Soccer Culture

27 September 11:48 am

Much has been made about the release of EA Sports FIFA 13 with special Darlington Nagbe downloadable custom covers, players talking about playing, and Snoop even getting in on the act.

However, another popular video game is nearing release and USWNT star and London 2012 Gold medal winner Alex Morgan joined talk show host Conan O'Brien to review it. As you might expect, it is genius.

Favorite line: "Puts the bird in its cage, shut the door, put it to sleep. Those are the moves that are going to make this game a winner."

27 September 9:00 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 3:00 pm

Have you played your first match of FIFA 13 today? Sal Zizzo has. Andrew Jean-Baptiste has.
 

Heck, even @SnoopLion has.

For soccer fans and video games and all the fans in between, today is a particularly exciting day as it marks the release of EA Sports' FIFA 13. You can join in the fun with a special custom Portland Timbers Darlington Nagbe cover to insert on your copy. 

Be on the lookout too for a special Nagbe and Diego Chara FIFA 13 promo video coming up in the near future as well.

What are you waiting for? Get playing.

Download instructions:

-Visit this special Flickr album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/easportsfifa/8023605019/in/set-72157631621283005
-Then right click on image, select "Medium 640"
-Then click "Download the Medium 640 size of this photo" above the image
-That size will fit inside your copy of FIFA 13 though there are other larger versions available for download as well.

FIFA 2013 released Tuesday morning and is now available in stores and online.

 

 

 

24 September 8:16 am

This one is for all the marbles.

The Portland Timbers head north to take on the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 7 at 6pm PT. Currently sitting atop the three-team standings for the Cascadia Cup between the Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Sounders, the Timbers could return home with the coveted cup if they draw or win at CenturyLink Field.

Unable to make it north for #SeattleAway? Do not fret, we'll be hosting a big bash at one of our esteemed Timbers Pub Partners but we want your help in deciding where. Vote on the poll at right to have your say about who should host and where you'll want to be when you watch this historic match.

The poll ends September 26 at 5pm PT.

21 September 9:55 am

Starting this Saturday, September 22 when the Timbers play Real Salt Lake (5pm PT NBC Sports, KXL Radio / La Pantera 940), fans will be able to receive automated text, score alerts on their phones. The free service (standard messaging rates may apply per your cellular provider) includes automated alerts for goals and red cards, as well as notifications for kickoff, halftime and the end of the match. The service is for all first-team matches and will send messages in real time.

You can sign up now; just text ALERT to 27299 to join.

20 September 8:27 pm

In his latest Throw-in column for MLSsoccer.com, Jonah Freedman opines on how a precedent can set up a team's expectations. Whether it's the Cascadia Cup, Brimstone Cup, Trillium Cup, MLS Cup, U.S. Open Cup or more, Freedman posits that no matter the silverware, these trophies matter. They can help define, or at the very least, begin to define the direction a team aims to take. Given how close the Timbers are to winning this year's Cascadia Cup in what has been a difficult season, Freedman asks,

So what are fans supposed to make of these trophies? For Portland, it’s a sign of progress, a symbol of success upon which they can hang their hats in their second MLS season. It is perhaps a springboard to future glory, when a young team with a young coach can do great things as they evolve.

Read more on how varying teams aim for glory and how those first steps help set the path.

19 September 3:07 pm

Photo: Steven Lenhart

Timbers alumni and fans are banding together to participate in Portland’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the name of former Timbers player Jimmy Conway.

Conway played for the Timbers from 1978 until 1980 and served as an assistant coach from 2001 until 2005. Diagnosed with trauma-induced dementia, Conway still remains active in the Timbers community with the help of friend, former teammate, and Timbers Alumni Ambassador Mick Hoban.

“My relationship with Jimmy is still good as he recognizes me in association with Timbers games. I have taken him to all of the Timbers home games the past two seasons,” said Hoban.

“As a friend and former teammate I was saddened to hear the diagnosis but like many other friends I said that I would do all I could do to help.”

Hoban has been involved in previous efforts to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association in Conway’s name. After Conway’s diagnosis in 2010, friends and family members committed to a series of testimonial events for Conway - including a silent auction, a testimonial match and a golf tournament, leading to a donation of $21,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The 2012 Portland Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Sunday, September 23 at Portland International Raceway. Timbers fans are invited to walk alongside Conway, Hoban, friends, family and Timbers Army members to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Fans are encouraged to register with the Friends of Jimmy Conway team and to wear “something soccer” to the event.

For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and dementia, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website here.

17 September 1:25 pm

Photo: SoundersFC.com

Darlington Nagbe has had a very busy couple of weeks. His former Univ. of Akron head coach, Caleb Porter, was named head coach of the Timbers. He had a camera crew follow him around for MLS 36 for NBCSports. He helped out with a special project with MLS Digital and EA Sports that will air soon. His jersey is one of the top selling kits in MLS. And he came in at #15 on the MLS 24 Under 24 list.

But Saturday presented a rare opportunity to reunited with an old friend in Seattle Sounders midfilder Steve Zakuani. Both teammates under Porter while at the Univ. of Akron, the two had yet to actually take the field with each other due to Zakuani's leg injury that had kept him on the shelf for almost a year. 

In a great article on SoundersFC.com, Zakuani spoke about playing against a friend with whom he shares a long history:

“It was great, you know.  Last year, I didn’t get to play against him, so this year it was just good seeing him out there, and getting the chance to go against him,” Nagbe said.  “It was fun.  We both had fun.”

Like Zakuani in 2010, Nagbe is having success in his second MLS season.  Zakuani was tied for the team-lead with ten goals in 2010, while Nagbe has six goals for the Timbers with still six games left on the schedule.

The success comes as no surprise to Zakuani, who has been carrying the Nagbe flag for years.

“I’ve known Darlington for a very, very long time and always said he’s a great player.  He’s maturing more and more,” Zakuani said.  “I still think he has a long way to go, because I think he has so much quality.  I was happy to, for the first time, play against him at this level.  I wish him to continue to become a good player.”

Zakuani goes on to talk about his friendship--he'll be in Nagbe's wedding in the offseason--and says that he'd like to share the pitch with him some day again on the same side: 

“He’s someone I like to always look out for and I wish him to keep playing the way he’s playing right now,” Zakuani said.  “I wish maybe one day in the future we can play again together.  But at this point he is with Portland and I’m with Seattle.

The Akron roots run deep for many players across MLS. Nagbe was reunited with with another former Zip and close friend, Teal Bunbury, earlier this season both for an adidas commercial and on the field. Moreover, wunderkind Vancouver Whitecaps rookie Darren Mattocks, yet another former Akron teammate of Nagbe's, tweeted today about his thoughts on Nagbe's inclusion in the 24 Under 24 list.

17 September 11:43 am

You may have noticed Jimmy Conrad was in Portland recently with KICKTV. He spoke with Merritt Paulson. He received chainsaw lessons with Timber Joey. 

However.

Perhaps the biggest moment of all was Conrad actually attending the Cascadia Cup showdown between the Timbers and Seattle Sounders at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday. There were bagpipes, there was facepaint, there was yelling and as part of his indoctrination to the experience, Conrad became a full fledged member of the Timbers Army, No Pity scarf and all.

15 September 4:15 pm

Jimmy Conrad kept up his breakneck pace On Location in Portland for KICKTV as he also learned about chainsawing from Timber Joey. Timber Joey explains how he is able to "spread love and cheer throughout the stadium," while Conrad figures out how to start up the chainsaw.

No one lost any appendages.