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06 June 9:03 am

Photo by David Blair

Timber loves the Thorns too. In this case we're talking about Timber Adamson, owner of Timber's Doghouse PDX food cart.

Timber has been at JELD-WEN Field before serving up her signature dishes as part of the PTFCA at the Soccer City Grill in the SE corner of the stadium. She'll be returning tonight as the Thorns host FC Kansas City and she's put together some very special edition concoctions for the evening. Check them out:

Timber, I'm falling in Love:  Sweet potato tots tossed in Timber's salt. Topped by blue cheese, bacon, and our house 3way mustard.

Momentary Indiscretion:  Classic tots tossed in Timber's salt. Topped with black truffle oil, grilled mushrooms & onions, asiago cheese, and roasted garlic truffle aioli

A Thorn in Her Side:  Classic tots tossed in Timber's salt. Topped with our signature ground grass fed beef, fresh pico de gallo, black olives, and 3 chili lime sour cream

Be sure to hit them up tonight and keep an eye on upcoming PTFCA goodness here.

05 June 9:13 am

Courtesy of Roger Bennett.A colorized image of the American
Soccer League All-Stars team.
Olaff is at center in the baseball cap.

""It has been so exciting to savor MLS's growth," he exclaimed with enthusiasm. "When I watch television and see that packed stadium in Portland, I cannot believe it is in America. I could never have dreamed of a scene like that when I grew up in the 1920s and soccer was strictly for immigrants," he admitted. "But when you look at my life, you see, it has taken a good long time for it to get to where it is today."

Those are the words of  U.S. soccer legend Gene Olaff. Before Landon Donovan or Alexi Lalas, before John Harkes or Paul Caligiuri, Olaff was blazing a new trail for American soccer. Now 92, he is the oldest living former U.S. international and was a goalkeeper in the old semi-professional American Soccer League.

As the U.S. Soccer Federation celebrated their 100th year this past weekend, Roger Bennett of Grantland and ESPNFC.com fame wrote a brilliant piece about this living legend where he describes some of the early rise of soccer in America. It is a must read for soccer history aficionados. Also check out their great look at an all-time most influential U.S. XI for more history.

23 May 2:15 pm

The U.S. Soccer Federation is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and has often highlighted various important moments through out its history.

Yesterday, fourteen years ago, Portland Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone - then just Cindy Parlow -helped make history providing the key assist to fellow U.S. Women's National Team legend Mia Hamm on her 108th career international goal in a friendly against Brazil. That strike put Hamm atop the list for most international goals scored by any male or female player in history.

Hamm went on to score 158 goals in 275 total caps. Cone, no slouch herself, bagged 75 goals in 175 career caps. 

Current Western New York Flash forward Abby Wambach is closing in on Hamm's record though. She sits at 155. Portland's Alex Morgan, still only 23, has 42, and Christine Sinclair is third on the all-time list with 145 goals.

21 May 3:29 pm

Continuing the new tradition of the presentation of roses following Thorns games to the goal scorers and goalkeeper who achieved a shutout, Girls, Inc. has been sending participants from their great youth programs to meet players after the game and hand them the roses in front of the North End supporters. For an organization that looks to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold, it's truly a special moment after the match.


Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

May 16 vs. Sky Blue FC

Alysse:
What was your favorite part about today?
A:  We got to watch the Thorns game and it was really fun to meet all the players and see so many people here to watch them.  

Tell us an example of you being strong and smart?
A:  I brought flyers for the arts and music for school and handed them out to different neighborhoods and it’s hard because you have to answer their questions.

Violet: 
What was your favorite part about today?
V:  The best part was Alex Morgan, giving us hugs and it made me really happy because she’s my favorite player on the team. I feel that being strong in sports is good for girls.

Tell us an example of you being strong and smart?
V:  At my old school I was being bullied so I switched school and I felt a lot better after that.

Kaitlynn:
What was your favorite part about today?

The best thing about tonight was meeting Alex Morgan and all the other players and when the head coach gave me a scarf. I play forward and really like Nikki Washington and Alex Morgan.

Tell us an example of you being strong and smart?
It’s important to be a good sport and shake people’s hands after the game even when you lose.

 


Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

May 19 vs. Washington Spirit

Marilyn Danley
What was your favorite part about today?
M:  This was my first Thorns game. My favorite part of the day was the game because it was so exciting and we got to sit so close.

What was special about presenting the roses?
M:  Since Alex and Christine scored I got to give them roses. It was really special presenting the roses because I got to meet the player who are really nice and it was fun. This will be a very special memory

What makes you strong, smart and bold?
M:  I am strong, smart and bold because I really like sports. I love to play soccer.

What do you like most about playing soccer?
M:  What I like most about soccer is that you get to use your head, in both ways. You also get to hang out with friends and it takes a lot of team work.
 

Isabella Ventura
What was your favorite part about today?
I:  My favorite part about today was getting the chance to come out on the field and meet the players.

What was special about presenting the roses?
I:  Karina didn’t let any goals in so I got to give her the flowers. It was so cool because I got to be close and see them.

What makes you strong, smart and bold?
I:  I am strong, smart and bold because I get to be a voice for girls.

What do you like most about playing soccer?
I:  My favorite part about playing soccer is that we get to play and the people cheer us on – just like we cheered on the Thorns today.

15 May 7:33 am

While Bolton's Stuart Holden looks like a lock to make Jurgen Klinsmann's squad for this summer's Gold Cup, according to Soccer America, Alejandro Bedoya is also making his case to be included in the team--if not for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in June. Currently playing with Helsingborgs in Sweden, the one-time Rangers midfielder put in this great assist against BK Häcken.
 


(Getty Images)

Landon Donovan's near term future with the USMNT has also been a topic of late given his long leave of absence during the offseason. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl recently reported that Klinsmann plans to omit the LA Galaxy star from the upcoming World Cup qualifiers as well as friendlies. Klinsmann had hinted earlier this spring that this may be the case saying, "there are players clearly ahead of Landon Donovan right now." 

Wahl goes on to say though that the Gold Cup roster could remain a possiblity for the U.S. star. You can also hear more about Wahl's thoughts on the Gold Cup in the last edition of the Backcut Podcast.

For a guy with 144 caps and 49 goals for the national team, it seems like the Gold Cup could be a good stage to work him back into the mix. What do you think? Who should feature for the USMNT in this Gold Cup tournament? Get your tickets now for the July 9 match against Belize.

UPDATE: Donovan addressed the situation on the Galaxy's All-Access Podcast on Tuesday saying, “Jurgen and I have consistently spoken over many months now. I was not aware that that was information that was already made public. Jurgen has not told me that it was definitive that I wouldn't be there – you never know. All I can do, as I've said all along, is do what I do."

World Cup qualifiers. Gold Cup roster. Donovan probably fits in there somewhere. The question is where and when.

07 May 8:31 am

Liviu Bird of Soccerwire.com goes in depth into the creation and growth of the Timbers Academy charting not just its MLS development but also its early roots going all the way back to the USL era.

“It’s a tremendous pyramid we have within the top level of soccer here in Oregon,” Timbers Academy co-director Mike Smith said. “We basically would love to have everybody on the same page and under the same umbrella.”

It's a good read and charts out how the Timbers are looking to build deep roots throughout the entire state. Take a closer look at it here.

03 May 8:57 am

A busy summer awaits for Jurgen Klinsmann and his USMNT squad as they'll have key World Cup qualifiers in June followed by the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

Portland will host two group stage matches in a double header on July 9 with US vs. Belize and Costa Rica against Cuba. Who Klinsmann will bring to Portland has been a big discussion but there's at least one name that has surfaced: Bolton's Stuart Holden.

The ex-Houston Dynamo midfielder became a key player in the EPL before a series of injuries tripped him up. Now on the comeback with a number of appearances on loan with Sheffield Wednesday, Klinsmann said of Holden, "I spoke to his coach at Bolton, and spoke to his coach at Sheffield Wednesday where he played some very important minutes and games while on loan. He’s on his way back. That being said, we want to have him back in our picture. We are going to bring him for the May-June camp, and also for the Gold Cup.”

Read more about the story over at ussoccer.com, watch video on Holden's inspiring comeback below, listen to SI's Grant Wahl talk about what to expect with this summer's Gold Cup and then get tickets for the Gold Cup showdown at JELD-WEN Field.

01 May 10:11 pm

After hearing about about Atticus and Green Machine's memorable Make-A-Wish 10-9 win over the Timbers, ESPN's legendary sportscaster and fellow cancer survivor Stuart Scott spoke on SportsCenter tonight about the game and announced it as the No. 1 ESPN Top 10 Play of the Day.

"That is my new hero: Atticus."

Watch it:

25 April 1:01 pm

Special thanks to www.theoriginalwinger.com for image

In a summer packed with Portland Timbers matches, Portland Thorns FC matches and the CONCACAF Gold Cup coming to town, there’s no shortage of the beautiful game to be found in Soccer City, USA.

Grant Wahl knows this as well as anybody, which is why he came to town to see the Portland's 2-1 home opener win against Seattle Reign FC as part of a larger story for Sports Illustrated on the Thorns' Alex Morgan.

Wahl, a longtime college basketball and soccer writer for SI, really made his mark in 2009 with his excellent book, The Beckham Experiment: How the World's Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America. Written in near real-time during the MLS season, it was an in-depth look not only into Beckham’s arrival with the LA Galaxy but also an inside look into Major League Soccer as a whole entity.

Since the book, Wahl has covered World Cups and international soccer along with a bid for for the FIFA presidency on a platform of more transparency. Through it all, he has continued to tell insightful stories across the soccer universe.

I sat down with him to talk about his impressions of the Thorns home opener, where MLS is at now near four years past his book and the importance of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup to the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, Thorns, soccer & culture to explore the unique elements of the beautiful game. You can subscribe to The Backcut on iTunes in the same feed as the Talk Timbers podcast.

23 April 2:12 pm

Sunday's Portland Thorns FC home opener was memorable for many reasons.

There was the 2-1 win over the Seattle Reign FC

There was the record setting 16,479 crowd in attendance.

There was the goals by Marian Dougherty and Alex Morgan.

And then, of course, there was THE HAIR. Hear goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc talk about her special edition 'do for the first ever Thorns home opener:

Want more Karina LeBlanc? Vancouver B.C.'s The Province, fresh from their great profile of fellow Canadian Christine Sinclair, does an excellent feature on LeBlanc's arrival in Portland and her deep commitment to the UNICEF Sports Ambassador program. Read it here.