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Ex-Chelsea striker Spencer planning to enjoy Timbers clash with Ajax

MLS expansion franchise Portland Timbers take on Dutch Eredivisie giants Ajax Amsterdam tonight and coach John Spencer will make sure all of his players get to enjoy the contest.

The first-year MLS club take on the 30-time Dutch champions at JELD-WEN Field and Spencer says he will have to juggle his charges ahead of the weekend's MLS clash with DC United.

"We're going to try to rotate everybody in, give everybody a chance to play and enjoy the occasion," he said. "We'll try to get as many guys as many minutes as we can.

"We're not going to put out a youth team or anything like that. We've got to be respectful of everybody that's coming to watch the game. We've got to be respectful of Ajax and their history. But we've still got to be respectful that we've got a game against D.C. over the weekend."

And Spencer added that he feels Ajax, managed by Holland great Frank de Boer, will not be fully wound up for the visit.

"I don't think they'll be in full game mode," he added. "They'll be in a little bit of vacation mode.

"Hopefully, we're just going to get two teams who come out and try to play the game the way it's meant to be played. Not too much tackling, not too much kicking - just enjoy the occasion. It's a nice occasion for everybody here."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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