Business

23 October 11:13 am

The Portland Timbers are wrapping up the season this Saturday against San Jose Earthquakes (3:30pm PT, NBC Sports Network101.1 FM KXL / La Pantera 940) and with a bit of The Local Grind.

The Local Grind will serve their Hawaiian-style plates out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium for $6.50.  Up for grabs will be a choice of grilled teriyaki chicken, garlic honey chicken or “The Shred” – teriyaki chicken with ginger and garlic. Each dish will be served over white or brown rice, and sides of Asian-style vegetables and macaroni salad will be available for $1 each. 

Abell started The Local Grind in 2007 after many years in the food service industry and an interest in Hawaiian cuisine. He designed his cart and friends helped him build it in his garage. In the winter, The Local Grind is set up at Ira Keller Fountain in the summer, and relocates to SW Park and Montgomery Streets in the winter.

“I love working with the public, being outside, taking the cart to different festivals, serving the people a good quality product,” said Abell. “I could eat my bento every day and I know many of my customers could, too.” 

The Local Grind is the last of six food carts chosen by fans to serve at JELD-WEN Field via Facebook vote through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA).

“JELD-WEN Field is such a great facility, plus it’ll be cool to see my regular customers in a different setting, as well as introduce so many other Timbers fans to The Local Grind,” said Abell. “A lot of people have said, ‘I will see you there.’  Generally, my customers are just excited to see The Local Grind grow!”

PTFCA is looking for members for the 2013 season. Applications will be accepted throughout the off-season.

19 October 10:55 am

 

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.

15 October 10:05 am

The ever-pensive Alexi Lalas

 

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.

 

03 October 10:49 am

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

 

Yahoo! Finance's Businessweek.com just published a list of America's Best Cities with Portland coming in at No. 5 overall. Utilizing a number of different criteria (number of restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, professional sports teams, park acres by population) along with economic data, Stumptown made the list on account of it being "beloved of America’s hipsters, do-it-yourselfers, and localist foodies."

Another big reason? "[The] popular recent arrival is the city’s Major League Soccer team, the Portland Timbers, which regularly sells out its games."

Take a look.

27 September 10:00 am

Jimmy Conrad doing his thing

You may have noticed the flood of videos on YouTube from a channel called KICKTV. They have quick summaries of footy related news on The Mixercompilations of all the goals in a week, a show all about soccer equipment called The Gear Show, there's looks into interesting online soccer video clips calle The Whip, and much more.

Perhaps one of the more visible people of this new soccer online channel is host Jimmy Conrad. Conrad, a former MLS All-Star, World Cup veteran for the U.S. national team and one-day member of Real Madrid, takes questions from fans, talks about the sport, and is their go-to guy to go on the road and dig into the interesting fun elements around the culture of soccer. The first big trip they sent him on was Euro 2012 whereupon he watched games in public squares with throngs of Polish fans, played pick up games in farm fields, and gave a unique perspective into the massive tournament.

Most recently, Conrad was in Portland interviewing Merritt Paulson, learning how to chainsaw, attending the Kicking + Screening Film Festival, and becoming a member of the Timbers Army at the huge Portland-Seattle Cascadia Cup rivalry match. 

In the inaugural edition of The Backcut Podcast, I sat down with man-about-town Conrad to learn about what exactly the new YouTube soccer channel KICKTV is, why it matters to soccer fans, and how Jimmy got involved with it.

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.

25 September 3:09 pm

Photo: GoZips.com

Yo-ho, yo-ho, it’s A Cajun Life for the Portland Timbers and fans on Saturday’s match against DC United (7:30pm PT, ROOT Sports, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940).

A Cajun Life will be serving…you guessed it - Cajun food out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium. On the menu is: Authentic Cajun Gumbo - a gumbo including chicken, sausage and tasso; Bayou Boogie – chicken, sausage and tasso gravy served over rice; and Crawfish Étouffée – crawfish tails and sauce served over rice.

Chris Fontenot, owner of A Cajun Life, moved to Oregon with his wife two years ago, and began entertaining new friends with their Cajun food. At the urging of their friends, the Fontenots opened their food cart (affectionately known as Roux) in July. A Cajun Life can be found in Old Dean’s parking lot in Damascus.

“We hope it’ll [JELD-WEN Field] be packed with fans coming to try something they can’t really get in the city,” said Fontenot. “We serve true authentic Cajun food all the way down to getting our specialty meats flown in from Louisiana.”

“We are excited at this amazing opportunity. Having only been open for a few months and being selected to attend is a true honor,” continued Fontenot.  “This gives us a chance to serve customers from all over the area and to show them that just because we are in Damascus, that we can hold our own against the great food options the city offers.”

A Cajun Life is the fifth food cart chosen by fans via Facebook to serve at JELD-WEN Field as part of the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA). The Local Grind will serve at the stadium for the Timbers last home match against San Jose on October 27.

PTFCA is looking for new members. Applications for PTFCA will be accepted for the remainder of the season

18 September 2:00 pm

Photo: L.M. Parr

Noah Davis, contributor to NBC Sports' ProSoccerTalk.com as well as MLSsoccer.com, was in town recently for the Timbers-Sounder Cascadia match. But he also took note of the massive crowds generated for the MLS Reserve League games earlier this summer that drew on average this season 8,200. The Aug. 26 match against the San Jose Reserves set a new Reserve League record of 14,121--more than a regular season matches at New England and Chivas.

In his latest piece on Grantland, Davis writes about how with Reserve League tickets easier to come by and being affordable, the matches present opportunity to see rising stars play which the Rose City has quickly embraced: 

In Portland, attending a reserve league game means seeing 19-year-old potential American star Charles Renken and the brilliant Colombian 18-year-old Sebastian Rincón. Hometown favorite, Brent Richards, a 22-year-old forward who starred for the University of Washington and the Timbers U-23 squad before signing as senior side's first homegrown player in January, is also a fixture. "We have a knowledgeable fan base and they know the quality that can come up through the reserves. I mean, Brent Richards is already a hero, and he's played what, a whole 45 minutes this year?" Fernando Machicado, who chairs the Game Day Ops and the Merchandise Committee for the Timbers Army, says. (Actually, it's closer to 200 minutes, but point taken.)

Moreover it's something MLS has taken notice of as well:

"I think clearly what's going on in Portland shows what the reserve league's potential is," MLS President Mark Abbott says. For most teams, it will take a long time to reach that potential, if they ever do, but, Abbott says it's undeniable that there's something special going on in Timbers Nation: "They have had some decent draws up in Seattle and occasionally in some other places, but nothing like we're seeing here in Portland."

Read the whole post and learn more about why the Reserve League matters.

Reserve League Highlights: Timbers set attendance record against San Jose Reserves

12 September 5:20 pm

Timbers players Danny Mwanga and Jake Gleeson look to pitch in extra this week by helping run the check out lanes and bagging groceries at the Burlingame Fred Meyer tomorrow to benefit the Sports Buddies program of Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest.

On hand from 5:30-6:30pm on Sept. 13, Mwanga and Gleeson will bag any groceries that include Coca-Cola products. Five percent of all Coke products sold within that hour will go to benefit the Sports Buddies program with Fred Meyer and the Timbers matching the donation up to $1,000.

Another familiar face will also be on hand as former Timbers goalkeeper, current Alumni Ambassador, and Sports Buddies Program Coordinator Adin Brown will be in attendance as well.

Sports Buddies is a new, one-to-one mentorship program for at-risk youth with an emphasis on sports and Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest is one of the Timbers’ Stand Together community pillar partners.

Stock up tomorrow. Burlingame Fred Meyer is at 7555 SW Barbur Blvd.

12 September 12:31 pm

Saturday is a big day for the Portland Timbers: big rivalry, big sandwiches . . . Big-Ass Sandwiches, to be exact.

Big Ass-Sandwiches will be serving up the “best sandwich in the Northwest,” according to The Travel Channel’s Adam Richman during Saturday’s match against Seattle (12:30pm PT, NBC, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940).

Taking over the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium, Big-Ass Sandwiches will have their four original sandwiches available: a choice of roast beef, turkey or ham piled up with hand-cut fries, slathered in homemade bechamel cheddar fondue all in a Fleur De Lis ciabatta roll. 

Big-Ass Sandwiches
got its start after owners Brian and Lisa Wood went through a few layoffs in 2009. Instead of opening a restaurant, they tried their hand at popularizing their fries-on-sandwich technique, and the big-ass sandwich was born.

Brian and Lisa are also huge Timbers fans. “We have been going to games since the pre-MLS days. We have the ‘No Pity in the Rose City’ scarf hanging in the back of the cart and made shirts three or four years ago that said ‘Timber Joey is My Homeboy’ with part of the proceeds going to a local charity,” said Lisa. “We're vocal about our love for the game and team and offer 107ist and Axe Society discounts, so we've seen a lot of the Timbers fans become regulars at the cart.”

Big-Ass Sandwiches is the fourth food cart chosen by fans via Facebook to serve at the stadium through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA).

“We're excited for the experience and love that we get to bring our crew along for the ride and feed a ton of people,” said Lisa. “We love the team and the fans and if it goes well, maybe we can do it again!”

PTFCA is looking for new members. Applications for PTFCA will be accepted for the remainder of the season. Another fan vote for the remaining two home matches will run this week.

11 September 9:37 am

MLS released today, perhaps for the first time ever, the top 25 selling jerseys across the league. The Timbers are one of five teams with multiple players in the top 25: Darlington Nagbe and Kris Boyd.

The list below, which includes sales from March 10-Sept. 10, reflects the 25 top-selling adidas MLS player jerseys across the league on MLSgear.com, MLSgearCanada.ca and MLS club websites.

1.     David Beckham - LA Galaxy
2.     Thierry Henry -  New York Red Bulls
3.     Landon Donovan - LA Galaxy
4.     Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders FC
5.     Dwayne De Rosario - D.C. United
6.     Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes
7.     Tim Cahill - New York Red Bulls
8.     Robbie Keane - LA Galaxy
9.     Mauro Rosales - Seattle Sounders FC
10.  Brian Ching - Houston Dynamo
11.  Darlington Nagbe - Portland Timbers
12.  Chris Pontius - D.C. United
13.  Osvaldo Alonso - Seattle Sounders FC
14.  Young-Pyo Lee - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
15.  Kris Boyd - Portland Timbers
16.  Barry Robson - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
17.  Eddie Gaven - Columbus Crew
18.  Brad Davis - Houston Dynamo
19.  Roger Torres - Philadelphia Union
20.  Freddy Adu - Philadelphia Union
21.  Kei Kamara - Sporting Kansas City
22.  Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake
23.  Mike Magee - LA Galaxy
24.  Saer Sene - New England Revolution
25.  Arne Friedrich - Chicago Fire

Want to get yours? Head over to the adidas Timbers Team Store and order online. Also, don't forget to vote for Nagbe to be on the custom cover of EA Sports' FIFA 13.