Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Wednesday items include Premier Lacrosse League, Timbers and Thorns youth academy changes, Timbers match on TV tonight, new ball for NBA

COURTESY PHOTO: PREMIER LACROSSE LEAGUE - The Premier Lacrosse League won't be in Portland this year because of the coronavirus, but it is planning a televised two-week tournament this summer.• Premier Lacrosse League — The Premier Lacrosse League, which was scheduled to play in Portland in August, has canceled its 2020 schedule but will stage a two-week, made-for-television, tournament beginning in late July.

Paul Rabil, co-founder of the men's professional lacrosse league, has announced that the league will stage a two-week tournament between July 25 and August 9.

PLL Championship Series games will be played without fans at a site still to be announced. All 20 games will be shown live on the NBC family of networks, including some on NBC.

In its second season, the Premier Lacrosse League was scheduled to bring its seven teams to Providence Park on August 1-2 for a series of games. The league's 12-week 2020 season was to start on May 29 at Foxborough, Massachusetts.

• Youth soccer changes — The Timbers Academy boys soccer teams are part of a new player development platform announced Wednesday by Major League Soccer.

The MLS elite development program will bring together 65 members of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy — which ceased operating in March — with MLS Academy clubs to create a platform for player development and competition for elite boys in the United States and Canada.

A focus of the new platform will be developing players who aspire to play professional soccer. It will initially include 95 clubs and more than 8,000 players, with an application process coming for clubs that want to join. The Timbers Academy is the only founding club in the new organization from Oregon.

"Major League Soccer's inclusive approach to the greater soccer market is the most exciting aspect of this movement," Ryan Miller, Portland Timbers Academy Director, said in the announcement from MLS. "This new competition will continue to provide a platform for the top player development clubs in the country to get the most meaningful games. Elite player development requires the highest level of competition and this platform will provide that."

• Meanwhile, the Thorns Academy has joined the Elite Clubs National League Girls, beginning in the 2020-21 season. The ECNL is a national league for top girls soccer teams.

FC Portland and Crossfire United are Portland-area clubs already in the ECNL. Clubs in the ECNL Girls program field competitive teams in six age groups from Under-13 to Under-19. The Thorns Academy will add a U13 team to join the ECNL.

The Thorns Academy was a founding member of the U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy in 2016, but needed a new place to play when U.S. Soccer halted its Development Academy.

The Thorns will join the ECNL Northwest Division, which includes clubs from Oregon, Washington, northern California, Idaho, Utah and Colorado.

• Timbers-Sounders replay tonight — As part of its MLS rivalry week promotion, a 2017 match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders from Providence Park will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN2.

We won't play spoiler for those who can't remember a match from three years ago and want to be surprised.

• Wilson to become NBA's ball — Wilson Sporting Goods will make the NBA's game balls beginning with the 2021-22 season in a multi-year deal announced Wednesday. The league's contract with Spaulding expires after next season.

Wilson will make the official game ball for the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League, which begins play in 2021. 

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