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Garber confirms MLS franchise for Portland

MLS has reached an agreement with The Paulson Family that will bring a team to Portland in 2011,Commissioner Don Garber announced Friday. The announcement of Portland as the League's 18th club comes just two days after Vancouver was announced as the League's 17th team, also beginning play in 2011.

"A city with such a storied soccer tradition deserves an MLS team, and we are proud to have Portland join the top level of professional soccer in our region," Garber said. "Merritt Paulson and his family provide a vibrant and innovative ownership group that truly loves the world's game and we believe PGE Park will provide a world-class soccer environment for soccer fans."

Known for its fervent support of soccer since the heyday of the North American Soccer League's Portland Timbers in the 1970s, Portland completes this round of expansion for MLS, which could expand to 20 teams by 2012 if two additional cities are deemed ready to join. The Portland MLS team will retain the storied Timbers name.

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