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Timbers Sign Benedetti, Costigan
Team adds to roster as initial season preparations continue



PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have re-signed midfielder/defender Scott Benedetti and defender Keith Costigan, it was announced today.

Timbers coach Bobby Howe made the announcement.

Both players were part of the 2001 Timbers inaugural team that went 13-10-3, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the A-League playoffs.

Benedetti, 35, tallied four points on two goals in 25 matches last season. The Vancouver, Wash., native was fourth on the team in minutes played with 2,229. Benedetti, a former University of Portland standout, has logged previous professional playing experience with UNAM Pumas (Mexican First Division); Colorado Foxes (A-League); Colorado Rapids (MLS); and Nottingham Forest (England First Division).

"Scott had a wonderful season last year," said Howe. "Our team benefited from his vast experience and versatility. We are delighted that he has re-signed with the club."

Costigan, 25, was sixth on last year's club in scoring with seven points - all coming on assists. Costigan, a native of Ireland, was discovered in an open tryout camp before the 2001 season after completing a college career at California State University-Bakersfield. There, he was named all-conference four years in a row, all-region two years, and honorable mention all-American.

"Keith improved his performance and grew in confidence as last season progressed," Howe added. "This year, we are looking for him to take his game to an even higher level."

TIMBERS NOTES ... The Timbers came to terms with midfielders Ben Somoza and Jake Sagare, who were both selected by the club in the A-League draft in February ... also on Thursday, the Timbers granted defender Jesus Ochoa his release at the request of Major League Soccer ... Ochoa has been working out with the Los Angeles Galaxy where he is expected to be signed to a developmental contract ... the Timbers begin preseason workouts Monday, April 1, in preparation for the April 9 A-League-MLS Showdown with the L.A. Galaxy at PGE Park. Portland begins its second regular season by hosting the Seattle Sounders at PGE Park on Saturday, May 4. Individual and season tickets are now available for the 2002 season. Contact the Timbers at (503) 553-5555 for more information.

Many Thanks to News Digger John Zukas who scours up all of the local news links during the year.