Timbers on right track again

PTFC has organized a charity match involving the Timbers and Thorns to raise funds for war-torn Ukraine.

Cliff Pfenning
April 24, 2022

It’s been a rough nine months for the Portland Timbers - off the field.

But, the franchise: Timbers and Portland Thorns; finally seems to have done something right by its fans by announcing on Wednesday an upcoming charity match involving both the Timbers and Thorns.

The match, set for April 27 and labeled ‘PTFC for Peace,’ will raise funds for UNICEF relief efforts in war-torn Ukraine. The team and its partners will match donations up to $100,000 from fans at the event, which is free to attend.

It’s a great idea for a charity event with such a worthy cause - have the rosters from the Timbers and Thorns mix and play - as the teams might do on a playground after the daily practices with coaches are done. Just some screwing around for fun.

Everybody is going to have a lot of fun April 27, other than when they stop and think about where the funds that get raised are actually going.

“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,” Thorns forward Christine Sinclair said. “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 was a perfect choice to speak for the franchise having played across the globe for parts of four decades. The Timbers provided inspirational words from Diego Chara.

“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,” Chara said. “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.”

Sinclair and Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco will co-captain one team. Chara and Thorns defender Kelli Hubly will co-captain the other. A streamed draft will take place next week to select players for each team with final rosters set to be announced on the website and via the club’s social media channels in advance of the match.

Another very entertaining part of the match is each team will be sponsored by ... a different shoe factory: Nike or Adidas. And, it’ll have a winner, going to a shootout if needed.

The match will be streamed on the club’s websites www.timbers.com and www.thornsfc.com with additional details to follow ahead of the event.

Fans in attendance and those watching remotely will have various opportunities to contribute to their efforts and can visit www.unicefusa.org/PTFC to make donations. There will also be an online auction for fans to bid on game-worn shirts from the event and other items, including flags and the game ball at www.PTFC.givesmart.com.

Cliff Pfenning

Cliff is the publisher of Oregonsports.com, and has decades of experience in writing, photography, videography and graphic design. He's been a sportswriter in Oregon for more than three decades and has even taught sports broadcasting in Portland. He lives in North Portland in a house built in 1912 that has a backyard deck easily turned into a 'Top Golf' set-up for wiffle golf balls ... and cornhole.