Portland Timbers, Thorns to play co-ed game for Ukraine

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 5:25 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Portland is in for a treat! The Timbers and Thorns will come together Wednesday night in a charity match to help raise money for UNICEF relief programs in Ukraine.

The Timbers and Thorns will mix up to form two co-ed teams and will take the pitch in a match called PTFC For Peace, to raise money for children and families in Ukraine for some players, this is near and dear to their heart.

“We’re doing this for Ukraine but at the same time there a lot of things happening all around the world. Ukraine right now is a big thing. I come from Africa and there’s always things happening in Africa,” said Timbers Defender & Team Yellow, Larrys Mabiala. “Always for doing those things, and I hope moving forward more and more things like that are going to be made by other teams.”

Team Blue Adidas will be led by Thorns Defender, Kelli Hubly and Timbers Midfielder, Diego Chara. Timbers Midfielder, Sebastián Blanco and Thorns Forward, Christine Sinclair will lead Team Yellow Nike.

“As players we always go and support the Thorns. And I know that they do the same thing when we are playing. It would be very fun to be able to meet those teams and be playing with them,” said Mabiala.

“It’s going to be a good turnout. I think the fans have been waiting for this -- for the Timbers and Thorns to get together and do something cool,” said Timbers Midfielder & Team Blue, Bill Poni Tuiloma.

The game will be free to attend for fans, but they are encouraged to make donations. The club will match those donations of up to $100,000.

“It’s going to be a day in which we want to enjoy. [We] want to have a great time between the two teams, between the fans, everyone and hopefully collect as much money that we can to be able to donate to help the people for Ukraine,” said Timbers Head Coach, Giovanni Savarese.

To make things even more interesting, players will get to play positions they’ve never done before, but Coach Gio said the most important thing is to have fun.

“I don’t want to be playing defense. I want to play as a striker,” said Mabiala.

“Most likely sometimes you’re going to see maybe a defender going on top and playing as a forward that is the whole reason why we’re doing this event is to enjoy it, and all the players are going to enjoy it,” said Savarese.

Kick off for the game is at 6 p.m. Wednesday. You can donate to the cause, get tickets or watch on the website for the Thorns and the Timbers.