brian costello

02 August 4:49 pm

Begun in 2009 in New York City—the center for all things independent film-related—the Kicking + Screening Film Festival set out to merge the art of the beautiful game with the art of cinema. Branching out to satellite editions in Washington, DC, Houston, North Adams, Mass., London, Amsterdam and, most recently, Liverpool, K+S presents films that examine the culture of soccer both on and off the field.

And now, they bring their cinematic and pitch artistry to Portland.

Arriving September 13-14, K+S Portland, presented by KickTV and presented in partnership with the Portland Timbers, takes on the theme of “rivalry” all in the build-up to Saturday’s Sept. 15 Cascadia Cup clash between Portland and Seattle (NBC, 12:30pm PT).

Along with the two headlining films, Argentina Fútbol Club—about the battles between Boca Juniors & River Plate—as well as Gringos At The Gate—a look into the U.S.A-Mexico soccer border clash—K+S Portland will also feature panels, gatherings, and all kinds of other engaging events.

There will be more info to follow but visit the K+S Portland website to see the full lineup, learn more get tickets (Thursday, Friday).

 

02 August 11:14 am

A few weeks ago during the Timbers' exciting friendly with Aston Villa at JELD-WEN Field, you may have noticed a spontaneous round of applause beginning at the stroke of the 19th minute. It was a show of solidarity and respect for Villa team captain and number 19 Stiliyan Petrov during his battle with leukemia. Petrov, who was diagnosed late in the 2011-12 EPL season, was undergoing treatments and did not accompany the team to Portland. 

Aston Villa was happy to announce today that Petrov's leukemia appears to be in remission:

It is with great delight that the club can confirm on behalf of our long-standing captain, Stiliyan Petrov, that Stan's acute leukaemia is in remission.
 
Stan would like to take this opportunity to express his deep gratitude to the medical staff who have looked after him so well since his condition was diagnosed just over four months ago.
 
He also wishes to place on record again his profound sense of appreciation for the incredible outpouring of love and support he has received from Villa fans, his team-mates and colleagues at the club, as well as football fans and many more people around the world during this period.
 
Read the full statement here.
 
31 July 4:48 pm

 

Hungry? Like pizza? I'll go out on a limb here and say that even if you aren't hungry, you probably like pizza. Who doesn't like pizza?

Want to know something even better than pizza?

FREE PIZZA!

Tomorrow, August 1st, all day, our friends at KeyBank are providing a free large one-topping pizza for pick-up for any KeyBank client who shows their debit card at the Papa Murphy's Hawthorne location (4115 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214).

Not a KeyBank client but still like free stuff and/or are hungry?

Go to that same Papa Murphy's on Hawthorne in your Timbers gear and they'll give you free cookie dough! No purchase neccessary.

How can you lose?

(You can't. It's free.)

Be sure to check out more of KeyBank's Summer of Rewards as they've planned a whole slew of goodies to keep an eye out for.

19 July 3:42 pm

Last weekend, my wife dragged me out to a massive—and I mean MASSIVE—antique show in North Portland. Two full expo center halls plus and outdoor soccer pitch’s worth of tents filled with sellers of all manner of knick-knacks, furniture, vintage toys, prints and the like.

While I was on the hunt for nothing in particular, I found myself drawn to tables with old postcards and photographs. It was here that I began to uncover fun little elements of soccer history.

At one table, the merchant had three-ring binders of old photos. In one overflowing tome simply labeled, “Sports,” were random photos of soccer clubs from Prague in the 1930s.

I was particularly drawn to a collection of six photos labeled, “Sparta ABA vs. Heidelberg SC, National Cup, 1936.” Underneath each club is “Chicago” for Sparta and “Pitsburg, PA” (sic) for Heidelberg.  A few Google clicks later revealed that Sparta ABA stood for Sparta Athletic and Benevolent Association. Wikipedia tells us that Sparta ABA, aka Chicago Sparta was founded by Czech immigrants in 1917.

The National Cup referred to in the photos is, in fact, the now more commonly known Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Wikipedia gets a bit vague here, but best I can make out, the pictures are from the Western Division National Cup semi-finals which Heidelberg won 2-1. Wikipedia lists a Sparta Garden City of Chicago playing Heidelberg but given the photo, I’m inclined to believe Wikipedia meant Sparta ABA.

My score of the day, however, came just as the whole show was finishing up. Tucked behind some old Muppets pint classes and other plastic toys was an early-year MLS soccer ball from at least 1997. Adorned with numerous now defunct logos of Miami Fusion FC, San Jose Clash, Tampa Bay Mutiny, and old skool New York/New Jersey MetroStars, I talked the guy down to $10.

While I expected to find old baseball mitts, balls and bats—and I did—it’s clear there’s a rich historical soccer memorabilia world out there. eBay is full of vintage goodies. For Father’s Day, my family got me an NASL Portland Timbers pennant off of eBay. Surprisingly when I opened it, however, it turned out the seller made a switcheroo mistake. I opened a triangular shaped box to find a pennant for the Edmonton Drillers. Presumably, there was an equally confused father opening his present in Alberta.

Want to find other random bits of soccer lore? Soccer blog KCKRS.com has a whole feature dedicated to it called “Treasures of eBay.” From Pink Floyd soccer kits, to a signed 1979 Minnesota Kicks ball, to a team autographed USWNT baseball, it’s all here.

What random bit of soccer history do you cherish? Let us know in the comments below or email us a pic at thebackcut(at)portlandtimbers.com.
 

10 July 11:02 am

Photo: Portland Timbers

You are the definition of RCTID. You’re there at the game in the rain. In the sun. In the cold. In the heat. Win lose or draw you cheer your heart out.

You understand the unique relationship between team and city.

And yet somehow, you don’t have season tickets.

This is your chance. With over thousands of people still on the waiting list trying to get season tickets, this is your opportunity to jump to the front.

All you have to do is submit a photo via our special Facebook tab that shows just how RCTID you are. Add the axe cleverly. Then get your friends to vote for you.

The photo with the most votes by July 16, 5pm PT wins two 2013 season tickets. That’s TWO tickets that gets you in to all the MLS games at JELD-WEN Field next season.

So get your cameras out and get snapping. Time is running out.

Are you RCTID?

03 July 11:18 am

All this week, MLSsoccer.com is taking a look at "food and its relationship to the beautiful game." Some of it delves into how nutrition is making an impact on players' on-field performance, like this article, and others take a look at some of the unique aspects of food culture and soccer.

Considered among the best press box food in league, MLSsoccer.com interviewed JELD-WEN Field Executive Chef Bob Bumbraugh on how he prepared the food for the big match against Seattle Sounders and a little insight into the delicious "Timbers Bacon."

29 June 2:00 pm

 Photo: L.M. Parr

Sitting atop the standings in the Women's Professional Soccer League's Northwest Division with a 3-1-2 record, the adidas Timbers Alliance club Portland Rain host the Issaquah Soccer Club (3-1-1) tonight at Lincoln High School in Portland (Presented by Billups Worldwide). With only a point separating the two teams in the table, and an Issaquah side with a league leading goal differential of +9, tonight's match should be a doozy.

The best part for all of you? 

Tonight's match is 100% FREE.

Kickoff is at 7pm PT and open to one and all. Get your soccer weekend (Timbers @ Rapids Saturday at 6pm on KPDX, Spain vs. Italy Euro 2012 final Sunday at 11:45 on ESPN) started and support women's soccer on a beautiful night for a match.

29 June 10:37 am

You like soccer. You like going to pubs. You like playing pool. But how do you combine them into the best time AND potentially win a trip to the 2012 MLS Cup?

The Budweiser PoolBall Tournament has the answers.

What’s PoolBall?  This:
 

So now that you’re intrigued, you want to play. While the PoolBall field will be set up at numerous upcoming pub partner viewing parties and home matches for all to play, we have four slots available in a special tournament bracket culminating in a Timbers Army championship match at the Timbers Army Barbeque.

 Photo: Budweiser

Just to up the stakes a bit more, the winner of the Timbers Army tournament will then go on to battle the champion of the Seattle Sounders’ Emerald City Supporters group. The winner of that showdown then goes to MLS Cup and will have $2,500 donated to the supporters group of their choice—in this case, the Timbers Army.

Numerous smaller prizes and goodies are available along the way with great swag, scarves, autographed items and more. All you have to do is be 21 and over as of June 30, grab a friend (teams are made up of two players each) and register here. A random drawing of entries will then determine the four slots we have available. The Timbers Army also has a selection of slots available to play here.

Dates of early round bracket play are as follows:

6/30: @ On Deck - Timbers @ Colorado Rapids
7/3: vs. San Jose - @ JELD-WEN Field
7/7: @ Thirsty Lion - Timbers @ Real Salt Lake
7/14: vs. LA - @ JELD-WEN Field
7/21: @ Maher’s Irish Pub - Timbers @ FC Dallas
7/24: vs. Aston Villa - @ JELD-WEN Field

All are welcome to play on the above dates but to be part of the tournament, you must register for the drawing.

Channel your inner Minnesota Fats-Pele love child and sign up!
 

28 June 2:10 pm

With the Timbers looking ahead to Saturday's match with Colorado Rapids (6pm PT, KPDX TV, Timbers Television Network; 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940), many corners of the media are still talking about the incredible environment on display last Sunday in Portland's 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.

The Portland Business Journal took a look at how MLS worked to promote the game on a national scale and how they're looking to further expand rivalries across the league.

 Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer

Today, The Guardian in England published a great examination of the constant game of tifo one-upsmanship between the Timbers Army and Seattle's Emerald City Supporters. With the Timbers Army's massive banner fresh in Portland fan's minds, Graham Parker writes,

[As] the latest banner was raised, and the latest visual gauntlet laid down, it was hard not to respect the sheer dedication and commitment the Timbers Army had put in to honoring one of their club legends [Clive Charles] this Sunday, whatever the origins of the art form in the US. Multiple hundreds of hours of labor go into producing an image that may appear only momentarily, but that has the potential to leave an indelible memory. 

Speaking of the hundreds of hours of work put into creating the tifo, be sure to watch this Friday's June 29 Timbers in 30 (6:30pm PT, Fox 12 Oregon) as they'll have a special behind-the-scenes look into how the latest banner was constructed.

The Sporting News sent ace soccer writer Brian Straus here on Sunday to cover the Cascadia Cup battle. Calling the rivalry "among the most intense in American sport," Straus goes in-depth to try to figure out why our corner of the country has bred such an undying competition between the two communities. Comparing the Portland-Seattle clash to other rivalries from around the world doesn't quite work as its roots lie in a different area.

The Glasgow neighbors are divided by religion -- the Protestants support Rangers and the Catholics back Celtic. Elsewhere around the world, great (and occasionally violent) soccer rivalries revolve around politics, economics or geography. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s about civic identity.

Want to know more about how that civic identity operates within the larger ideal of what the very term "Cascadia" means? Portland Monthly's Martin Patail goes behind the deeper concept of the term and how "The Doug"--the green-white-blue flag with the massive Doug Fir emblazoned in the center that can be seen flying at all matches between Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver--is really part of a bigger discussion about a region's "independent state of mind."

It's clear the Cascadia ideal and rivalry therein--be it on the field or off--is stronger than ever.

28 June 10:55 am

John Strong, voice of the Portland Timbers, headed out east a little ahead of the team this week as he travels to Kansas City to make his national broadcast debut on the NBC Sports Network. Calling the Midwest rivalry game between Sporting Kansas City and Chicago Fire at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Friday evening at 5pm PT, Strong will be joined in the booth with former MLS player and Olympian Brian Dunseth.

Friday’s match is the first of five matches Strong will call with Dunseth for NBC Network and he is already adjusting to the KC heat.

 

 Photo: Portland Timbers

 

Soccer fans will undoubtedly recognize Strong on Friday and they should also be familiar with Dunseth who is the main soccer analyst for Real Salt Lake broadcasts as well as having been an analyst with Fox Soccer. It will be a great rivalry match to watch with a familiar voice to help guide the way. Keep an eye on @StrongMLS and @BP_TOW on Twitter for updates from the road.

Following the match, Strong will hop a plane to Denver to call the Timbers game against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday with Robbie Earle (6pm PT, KPDX TV, Timbers Television Network).