Soccer Culture

21 April 12:53 pm

 

Soccer City USA. This isn’t a home away from home for Christine Sinclair.
 
This is home.
 
Sorry, B.C. Sorry, Canada. She loves you. She’s gone through walls for you, and will again. But …
 
“It’s home,” Sinclair said from JELD-WEN Field, where the Portland Thorns host the Seattle Reign on Sunday, “because home in Vancouver is my brother’s extra bedroom.”
 
So begins the excellent profile in B.C.-based The Province of Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair. Following her history of growing up in Canada, coming to Portland to play for the late Clive Charles and University of Portland as well as her NASL Timbers connections via her uncles Brian and Bruce Gant, the piece is a great tablesetter for today's home opener.
 
 
19 April 1:56 pm

One of the most beautiful things about soccer is its ability to unite people around the world, whether it’s behind a team, a nation, or in this case, a cause.

Former professional soccer player Jared Montz believes that part of being a pro is giving back to your community. He started the Online Soccer Academy to provide free online resources and training to soccer players around the world.

This year, the Online Soccer Academy is putting on their 3rd annual charity event called the OSA World Juggle-a-thon to raise money for Nothing But Nets. On April 25, World Malaria Day, players of all ages will juggle at 6pm their standard time anywhere in the word they have a ball. Jugglers try to beat their personal juggling records and in the process they raise money for Nothing But Nets.

Every 60 seconds a child in Africa dies from a malaria infection. With this in mind, the UN Foundation created Nothing But Nets in 2006 to raise money to provide African children with anti-malaria bed nets. The campaign was inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, who challenged each of his readers to donate at least $10 to purchase anti-malaria bed nets.

As part of the campaign, Jared Montz is Soccer Walking America. This 45 day, 15-city video series tour to raise awareness for the event included a stop in Portland, where Montz juggled with some of the Timbers and Thorns.

To become a juggler and fundraise, or to make a one time donation, please visit the OSA World Juggle-a-thon website.

Follow Jared Montz on Twitter to keep track of his tour. 

19 April 1:49 pm

The Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA) is a free, cross-promotional program designed to highlight the Rose City’s vibrant food cart culture. Through the PTFCA, select Portland-area food carts will have the opportunity to serve their food cart fare on Timbers and Thorns FC match days at JELD-WEN Field via fan vote.

Now’s your chance to choose the next round of carts that will serve at the stadium this season. Choose carefully, the five carts that receive the most votes on this poll will serve at three JELD-WEN Field events!

Know of any additional carts that should be included in this program? Post in the comments below or learn more about the program here.

18 April 8:49 am

“What a night!”

This was Christophe Vezinet’s initial reaction when we asked him about his experience at the Timbers match on April 6th against Houston. Christophe and his family were the recipients of a Spread the Love welcome package for that match.

Althea and Dougal Cullen, Timbers Army season ticket holders and former Waiting List members, nominated the Vezinet family to receive a Spread the Love welcome package.

“My brother Cedric, his daughter Madison, my daughter Manon and I had a lot of fun,” said Christophe. “You could feel all the great soccer vibrations all over JELD-WEN Field that night.”

Christophe is used to watching top-flight teams in Europe, and says the Timbers experience was very comparable.

“Even for the people that are not ‘soccer connoisseurs’, the Timbers team is really fun to watch,” Christophe explained. “Every time I see them playing I feel like they are going to crush the other team. I have yet to see a Timbers game that was boring, and since there is a little bit of French blood in that team, it can only increase my interest.”

However, says Christophe, his daughter and niece were likely more excited than him and his brother.

“A staff worker gave our daughters some passes to the autograph sessions with the players at the end of the game,” said Christophe. “You can imagine how excited they were to meet the players. I also received a hand written note from Manon thanking me for tickets. One of the highlight moments for me was getting to see how excited she was for the whole night.”

Christophe says he and his family are grateful for the opportunity, and are looking forward to coming back for another match.

“But most of all, a big thank you to the Timbers organization for letting us experience those moments; we will certainly do that again. It is a great way to spend a family night out. My daughter keeps asking me for another game night and she can’t wait to go to a Thorns game very soon.”

18 April 8:48 am

Rey was the recipient of the Spread the Love welcome packet for the April 6th match against Houston.

Die-hard Timbers season ticket holder and Stand Together advocate, Dwight Adkins, nominated Rey. Dwight is a good friend of Rey’s, and is a member at the gym where Rey coaches and trains.

“Rey is a trainer at Skogg, a kettlebell gym in the Pearl,” Dwight explained. “All day he motivates others to be healthy, strong and happy. Rey does a great job of inspiring others, and I thought a night at a Timbers match would be fun for him to sit back, relax and enjoy some awesome soccer with his family.”

Rey has only attended one Timbers match, about five years ago when the team played in the USL. The match against Houston was his first MLS Timbers experience.

“The fans were amazing,” said Rey. “I have been to tons of high school, college, and professional sporting events, and have never been in an atmosphere like the one I experienced that night at the Timbers match.”

Rey was also pleased with the result, as the Timbers took three points from Houston.

“The Timbers looked awesome scoring two goals against the Dynamo. I had a great time!”

He also expressed his gratitude toward Dwight for giving him his welcome packet.

“I was very excited that he chose me to give this opportunity to,” said Rey. “My schedule and budget haven't allowed for many extra activities and to get four tickets to three different events was so generous! “

11 April 3:24 pm

With the Timber’s first win stirring up Portland soccer fans last week, Kevin Carroll’s exhibit The Power of Sport + Play at Mercy Corps’ Action Center gallery could not have been better timed. The author of Rules of the Red Rubber Ball knows exactly how sports can empower a community just as they have electrified Portland.

Carroll’s exhibit features a mixture of sports media including books, paintings, "dream boxes," inspirational quotes, and balls from around the world. Hidden in gym lockers are mementos from Carroll's life, each with different themes such as his first childhood book Where the Wild Things Are as well as memorabilia from his time as the Philadelphia 76ers trainer. The exhibit ranges from Carroll’s own personal life as well as from inspirational athletes, philosophers, and international communities with a common denominator of sport and play. 

Carroll kicked off the exhibit this past Tuesday night in a special lecture about on his own background as well as his philosophy that a ball can change the world. Sport and play bring people together by breaking down prejudices and creating a common ground. Carroll simplified the idea of sport being an amazing medium for communication because, as he put it, "We all speak ball."

Carroll’s exhibit The Art of Sport + Play is on view April 4 - July 31, 2013 during Mercy Corps Action Center hours 11am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday. For more information on Carroll and his inspirational story, visit his website. To learn more about the Portland Timbers pillar partner Mercy Corps, visit them here.

11 April 10:37 am

When most Timbers fans look back on the matchday against FC Dallas on August 5th, 2012, they remember two things: the almost unbearable temperatures, topping 100 degrees before a late-afternoon kickoff, and Jack Jewsbury’s late equalizer against a 10-man Dallas side to pull even in a 1-1 draw.

However, another noteworthy event was taking place above Section 93. The debut of the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance had set up shop at the Soccer City Grill concession stand. And what better cuisine for a hot summer day than Hawaiian-style plate lunches?

Childhood friends Kevin Scofield and Jensen Kip started 808 Grinds in September 2010. The Maui-raised duo brought their Hawaiian lunch creations to SW 9th and Washington in downtown Portland, and it was so popular that they were among the first food carts voted in by Facebook fans to be part of the PTFCA.

“It feels good to be voted in by our customers. There’s always a good vibe around here,” said Scofield. “A great customer experience is something that we want to accomplish, and it feels good. We’re happy to be here.”

This season, the Hawaiian boys are back. They will be setting up shop in the Soccer City Grill above Section 93 at the southeast corner of JELD-WEN Field. Not only will they be serving during the April 14th Timbers match vs. the San Jose Earthquake (7:30pm PT, NBC Sports Network750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940), they will also be there for the first Portland Thorns FC home match on April 21st vs. Seattle Reign FC.

This year 808 Grinds will be serving up Kalua Pig (traditional Hawaiian pulled pork) and 808 Fried Chicken (bite-size marinated chicken). Both choices will be served up with rice and macaroni salad. Single-item plates will go for $7, and combo plates will be $9.

“To be a part of the Timbers organization is very exciting for us,” Scofield added. “Not only to expand our reach, but to serve to local fans who are loyal to both us and the Timbers is a really great feeling.”

Interested in being part of the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance? Apply today.

09 April 4:09 pm

Tyron and his family were recipients of the Spread the Love welcome packet for the April 6th match against Houston.

Long-time Timbers season ticket holder and Axe Society member, Tim Birr, nominated Tyron. Tim has been a familiar face in the North End since 2001, and is a member of local drum and pipe band that has performed at many Timbers matches over the years.

Tyron is a long-time soccer fan, who saw his first Timbers game when he was a young boy. Because of his work schedule, he has been unable to attend a live MLS Timbers match, usually watching the television recording the next day.

Thanks to Tim’s nomination, Tyron was able to bring his wife, daughters, niece, and nephew to their first Timbers game.

We caught up with Tyron after the Houston game to ask him about his family’s experience at the match:

What was your reaction when you received the Spread the Love welcome packet?
I was overwhelmed at the amount of tickets I received. My wife and I both work and it's a struggle to see a Timbers match live. I grew up playing soccer at the age of five and most of the Timbers games I watched have been recorded from the night before, and I usually get up before the kids are awake and watch the games. To be able to take my children to the game was very special because I got to see my first Timbers match at their age.

What were you most looking forward to about attending a Timbers match?
Being there to watch the game live with other fans and knowing the excitement fans have at soccer match.

Describe your experience attending the game?
Sitting there with my wife and daughters meant the world to me. Growing up loving the game and knowing now that my children have seen a Timbers game they will become fans for life. The most excitement of the match was when the Timbers scored and my kids screamed with excitement! They truly enjoyed the match.

What does "Spread the Love" mean to you?
Spread the Love means an opportunity to become a bigger fan of the Timbers then I already am. I've watched and attended other sporting events, and appreciate the Timbers taking the time for people in the community that wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to see a match by giving them free tickets. Spread the Love means to me that the Timbers are really part of my community.

04 April 2:45 pm

During the previous home match against Montreal, the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance featured Nong’s Khao Man Gai. Nong’s signature chicken and rice dish with their famous ginger/soybean chili sauce as well as fried chicken wings smothered in Nong’s sweet chili glaze was a huge hit. In fact, the dishes were so popular that Nong’s sold out during the match.

If you missed out on Nong’s delicious offerings, fear not. The Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance has invited Nong’s Khao Man Gai back to be the featured food cart for the April 6th match against the Houston Dynamo.

Nong’s will be serving up their signature chicken as well as their fried chicken wings at the Soccer City Grill concession stand located at the southeast corner of JELD-WEN Field above Section 93.

To read what Nong had to say about her love for soccer and excitement at being part of a Timbers match, click here.

Interested in being part of the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance? Apply today.

04 April 1:55 pm

Winning Instagram from March by @didikimm

It has been said that soccer players are creatures of habit. Most have their matchday routines, and few stray from their superstitious rituals for fear of angering the soccer gods.

Some eat the same pregame meal, while others have a particular order in which they dress. From an outside perspective it might seem odd, but to the rest of us it’s part of the game.

For fans, it’s no different. Superstitious by nature, many fans have a pregame ritual they abide by. Stumptown Coffee Roasters want to know what your ritual is. Do you wear the same faded t-shirt or frayed scarf? Do you and your friends bike to the match? Share it 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, @didikimm won the Stumptown & Timbers prize pack for her Instagram of Timbers fans braving cold weather and long lines to get into JELD-WEN Field prior to the season opener. This month, it could be you. 

For full contest rules, click here.