Blog

04 April 12:55 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.

29 March 11:24 am

The scarf. At first glance, it appears to be a simple fashion accessory. However, to soccer supporters around the world it is a matchday essential.

Many scarves utilize the traditional two-color bar pattern. Others commemorate specific matches or moments in club history, lyrics from supporters’ songs and chants, or legendary players. 

And just like the supporters who don them proudly, soccer scarves may look the same in design, but each tells a different story of past memories. Every supporter remembers their first scarf and the sweat, tears, smoke, and occasional spilled beer that live within its fabric.

Some wear their scarves for warmth during brisk late-season matches, while others display them as a badge of honor and pride. They are a supporter’s tool during songs, and best friend during celebratory smoke bombs. It can be a sign of support in triumph, and a beacon of solidarity in defeat. The scarf is colorful, vibrant, and unifying voice of the supporters. 

Many scarves function as practical accessories for matchday, and many others find residence on display in homes, offices, and bars. The varieties and uses of scarves are endless, and supporters are always seeking out the next addition to their collection.

The Portland Timbers recognize this, and are giving fans an opportunity to collect a new, unique scarf every month of the season.

  • The 2013 Timbers “Scarf of the Month” Program gives fans an exclusive opportunity to collect limited edition official scarf designs throughout the season
  • Generally, the “Scarf of the Month” will launch online several days before it launches in-stadium at the first home match of every month
  • Designs are exclusive to the adidas Timbers Team Store & shop.portlandtimbers.com
  • All are limited edition available in limited quantities
  • All are $28 retail price
  • For first dibs on your “Scarf of the Month” be sure to sign up for the Team Store mailing list at http://shop.portlandtimbers.com/signup.html

The Scarf of the Month for April is available now online at shop.portlandtimbers.com and will be available in-store on April 6. Keep in mind, each of these scarves are limited quantity. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. 

28 March 9:10 am

Brent Richards - Photo by David Blair

Even with their 2013 campaign under way, the Portland Timbers haven’t forgotten about the goals they scored in 2012.

The Timbers, along with Stand Together community pillar partner Friends of Trees, are gearing up to plant trees this Saturday as part of the club’s “Score a Goal, Plant a Tree” program, presented by JELD-WEN Windows & Doors.

From 9-10:30 AM on Saturday, March 30, Portland Timbers players Sal Zizzo and Brent Richards and mascot Timber Joey will join forces with volunteers and the Timbers Army in Happy Valley to plant trees along the banks of Rock Creek and its tributaries.

This is a great opportunity for Timbers fans and volunteers from the community to work side by side with Timbers players by planting trees together in an effort to help restore the banks of Rock Creek and protect the natural beauty of Oregon.

This volunteer restoration event is part of the Rock Creek Partnership with SOLVE and the Clackamas River Basin Council, led by Friends of Trees. Rock Creek is a tributary to the Clackamas River and supports numerous species of wildlife, including salmonoids.

Friends of Trees will provide breakfast snacks along with hot chocolate and coffee for those arriving before the 9:00 AM scheduled start. They also encourage volunteers to come dressed for the weather and wearing boots or sturdy shoes when joining them to plant trees.

Volunteers are welcome to join the Saturday tree planting at 15241 SE Chelsea Morning Drive, Happy Valley, OR 97086 (map). Visit www.friendsoftrees.com/volunteering for more information. 

27 March 12:22 pm

Bless Field plan courtesy OPI

A ball, some kids, and a place to play. When you get down to it, soccer is a simple game.

However, sometimes finding that place to play becomes a challenge.

The good folks over at Operation Pitch Invasion have set out to change that. OPI, a tightly connected affiliate of the Timbers Army 107 Independent Supporters Trust, has been working since 2011 helping repair soccer fields throughout Portland as well as fundraising for the creation of whole new ones. 

Their next project is Bless Field at New Colombia. As their release says: "Bless Field is uniquely situated in a neighborhood where children from 22 countries, who speak 11 languages (plus the common language of soccer), take their first steps into integrating into the larger community." The Portland Timbers Community Fund has come on board with a commitment and OPI is organizing a very unique event to raise further funds that is sure to entertain the hardiest of Timbers fans:

“Beating Seattle Never Gets Old”
Thursday April 4; 7:00 pm
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd
$12 in advance; $15 at the door

Hosted by 5 Minutes to Kickoff's Bob Kellett and Steven Lenhart, the evening is a gathering of past Timbers greats from the NASL era including Willie Anderson, Bernie Fagan, Roger Goldingay, Mick Hoban, Bill Irwin, and Jimmy Kelly talking about great moments of Timbers history.

Come see highlights of the Timbers playing against Pele and his Cosmos in Portland in 1976; the Timbers playing the Chicago Sting at Wrigley Field in 1982; and, in an extended cut, the Timbers playing the Seattle Sounders in a playoff semifinal before a record crowd in Portland in 1975.  

It's a special night with some rare footage, great stories, and every penny raised goes straight back to Bless Field. Only 350 tickets are available, so get yours now.

22 March 9:21 pm

So you may have heard there was some snow in Denver tonight for the USA vs. Costa Rica Hex World Cup Qualifier. Dempsey gave the U.S. the 1-0 win.

21 March 1:11 pm

With the U.S. Men's National Team busy preparing for their World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica tomorrow night (7pm PT, ESPN), KICKTV has put together this very nice primer on just what the Hexagonal is. In short, it's the long and difficult pathway for CONCACAF teams to qualify for the World Cup.

KICKTV also had great Hexagonal coverage of the first match against Honduras in episodes one and two.

Elsewhere in the Hex, Timbers forward Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts go to battle for Jamaica as they take on Panama in Kingston on Friday evening at 6:30pm PT. Updates throughout the match can be found via the Jamaican Football Federation's Twitter feed @ItsTheJFF.

Over in Africa, Futty Danso joined the Scorpions of The Gambia National Team for a World Cup qualifier on Saturday against Ivory Coast. In a tune-up friendly  this week against Niger, Danso scored the second goal in a 3-1 win.

Also in action tomorrow is Timbers midfielder Will Johnson whose Canadian Men's National Team is in Qatar for a friendly against Japan.

Follow @CanadaSoccerEN for updates tomorrow beginning at 9am PT. 

15 March 8:59 pm

As a Portland Timbers fan, there's really nothing like attending a rivalry match against the Seattle Sounders. It is fierce, visceral, loud, spirited, entertaining, awe-inspiring . . . and that's just the first ten minutes of the supporters groups' tifo unveiling.

The battle on the field can raise the stakes to a whole other level. This Saturday's clash between the Timbers and Sounders (Mar. 16, 5pm PT, NBC Sports Network, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940) culminates an entire day of Rivalry Week intensity. NBC Sports Network will air three of the games and have a special highlight show during the afternoon jumping from each of the other matches around the league.

This emphasis on MLS rivalries has grown each year but the Portland-Seattle clash has proved to be a premier event. And no wonder. The uniqueness of this soccer animosity goes back nearly 40 years skipping across NASL, USL and MLS editions of both teams.

Oregonian sports writer Geoffrey C. Arnold is the paper's primary Timbers and soccer beat writer. Covering Oregon sports for over twenty years, Arnold has attended MLS Cup, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, and much more. But it was the 2009 U.S. Open Cup match between the then USL-era Timbers and the then first-year MLS Sounders that piqued his interest around this loud and incredible rivalry. He set out to find more about the heros and villains, interviewed players past and present, examined the art of the tifo and much more. The result: Cascadia Clash: Sounders vs. Timbers.

On the eve of this next installment of the Cascadia Cup Portland-Seattle rivalry, I sat down with Arnold to find out more how he started his book, why he thinks such conflicth exists between the teams, supporters, and cities, and where he thinks the rivalry will be headed to next.

Be sure to sit back and take in all the league's rivalry matches throughout the day.
 

The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, Thorns, 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.

14 March 1:51 pm

We've talked here about #SeattleAway. Whether you're heading up on a 107ist bus, driving yourself, taking the train, booking a helicopter, etc., there's numerous ways to get you there.

Our friends at 76 would like to help you. All you need to do is Instagram a shot of you traveling to or from this weekend's match with the hashtag #76roadtrip and you'll be eligible to win a $100 gas card. Not going to this Portland-Seattle battle? Never fear, the contest will also be happening on future Cascadia Cup rivalry matches on May 18th @ Vancouver, August 25th @ Seattle and October 6th @ Vancouver.

Head north!

(Click here for full rules.)

14 March 12:27 pm

Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer

Earlier this week in the UEFA Champions League, Turkish side Galatasaray traveled to Germany to take on Schalke. It was a crucial encounter that Galatasaray eventually won 3-2 to move on to the quarterfinals. Their rabid fan base traveled en masse and though the away section was overflowing, there were reports of supporters attempting to carve a tunnel under the fence to get in.

According to The Guardian, "(Schalke Sporting Director Hans) Heldt confirmed the incident before the game, which ended with a 4-3 aggregate victory for the Turkish club, saying: "Yes, that's right. Some supporters have tried to dig a tunnel with their bare hands."

While we applaud the devotion of the traveling Galatasaray fans, for those of you who are contemplating heading north to watch the Portland Timbers begin their defense of the Cascadia Cup in a battle with the Seattle Sounders, all you have to do is get on the bus.

The 107 Independent Supporters Trust--the organizing group of the Timbers Army--is handling all Seattle Away day travel. Tickets are still available for public purchase and include a bus trip and game ticket option to get you there or just a ticket-only option if you want to drive yourself. 

They're going fast but you can get yours now by visiting the 107ist.org site here. What are you waiting for?

14 March 11:57 am

Image via Portland Mercury

"Communication, it's everything, on and off the field," Valeri says. "We go on the road and we can't learn. I want to start this month. I have coaching, an English teacher. She teaches me words and sentences, but I want to start. I want to watch films and read books. Only English."

If you want to learn more about what drives new Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri, why he came to MLS ("It's grown. I find a team, a club, MLS, that is spectacular"), how his family is settling into Portland (he's taken his four-year-old daughter, Constanza, to the zoo), how he's bonding with his teammates (he roomed with team captain Will Johnson in Tucson preseason), and how the Argentine is trying harder than ever to bring his English up to the same speed as his silky moves on the pitch (see above), then you must read this excellent feature by Brian Gjurgevich in this week's Portland Mercury. Grab a copy on your nearest street corner to save the artwork and read the piece online right here.