International

14 August 11:59 am

Timbers teammates Lovel Palmer and Steve Purdy are in the interesting situation this week of coming face-to-face with each other on the pitch far from JELD-WEN Field. Both players were called up to their respective national teams--Palmer for Jamaica and Purdy for El Salvador--to take part in an international friendly on Wednesday, August 15 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. at 5pm PT.

As both players are quite active on Twitter, the chatter began after Purdy's La Selecta beat Guatemala 1-0 in a friendly Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Palmer noticed the win and tweeted a question about having a friendly wager for this week's match.
 

 

After some good-natured jibes back and forth the best idea was presented by a fan: The loser must make the winner dinner.
 

 

Now with both teams training in D.C., the two have run into each other as part of the preparations.
 

 

While the game does not count in any CONCACAF standings anywhere, it should present a great tune-up ahead of September's World Cup qualifiers. And for one of two Timbers teammates, it means a hearty meal and bragging rights.

06 August 9:25 am

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

As the US Women's National Team continues their run at London 2012 for Olympic gold, they'll have to go through Canada to do it. Unbeaten in the group stage and dispatching New Zealand in the quarterfinals, the USWNT now face a spirited Canada later this morning following the France-Japan semifinal (11:30am, NBC Sports Network).

The two teams know each other well. It was just about a year ago when JELD-WEN Field hosted a friendly between the USA and Canada in a match that had three University of Portland alums in it--Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Lopez for the US and Sophie Schmidt for Canada. While Lopez is not on this Olympic squad this time around, Rapinoe and Schmidt look to feature heavily today in London. Moreover, Christine Sinclair, who did not play in last year's friendly in Portland, is another University of Portland player who directs much of the Canadians' attack.

Back at JELD-WEN Field last September, Wambach had two goals while Rapinoe was snakebit but with all the Cascadian connections on the field, it made for a decidedly special night in the Rose City. Take a look at the postgame video from last year then be sure to watch the Olympic semifinal later this morning. 
 

02 August 10:14 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.
 
20 July 2:14 pm

For Timbers players Diego Chara, Hanyer Mosquera, Sebastián Rincón and Jose Adolfo Valencia, today marks the 102nd anniversary of their native Colombia’s independence. To get us all in the spirit of celebration, here are a few facts about Colombia’s independence and the flower vase that helped to start it all:

 Photo: Portland Timbers

  • Formerly called New Granada, Colombia was under Spanish rule – then under Joseph Bonaparte after his brother, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain in 1808.
  • Bogota, New Granada’s capital, was the stronghold of Spanish power. Smaller surrounding cities and towns had announced their independence as early as April 1810.
  • To incite the riot, Bogota patriots asked a well-known Spanish merchant to borrow a flower vase to decorate the table of a patriot sympathizer. The merchant, known for his quickness to anger, would be sure to lose his temper and begin the riot. Accounts to his reaction are mixed and unclear, though the patriots ran throughout town shouting about his rudeness, regardless.
  • Simultaneously, another patriot appealed to Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón for an open council regarding independence. This request was denied, and the Bogota residents took to the streets, openly protesting the Spanish rule.
  • Patriot leaders once again approached the viceroy, but with a different solution: they asked for a town meeting to elect a governing council, of which Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón would be a part of. He agreed after some hesitation (and the prodding by the mob outside his front door), and signed the act that eventually secured Colombia’s independence.

Today, Colombians celebrate their independence day with feasts, parades and festivals. Learn more about Colombian culture and traditions in this segment of Verdado o Falso from FutbolMLS.com with Hanyer Mosquera and Diego Chara (In Espanol).

03 July 9:42 am

These boots could be yours. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer

At today's match against the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 pm PT; KPTV Fox 12Timbers Television Network750 AM The GameLa Pantera 940), the Portland Timbers will be conducting a very special Lose the Boot auction with all the proceeds going to support Mercy Corps, an international nonprofit based in Portland, to help raise awareness of, and money for, their Sport for Change programs around the world.

Fans can visit the Timbers Stand Together table, located near gate Gate 4 and the Sunset Porsche Audi Suite Elevator, any time during pregame and before the end of halftime to bid on a pair of a player’s game-worn boots. The winning bidder will go down to the field following the match to meet the player, receive the autographed boots and have a photo taken to commemorate the event.

Fans will be able to bid on any of the following players’ boots:
 

Eric Alexander Jack Jewsbury
Joe Bendik Troy Perkins
Freddie Braun Steve Purdy
Eric Brunner Sebastian Rincon
Mike Chabala Franck Songo’o
Diego Chara Chris Taylor
David Horst Sal Zizzo


Stand Together with the Timbers
in making a positive, charitable impact on communities around the world by making a bid at the Lose the Boot auction this evening All in all, it's a great chance to get a unique piece of memorabelia and meet one fo the Timbers players. Get bidding!

22 June 8:31 am

While the Portland-Seattle Cascadia Cup rivalry chatter increases to a fevered pitch, let us not forget all the excitement happening over in the Euros. Portugal eliminated the Czech Republic 1-0 on Thursday in the quarterfinals and today at 11:45 am PT on ESPN, the formidable Germany will take on the suprising Greece.

Now you could watch Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas break down the game in a cool holographic virtual tabletop on ESPNFC.com. Which is great, no doubt. And looks like something from the future.

But perhaps you be better served going back a ways--both in history and in philosphical theory--by referencing the great Germany vs. Greece match so ably presented by Monty Python years ago:
 

What do you think? Who is Greece's new version of Socrates in this Euro 2012 clash? Or will the Germans triumph via the argument that "reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics"?

Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.

11 June 2:28 pm

The 2012 FIFA European Championships got off to a rousing start late last week with group play. Poland's Robert Lewandowski got things started with the first goal of the tournament. The celebration of over 100,000 people in Warsaw's central square was not to be missed.

While MLS has only one player in the mix this year--LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane is the captain of Ireland--there are a number of players who Portland fans may have come across via recent international friendlies with the Timbers. Will it help you pick your side? Who knows, but take a look:

Joe Hart for Manchester City at UP - Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer 

England
Roy Hodgson - The current England manager most recently was the head man for West Bromwich Albion when they came through Portland in 2011 and helped lead them to a 3-2 win. Euro 2012 marks Hodgson's first tournament with the Three Lions
Joe Hart - The current England starter in net was also the starting goalkeeper in Manchester City's 3-0 win over the USL-era Timbers in 2010 at the University of Portland.
Joleon Lescott - Part of the Manchester City travel roster in 2010, Lescott came on in the second half against the Timbers at UP. More recently, he started and scored England's only goal in their opening Euro 2012 1-1 draw with France on Monday.

Holland
Gregory van der Wiel - The young Dutch defender came to Portland last season as part of Ajax's U.S. trip and played the full 90 picking up an assist in their 2-0 exhibition win over the Timbers. Van der Wiel also started in Holland's 1-1 draw with Denmark last week.

Ireland
Simon Cox - Though English-born, Cox qualifies for Ireland from his grandmother's side. The West Bromwich Albion striker came on as a second half sub against the Timbers last July. He was also a 62nd minute addition for Ireland in their 3-1 loss to Croatia.
Shay Given - Part of the travel roster with Manchester City in 2010 when they played the USL-era Timbers at University of Portland, Given was held out of the match. He is currently the starting goalkeeper for the Irish and leads the squad witn 123 caps.

Sweden
Jonas Olsson - Another member of the West Brom squad who played here last season, the veteran Olsson was an unused sub in Sweden's 2-1 loss to Ukraine earlier today.

Looking to learn more about the Euros? Check out KickTV's coverage of the tournament. Former U.S. international and MLS defender Jimmy Conrad has been traveling about Poland and Ukraine taking in the sites, training, and the matches. It's a must watch if you want to get a feel for the pure fun that is the European tournament. As a sampler, take a look at his talking his way into the Spain-Italy match on Sunday:
 

08 June 8:03 am

With 2014 World Cup qualifiers happening this weekend, there's an interesting CONCACAF clash today with two Timbers involved. Tonight at 7pm PT, defender Steve Purdy will take to the field with La Selecta of El Salvador as they travel to Costa Rica to take on Timbers teammate midfielder/defender Rodney Wallace and his Ticos.

For Purdy and El Salvador, it will be a tall order. Over the course of 71 years and 19 games, El Salvador has never won in Costa Rica.

The Central American footballing history between the two nations runs deep. In the Independence Contenary Games in Guatemala City in 1921, which was Costa Rica's national debut, the Ticos defeated El Salvador 7-0. Costa Rica has also qualified for the World Cup three times in their history with their most recent trip in 2006.

Purdy’s El Salvador looks to turn their luck around tonight against a team they've had some tough losses including most recently in 2007 UNCAF Nations Cup. El Salvador, the host nation that year, advanced to the semifinals at the top of Group 1, but lost 2-0 to Costa Rica who would eventually move on to be champions. Neither Wallace nor Purdy featured in that tournament but you can bet their respective teams' fans will remember.

 Wallace v Purdy

Moreover, La Selecta hasn't been to the World Cup since 1982.

With this initial qualifier on the line, both teams look to move onto their next opponents. Following tonight's match, Costa Rica and El Salvador will see their next game on June 12, when Costa Rica will face Guyana and El Salvador will meet Mexico.

Both Purdy and Wallace have been making periodic updates on Twitter about their travels and international play. Give them a follow at @rodwallace22 and @spurdy25 respectively. Who do you think will win?

01 June 11:22 am

Uruwa Red Diamonds of Asia, Wydad of Africa, Galatasaray of Europe, Boca Juniors of South America.

These are some of the best supported clubs in the world with incredible fans, tifo, and atmosphere. Jimmy Conrad of KickTV took a look at each continent--sorry Australia and Antarctica--to pick one club that has the best of the best.

His selection for the best supporters of North America? The Timbers Army.

Saying, "Nothing compares to Portland on the day of a game," Conrad goes on to explain why Portland is one of the best on the planet.
 

Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.

30 May 11:49 am

 Aragorn = Excited Soccer Fan

While tickets remain for tonight's 7:30 p.m. U.S. Open Cup match against Cal FC (Get them at the JELD-WEN Field Box Office), you may find yourself far from the friendly confines of the Rose City and wish to follow the match via our webstream at www.portlandtimbers.com

This is great. However, we do ask that you be careful of where and how you watch the match. Actor, poet, painter, son of Arathorn, King of Middle Earth, and die hard soccer fan Viggo Mortenson had some issues of late while watching a live webstream of his beloved Argentine side San Lorenzo as he was waiting for a flight in the Washington, DC airport. Mortenson, who grew up in Argentina, was transfixed as he watched San Lorenzo fight to stay in the top flight. When they scored, he celebrated--much to the consternation of airport security.

The Hollywood Reporter talked about it and apparently Mortenson has a column for the San Lorenzo website whereupon he wrote:

“I screamed GOAAAAAAL with all my soul, and started jumping around the place like a frightened deer among the passengers and their suitcases,” he wrote. "People can't understand why am I screaming "PIPI!" [a player’s nickname] over and over again, and whether it’s because I’ve pissed myself or maybe I got hurt someway,” he added.

We're all for showing raucous forms of celebration. Just be careful not to scare fellow travelers. Tip of the hat for the link to @ShawnLevy--another soccer/film fanatic--who first tweeted about it.

Timbers vs. Cal FC webstream kicks off tonight at 7:30pm

Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.