers vs. Minnesota United FC at Providence Park; 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Wednesday, Feb. 24 – Simple Invitational: Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Providence Park; 7:30 p.m.(Pacific)
Saturday, Feb. 27 – Simple Invitational: Timbers vs. Chicago Fire at Providence Park; 5 p.m. (Pacific)