One streak ended, another streak continued and a passing of the torch.
It was a busy week for Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips. After a successful #FillTheHill movement to pack the house last week in their match against Michigan, UA went out and beat the Wolverines 1-0 behind an Aodhan Quinn goal and shutout from goalkeeper David Meves in front of a crowd of 3,289. It was the team’s eighth consecutive shutout and the 48th shutout of senior Meves' career, which ties him with current Montreal Impact 'keeper Evan Bush (2005-08) for first place on the school's career list.
On Friday night, the Zips won their eighth consecutive game though their streak of holding their opponents scoreless ended at 713 minutes in a 2-1 victory over West Virginia. Reinaldo Brenes, who earlier in the week was named MAC Player of the Week, scored early in the 5th minute while senior Scott Caldwell provided another in the 50th minute. For Brenes, it was his eighth goal of the season—all scored over the past five matches.
With Porter’s pending arrival in Portland later this winter, Akron was faced at finding a successor at head coach. On Wednesday, the Zips found their man, elevating current associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Jared Embick into the new head coach position following this season. Embick has been with the team since 2007 has been a key figure in the Zips securing some of the best prospects in the country – and around the world – with top-five recruiting classes in each of the past five seasons, highlighted by the No. 1 class in 2009 and No. 2 classes in 2010 and 2011.
In total, Embick recruited or helped develop 14 players who have gone on to play professionally either in MLS or overseas since 2007 and at least one Timbers player was happy with the development.
Congrats Jared Embick, the new Head Coach at the University of Akron!!!
— Darlington Nagbe (@darlingtonnagbe) October 17, 2012
Elsewhere in Portland area soccer action, the UP Pilots women got back on track Sunday night with a 3-0 win over St. Mary’s on the road. Powered by Amanda Frisbie’s brace, the Pilots picked up its second straight road win—they won in overtime Friday 2-1 against San Diego State—to improve to 8-4-3 on the year and to 2-1-1 in the WCC.
Led by Megan Miller and Jenna Richardson’s pair of goals, the Oregon State Beavers women’s team cruised to a 5-1 romp over Arizona Sunday night. For the Beavers, it was the most points they scored in a single match this season and gave them an 11-4-1 overall record on the year and a 3-3-2 mark in conference play.
Timbers U-23’s forward Emery Welshman continues to lead the OSU mens' side in scoring after picking up his ninth goal in a 2-2 with Stanford on Thursday night. The Beavers fell to Cal 1-0 on Sunday evening in Berkeley.
The North American Soccer League (NASL), not the Clive Charles and Pele dominated one of the late 70s, but rather the newer second division of US Soccer--heads into the weekend with the Soccer Bowl on the line. The defending champion Minnesota Stars put together another Cinderella run to make the two-leg final against the Tampa Bay Rowdies with the first match tomorrow at the National Sport Center in Blaine, MN at 4:30pm PT with the return leg happening on Oct. 27 at the Al Lang Stadium in Tampa.
The Rowdies feature two players with Portland connections in former USL Timbers Dan Antoniuk and Keith Savage. Anotoniuk played 61 matches with the Timbers from 2003-2005 scoring 17 goals while Savage played 41 matches from 2009-2010 tallying three goals. The Stars also have some connections with the Timbers. Portland 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft pick Miguel Ibarra--who did not make the Timbers--had three goals and four assists for Minnesota this year while captain Kyle Altman and Kevin Friedland both were part of Timbers assistant coach Amos Magee's gold medal winning US team at the the 2007 Maccabi Games in Buenos Aires. Altman was an 2012 NASL Best XI selection this year and Friedland triples his playing duties by also serving as an assistant coach and director of business development.
Jonah Freedman's "Throw-in" column takes a look at the growth of the NASL and how MLS is looking at ways to partner with them. Is it a developmental league? Do the MLS Reserve teams play in the NASL? How does the NASL maintain it's own brand identity? It's a great read about a burgeoning league--hello San Antonio Scorpions and your sellout crowds--and I recommend the read on MLSsoccer.com.
Want to know more about the Minnesota-Tampa Bay match-up? Read Brian Quarstad of InsideMNsoccer.com's preview. Quarstad is a great resource on the second division of North American soccer.
Known for his breakneck pace as he flies down the wings like a rocket, Sal Zizzo has emerged this season as a true attacking threat. With a goal and four assists--both career MLS highs--Zizzo's path here was anything but direct.
“I would still do everything the same,” Zizzo said. “You maybe only have that chance once in your career. I wouldn’t change it. The experience that I got, the relationships, the people, and just learning the German side of soccer and just their mentality, day in, day out at training, is invaluable.”
Last weekend, on a soccer pitch in SE Portland, two over-forty teams came together first to play a match. At halftime, they were then called upon to save a life.
Old Growth FC—one of the Timbers Army’s network of amateur clubs in the Greater Portland Soccer District (GPSD)—was playing Celtic FC when one of Celtic’s players, Gheorghe Lupu, slumped at halftime of their match with what appeared to be a heart attack.
The Oregonian and KATU both have stories profiling the quick thinking of teammates Dr. David Silvestre who performed CPR, Emile Lemoine who ran into a nearby school to find a portable defibrillator, and Old Growth FC’s Dale Montgomery—a trained paramedic—who administered the automated external defibrillator (AED) all working together to save his life.
PortlandTimbers.com contributor and Old Growth FC member Kip Kesgard was playing in this game. This is his story:
I was walking off the pitch at halftime where they were up 3 goals to none. As I walked past their bench, I saw them surrounding one player that seemed to be struggling a bit while sitting down, but I didn't think much initially. I grabbed my water bottle as Rustam, our coach was calling us over to the halftime huddle when I saw the activity at the Celtic FC bench start to get more feverish. The player [Lupu] having issues was now laying on the ground and his face was purple. I said to the coach, "I think there's something serious going on over at the bench," when at the same time, they started calling for anyone that knew CPR as the player had lost consciousness and wasn't breathing. Dale, one of our defenders, is a paramedic, so he immediately headed over to assist along with Rustam who was CPR trained. Others started calling 911.
We were all worried when the initial compressions didn't seem to be working and Dale suddenly took off for his car for something. I followed him while I heard footsteps and somebody from Celtic FC was behind me running asking if Dale had one of those things to shock people's chest. I yelled a defibrillator, and Dale said no, but check inside the school. As the Celtic player [Lemoine] ran to the gym, Dale grabbed a small portable plastic mask which I assumed was to help with the airway and ran back to help. Rustam and the Celtic FC player [Silvestre] that was medically trained had stayed behind to administer compressions.
It felt like forever as we waited for the ambulance to arrive, but moments before that, our friend was running from the gym holding a small white box with wiring, and I put it together that it was an AED, the portable defib machine. As we all huddled about in support, the shock was administered and we saw the collapsed player regain consciousness although he was very groggy. Clackamas Fire and Rescue arrived moments later and drove onto the track to get close to the bench. They immediately checked him out, put him on oxygen, talked with the folks that had administered care, and then asked all the players to grab their things so they would know which bag was the fallen player’s. They left moments later to take him to the hospital, and at least from what I've been told, he spent some time in ICU but he was doing pretty well. Under the circumstances, the CPR administered by the players and the AED helped keep him alive and most likely brought him back.
This whole thing just reinforced the importance of knowing CPR and getting accredited in that life saving skill, and I know that Old Growth FC and the rest of the Timbers Army Football Clubs are working with the 107ist to set up training for our team members that want to learn.
In an update on OGFC’s Facebook page, the Celtic coach said the Lupu was doing well and expected to undergo bypass surgery today. His doctor also said, “he should be able to get back out onto the pitch in about three months with no worries.” Here's to the quick thinking of both teams and to a full recovery for Lupu.
After a tense opening, it was a rollicking show in KC last night as the USMNT moved on to the hexagonal round of World Cup qulaifying with a 3-1 win over Guatemala:
Timbers Army were also represented at LIVESTRONG Park:
— Chris Brewer (@iamchrisbrewer) October 17, 2012
With the #SoccerInOregon photo project continuing and voting on Pinterest, the core of that whole project was showing the many people and places where soccer takes place across the state. Away from the big stadiums and big matches, soccer can be played on a bumpy pitch in any corner.
For Britain, football is as much about daily life and playing for the love of the game as anything. Much like the #SoccerInOregon project shows the grassroots elements of the love of the game, so too does this documentary short about Madron FC--widely considered the worst football club in England.
Situated near the southwestern tip of England, hope springs eternal for these dedicated lads:
The Akron Zips continue their great run of play this week with two victories. The first was a 2-0 non-conference win over Penn State last Wednesday in University Park, PA. Akron took control early with a pair of first-half goals from standouts Reinaldo Brenes and Scott Caldwell to hold on for the win.
Akron followed that up with a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois on a damp Saturday afternoon in Dekalb, IL. Working behind goals from Phil Fives and Brenes--his seventh goal in the last four matches--the Zips (9-1-2, 4-0-0 MAC) extended their win streak to six matches and pushed their run of consecutive shutouts to seven while out-shooting the defending MAC Tournament Champion Huskies, 18-8.
Caleb Porter's UA is now unbeaten in its last 42 conference matches (39-0-3), which is tied with Clemson (1972-80) for the second-longest run in NCAA history. Furman, which owns the all-time standard, went unbeaten in 46 straight league contests from 1999-2003.
Moreover, Akron goalkeeper David Meves (right)--now just one shutout away from the school's all-time record--was named to TopDrawerSoccer's Team of the Week. The Zips remain at No. 3 in their poll as well as MLSsoccer.com's MLS on Campus poll.
Tuesday night, UA goes back into non-conference action against Michigan (4:30pm PT, videostream at GoZips.com). Akron and head coach Porter has a special message for Zips fans looking to come to the match as they look to #FillTheHill at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field:
Locally, the University of Portland women's team were in action Saturday night against No. 5 Bringham Young with at least one Timbers player among the sellout 4,979:
— franck songo (@franckck) October 14, 2012
Songo'o witnessed what maybe called the Pilots Goal of the Year from Portland-native Kendall Johnson who scored a cracker of a goal in the 81st minute. Sadly for UP, it was not enough as they fell 2-1 to the Cougars. Nonetheless, just as Pilots men's team member & Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans is being touted as potentially one of the best ever at UP, so too is the junior left back Johnson. As a recent Oregonian profile put it, "[UP head coach Garrett] Smith believes the Lincoln High School graduate has a chance to become the school's next national team player, joining elites such as Sophie Schmidt, Megan Rapinoe and Christine Sinclair."
All you have to do is go to the page, "LIKE" the one you think is best, and the one with the most "Like's" by 5pm PT on Oct. 19 wins two tickets and a media pass to photograph the final Timbers home match against San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 27. You're welcome to Repin images too but the winner will be determined by the amount of Like's.
For full contest rules, click here.
ESPN soccer analyst. U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer. Hermann Trophy winner. One-time general manager of the San Jose Earthquakes, New York/New Jersey MetroStars/Red Bulls, and LA Galaxy. Lover of Slurpees.
These are but a few of the numerous descriptions of Alexi Lalas. The Backcut Podcast took the specially-constructed glass case of emotion on the road recently to Seattle and caught up with the former U.S. World Cup and Serie A star to talk about the changes he's seen in MLS, soccer as performance, the impact Portland has had on the league and more.
You'll also be able to see Lalas tomorrow night as he and his Big Head Red Head Podcast co-host and fellow former USMNT veteran Taylor Twellman will be on hand to broadcast the U.S. national team World Cup qualifier against Guatemala (ESPN2, 4pm PT).
The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, 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.
2012-13 marks the first season for the Timbers Academy teams as they begin competition fielding a U-16 and U-18 squad. Under the overall umbrella of the U.S. Development Academy, USsoccer.com did a profile of the growing Timbers side and talked with Academy co-director and head coach for the U-16s, Mike Smith, about how the hunt for players began and the progress the team has made in their first season.
“Portland is a hotbed for soccer in so many ways,” Smith said. “When youngsters can watch their local heroes train at a high level, the excitement filters down. I’ve seen that with the numbers we’ve had at tryouts and the players at our regional training centers. We’ve had a number of our U-17/18 players get pulled into the MLS Reserves or even see a few minutes of action, and they have aspirations to play up the chain."
PortlandTimbers.com will have weekly Academy updates every Monday, but this is also a good place to start to see some of the future of Timbers player development. Read the whole piece here.