Timbers kick off with home exhibition

Portland hosting Rose City Invite

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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The Portland Timbers make their home debut for 2014 today, taking on the San Jose Earthquakes in a preseason match that kicks off at 5 p.m. at Providence Park.

Today's match is the first of three over seven days as the Timbers host the Rose City Invitational at their re-branded stadium in downtown Portland.

The Vancouver Whitecaps take on Jamaican club Portmore United at 2:30 p.m. to kick off the tournament.

The Rose City Invitational continues with doubleheaders on Wednesday and Saturday. On Wednesday, Vancouver and San Jose play at 5 p.m. and Portland takes on Portmore at 7:30 p.m. Next Saturday, San Jose plays Portmore at 2:30 p.m. and the Timbers take on the Whitecaps at 5 p.m.

Tickets for each day are good for both games of the doubleheader.

The Timbers had two wins and two ties in four preseason games this month in Tucson, Ariz.

Today's game is likely to be the home debut for Argentine additions forward Gastón Fernández and central defender Norberto Paparatto.

With Diego Valeri and Steve Zakuani recuperating from offseason surgeries, the No. 1 lineup for Timbers coach Caleb Porter this preseason has been Donovan Ricketts at goalkeeper, Jack Jewsbury, Pa Modou Kah, Paparatto and Michael Harrington on defense, Will Johnson and Diego Chara at defensive midfield, Fernández, Darlington Nagbe and Kalif Alhasson at attacking midfield, and Maximiliano Urruti at forward.

San Jose is 0-3 this preseason, most recently losing 2-1 to the L.A. Galaxy on Feb. 15.