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City Stars Rematch Portland Thursday

September 16, 2009 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Cleveland City Stars News Release

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland City Stars will rematch the Portland Timbers on the road on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. in the final face-off of the season between the two teams. The City Stars defeated the first-place Timbers 1-0 in an impressive upset on Sunday and remain undefeated against Portland.

The City Stars are in eleventh place in league standings, only two points behind the tenth place Austin Aztex. With a 4-17-7 record, the Stars are out of playoff contention but could still climb out of the bottom spot with just one win. The City Stars tied the Timbers in the first match between the two squads in Cleveland in May and beat them 1-0 in Portland on Sunday. Jason Hotchkin scored the game-winning goal off of a well-placed free kick in the first half and Portland was unable to get an equalizer.

Due to excellent performances, Jason Hotchkin and goalkeeper Evan Bush were both named to the Week 23 USL-1 Team of the Week. Bush recorded eight saves against Portland and clinched his second shutout in his last three games. It was the first career victory for the rookie goalkeeper. Including the game-winner on Sunday, Hotchkin has scored two goals and registered one assist in his last five matches. It was the second appearance on the team of the week for both players.

Midfielder Pato Aguilera has also been a standout this season, and is third in the league in games played (28) and third in the league for assists (5). The veteran has also tallied 3 goals for Cleveland, tying with Ricardo Pierre-Louis as the City Stars top goal-scorer.

The Portland Timbers sit in first place in league standings, with 55 points and a 15-4-10 record. Three points ahead of the second-place Puerto Rico Islanders, the Timbers have only lost three matches at home this season. The recent home defeat to the Rochester Rhinos was the first loss for Portland in the 24 matches since the home opener in April, setting a new league record for winning streaks. Since that match Portland has lost to both the Austin Aztex and the City stars.

Portland forward Mandjou Keita is tied as the league's leading goal-scorer with 11 goals, and teammate Ryan Pore is tied for second with 10 goals. Keita also makes the league's list for assist leaders, tied for second place with 6 assists.

Kickoff is at 10:30 p.m. EST, and the match will be broadcast live on USLlive.com. The City Stars road trip continues on Friday at 11:00 p.m. when the City Stars travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps in the final match of the season. Friday's match will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel.

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