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Timbers reborn with a former Sounder

Bobby Howe will be introduced today as coach of Portland's new A-League soccer team, which is reviving an old nickname

Monday, July 17, 2000

By John Nolen of The Oregonian staff

How about a soccer team called the Timbers coached by a former Seattle Sounders coach?

That appears to be what's in store for Portland, starting next year when Portland Family Entertainment fields a professional team in the United Soccer Leagues' A-League that will play at renovated Civic Stadium.

Both the nickname Timbers -- which the original Portland pro team was called from 1975 to 1982 -- and newly hired coach Bobby Howe are scheduled to be introduced at a PFE news conference at 10 a.m. today.

"I'll be leaving in a couple hours to drive to Portland for the press conference," Howe said Sunday afternoon from his home in Seattle.

Howe, 54, said he accepted the job as Portland coach and technical director about two weeks ago.

A native of England, he began his U.S. coaching career as an assistant with the Sounders from 1977 to 1983, coaching against the original Timbers when both were members of the now-defunct North American Soccer League.

Willie Anderson, one of the original Timbers who came to Portland from England, said he does not mind the nickname being used again.

"It's been so long -- 18 years -- why not," Anderson said.

"It was really fun when we did it, and it allowed me to stay here," said Anderson, now 53 and a cable company account executive.

"I just hope it's successful. It would be great to see an outdoor team do well here."

Timbers also was used as a nickname by a Portland team in the Western Division of the American Professional Soccer League in 1989 and 1990, but the franchise folded.

In April, Howe resigned as director of coaching education for U.S. Soccer. He said Sunday he wanted to leave his mostly administrative position in Chicago after four years to return to the Pacific Northwest and "get back out on the field of play for more hands-on" coaching.

"Now I'm back in the game, and I'm just very excited," he said.

You can reach John Nolen at 503-221-8211 or by e-mail at


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