Portland's Pilots and Timbers team up with Providence to provide youth heart screenings

April 22, 2013
The Portland Pilots men’s soccer team will host the Portland Timbers Reserves in an exhibition match on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at Merlo Field. The match will be a free, ticketless event and open to the public with a suggested donation at the door to benefit the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute’s Play Smart Young Heart Screening program.
 
This is the second match this spring that the University of Portland has helped raise funds for the Providence Play Smart program. The women’s exhibition game against the Portland Thorns FC on March 30 raised more than $12,000.
 
“We’re excited to be playing the Timbers,” said Portland head coach and Director of Soccer Bill Irwin. “The players are looking forward to it and it’s a great opportunity to be playing quality professionals.
 
“It’s also a great opportunity for fans to help young athletes get screened so we can identify potential problems at an early age and help prevent tragedies.”
 
The Pilots are coming off a fourth-place finish in the West Coast Conference. WCC All-Freshman Team selections Jaime Velasco and Hugo Rhoads were two of seven Pilots to earn all-league honors last fall. Velasco, who will be Portland’s top returning scorer, also landed conference honorable mention accolades after finishing third on the team with nine points (2 goals, 5 assists).
 
Returning sophomores Derek Boggs (Second Team) and Michael Escobar (Honorable Mention) also grabbed all-conference for the Pilots last season.
 
The Portland Timbers currently feature two former UP standouts on their roster. Defender Ryan Kawulok is in his second year with the Timbers, while midfielder Steven Evans signed with the club this winter.