Player

20 July 3:14 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 10:42 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!

27 June 10:31 am

David Horst has been picking up the honors this week with his CenturyLink Man of the Match performance in the memorable 2-1 victory over Seattle. MLSsoccer.com also bestowed an honorable mention to him in their Week 16 Team of the Week.

But perhaps most interesting is MLSsoccer.com taking a look at his first ever MLS goal in their great Anatomy of a Goal series. Calling his strike via Franck Songo'o's corner kick "textbook," editor Greg Lalas gives us the X's and O's of how Horst's gamewinner came to be.

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

25 June 12:10 pm

The lunch hour is upon us. That means time for a sandwich. And with a sandwich you need bread. What's that you say? Franz bakes organic bread with special Timbers collectible cards?

Sandwiches just got even more exciting.

Starting today, Franz launched a special set of Timbers collectible cards that can be found in their Friday Harbor Organic Great Grain, Willamette Valley Organic Great Seed, Big Horn Valley Organic Whole Wheat, and San Juan Organic 9 Grain loaves.

Each package comes with one card and the complete set numbers 12 in all: John Spencer, Eric Alexander, Kalif Alhassan, Kris Boyd, Eric Brunner, Diego Chara, Jake Gleeson, Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe, Troy Perkins, Brent Richards and Franck Songo'o.

Who knows? Perhaps your new card will inspire you to create a newly named sandwich concoction. Happy hunting!

 

 

Update: Fox 12 Oregon went to Franz Bakery's headquarters in NE Portland to see the unveiling of the cards along with Timber Joey. 
 

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

08 June 9:03 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?

06 June 1:32 pm

With today's acquisition of Danny Mwanga from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for Jorge Perlaza, much has been made of Mwanga's Rose City roots. Originally born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mwanga and his family fled the Congolese civil war in 2006 to settle in Northeast Portland whereupon he starred for Jefferson High School (53 goals in nine games) and later for Oregon State University (Pac-10 Player and Freshman of the Year in 2009).

 Photo: Oregon State University 

Stephen Alexander of the Portland Tribune did a nice profile of Mwanga and the story of his journey to the United States when the then-Union forward came to take on the Timbers last season:

Mwanga was born into the bloodshed and sorrow of the Second Congo War. The war claimed the life of his father and forced his mother to flee the country, leaving Mwanga and his three older sisters behind. As a boy, Mwanga played soccer in the streets after school to forget some of the pain. A daring escape in June 2006 reunited Mwanga and his sisters with their mother in Northeast Portland.

It's a good read. Check it out here.

Searching through our own PortlandTimbers.com archives, last season Terry Horstman spoke with Mwanga's former Oregon State Beavers coach Steve Simmons as well as John Bain--president of Mwanga's youth team and adidas Timbers Alliance club, Westside Timbers. Bain is also a current Timbers alumni ambassador.

“He’s really humble, he really appreciates everybody, and he’s a really genuine and nice person.” Westside [Timbers] President and Timbers Ring of Honor inductee John Bain said. “I don’t think we’ve seen the surface of how good he’s going to be.”

At that same match in Portland last season, 400 of Mwanga's family and friends from the Westside team were in attendance. It's another great read.

The influence that Westside had on Mwanga is unmistakeable. In an article MLSsoccer.com did on Mwanga's homecoming, they talked about the role youth coach Monty Hawkins had on the young forward:

From teaching him how to drive to helping him find out where to go to school, Hawkins filled a very large void in the teenager’s life. “He helped me a lot and is a big part of my family,” Mwanga said.

Check out the full article here
.

Timbers fans in Oregon, do you remember Mwanga's youth in Portland? Share your stories and memories in the comments below.

18 May 1:55 pm

 Timber Joey, soon to be bald

Oaks Park will definitely be the place to be on Saturday if you’re looking to see Timbers players AND help some great causes.

Yesterday, we wrote about Joe Bendik’s campaign to help his nephew and fight Cystic-Fibrosis via his Team Gavin and their Great Strides walk beginning at 9:00am at Oaks Park.

Also equally important is the work being done by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and their help in finding cures for childhood cancers and helping survivors live long and healthy lives. As part of their fundraising efforts, they’ll also be out at Oaks Park this Saturday, May 19 with numerous Timbers players, staff, and alumni shaving their heads to help raise money for the foundation. To date, the Timbers St. Baldrick's team has raised over $12,000!

Beginning at 1pm tomorrow, forward Brent Richards, defender Ryan Kawulok, assistant coach Cameron Knowles, alumni ambassadors Scot Thompson and John Bain as well as Timber Joey—already sporting a mohawk (right)—will be among those in the Timbers community that will be going under the razor to shave their heads. All this happening not too long after the Great Strides walk.

There’s still time to give to both excellent causes and both have drawings with great Timbers gear available for people who donate. Joe’s Team Gavin is here and the Timbers page for St. Baldrick’s is here.

What are you waiting for? Donate! Head to Oaks Park! Walk with Joe! Then ride some rides! Then come and see people shave their heads! Have fun! Then be sure to cheer on the boys in green on Sunday!

17 May 10:15 am

adidas Soccer unveiled a new ad this morning online touting their revolutionary miCoach Smart Soccer system. Set to debut on Saturday during the Chelsea-Bayern Munich Champions League Final on FOX, the ad features a starring role for Timbers midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe alongside fellow co-star, the Timbers Army.

Filmed in part during the Timbers 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City last month, there are also appearances by some other guys.

Okay, yes, those other guys are pretty good MLS'ers too: SKC's Teal Bunbury, FC Dallas' Brek Shea, and Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales

After shooting footage during the Timbers-SKC match, the adidas crew spent the next day utilizing locker rooms and other areas inside JELD-WEN Field to shoot the players' individual scenes. Check it out:

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

09 May 11:14 am

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Timbers striker Bright Dike recently arrived with his new club L.A. Blues on loan earlier this week and spoke about his first training session there.

“The Timbers coaches told me I needed to get more minutes at a high level and that there were a few possible destinations,” Dike explained. “From what they said, it seemed like the Blues were the best fit, with coaches who can really help my game and who are determined to get the most out of every player. After one day of training, that’s exactly the impression I have. They know what they want to see on the field and what they expect out of us.”

It's clear that the strong forward is ready to contribute during his stay in L.A. Read the whole report on the USL PRO site here.

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