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.
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.
The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC have announced a new partnership with Chirpify, which will allow fans to conduct transactions in-stream on social media, including entering online giveaways, buying merchandise and donating to charitable partners of the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC.
Once registered through Chirpify, all shipping, billing, and customer information will be automatically entered and makes entering Timbers and Thorns FC contests or purchasing merchandise as simple as replying to an official post on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Not only will Chirpify make transactions easier and faster for fans, they will also receive exclusive deals only offered through Chirpify. These exclusive offers will include contests, autograph vouchers and merchandise offers. When the Timbers and Thorns FC post contests and giveaways, fans that have registered with Chirpify can simply reply to the post to be eligible to win or to make a purchase.
For example, every home game fans that are registered with Chirpify will have the opportunity to enter to win autograph vouchers to use at post-game autograph signings with Timbers or Thorns FC players. Both teams will also give away signed merchandise and can’t buy game-day experiences.
Fans are encouraged to sign up now in order to take advantage of Timbers and Thorns FC promotions throughout the season.
Thorns FC teammates Alex Morgan and Rachel Buehler are currently with the U.S. national team in Holland preparing for their friendly with The Netherlands tomorrow. Training alongside them are FC Kansas City's Becky Sauerbrunn, Nicole Barnhart, and Lauren Cheney. Though they'll all be on the same side tomorrow, they'll be battling against each other on Saturday. Hear from each of them as they discuss the opcoming NWSL season opening match.
Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan scores on 100th birthday of U.S. Soccer; Christine Sinclair assists for Canada
On the U.S. Soccer Federation's 100th birthday, Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan and the U.S. Women's National Team had a bit of a crazy game against Germany this morning. Despite taking a 3-1 lead on goals by Abby Wambach (47th minute), Megan Rapinoe (55) and Morgan (71), Germany battled back with two late goals in the 85th and 86th minute in front of 16,090 fans in Offenbach, Germany. Second-half sub Sydney Leroux had a late effort saved off the line in one of the wilder games in recent U.S. WNT memory.
Morgan started and played the full 90 minutes for the United States, while Thorns FC defender Rachel Buehler was an unused substitute. Midfielder Tobin Heath, who will join Thorns FC this summer after playing out her contract with French side Paris Saint-Germain, entered the match in the 77th minute for Heather O'Reilly.
Morgan's goal in the 71st minute came off a long, curling pass over the top of Germany's defense from FC Kansas City midfielder Lauren Cheney.
On Thursday morning, Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair and the Canada Women's National Team tangled with France in a rematch of the London 2012 Olympics bronze-medal match (which Canada won). Despite going down 1-0 during first-half stoppage time on a well-placed Elodie Thomis goal, Canada kept it close and struck late in second-half stoppage time.
Sinclair collected a deflected ball and slipped a pass right into the path of Kaylyn Kyle in the fourth-minute of second-half stoppage time and Kyle netted the equalizer for Canada in front of 5,783 fans at Stade du Ray in Nice, France. Thorns FC goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc was an unused sub for the match.
Canada is back in action on Sunday, April 7 at 7 a.m. (Pacific) against England at New York Stadium in Rotherham, England. The U.S. Women's National Team visits The Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday, April 9, for a 10 a.m. (PT) match against the Netherlands at Kyocera Stadium.
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, fresh from his revealing MLS player polls, recently put together a grand list of the 50 most important people in U.S. Soccer. It has many of the names you'd expect. The top 5 are, in order: U.S. Sports TV executives, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, MLS commissioner Don Garber, Nike and adidas.
Of local note though are two rather big names. Coming in at No. 9 is Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan of which Wahl writes:
Let's be honest: the 23-year-old Morgan has everything it takes (on the field and off) to become the next Mia Hamm. Just one example of her appeal: Morgan has in excess of a million Twitter followers, more than any U.S. soccer player, male or female.
Young owners who live and die with their MLS teams, Heineman and Paulson are the faces of MLS 2.0 and the league's answers to Mark Cuban. If only every league owner cared as much.
Head over to SI.com to read the full list. Any names missing you think should be on there? Any names on there you disagree with?
Two years ago, Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury teamed up with Ziba Design to help create a special bag as part of Girls, Inc's annual Power of The Purse fundraiser. You can see video of Jack's creation here.
This year, new Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone takes up the challenge in designing a purse. Girls, Inc.--one of the Thorns main Stand Together partners--is an organization that inspires girls, ages 8-18, to be strong, smart, and bold. Via gender-specific programs and research-based curricula, the group provides girls with the confidence and self-esteem to access a bright and economically-independent future.
Cone sat down with Bella, a 7th grader from Da Vinci Middle School and a host of Girls, Inc. Radio, for a special interview where Bella interviews Cindy and then Cindy, in turn, interviews Bella. They talk about their respective background, sisterhood, and inspirations. It's a great listen (scroll to the bottom to hear Cone's interview).
To learn more about the Power of the Purse event and to purchase tickets, visit them here.
The U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada at the London 2012 Olympics. That’s really all that needs to be said, but in case you were on a trip to the Outback last summer and didn’t have access to a TV, internet, newspaper or any other form of news media here’s a quick refresher.
August 6, 2012 … Old Trafford … Manchester, England ... Olympic Semifinal
Christine Sinclair gives Canada a 1-0 lead 22 minutes into the match in front of 26,640 fans at famed Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, and the teams enter the interval with Canada grasping a 1-0 lead and a chance to head to the gold medal match.
USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe equalizes in the 54th minute and the match becomes a slugfest with Sinclair and Rapinoe (both former standouts at the University of Portland) trading goals. Sinclair nets her second goal, putting Canada ahead 2-1 in the 67th minute … Rapinoe hits back with her second, tying the score at 2-2 three minutes later in the 70th minute.
Sinclair gets a hat-trick with the go-ahead goal in the 73rd minute and Canada carries a one-goal lead into the final 10 minutes of regular time before the real drama kicks in. Canada’s goalkeeper Erin McLeod is called for holding onto the ball for more than six seconds – a rarely enforced rule, but one that awards the U.S. with an indirect free kick inside Canada’s penalty box. On the free kick, the ball strikes a Canadian player on the arm and a penalty kick is called.
Abby Wambach steps up and buries the spot kick to level the score at 3-3 in the 80th minute.
The two sides battled to a stalemate through 30 minutes of extra time, trading jabs before U.S. forward Alex Morgan rose up and looped a header into the goal in the third minute of stoppage time, the game’s 123rd minute to be exact and the latest ever goal scored in a FIFA competition.
Now, catch your breath.
The rematch is coming on June 2 in Toronto as the U.S. Women’s National Team faces Canada in an international (not so) friendly for the first time since that drama-filled Olympic semifinal match. Mark your calendar as several Thorns FC teammates could potentially clash on the field. Clearly, there are no medals on the line, but there's no doubt the intensity will be heightened as Canada will look to repay the USA for the match last summer.
Much like #RCTID, #BAON has taken on an organic, fan-driven evolution. It grew out of a desire to sometimes separate fans’ Thorns Twitter conversations from their Timbers ones. They can certainly overlap and intersect, but on occasion, one is one and one is the other.
But back to #BAON, what’s in a name?
Exactly. For sharp-eyed literate Shakespeare academics, #BAON stands for “By Any Other Name” and is a snippet of a monologue from Romeo and Juliet’s Act II, Scene 2. Romeo, scion of the Montague family has fallen for Juliet, maiden of the sworn enemy Capulets. The famous scene is set is the evening when Romeo comes upon Juliet high atop her balcony. Hidden from her view, he speaks his famous “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks,” monologue singing the praises of her beauty. Her response, which he listens to, laments the fate that should see them be from separated warring families. Were Romeo not a Montague in name, she figures, all her problems would be solved.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O! Be some other name:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
In essence, she’s saying, “It’s not the name that should matter, it’s what’s inside that counts.” Juliet is pining for the man, not the name—a romantic wish to be sure.
But for Portland Thorns FC, with their intertwining language and identity with roses and the Rose City being key, the meaning is expanded to become less about the name on the back of the shirt, and more about all being what’s inside the player—the quality of the play and the drive to win.
So be it #BAON or #RCTID, now you'll know where to track your Portland soccer teams' online chatter and discussion.
Portland isn’t Paris, but it sure is a long way from Long Island. It might as well be a different country. New Thorns FC signing Allie Long spent a couple months playing in the City of Light for Paris Saint-Germain during the 2011-12 season, but aside from that experience the native New Yorker hasn’t played professionally more than about four hours from home with the Washington Freedom, Sky Blue FC and the New York Fury.
Life in the Rose City presents an opportunity for the former University of North Carolina and U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team midfielder to take a step out of her comfort zone. Long was quoted in a story by Dan Lauletta on The Equalizer about leaving home and joining up with head coach Cindy Parlow Cone in Portland as well as her time spent training with Thorns FC teammate Alex Morgan in California and alongside women’s soccer royalty Mia Hamm.
“I’m hoping to get a role where I can create and help score goals myself as well as play defensive and be able to keep it,” Long said. “I love keeping possession of the ball and playing quickly. I like both aspects of the game so wherever she needs me is where I’ll be and at the end of the day I just want to win.”