PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Timbers defender Leonard Griffin has signed with Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew for the remainder of the 2007 season. Griffin joined the Crew on Wednesday in preparation for the team's next match this weekend. His signing was finalized by MLS late last week.
With the Timbers in 2007, Griffin logged 2,414 minutes and scored two goals in 27 matches. His first goal of the season, a 35-yard strike against the Rochester Raging Rhinos on May 13, was selected as the USL First Division’s Goal of the Week. Griffin, who was selected to the USL First Division Team of the Week in Week 4, was a member of the Timbers backline that led the league in fewest goals allowed (18) and shutouts (15) in 2007.
Griffin, 25, joined the Timbers from the Chicago Fire of MLS, where he began his career in 2004. In three seasons with the Fire, Griffin played a total of 825 minutes in 18 matches, nine of which he started.
Chicago waived Griffin during the 2007 pre-season, but maintained possession of his MLS rights. On Sept. 18, Columbus acquired Griffin's MLS rights in a trade for a fourth-round pick in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft.
With a record of 7-9-10 (31pts), the Crew are one point behind the Fire for the eighth and final MLS playoff spot. Griffin joins Columbus for its final four regular-season matches against the Galaxy (Sept. 30), FC Dallas (Oct. 6), New England Revolution (Oct. 13) and D.C. United (Oct. 20).
In 2007, the Timbers recorded one of the best seasons in modern-franchise history, setting several club records and reaching two USL First Division milestones, including an unbeaten regular-season home record at PGE Park. The 2007 season ended on Sept. 23, as Portland was eliminated by the Atlanta Silverbacks in the semifinals on penalty kicks.
Timbers 2008 season ticket information will be available in the coming weeks. For more information on Timbers season tickets, contact ticket representative Dan Zusman at (503) 553-5452 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.portlandtimbers.com