When things are clicking, things are clicking.
Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips began the defense of their Mid-America Conference title on Friday night with a 2-0 win over Bowling Green--their third shutout in a row. Senior David Maves, the reigning MAC Player of the Week, continued in his quest to unseat Evan Bush as the all-time Akron leader in shutouts making six saves. Freshman Alfred Koroma (right) and senior Scott Caldwell both tallied goals for Akron while the team peppered Bowling Green with 30 shots--a 14-3 advantage in the first half alone. Caldwell leads the Zips with five goals in eight games in 2012.
It was Porter’s 39th straight league match without a loss going back to 2007—good for third on the NCAA's list for the longest conference unbeaten streak. UA improved to 82-1-3 when scoring two or more goals and 100-3-4 when scoring first under Coach Porter.
After their two wins, MLS on Campus rankings has the Zips holding steady at No. 4 with shoutouts for Colorado Rapids Academy freshman attacking midfielder Dillon Serna and predict the New England Revolution will move to sign Caldwell as a Homegrown player at season's end.
The Zips will continue MAC play next weekend when they host Buffalo Saturday night at 4:30pm PT, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Elsewhere in the college ranks, former Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans dropped a first-half hat trick for the University of Portland on Seattle University in the Husky Fever Classic in Washington only to fall 4-3 in the match. The Pilots lost to No. 21 Brown on Sunday 2-0 and are currently 2-4-1 on the year. Also at the same tournament in Seattle, Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Spencer Richey picked up a shutout in University of Washington's 2-0 win over Seattle University on Sunday.
Heading south to Oregon State University and things are definitely clicking for Timbers U-23s forward Emery Welshman (right). The senior was named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Player of the Week and was included in the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his offensive explosion last week. The striker had a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Univ. of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday and then a double overtime golden goal against UC-Irvine in Sunday’s 1-0 thriller both as part of the Oregon State Hensor/Zaher Nike Classic tournament.
Fellow Timbers U-23s Roberto Farfan and Chris Harms joined Welshman on the all-tournament team. Apparently, teammate Farfan helped teach Welshman how to cook (watch video below).
You can watch this Beavers trio on the Pac-12 Networks next Sunday at 4pm PT as they take on Spencer Richey and the Univ. of Washington Huskies.
Former Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans continues to impress at the University of Portland. He scored an incredible golazo already featured on The Backcut and is one of the Pilots featured in their new athletic department ad campaign.
Most recently, however, the Oregonian did a feature on Evans saying he "is close to becoming one of the program's all-time greats." Given UP's track record at producing some excellent players over the years--Heath Pearce, Steve Cherundolo, Kasey Keller to name but a few--that is high praise.
A veteran of a national championship with Portland youth club Eastside United--now adidas Timbers Alliance club Eastside Timbers--as well as the 2012 Timbers U-23s PDL championship, Evans isn't letting all his recent Pilot success go to his head.
"It's nice to see your hard work is paying off, but I'd rather the team have a good season," Evans said.
Also of note is MLSsoccer.com's latest MLS on Campus power rankings which has Caleb Porter and his University of Akron team moving up a spot to #4 overall.
Wondering what 2012 Timbers U-23 alum, Troutdale native, and current University of Portland Pilots midfielder Steven Evans has been up to now that school is back in session?
Just a little bit of this:
Evans is one of four U-23s players on the University of Portland squad joining Justin Baarts, Ricardo Carillo, and Marc Tonkel on a team predicted to finish 3rd in the West Coast Conference. Evans was also selected to the Preseason All-WCC team alongside U-23s teammates Erik Hurtado (Santa Clara Univ.) and Clark Phillips (Gonzaga).
The Pilots are currently 2-1-1 on the 2012 campaign.
As is well known by now, Caleb Porter will be the Timbers new head coach beginning in 2013. After a stellar career at the University of Akron, an NCAA national championship, buckets full of talented players who went on to MLS--including our own Darlington Nagbe, a slip up with the US U-23s and Olympic qualifying, and one final year with the Zips, Porter has decided to make the jump to the next level.
MLSsoccer.com's Jonah Freedman talks about what he calls "The Fraternity" of college coaches who made the same leap and the challenges they face:
The 37-year-old Porter will join [Schellas] Hyndman, Bruce Arena, Thomas Rongen and Sigi Schmid. Those four have among them six MLS Cups, five Supporters’ Shields, five US Open Cups and seven MLS Coach of the Year awards among a laundry list of other accomplishments.
No pressure, right? By now, no one should be crying that college coaches don’t have the chops to make the jump directly to the pros. That quartet is clear proof they do.
Freedman goes on to explore what that pressure is like and how some of that quartet dealt with it to become successful in MLS.
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."
Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.
You think you learned a lot about staying healthy and fit throughout your days in school? Well why not bring your best to JELD-WEN Field on Friday, June 1, for the final Health and Fitness School Day, presented by Providence Sports Care Center in 2012 starting at 9 a.m.
On this Friday local school kids from the Portland Metro area will invade JELD-WEN Field once again just as they did last week where they set a Premier Development League (PDL) record with 8,029 in attendance as they saw the Portland Timbers U-23s win their third straight match over the Kitsap Pumas 4-0.
Last week kids in had the opportunity to learn from local doctors about ways to stay healthy by not smoking or recognizing health issues that may effect your friends or family by Dr. Jane and her Rebels. Team doctor Dr. Beckerman gave kids the steps to CPR and other life saving actions.
To top it off the excitement of learning ways to stay healthy and fit, you will get to see the first place PDL Timbers U-23s play Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 at 11 a.m.
So put your best bet on the pitch and show us just what you have in that healthy body of yours. Who knows? You may learn something new to boot.
Tickets for Friday’s match at $7 and are available for purchase at the JELD-WEN Field box office.
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.
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.
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.