Club

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.

18 October 11:20 am

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

 

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.

Soccer By Ives' Thomas Floyd gives the MLS Spotlight treament for Zizzo's journey from UCLA to the US U-20 World Cup to Hannover 96 in Germany to Chivas USA and now Portland.

“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.”

It's a good read that goes into more detail about his German experience and his rise in Portland.

15 October 1:22 pm

Click photo to enlarge

#SoccerInOregon voting now commences! After compiling a slew of excellent images of what #SoccerInOregon means to you, they have now all been pinned to the Timbers Pinterest page here.

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.

12 October 3:46 pm

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. 

11 October 9:19 am

We've spoken about Darlington Nagbe's custom designed adidas boots as well as Joe Bendik donning pink gloves all as part of MLS' Soccer Kicks Cancer campaign this month.

KGW also took notice and did this nice report not only on the players' involvement but also why the ascent of pink-related products has raised awareness and funding around a disease that thirty years ago wouldn't even be allowed to be mentioned in the newspaper.

That growing awareness has helped saved lives. “We think when you look at all the pink, it has helped us reduce the death rate by some 30 percent,” said Komen Oregon CEO Thomas Bruner.

All Timbers players will be donning some bit of pink for the last regular season match on Oct. 27 against San Jose. To learn more, visit MLSsoccer.com's Soccer Kicks Cancer page.

10 October 2:20 pm

Ian Hogg (Getty Images)

After a summer that saw Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and defender Ian Hogg both spend a good deal of time with the New Zealand national team in friendlies, the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup, and London 2012 Olympics, it should come as no surprise that the duo are already eyeing qualification for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. 

FIFA.com took a look at the pair with an eye towards the numerous new players coming up through the New Zealand ranks.

“My time will come,” Gleeson, New Zealand’s third-choice goalkeeper, told FIFA.com. “I’m still young and I have plenty of time to grow. The junior sides are a good platform, but the step up in quality from there to the All Whites is still very big.”

Hogg also chimed in:

“The competition is improving in Oceania, where teams are unpredictable and players don’t really stick to their positions,” he continued. “So we know that our concentration and intensity has to be absolutely spot-on. New players have come in, and it will take a bit of time for things to gel. But we’ll see a much better New Zealand team in the near future.”

It's a nice piece about the numerous changes happening in the New Zealand side and how the infusion of youth--and the patience required with said youth--could play a big part in the All Whites World Cup campaign.

06 October 11:15 am

By now, you've seen Off Pitch with Hermes. If you haven't, catch up. You may also be somewhat aware that Jimmy Conrad was here for the last time we played Seattle interviewing Merritt Paulson, chainsawing, joining the Timbers Army, going to Kicking + Screening Portland, and podcasting with the Backcut.

What you may not know is that somehow KICKTV got Hermes and Conrad together for a unique Portland mashup all about soccer in Oregon and the importance of Cascadia.

Here's the weird, wonderful and magical result:
 

05 October 1:54 pm

Nagbe's custom adidas cleats

In honor of the league's support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, adidas has reached out to a number of MLS players to design their own special boots. As a result, DCU's Chris Pontius, New York's Kenny Cooper, Seattle's Fredy Montero, Sporting's Teal Bunbury and our very own Darlington Nagbe have all become shoe designers.

Nagbe has been training in his special custom shoes for a couple of weeks now looking to break them in for matchday. He's definitely excited to have them.

“These will be my first custom cleats, I’m pretty excited," he said. "Adidas is famous for their stripes, so I wanted to make the stripes, laces and other pieces on my boots pink to support breast cancer awareness.  I used black and gold on the rest of the cleat to draw attention and try to make the pink really stand out.” 

Like 'em? You can pick up your very own pair here.

And just because he didn't want to feel left out, Timbers 'keeper Joe Bendik has some special pink gloves he's sporting as well.

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.