March 18, 2009

According to a report on The Oregonian's Web site on Wednesday, Portland will be awarded a new Major League Soccer franchise on Friday to begin play in 2011. The report sited sources inside Portland's City Hall.

The news comes on the same day that Vancouver was officially awarded the first expansion team for 2011.

According to The Oregonian, MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche would not confirm that any announcement would be made on Friday, but sources were able to confirm that the announcement was likely to come.

Portland's proposal involves almost $34 million in renovations of the multipurpose PGE Park, which is home to the city's current professional soccer team, the Timbers of USL-1 and Class-AAA baseball team the Portland Beavers.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams and City Councilman Randy Leonard, who were both involved with the negotiations, both told the paper that some kind of announcement would be made in Portland on Friday, though neither could confirm that Portland would be getting an MLS franchise.

"We definitely have a news conference on Friday, and we hope it's good news," Adams said. "Right now an official announcement will be at 10 a.m. Friday morning." --

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