- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

PORTLAND, ORE. (AP) - Major League Soccer executives and city officials have scheduled a news conference for Friday about Portland’s bid for an MLS expansion team.

Portland is seeking one of two franchises to begin play in 2011. MLS officials and Merritt Paulson, who has led efforts to bring the team to Portland, did not immediately return phone calls Thursday.

The MLS already has awarded one franchise to Vancouver, British Columbia, which also will begin play in 2011.

Portland city officials last week approved a financing deal that would renovate PGE Park for soccer and build a new ballpark for the Triple-A Portland Beavers baseball team. But the city still must come up with a plan to raise $15 million of the $89 million needed for the project.

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