Soccer Culture

10 May 11:58 am

An eight-game unbeaten streak is pretty tasty, and while Timbers fans are enjoying it, they’re hungry for more.

In an effort to satisfy that hunger, Big-Ass Sandwiches will be at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday, May 12, when the Timbers host Chivas USA.

Big-Ass Sandwiches opened in 2009, and has been living up to its name ever since. Owners Brian and Lisa Wood have perfected their French fry-infused creations, topping their home-roasted meats with béchamel cheese and piling it all on to locally baked ciabatta rolls.

Brian and Lisa opened Big-Ass Sandwiches after they experienced several layoffs from their jobs. The couple saw the layoffs as an opportunity to start the business they had always wanted to own and operate.

Their sandwiches have received a lot of praise, including being called the “best sandwich in the Northwest” by The Travel Channel’s Adam Richman.

Huge fans of the Portland Timbers, Brian and Lisa provide discounts to 107ist and Axe Society Members at their cart’s permanent location at 302 SE 2nd Ave. Last season, Big-Ass Sandwiches served up several menu items at JELD-WEN Field during a Cascadia Cup match against Seattle.

“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.

Big-Ass Sandwiches will be dishing up their delicious creations this Sunday at the Soccer City Grill above Section 93 during the Timbers game. They will also be at the Soccer City Grill on Thursday, May 16 when the Thorns host Sky Blue FC. 

03 May 3:39 pm

As part of our inaugural group of ticket holders, Mark and Cathy won the chance to have a VIP experience for the Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution match on May 2nd, including KeyBank Club seats, and a chance to visit with Timber Joey on the field!

We asked Mark a few questions after the match:

What was your first memory of supporting the Timbers?

Growing up in London and having football in my blood, I was excited to take my two young sons to those early seasons when the Timbers first started, back up in the then A League. The crowds were sparse, but the fun was there. What I remember best is hearing the sound of some distant drumming and realizing it was coming from Timber Jim who was perched on a telegraph pole at the far end, beating a rhythm on his drum! I couldn't imagine that at any other football game in the world!

What was your favorite moment of this match?

My favorite moment was the give and go between Valeri and Nagbe in the first half, while the shot did fly over the bar, the lay off from Nagbe was exquisite!

Who would you nominate as Player of the Match?

Player of the Match for me was Chara, while we know he can run box to box endlessly, he has now added the telling pass to his repertoire, another great game for him.

What is your prediction for the next match – Timbers versus FC Dallas?

Dallas will be tough, realistically a draw would be a good result, at the moment though with the way the Timbers are playing and creating chances I'm going for a 2-1 Timbers win! 

What else should we know about your Timbers fandom? Any match day superstitions?

My son Simon and I usually go to Alexis restaurant on Burnside for a big plate of calamari prior to a Timbers  game. If we are lucky we may get a free shot of ouzo to help us on our way!

Thank you for a lovely evening, Cath and I had wonderful time! I think what made it a night to remember was the care and consideration that came from everyone on the Timbers staff, it did make us feel extra special!

Thank you again for a memorable night!

No Mark, thank you! And thank you for your wonderful support!

If you are an Axe Society member and would like to enter to win the title of Member of the Match, please register here.

03 May 8:57 am

A busy summer awaits for Jurgen Klinsmann and his USMNT squad as they'll have key World Cup qualifiers in June followed by the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

Portland will host two group stage matches in a double header on July 9 with US vs. Belize and Costa Rica against Cuba. Who Klinsmann will bring to Portland has been a big discussion but there's at least one name that has surfaced: Bolton's Stuart Holden.

The ex-Houston Dynamo midfielder became a key player in the EPL before a series of injuries tripped him up. Now on the comeback with a number of appearances on loan with Sheffield Wednesday, Klinsmann said of Holden, "I spoke to his coach at Bolton, and spoke to his coach at Sheffield Wednesday where he played some very important minutes and games while on loan. He’s on his way back. That being said, we want to have him back in our picture. We are going to bring him for the May-June camp, and also for the Gold Cup.”

Read more about the story over at ussoccer.com, watch video on Holden's inspiring comeback below, listen to SI's Grant Wahl talk about what to expect with this summer's Gold Cup and then get tickets for the Gold Cup showdown at JELD-WEN Field.

02 May 11:27 am

Kaitlyn was the recipient of the Spread the Love welcome packet for the April 14th match against San Jose.

Carrie Cool, president of West Hills Junior Soccer Club, presented Kaitlyn with her Spread the Love packet.

Carrie and Kaitlyn had never met prior to their Spread the Love contact, but Carrie chose Kaitlyn for two reasons: “[Kaitlyn] had never seen a live Timbers game before,” and also works with the disabled in our community. “She won me over.”

Kaitlyn could not hold back her excitement when she received her packet.

“I was over the moon about finally getting to see the Timbers play live,” said Kaitlyn. “I was most looking forward to the atmosphere of the fans at the stadium, and being able to yell and holler at the game as opposed to just the TV!”

The Timbers took three points from San Jose that night after a sensational free kick goal from Will Johnson.

“It's hard to say whether my favorite part of the match was seeing Johnson score a beautiful goal,” said Kaitlyn, “or being in the crowd high fiving my friends and strangers as we all went wild right afterwards.”

She told us the excitement didn’t stop after the 90 minutes was over.

“Once I was in the car and out of public, there was a lot of smiling, laughing and all out jovial hollering with joy over the whole deal.”

Kaitlyn says she is officially hooked.

“I plan on trying my best to attend many more Timbers and Thorns FC matches in the very near future!”

01 May 10:11 pm

After hearing about about Atticus and Green Machine's memorable Make-A-Wish 10-9 win over the Timbers, ESPN's legendary sportscaster and fellow cancer survivor Stuart Scott spoke on SportsCenter tonight about the game and announced it as the No. 1 ESPN Top 10 Play of the Day.

"That is my new hero: Atticus."

Watch it:

30 April 3:52 pm

Winning Instagram from April by @robynshuey

Midweek matches often change how fans travel and prepare. But for the most superstitious of fans, it doesn’t matter what day or time a match is, the matchday ritual is the same.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters want to know what your ritual is. Do you wear your lucky Timbers socks to work? Do you bring your scarf to the office? Share your ritual with us.

Throughout the 2013 season, the Portland Timbers and Stumptown Coffee Roasters are asking fans to share their pre-game rituals for the first home match of every month. All you have to do is Instagram a shot of your morning pregame ritual and share it with the hashtag #SCRTimbers.

One random fan will be selected each month to win a prize pack from Stumptown and the Timbers that includes:

  • One (1) Signed Timbers Jersey
  • One (1) 12oz bag of Kenya Gaturiri Coffee
  • Two (2) Stumptown Coffee Roaster Mugs
  • One (1) Stumptown Branded Red Rooster Hand Mill Grinder

Last month, @robynshuey won the Stumptown & Timbers prize pack for Instagram shot above. This month, it could be you. 

For full contest rules, click here.

30 April 3:30 pm

Thursday night’s featured Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance member is Stumptown Dumplings, better known as Stumplings.

Less than a year old, Stumplings was born out of a friendship between owners Justin Prasad and Nimesh Dayal. The duo wanted to branch out, and after almost two months of planning, their cart found a home serving up dumplings to Portland’s Alberta neighborhood.

“It happened much faster than either of us expected,” said Dayal.

Prasad said he had always worked for somebody else and wanted to prove he would work on his own to succeed.

“It’s exciting because it’s our idea coming to life," said Prasad. "I just want people to connect the ‘Stumplings’ with Justin and Nimesh, and this is a great opportunity for us.”

This will be Stumplings second visit to JELD-WEN Field, after being featured during a Timbers match during the 2012 season.

During the Timbers match against the New England Revolution (7:30pm PT, ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940), Stumplings will be serving orders of six dumplings for $5 at the Soccer City Grill concession stand, located above section 93. Fans can choose from Cheeky Chicken, Pompous Pork, Sassy Spinach, or a mix of two of each. Fans will also be able to chose from Asian Chipotle, Chili Hoison, or Thai Mustard sauces.

25 April 2:15 pm

Last week we shared Jared Montz’s journey across the country, and more specifically about his time in Portland. The former Chicago Fire teammate of Will Johnson is raising funds and awareness for the OSA World Juggle-a-thon and Nothing But Nets.

Since then, Jared has completed his tour and and shared the final video, which includes several Timbers and Thorns players.

Today is World Malaria Day, which means today is the Juggle-a-thon. If you didn’t see Jared’s story, you can catch up here.

It’s also not too late to donate, which you can do here.

25 April 1:01 pm

Special thanks to www.theoriginalwinger.com for image

In a summer packed with Portland Timbers matches, Portland Thorns FC matches and the CONCACAF Gold Cup coming to town, there’s no shortage of the beautiful game to be found in Soccer City, USA.

Grant Wahl knows this as well as anybody, which is why he came to town to see the Portland's 2-1 home opener win against Seattle Reign FC as part of a larger story for Sports Illustrated on the Thorns' Alex Morgan.

Wahl, a longtime college basketball and soccer writer for SI, really made his mark in 2009 with his excellent book, The Beckham Experiment: How the World's Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America. Written in near real-time during the MLS season, it was an in-depth look not only into Beckham’s arrival with the LA Galaxy but also an inside look into Major League Soccer as a whole entity.

Since the book, Wahl has covered World Cups and international soccer along with a bid for for the FIFA presidency on a platform of more transparency. Through it all, he has continued to tell insightful stories across the soccer universe.

I sat down with him to talk about his impressions of the Thorns home opener, where MLS is at now near four years past his book and the importance of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup to the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, Thorns, 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.

23 April 2:12 pm

Sunday's Portland Thorns FC home opener was memorable for many reasons.

There was the 2-1 win over the Seattle Reign FC

There was the record setting 16,479 crowd in attendance.

There was the goals by Marian Dougherty and Alex Morgan.

And then, of course, there was THE HAIR. Hear goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc talk about her special edition 'do for the first ever Thorns home opener:

Want more Karina LeBlanc? Vancouver B.C.'s The Province, fresh from their great profile of fellow Canadian Christine Sinclair, does an excellent feature on LeBlanc's arrival in Portland and her deep commitment to the UNICEF Sports Ambassador program. Read it here.