Team

02 January 3:08 pm

While Brent Richards, Darlington Nagbe and more were busy during the offseason, centerback Hanyer Mosquera has been keeping busy as well. Spending his offseason in his hometown of Istima, Colombia, Mosquera and his family helped organize a local soccer tournament for high school aged kids and outfitted two teams: Amigos de Hanyer Los Verdes and Amigos de Hanyer Los Rojos.

Naturally, the kits should have a familiar look to Timbers fans.

Done in conjunction with the local mayor, Mosquera says that he helps put together the tournament--now in it's fourth year--so kids can see that "it's possible to be a professional player."

"We hope that every year, we make it a little bit better," Mosquera added. "It's a short tournament that people enjoy but also brings me a lot of happiness. We're just helping bring my hometown a game that they love."

02 January 12:52 pm

Dike, moments before flipping - Photo: Getty Images

After a 2012 season that saw Bright Dike score 16 goals across all competitions--5 in the regular season, 5 in the MLS Reserve League, and 6 in the USL Pro while on loan to the LA Blues--the Timbers forward added one more tally to his growing goalscoring exploits as he scored the equalizer for Nigeria in a friendly against Catalonia on Wednesday.

Dike started the match in Barcelona as Nigeria faced the unique autonomous region of northeastern Spain known as Catalonia. Though not recognized by FIFA or UEFA, Catalonia has fielded a national team since the early 20th century often with numerous stars from FC Barcelona in their starting XI. Wednesday's match was no different as the Johan Cruyff-coached side featured Barca legends Carles Puyol, Xavi, and Gerard Pique.

For Dike, it didn't matter. After battling all game--including a nasty elbow to Puyol in the first half that left the centerback temporarily bloodied--Dike broke through in the 55th minute with a nifty cutback and lashed a shot with his left foot into the upper left corner of the net. Notice the trademark cartwheel backflip celebration.
 

Congratulations to Dike. Here's to getting 2013 started off on the (left) foot and to making your case for inclusion in Nigeria's squad for this January's Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

26 December 11:15 am

Adin Brown in 2011 - Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

After a time of year of giving, it is interesting to hear from a former Portland Timbers player who is now making a career of giving back. Adin Brown started the inaugural MLS match for the Portland Timbers in 2011 as part of a career that included helping lead the New England Revolution to the 2002 MLS Cup final, becoming a fan favorite with Norwegian side Aalesund (where he also scored a goal), to becoming the first ever Timbers Alumni Ambassador of the MLS era. Timbers fans will also be familiar with Brown's voice as he became a regular soccer analyst on Portland radio broadcasts during the 2012 season.

But it is in Brown's post-soccer career that he is perhaps having one of his biggest impacts. A longtime supporter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program--he was a "Big" early in his career in Colorado--Brown had made appearances on their behalf while a player with the Timbers at their Northwest chapter in Portland. After retiring, Brown approached them about volunteering again and they countered with a job offer to head up their new Sports Buddies program. Sports Buddies helps pair adult mentors with kids around athletic activities.

A natural talker, Brown sat down with me to talk about his time off the pitch, his passion for BBBS Northwest and how he's making a difference in Portland. 

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.

 

13 December 6:02 pm

Photo: GoZips.com

Surrounded by family, friends, former players, current players, university staff, and fans, Caleb Porter had an emotional farewell to his University of Akron community last night in a special goodbye ceremony on campus. The Akron Beacon Journal's Maria Ridenour was on hand to write about it: 

University of Akron President Luis Proenza began coughing midway through his tribute to departing men’s soccer coach Caleb Porter on Wednesday night at InfoCision Stadium, prompting a member of the catering staff to deliver water to the podium.

“It’s not my throat, it’s my emotion,” Proenza said.

Those feelings eventually overcame Proenza. While recalling the celebration after UA captured the school’s first team national championship in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2010, Proenza said Porter gathered his players and delivered “one of the most impassioned, emotional communications of teamwork and family that I’ve heard.”

Recalling the scene and Porter’s words, Proenza broke down and cried.

“I don’t know why, it’s been two years,” Proenza said as Porter came onto the riser to hug him.

Even after the two-hour event ended, Proenza couldn’t explain what had happened, barely able to choke out a few words about the special bond he felt with Porter.

Watch the powerful moment in question at the 4:50 mark:

With Darlington Nagbe scheduled to get married on Saturday in Cleveland, he came to the event along with numerous MLS players including Seattle's Steve Zakuani, Houston's Kofi Sarkodie, and more. Calling all of his current, former, and any past Zip players up with him to the podium, Porter was gracious and emotional.

"This program has a long tradition of excellence," he said. "It’s bigger than any coach, any player."

GoZips.com has video from the event with a 25-minute speech from Porter (which you can see below), a thank you from the team, a collection of thanks from others including Nagbe and more.

It is clear that Porter had a tremendous impact on numerous individuals both on and off the field and established a dedicated spirit of energy and success while in Akron.

That spirit is one that his successor, Jared Embick, will now takeover having been elevated from assistant coach to head coach. The New York Times Goal blog delves into that challenge and Akron's hope of continued success.

But as Porter and Akron turn the page on his time there, Portland remains ever eager on his Rose City arrival.  

03 December 5:10 pm

On a day of lots of comings and goings with the Portland Timbers, new midfielder Will Johnson was pretty excited about his new home:

 

As Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson put it in today's announcement, "his attitude is infectious."

30 November 10:48 am

The holiday season is in full swing at JELD-WEN Field at the adidas Timbers Team Store!

The 12 Days of Giving
Throughout December, shop.portlandtimbers.com and the adidas Timbers Team Store will be promoting different Timbers items on certain days for purchase, such as outerwear and “stocking stuffers.” Check back often for great deals leading up to the holidays!

For updates on holiday sales and featured items, sign up for the adidas Timbers Team Store mailing list.

Rockin’ around the Timbers Tree
It’s better to give and to receive this holiday season with the Timbers. Beginning Tuesday, December 4th, spend $25 at the adidas Timbers Team Store and you will be eligible to choose a gift from underneath the Timbers Tree! Gifts can range from Timbers novelties and gift certificates to autographed memorabilia and gifts donated by Timbers local corporate sponsors – stop in to see what surprises are under the tree!

The holiday season is also about giving back. The adidas Timbers Team Store is partnering with Stand Together in December. Customers that donate at least $1 to the Stand Together Community Fund at the register will receive an ornament to write his or her name on and place on the Timbers Tree!

adidas Timbers Team Store Holiday Hours

Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, December 23: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Christmas Eve, December 24: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
December 25 – January 1, 2013: CLOSED*

*The adidas Timbers Team Store will gladly handle all holiday returns and exchanges upon reopening January 2 at regular hours of 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

29 November 10:19 am

Photo via Ohio.com

Now that Caleb Porter's time at the University of Akron is drawing to a close, Marla Ridenour, a sports columnist with the Akron Beacon Journal, sat down with soon-to-be new Portland Timbers head coach to ask him about his time with the Zips, his plans for Portland, and why he made the big move west.

In short, he was looking for a new rush.

The turning point came when he coached the US U-23s national team last spring.

“It gave me a taste of that rush and it’s unlike anything else,” Porter said Wednesday during a half-hour interview in his UA office. “There’s more pressure, but there’s more reward, too. I like that. I like a challenge. I’m not afraid of pressure.

“Even the rush of having to finesse the players, the management. I need that. I need to wake up every day feeling nervous, almost like I’ve got to be at my best, otherwise I get bored. It was very different the way I was feeling; it was like when I came here seven years ago.”

It's an excellent read to learn more into the insight of the new Timbers coach and what makes him tick as well as what his hopes for the future are.

“I try to be the best I can be. I try not to give a day away. I try not to slip,” he said. “In some ways it’s a madness, but that’s the way that I live. I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and think, ‘I wasn’t good today.’ I try to instill that in my players.

“I’m very uncomfortable being comfortable. I want to grow, I want to get better, I want to push myself, I want to be challenged, I want to feel pressure, I want to wake up every day knowing I have to be at my best. That’s what makes me tick.”

Go read the whole thing at Ohio.com and check out the photo album of Porter in his UA of Akron office as well.

09 November 10:41 am

Dunseth (broadcasting) & Charles (NASL era)

You may recognize the voice of Brian Dunseth as it has become fairly ubiquitous across the American soccer spectrum. A soccer analyst on NBC Sports, Fox Soccer—often paired with our very own John Strong—as well as on Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas games, Dunseth has become a keen observer of Major League Soccer which should come as little surprise given his long playing career in MLS.

The first ever signing to the Project 40 initiative in 1997—now more commonly known as Generation adidas—Dunseth went on to play for the New England Revolution, Miami Fusion, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, and Real Salt Lake. After his playing career ended, Dunseth got into broadcasting but also teamed up with his old college teammate from Cal State Fullerton, Ben Hooper, to start a clothing company called Bumpy Pitch that bridges soccer, culture, history, and style. That same theme led their foray into an online “magazine” of sorts called The Original Winger that collects stories about soccer, shoes, watches, fashion, movies, music, and more.

But Dunseth also has a unique affinity to Portland. In 2000, he was the captain of a loaded US Olympic U-23s team that featured the likes of Frankie Hejduk, Ben Olsen, Conor Casey, Danny Califf and Landon Donovan as well as Timbers Alumni Ambassador Adin Brown. The head coach of that team was none other than Timbers legend Clive Charles who had a defining impact on Dunseth as a player and as a person.

In this episode of the Backcut, we talk about soccer in Portland, the influence of Charles both on a personal level and on American soccer, and much more. It’s an illuminating and emotional conversation. 

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.

 

31 October 4:23 pm

Rubio Rubin (Photo via USsoccer.com)

With eight goals since June 25 for the US U-17 squad--including scoring in four straight matches--not to mention being mentioned as TopDrawerSoccer.com's #1 U.S. player in the Class of 2014, it's save to say that Timbers U-16 Academy player Rubio Rubin has been on a bit of a tear.

After training at the US Under-17 Residency Program since the 2011 Fall Semester, Rubin has traveled with the team to Spain and most recently to the Four-Nations Cup in Argentina where he tallied three goals in four matches.

USsoccer.com sat down with the Beaverton native to talk about playing so far from home and how his development has been coming along.

ussoccer.com: You’re a long way from home in Oregon being across the country in Florida at the Under-17 Residency Program. Do you ever get homesick?

RR: “I actually don’t. I feel like it’s part of life and you’ve got to make some sacrifices sometimes. I love soccer so much that this is what is best for me and my future. The decision to come here has made me a better player and developed me so much more than if I had stayed at home because I’m playing with the top-32 players in the country. I’m so blessed to be here right now and I’m thankful and cherishing this opportunity because there are thousands of kids that would want to be in this position. I know that my mom, dad, sister and brother are always going to be there supporting me. I do miss some friends and going to school with them, but eventually we were going to have to move away if you decide to go to college or go a different route. I’m not really that homesick and I’m just happy to be here. You’ve got to do what you got to do with things you love. This is such a great opportunity.”

It's a great interview about a promising Timbers Academy product. Read the whole piece over at USsoccer.com.

29 October 10:27 am

As the 2012 Timbers season comes to a close as well as the #SoccerKicksCancer Breast Cancer Awarness campaign for October, we have on our hands a pair of Nagbe's Golden Boots. No, not those golden boots (FF to 1:00 mark)

These Golden Boots F-50 adiZeros from adidas:

Notice the special autograph. Nagbe was one of only five MLS players invited by adidas to utilize their miadidas custom shoe tool to design a special pair of boots to help promote Breast Cancer Awareness month for MLS.

And now you can enter for a chance to get your hands on them. All you have to do is follow @PTStandTogether on Twitter and re-Tweet this message to enter. One randomly chosen RT will win a pair. Click here for full contest rules.

Want to make your own pair? Watch this video of Nagbe putting his together then visit miadidas.