The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns announced today that for the first time in the history of the two clubs, they will be playing a mixed teams charity match on Wednesday, April 27. The match will be played to raise funds for war-relief efforts in Ukraine, in partnership with UNICEF USA.
Admission to the event will be free to the public, and fans are encouraged to make a financial donation when they acquire their ticket. The club also announced that all donations will be matched up to $100,000.
Social media posts arose on Tuesday between Timbers and Thorns players, seeming to tease some sort of cross-team collaboration. Today, that collaboration was revealed to be a long desired mixed teams match featuring players from both clubs.
Most days we play for the city of Portland, but on the 27th we play for something bigger. Let’s do this @sincy12— Diego Chara (@DiegoChara21) April 13, 2022
“This is something we’ve wanted to do as a club for years, and I couldn’t think of a better reason to pull it off now than to raise money for an important cause,’ shared Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair in the official announcement. “Soccer is a universal and unifying sport, and as professionals, it’s important for us to use our platform for those in need and right now that’s Ukraine.”
“A match like this is one of its kind and while this game will be entertaining no doubt, the focus is to provide relief for Ukraine,” Sinclair continued. Timbers midfielder Diego Chara agreed, as he shared, “I always believe we are stronger together, and I’m excited to be able to play in a match that means so much more than soccer. This is an opportunity for us as players, as a club and as a city to help the people of Ukraine in an incredibly difficult time.”
Chara and Sinclair will play a special role in the lead up to match as well. Chara, along with Thorns FC defender Kelli Hubly, will captain one team, while Sinclair and Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco will co-captain the other. Both teams will have the opportunity to draft players from each team to fill out the rosters for the event. The draft will be streamed next week, with the final rosters announced on the club website and via social media channels.
The two teams, the yellow team Nike and the blue Adidas team, will face off in a 60 minute full field match at Providence Park. Should the match be tied after regulation (fingers crossed), the game will move to penalty kicks to decide the winner. The match will be streamed on www.timbers.com and www.thornsfc.com, with additional details to follow ahead of the event.
Fans attending in-person and viewing online will have opportunities to provide donations, and can also donate now via www.unicefusa.org/PTFC. Following the game, there will be an online auction where fans can bid on game-worn shirts and other items, including flags and the game ball, to be held at www.PTFC.givesmart.com.
UNICEF USA President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis expressed his appreciation to PTFC and the Rose City for their support in their efforts, and highlighted the impact their support can have. “More than 2 million children have become refugees since the start of this war and an additional 2.5 million children have been displaced,” Nyenhuis shared in the press release. “UNICEF is delivering critical, life-saving supplies as well as psychosocial support to these children and their families and the organization is so grateful to supporters like the Timbers, Thorns and their fans who are making this work possible.”