Team

25 June 11:10 am

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.

22 June 8:24 am

 Photo: Ethan Erickson

Jacob Klinger of Soccer 365.com has an excellent profile of the Timbers' Brent Richards as part of their series on MLS Homegrown players. It takes a look at how the Camas, WA native came to be Portland's first-ever Homegrown player and charts his career from youth to college to Timbers U-23s to the professional ranks.

With interviews from coaches and teammates, it's a great examination growth that Homegrown players can have on teams in the MLS.

As Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson says in the piece, 

"When you live in that same neighborhood you feel a little bit more desire. I think you’re willing to run through a brick wall," Wilkinson said. " ... I just feel it’s great for all concerned and all involved to have a local player on the field."

Head over to Soccer 365 and give the whole piece a read.

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

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?

06 June 12:32 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.

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.

24 May 8:51 am

It’s always great to stay healthy throughout your life. Whether that’s through eating healthy to committing time to go out and enjoy some quality time kicking a soccer ball around with your close friends.

Today the Portland Timbers U-23s will welcome in over 7,000 local area school kids to JELD-WEN Field for the first of two Health and Fitness School Day, presented by Providence Sports Care Center.

The day will feature events and games from over 16 educational tables ranging from yoga for kids to careers in health care. Along with learning about health and fitness, attendees will have a chance to feel the excitement of the Timbers U-23s battling their Premier Development League Northwest Divison rivals Kitsap Pumas at 11 a.m.

With all the push to keep kids fit and healthy, this type of event is one step forward to open the eyes of over 7,000 kids on just how you can achieve a healthy mind and body. 

Tickets are available too should you want to take a long lunch and come out to support the U-23s. Pick some up at the JELD-WEN Field box office. If you miss today's match, the next Health and Fitness School Day is June 1 here at JELD-WEN Field when the U-23s take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23s.
 

17 May 1:44 pm

The Portland Timbers are involved in numerous philanthropic initiatives, some through the team’s community outreach program Stand Together while others are personal passion projects of the players.

 Gavin, 9 and his older brother Sebastiian, 12

Finding a cure for Cystic-Fibrosis--a disease that clogs the lungs and hampers the ability of its victims to absorb nutrition--is a cause near and dear to Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik’s heart.

In order to help his young nephew Gavin, known affectionately to his family as Gav-A-Goo, Bendik has spent his free time and resources setting up a donation bank through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “Great Strides” program.

To date Bendik has raised $18,657 to help fund crucial research that has helped raise the life expectancy for those born with CF, including his nephew Gavin, from preschool ages to 38 years and older.

And Bendik isn’t done yet, targeting this weekend as another opportunity to raise money by holding a Great Strides walk at Oaks Amusement Park at 9am on Saturday, May 19.

For those who would like to aid Joe in his efforts to fund CF research more information is available at his Great Strides website. Watch the video there and learn more about Gavin, his older brother Sebastian, and the challenges their family faces with CF.

Anyone who would like to take part in Saturday’s walk at Oaks Amusement Park can sign up with TEAM GAVIN and contact Joe on Twitter @jtbendik to make the trek sporting this year's TEAM GAVIN t-shirts!

10 May 1:43 pm

With the Houston Dynamo opening their new BBVA Compass Stadium this weekend, MLSsoccer.com takes a look at some of the most memorable MLS stadium debuts. 

With all due respect to our Canadian neighbors in Toronto, and the Midwestern folks in Kansas City, the JELD-WEN Field opening takes the cake. Beyond that, though, the opening of Houston's new field marks another development in the growth of soccer-specific stadiums in MLS. 

And it's another great stadium to watch a match. Give Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle's Three for Thursday a read and then re-live the House of Pane opening.

What are some of your favorite memories at JELD-WEN Field?

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

09 May 3:41 pm

 Photo: Miranda Chrislocke

Next Tuesday, May 15, presents a unique double-header event for Timbers fans.

The Portland Timbers of MLS travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo in the first evening home game at BBVA Compass Stadium at 5:30pm PT on ROOT SPORTS / 750 AM The Game. Also on the same day, The Timbers U-23s of the PDL begin their U.S. Open Cup campaign hosting the USASA's PSA Elite at 7:30pm PT.

You may be asking yourself, how can I--devoted Timbers fan that I am--watch them all in the same place?

JELD-WEN Field has you covered in four simple steps:

Step 1.  Get yourself a ticket to the Timbers U-23s match for Tuesday. Tickets for U-23s are only $7 bucks general admission and can be purchased at the JELD-WEN Field box office or via Ticketmaster.
Step 2.  Come to JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday beginning at 5:15pm with beer specials and $7 hotdog/soda combos available.
Step 3.  Watch the Timbers-Dynamo match on the big BIG screen in the House of Pain that starts at 5:30pm.
Step 4.  Stick around for the Timbers U-23s U.S. Open clash following the MLS match that kicks off at 7:30pm. 

What are you waiting for? It's a simple four-step process. See you on Tuesday.

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

01 May 8:52 am

 

 Roy Hodgson at JELD-WEN Field, July 2012
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

After months of speculation that Harry Redknapp of Tottenham Hotspur was going to take on the national team job for England, the English FA announced today that former West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool, and Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will take over the post.

Hodgson is no stranger to Portland. Last summer he led West Brom to Oregon for an international friendly against the Timbers. In a thrilling back and forth match, West Brom pulled out a 3-2 win on a 91'+ wondergoal by Gabriel Tamas that Hodgson called, "once in a blue moon."

Now Hodgson finds himself at the reins of England and heading into the 2012 European Championships this summer. How do you think he'll do?

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