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Hammerheads, Portland discussing MLS affiliation

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Hammerheads continue to have dialogue with Major League Soccer teams about a possible affiliation for the 2013 season.

The Portland Timbers may be the front-runner.

During Wednesday's practice session David Irving spoke exclusively about the Timbers when the topic of affiliation was mentioned.

"They've had a few reserve games, I'm talking about Portland, and if things don't change with our situation in the next couple of weeks I'm sure we'll be able to bring somebody in." Irving said.

In January the USL Pro announced a partnership with MLS allowing each USL Pro club at least four players on long-term loan from the MLS parent club.

Irving has first hand knowledge of the Portland organization. In 2005 he was a candidate for the teams head coach/general manager position prior to re-signing a contract with the Hammerheads.

Former players Chris Bagley, Tim Karalexis and Tom Taylor all previously made the move from Wilmington to Portland and former keeper/assistant coach Adam Smith is in charge of the Timbers academy.

"We have a great connection and it makes sense. It's just a matter of what our needs are and their needs are because it's still early days but it's out there and if we need somebody I think it's just a matter of picking up the phone and getting the details sorted."

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