03 December 6:16 pm

Also of note on a heavy day of player movement across the league was MLS releasing the list of players eligible for Friday's Stage 1 Re-Entry Draft. 

While the rules around the Re-Entry Draft can get arcane, let's try to break it down. 

In the MLS Rule book, eligibility is determined by the following:

--Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2013).
--Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2012 salary).
--Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2012 salary).
--Players who are not selected in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft will be made available in Stage 2. Clubs selecting players in Stage 2 will negotiate a new salary with the player.
--Players who remain unselected after Stage 2 will be available to any MLS club on a first come, first serve basis.

Once selected in the Re-Entry Draft, clubs must exercise the option for, or extend a Bona Fide Offer to, all players selected in Stage 1. Players that were out of contract may either accept or reject the Bona Fide Offer. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club’s roster.

One key element to remember is that though the eligible player list was released today, teams are still able to negotiate with players up until a temporary roster freeze at 5pm ET on Dec. 6. As such, there is a good chance that there will be some alterations to the list between now and Friday.

Draft order is determined by reverse order of finish at the end of the 2012 season which means Portland will have the #3 overall pick. Once a team elects to pass on their draft slot, they are finished for the rest of the draft. The draft ends once all teams have passed. For more info on the specifics of Friday, click here.

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 4:28 pm

The end of the 2012 MLS season draws nigh as the LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo in tomorrow's MLS Cup. A rematch of last season's final, this version presents plenty of drama. 

How will David Beckham's swan song play out? 
What does Brad Davis bring to the table this time around?
Is this the last game for Landon Donovan?
What's LA's gameplan?
How can Houston stun the Galaxy?

Tune in at 1:30pm PT on ESPN to find out. Have your say on Twitter with hashtag #MLSCup

Looking for a place to watch? The Timbers Army are hosting a viewing party to benefit AC Portland at Alberta Substation. Suggested donation of $5 gets you in with things getting rolling around 1pm. 

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, 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 2:29 pm

While the US Women's National team was busy last night at JELD-WEN Field tallying up 5 goals in their win over the Republic of Ireland, the US U-17's have been busy this week at the Nike International Friendlies in Florida.

Yesterday, the Yanks played to a thrilling 4-4 draw against Brazil and Timbers U-16 midfielder Rubio Rubin--who's been training at the US U-17 Residency Program--was particularly busy with two goals and two assists.

Backheels, throughballs and more. Rubio was busy.

29 November 10:19 am

Photo via

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 and check out the photo album of Porter in his UA of Akron office as well.

27 November 12:18 am

Though perhaps not quite as popular as the addictive FIFA 13--at least not in the US--Sega's Football Manager has it's very dedicated followers. A complete front office simulation game, Football Manager lets the user be the coach, technical director, and everything in-between to control all aspects of your favorite side.

For one such VERY dedicated and talented player of the game, he received the ultimate opportunity. FC Baku in the Azerbaijani Premier League turned over their head coaching duties to 21-year old Vugar Guloglan oglu Huseynzade, a young man with no head coaching experience other than what he has learned while playing Football Manager.

Incredibly, the new manager beat out established coaches like 1991 European Footballer of the Year and Olympique Marseille legend Jean-Pierre Papin. Read more here.

27 November 12:06 am

As stated by sports business contributor Jed Hughes on Bleacher Report: 

In just 16 years, the world’s most popular sport has climbed to become America’s third highest spectator sport on average. While soccer's relevance has been questioned by critics for many years, recent figures indicate that Major League Soccer (MLS) now averages higher attendance numbers than both the NHL and NBA respectively.

Go read the whole thing for more specific numbers and details.

25 November 10:51 pm

Akron's Reinaldo Brenes (7) and
Creighton's Andrew Ribeiro (28) (Photo via

“Well, there’s a lot of pain in that locker room over there, a lot of emotion. I feel the same. I don’t think this is anything we saw coming.”

Those were the words of an emotional University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter following his Zips' suprise 5-4 loss on penalties to Creighton in the 2012 NCAA College Cup third round match at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Tied 1-1 after 90 minutes via an Akron 12th minute goal from 2012 Zips breakout star Reinaldo Brenes and a Creighton 83rd minute equalizer from Timo Pitter, neither team was able to find another goal after the two overtime periods. Despite outshooting the Bluejays 31-11 for the match and 11-2 in the extra periods, the Zips could not pull out the win. Their best chance came in the first overtime period when Akron was given a penalty after a Creighton handball in the box. Zips captain Scott Caldwell struck the ball well only to be foiled by a strong save from Creighton's keeper.

It was a surprising and abrupt end not only to the Zips’ incredible season but also to Porter’s seven years in Akron.

Though the match meant the end of this phase of Porter’s career and he will be met by an eager Timbers fan base excited for his time to begin in Portland, it was a loss that was definitely felt hard.

To put Porter’s accomplishments at UA in perspective, here’s some numbers to consider:

-He finished his Akron career with a seven-year record of 123-18-17
-During his watch, Akron posted the highest winning percentage among all Division I schools
-Porter led the Zips to the school's first team national championship in any sport in 2010 and became one of the fastest coaches in NCAA history to reach 100 career wins in 2011
-The Zips' 18 wins in 2012 included 16 shutouts
-Akron allowed just eight goals in 22 matches this year

Needless to say, Porter leaves behind a formidable legacy. The Akron Beacon Journal has a nice recap of the match as well as a photo gallery of the difficult night in Akron.

But Porter wasn’t the only Timbers connection in the match. The 12th seeded Creighton side that beat the Zips featured two Timbers U-23s players in senior co-captain Andrew Ribeiro—who assisted on the game-tying goal and converted his penalty kick in the shootout—as well US U-20s defender Eric Miller. The Bluejays now move on to face 4th seeded UConn.

That duo, along with Louisville’s Brock Granger, are the only remaining Timbers U-23s left in the tournament. The Cardinals eliminated Northwestern 2-1 on Sunday and next take on 2nd seeded Maryland in the Elite Eight.

For a full bracket of the tournament, visit

19 November 6:05 pm

Eric Stevenson (Photo via

Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips began their quest for the 2012 NCAA Championship with a 2-1 victory over the Univ. of Michigan Sunday afternoon in front of 3,264 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Led by goals from Eric Stevenson (right) and Thomas Schmitt, the victory kept UA undefeated at home this season (10-0-1) as well as a perfect 6-0-0 against Big Ten schools. They have not lost at home in five years.

Porter spoke postgame about what it meant to win this game:

Senior Zips goalkeeper David Meves made four saves on the day and with a full 90 minutes on the pitch, he became the NCAA's all-time minutes leader with 8,498 over his four-year career. Meves already holds the NCAA the record for all-time shutouts.

The Akron Beacon Journal’s Marla Ridenour has a great profile on Meves. In her observations of the game, she wrote about a diving stop Meves made early in the match on a shot destined for the upper corner, “If keepers could fly, Meves had wings. ‘Yeah, I got up there a little bit,’ Meves admitted.”

Next up, on Nov. 25 Porter and the Zips host 12th seeded Creighton who defeated the University of Washington 4-2 yesterday in Omaha. Timbers U-23s Eric Miller (also a US U-20 national team member) and Andrew Ribeiro featured for the Jays in that match as did goalkeeper Spencer Richey who started for UW.

The Zips remain ranked No. 1 overall by and No. 2 on