Thursday, August 24, 2017

Landon Donovan explains Nagbe's value

The Legend explains it best how valuable Nagbe is to the team, regardless of the box score:

Landon Donovan on Nagbe & Pulisic

Timbers ride the Rapids at home

Let's start by addressing the bottom line: the Timbers walked away with 3 crucial points at home to the worst team in the league.  This comes before a 3-game road trip.   Dropping points would've been devastating to morale.

On to the details:

1) until the missed penalty, the Timbers were flying.  Quick-ball movement, dominating possession, big chance creation, the whole 9 yards.

2) what happened with Valeri letting Guzman take the penalty?  My suspicion is that there is something deeper going on because in the 2nd half, Valeri deferred to guxman on a free kick at the top of the box after Nagbe drew a foul.  Valeri or Nagbe could take that kick, but when Guzman approached Valeri seemed resigned to letting Guzman handle it.  What's going on there?

3) post-penalty miss, Guzman's mentality dropped.  He had a couple of five-sways, some rash fouls, and eventually a yellow card.  The yellow card means he's suspended for the Seattle game.  Truly poor professionalism from Guzman in how he handled himself after the penalty miss.

4) is it just me or did the Timbers looked Gassed by the 75th minute?  Thankfully, and unusually, Porter used his substitutions to bring on fresh legs.  Asprilla and Powell helped hold possession
For the last ten minutes, and were crucial to keeping the 3 points.

5) the Rapids' speed on the counter after Hairston came on was threatening.  I'd take Hairston in a trade for any of the Timbers backup wingers.  What a threat in turning the corner on Vitas and others on more than one occasion.  Colorado will take points from other teams this year.

6) Valeri & Nagbe's goals were sublime.

7) Mattocks looks disenchanted.  When he scored a goal last week he didn't seem to be all that happy in his celebration.  And his head-shaking upon being substituted last night does not bode well for what's going on between the ears for our backup forward.  While he made some nice runs, Mattocks hasn't exactly staked his claim for challenging Adi for more minutes or being a 90-minute replacement when Adi is out.  I liked seeing the fresh legs on Ebobisse and hope he can grow into the role of backup forward.

3 points.  Two amazing goals to lift the spirit.  A great crowd to push them over the finish line.  Onward, Rose City!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

3 Points from 1st Place

A good recap of how the Timbers have rode their depth to stay in the Western Conference hunt:

Timber try to sneak into the playoffs

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Timbers Formation Change Pays Dividends

The Timbers beat LA at home 3-1.  With Darlington Nagbe back from US National team duty, Porter elected to keep Sebastian Blanco on the left side of the 4-2-3-1.  While I was reticent to see Nagbe switch from the left, where he has been at his most productive by Goals/Assists, it appears the switch enabled him to become the dominant player over the course of the match.  Here's a link to the Audi Player Index:

MLSSoccer.com - Audi Player Index - Portland vs. LA Galaxy

Simply put, Diego Valeri is our hero, but Nagbe is at the top of the pyramid.  Let's hope that trend continues and the Timbers put together a winning streak to firmly cement our playoff position heading into the Fall.

The Maestro's Golazo

Watch and vote for the Timbers' Diego Valeri for this week's MLS Goal of the Week. 

Goal of the Week

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LA Galaxy 3 Portland Timbers 0

LA Galaxy 3 Portland Timbers 0

I'll leave a breakdown of the LA match to the experts at Slide Rule Pass. I recommend reading the article as it discusses the changes between the 1st and 2nd halves, both in personnel and formation. I'd emphasize that the changes we made were within LA's discretion- that is, we didn't force LA to change their tactics or personnel in response to our changes. And the few questions we asked all came while already down 3-0.

http://sliderulepass.xanderkale.com/?p=522


As reflected in Slide Rule Pass's breakdown, our back 4 frequently gets stretched out of position. I'm often anxious as I watch Wallace stray upfield or fail to cover the triangle with the other centre backs, when space opens up behind Wallace & between Wallace and the CBs.

RSL on Saturday. Onward, Rose City!

Escape from L.A.



I'll leave a breakdown of the LA match to the experts at Slide Rule Pass. I recommend reading the article as it discusses the changes between the 1st and 2nd halves, both in personnel and formation. I'd emphasize that the changes we made were within LA's discretion- that is, we didn't force LA to change their tactics or personnel in response to our changes. And the few questions we asked all came while down 3-0.

http://sliderulepass.xanderkale.com/?p=522


As reflected in Slide Rule Pass's breakdown, our back 4 often get stretched out of position. I'm often anxious as I watch Wallace stray upfield or fail to cover the triangle with the other centre backs, when space opens up behind Wallace & between Wallace and the CBs.

RSL on Saturday. Onward, Rose City!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Opening Home Weekend: Sights & Sounds



Just a couple of pictures and video from the Chicago and Dallas games.

What an amazing weekend for the whole City.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Belated Sal-entine's Day Present

Timbers trade for Sal Zizzo from Chivas USA. The kid went crazy at the U-20 World Cup in Canada a few years back, then spent a few years in the Hannover 96 Reserves in Germany, making a few first team appearance.

I'm very excited about this trade. Pore on the left and Zizzo on the right- we'll be a dangerous team with speed and dribbling skills down the wings.

Watch his 2 assists against Brazil starting at the 1:25 mark, through 3:00.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Season Tickets Running Out!!!

I just got off the phone with a Timbers ticket rep. After ordering my season ticket (TA Sectuon), I asked the rep how many season tickets remained.

"Maybe a few hundred."

WOW - Wait to go, Oregon! That's almost 12,000 tickets sold before the first ball is even kicked.

Monday, January 24, 2011

MLS & EPL

An English Premier League Guide to MLS

I’m one of the few people who enjoy MLS having a summer schedule, largely due to the English Premier League (“EPL”) dominating my Fall to Spring soccer consumption. This way, I’m never without some footy to occupy my weekends.

This year, the Portland Timbers leave the NASL Division 2 and are being “promoted” to MLS, i.e. the EPL. For those of you who follow the Premier League closely and are recently becoming acquainted with the American version, this may be a fun guide to choosing a team to follow.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Portland Timbers . . . Sunderland AFC

The Pacific Northwest is a unique and faraway region of the country, much like the North of England. It’s even close to a northern neighbor- Scotland, which is England’s Canada but drunker.
Sunderland is the neglected smaller neighbor to metropolitan Newcastle; much like Portland to Seattle.
The Tyne/Wear derby is possibly the most passionate in the EPL; the Northwest Derby IS the most volatile and passionate Derby in American soccer.
Personally, I have an affinity for both Sunderland and Newcastle. When Sunderland visited Portland for a friendly a few years ago, I attended the match and enjoyed myself thoroughly with some Mackems (people of Sunderland). Our supporters clubs share a tremendous friendship. The game was outrageously fun. And I’ve since attended a Sunderland match at the Stadium of Light, where I encountered some truly amazing people who recognized my Timbers gear and took kindly to the fact I was wearing a Timbers scarf to the very, very cold game. And the game was fantastic! It was the “beach ball” game where Sunderland beat Liverpool on a shot infamously deflected into the net off a beach ball thrown onto the pitch by the crowd. On a side note, I also attended a Newcastle match on my trip to England and I found the Newcastle supporters to be similarly friendly and the stadium, like the Stadium of Light, was first-class. Perhaps the Sunderland/Newcastle rivalry is so fierce it is unpopular to have affection for both clubs. It reminds me of how much I hate and relish beating Seattle, but being from a similar part of the country - it ain’t nothin’ but a family thing.


Seattle Sounders . . . Newcastle United

The richer, more cosmopolitan city.
Two clubs and sets of supporters with rich history and an even larger sense of entitlement.
I can’t write any more about Seattle . . . UGH.


Vancouver Whitecaps . . . Manchester United

Both share a tremendous youth academy, fine stadium, and a long tradition of trophies.
I don’t like Vancouver. But I respect them, and even envy them. They have an amazing youth academy with a residency, and partnerships with international clubs to allow their youth products to train, play, and sign overseas in Europe.
Vancouver & ManU both have strong commercial front offices.
Both are major port cities with lots of crime (too general?).
I believe Vancouver will be a winner in MLS quickly, but I will relish the big games when 1,000 ‘Caps fans come to Portland.


San Jose Earthquakes . . . Bolton Wanderers

The two teams nobody cares to watch when they’re on TV.
Both feature young American midfielders: Stuart Holden & Steve Cronin.
Both struggle to fill their stadiums to capacity and have financial concerns.
You wouldn’t notice if either weren’t in the league anymore.

L.A. Galaxy . . . Chelsea FC

The two teams who, until recently, bought their success using superstar Hollywood signings with big contracts and even larger personalities. Beckham & Donovan vs. Lampard & Terry & Drogba & everyone else.
The two teams coincidentally share a formal commercial partnership.
Nobody in America likes the Galaxy and nobody in England like Chelsea.
Great stadiums (Stamford Bridge: been there and, though on the quiet side, was a nice stadium).
I can’t STAND obnoxious Galaxy fans, and I can’t say I’ve ever met too many Chelsea fans I get along with either. (Side note: I supported QPR growing up, so it’s only natural for me to dislike Chelsea)
Both consistently compete for domestic and international trophies.

Chivas USA . . . West Ham United

The ugly, poor siblings to rich brothers (Chivas & Galaxy; West Ham & Chelsea).
They share successful and productive youth academies. Chivas is prolific in producing players from their Academy for the 1st team, and West Ham consistently promotes youth teamers to the 1st team. Some names you might recognize: Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermaine Defoe, Rio Ferdinand, Mark Noble, and MORE.
Both need a new stadium.
Both traditionally play a very attractive style of football with quick passing, which their vocal supporters demand.

Houston Dynamo . . . Everton FC

A Scot for a coach, and a stable reign of power. Solid defensively and mentally tough, stable squads.
Both are seeking or building a new stadium.
History of winning, though recently without a trophy.
Each has a fierce local rival: Liverpool/Dallas
Good youth academies that produce players for the first team. Houston has signed 3 players in the past 2 years, and Everton’s produced Jack Rodwell, Dan Gosling, James Vaughn recently- along with a player you may have heard of - Wayne Rooney!

Colorado Rapids . . . Blackburn Rovers

Each team has won a single major trophy in the past couple of decades.
Each has a long-time hero at the center of midfield: Pablo Mastroeni & David Dunn.
Both teams struggle to fill their stadium, which is located in the middle of nowhere.
Neither team is fun to watch; they play a lot of “route 1” long ball and bring bags of rough play to every game.
Incidentally, I like both their jerseys.

Sporting KC (Kansas City) . . . West Bromwich Albion

Teams that are fun to watch and attacking sides, but rarely spend time at the top of the table.
When Sporting moves into their stadium, it will be an intimate atmosphere, much like Albion’s homey venue.
You wouldn’t notice if they were gone, but you enjoy watching them when they’re on TV.


New England Revolution . . . Wolverhampton

Cheap clubs when it comes to finances, with a long-ago history of winning any trophy.
Yet, you can’t help but cheer for MLS originals, the Revs, or Wolves when they’re playing bigger teams.


Philadelphia Union . . . Birmingham FC

Both share tough-minded, defensive coaches who enjoyed long and successful playing careers: Nowak with Poland & Chicago Fire; McLeish with Scotland and Aberdeen, under Sir Alex Ferguson - just Fergie, then.
Both can be considered the lesser lights of their areas. Philadelphia will always be in New York’s shadow, as has Birmingham in relation to Aston Villa FC.
Both are great, mid-sized stadiums with tremendous atmosphere.



Columbus Crew . . . Fulham FC

Two clubs who shared an icon: Brian McBride. The pub in Fulham is the “McBride Pub” and McBride is an MLS original and icon of Columbus Crew.
Two unique stadiums with tremendous history and individual character. Craven Cottage has an actual cottage! overlooking the stadium, with a tree-lined walk to the venue. Crew Stadium was the 1st soccer-specific stadium in the U.S. (though Charleston Battery fans will disagree). It’s a significant part of making soccer a stable and permanent part of the American sporting landscape, and is a “must” for American soccer fans.
You can’t help but cheer for their teams, which always seem to be trying to punch above their weight. And each has (until recently, had) a player who could take your breath away with a moment of imagination and inspiration which reminds you why football captures a lifetime of special moments: Clint Dempsey (the chip to beat Juventus!) and Guillerme Barros Schelleto (delivered Columbus’ first MLS Cup trophy and is a legend among the supporters who never failed to bow to him in a “Wayne’s World” homage when he ambled over to take a corner kick).


Chicago Fire . . . Aston Villa FC

Rich tradition of winning trophies, but haven’t done so lately.
Great state-of-the-art stadiums, with knowledgable fans. (Gotta love the Section 8 Supporters, who have a great relationship with the Timbers Army) I’ve been to several Fire games over the years and have always enjoyed my time with the fans and a team that plays with passion and commitment to the jersey.
Both have impressive youth academies. 5!!! Villa players have emerged from the Academy this season, while the Fire has its own residency and a youth team that consistently competes for national championships.


D.C. United . . . Liverpool FC

Iconic stadiums (RFK & Anfield) in disrepair: check. Looking for an alternative but can’t find sufficient financing/land: check.
Rich history of domestic and international trophies: check.
Teams in utter freefall: check.
Also, consider Jaime Moreno and Ben Olsen to be what Gerrard & Carragher will look like in 4 years. See what happened to DC without Olsen & Moreno...?
Two of the most vocal, passionate, and loyal supporters groups in each country. Iconic players are to DC (Etcheverry, Moreno, Olsen) what managers are to Liverpool (Shankly, Paisley, Dalglish).


Toronto FC . . . Stoke City FC

Packed, cold, and windy stadiums.
Red kits/uniforms.
Poor style of play; lots of “route 1” direct football.
Did I mention cold and windy stadiums with loud, intimidating fans?


FC Dallas . . . Arsenal FC

Coaches with a total belief in their philosophy. OK, let’s just say it: they’re both arrogant as hell and believe they’re always right!
A certain unshakeable style of play.
Both clubs believe in promoting youth players to the first team. 5!!! FC Dallas players have been promoted to the first team in the past two seasons - most in MLS.
Both have a state-of-the-art stadium, with “fudged” attendance numbers judging from the stands on TV.
Neither club has won anything in 5 years.


Real Salt Lake . . . Tottenham Hotspur FC

They play attractive, passing and attacking football.
Iconic players: Van der Vaart & Bale vs. Beckerman & Johnson
Fantastic, packed stadiums.
Loud, loyal, and knowledgable supporters.
Recent success for both clubs in the league and cup competitions. Both clubs are enjoying international success this year in the Champions League (CONCACAF & EUFA).


New York Red Bulls . . . Manchester City

They buy success and pay bigger salaries than everyone.
Poor history of winning until recent financial investment.
Ugly jerseys.
It’s impossible to like either club, and yet you can’t help but respect their two talismanic forwards: Carlos Tevez (ManCity) and Thierry Henry (RB NY). Henry is one of the most thoughtful people in the game and remains a class act to enjoy watching on the pitch.


So, Who Ya Got? Does your EPL team match up with your MLS team? Suggestions for what you’d change?

Let’s hear it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MLS Draft Preview

Draft day is FINALLY upon us!!!

The Timbers have the 2nd pick in the 1st round. There are several quality players available, particularly:
1) Darlington Nagbe
2) Perry Kitchen
3) Zarek Valentin
4) Kofi Sarkodie
5) Will Bruin
6) Corey Hertzog
7) Omar Salgado

The Timbers have filled out a healthy portion of our roster already. Based upon the statements of Gavin & Spencer, as well as their Expansion draft wheeling-and-dealing, the overall strategy seems to be cheap American defenders with speed on the flanks, a mix of veterans and young prospects in midfield, a couple of unproven young forwards to be supplemented with International-quality players acquired through signings or the allocation process. C'mon, Kenny (Franken) Cooper!!!

How do I see the draft playing out? I can see the Timbers picking a young quality American defender with their #2 pick. A defender will be able to contribute immediately and it fits with Gavin & Spencer's cheap American at the back / international attackers strategy. I also predict the Timbers will use their other picks on risky gambits- it would fit with their track record so far (McCarty trade; Findley; Bornstein).

So, without further ado, the Timbers #2 pick will be:

PERRY KITCHEN, Akron Def/Mid

(Alternatively, we take Zarek Valentin or trade down and pick up a cheap defensive prospect like AJ Soares or Adibaba- hey, I get a second guess, right? Nobody's perfect!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Timbers Player of the Year

The guy is quality- he can score with his head, left and right foot. It's amazing to watch his growth over the past two seasons. In the future, I'd want Timbers youth prospects to spend a season or two in NASL or USL-PRO Division II or III soccer to gain the experience and confidence necessary to succeed in MLS. Nimo is another player to make progress over the course of this season. But let's take a few minutes to appreciate our Timbers Player of the Year- Ryan Pore.

Pore some sugar on me!
in the Timbers Green!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Community Club Makes a Wish Come True

Some view soccer clubs as businesses to turn a profit. I believe that clubs are part of the community, a source of pride in your city, and an avenue to make dreams possible to achieve.

Let's all give the Seattle Sounders credit for setting an example for how to be a part of their community by helping a sick young boy's dream come true. It's a story about how the whole city of Seattle came together to make a dream come true for a little boy who is sick with liver cancer. I'm proud of our Pacific Northwest neighbors for demonstrating the sense of community that makes me proud to live in this area.

Good luck to the little lad. His wish was to be a superhero. His courage is truly (super)heroic.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011740342_electronboy30m.html

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cut of the Day

I'll get to my early-season observations of the Timbers in a later post. But, for now, here's an incredibly creative video from OK Go, and a pretty good jam to get you through a tough day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Season Tickets are in!!!




Season Tickets are in. I'm so, so ready for Opening Night kickoff!!!

Package includes:
-Season tickets
-All Day bus passes for game days
-Discount card for food & drinks
-1 voucher for a friend

Best part is the all-day bus passes. That save some serious cash over the course of a season. Of course, the food & beverage discount is great- so long as it covers beer ($8? Really?!?).

Portland Timbers, Here we go!
Portland Timbers, Here-We-Go!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cut for the Weekend

Heading out to watch the Boys play an exhibition at University of Portland.

7pm- see you there.

I know I'll be listening to this song on the way out there.

2 of my favorite artists: The Black Keys & Mos Def

Enjoy