Blog

01 September 1:51 am

Photo Courtesy of GoZips.com

In Caleb Porter's first University of Akron match after being named head coach of the Portland Timbers, the Zips came from behind to draw with #2 Creighton 1-1 in Omaha, NE on Friday night.

After going into the half down a goal for only the 11th time in Porter's seven years at the helm in Akron, the Zips found the equalizer in the 57th minute on a Alfred Koroma header.

Were it not for an offside call in the ensuing overtime, Akron would have come away with the win. As it was, they dominated both halves of the overtime outshooting the Bluejays 4-1.

Check out the recap on the GoZips.com website. Akron next plays SIU Edwardsville on Sunday morning at 10am PT in their final match of the Ameritas Classic in Omaha.

31 August 2:40 pm

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. 

Read the whole thing over at MLSsoccer.com.

Meanwhile, Porter's Zips take on Creighton tonight at 5:30pm PT. There's a live webstream at NetNebraska.org.

30 August 8:33 am

The third installment of the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance is coming to JELD-WEN Field this Friday as the Timbers take on Colorado Rapids (7:30pm PT, NBC Sports Network, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940) in the form of Stumptown Dumplings, or Stumplings.

Stumplings will be serving up orders of six dumplings and two sauces for $7 out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium.

Owners Justin Prasad and Nimesh Dayal started their food cart after ten years of friendship and even more in the hospitality industry. “We wanted to branch out,” said Prasad. After a month and a half of discussing the idea, Prasad and Dayal had their license and their custom-built food cart ready for business. “It happened much faster than either of us expected,” said Dayal. Stumplings celebrated their grand opening on May 31.

“I’ve always worked for someone else. Serving here at the field proves I can work on my own and can succeed,” said Prasad. “It’s exciting because it’s our idea coming to life. I just want people to connect the ‘Stumplings’ with Justin and Nimesh, and this is a great opportunity for us.”

Stumplings can be found in the Alberta15 food cart pod in northeast Portland, and is the third of four food carts voted to serve during a home match via Facebook.

PTFCA is looking for new members. Applications for PTFCA will be accepted for the remainder of the season. Another fan vote for the remaining two home matches will run in early September.
 

27 August 11:16 am

Ian Hogg with Auckland City FC - Photo: OFC via Phototek

The Oceania Football Confederation--home federation for New Zealand Football--wrote a nice piece about new Timbers signing Ian Hogg recently that makes for a good read. A starter in all three matches for the Oly Whites at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Hogg played alongside Jake Gleeson who was also a member of the team.

"I'm just looking to take any opportunities I get given," said Hogg. And with Timbers GM/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson and assistant coach Cameron Knowles also being veterans of the All Whites New Zealand national team, Portland has a growing Kiwi contingent.

Read the article here.

The article refers to Hogg's first goal in his senior national team debut during a friendly against El Salvador earlier this spring in Houston. It's a pretty quick run down the left flank that leads to a confident strike. See it here (Fast foward to the 29:41 mark, commentary in Spanish).

Then watch Hogg's first training with the team from last week.

24 August 11:00 am

Summer is winding down, but KeyBank’s Summer of Rewards is still shining strong, this time with free sunglasses!

KeyBank is giving away 4,000 pairs of Portland Timbers sunglasses at their booth on Saturday before the match. Look for them at the KeyBank Plaza at JELD-WEN Field on SW Morrison & 18th.

KeyBank is also giving away 1,000 vouchers for Timbers Bucks, each worth $10 each for use any JELD-WEN Field merchandise location or concession stand during the match.

Check out the last of KeyBank’s Summer of Rewards plans, like Movies in the Park, through September 7. KeyBank will be at random movies throughout Portland parks giving away Timbers tickets and gear!

23 August 10:00 am

On Saturday's match against Vancouver Whitecaps (7:30pm PT, ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940 Presented by KeyBank) Portland fans can try battered cod and haddock, courtesy of The Frying Scotsman.

The Frying Scotsman will serve out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium, and offer battered cod fish and hand-cut chips for $8.50 and battered haddock, also with hand-cut chips for $9.50.

Owner and chef James King, originally from Ayrshire, Scotland, opened The Frying Scotsman as a food cart in 2009 after moving to Portland and looking for work as a chef. He bought his cart from a seller on Craigslist one morning and the rest is history.

“I am not sure I could have done this in Scotland, or anywhere else in the US for that matter," said King. "I am very happy that Portland has afforded me the opportunity to do this."

Portland’s only Scottish fish and chip joint – or “chippy” can be found on SW 9th and Alder Streets.

The Frying Scotsman is the second of four food carts selected by fans via Facebook to serve at the stadium.

“I was really proud to be voted into serving at JELD-WEN, of course,” said King. “I have really enjoyed seeing Timbers matches and getting to know some of the players so it is a true honor to be a part of a great football club at its infancy.

"My customers are very happy too and it's natural for them to ask me all the time if I am involved with the Timbers. Now I can say YES!”

PTFCA is looking for new members. Applications for PTFCA will be accepted for the remainder of the season. Another fan vote for the remaining two home matches will run in early September.
 

22 August 5:21 pm

Last week, famed English Premiere League club Manchester City announced a special program that would release loads upon loads of statistical information from the team’s 2011-2012 EPL season. They did this in a unique way to crowdsource ideas and analysis of players' performances. Gavin Fleig, Man City's head of performance analysis, told The Guardian, "The whole reason for putting this data out there is to open the doors. The data has value, previously it has been kept in-house and behind guarded doors, but there is a recognition now that clubs need to help this space develop."

Both Michael Lewis' Moneyball and Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski’s Soccernomics tell the story of the importance of statistical analysis in sports--Lewis' with baseball and Kuper and Szymanski's then building off of that to get into soccer. With Man City, their document is incredibly thorough and open to all after registering at their website. Broken out by player, there’s every match and every stat you could think of: Right Footed Shots off Target, Goals from Corners, Total Unsuccessful Passes Excluding Crosses, Corners and much much more. It’s a deep document.

But that kind of statistical analysis and, more importantly, access to it, is something that MLS has been similarly doing on a league-wide scale since last season as they rolled out their toolbox of features with Opta. Every Matchcenter page on MLSsoccer.com has up to the minute stats in game and the Chalkboard feature is filled to the brim with heat maps, pass stats, positioning information and more.

And with adidas’ new Smart Soccer platform having debuted at the 2012 MLS All-Star Game with an eye towards even more use in 2013, the importance of statistics and their meaning on the game becomes even deeper. See their latest ad running with quite a few cameos from Timbers players.

How do you see the focus on statistics changing the game? Got a thought? Let us know in the comments below or send us a note at thebackcut(at)portlandtimbers.com.

 

16 August 3:19 pm

Photo: AP

If you were watching the Timbers 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday night, you may have noticed Lovel Palmer and Steve Purdy not with the team. This was due to both men being away with their respective national teams as Purdy was with El Salvador and Palmer with Jamaica. With both national teams matching up against one another Wednesday evening at RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C., there was a unique Timbers intrasquad rivalry at play with Palmer’s Jamaica beating Purdy’s El Salvador 2-0.

Palmer and Purdy both started and played the full 90 minutes battling against one another. Jamaica’s midfielder Luton Shelton would give The Reggae Boyz the win as he put two goals into the back of the net. Now not only does Palmer have a little bit of bragging rights here in Portland, but he also gets a nice home cooked meal of his choice made by Purdy due to a bet placed earlier on Twitter.

This past Sunday, Purdy and La Selecta took to the pitch in the first of their two matches this week as they played Guatemala to a 1-0 victory at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Purdy started and played the full 90 minutes while teammate Nelson Bonilla scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute to give the Central Americans a boost ahead of the next round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Jamaica will play Kenya next in a friendlyl on Aug. 25 followed by a World Cup qualifier against the U.S. on Sept. 11 in Columbus. El Salvador will play Guyana in a World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 7.

RECAP: Jamaica Gleaner: Boyz ‘Two’ Good

RECAP in Spanish: La Prensa Grafica – El Salvador lost 0-2 against Jamaica

14 August 12:59 pm

Timbers teammates Lovel Palmer and Steve Purdy are in the interesting situation this week of coming face-to-face with each other on the pitch far from JELD-WEN Field. Both players were called up to their respective national teams--Palmer for Jamaica and Purdy for El Salvador--to take part in an international friendly on Wednesday, August 15 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. at 5pm PT.

As both players are quite active on Twitter, the chatter began after Purdy's La Selecta beat Guatemala 1-0 in a friendly Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Palmer noticed the win and tweeted a question about having a friendly wager for this week's match.
 

 

After some good-natured jibes back and forth the best idea was presented by a fan: The loser must make the winner dinner.
 

 

Now with both teams training in D.C., the two have run into each other as part of the preparations.
 

 

While the game does not count in any CONCACAF standings anywhere, it should present a great tune-up ahead of September's World Cup qualifiers. And for one of two Timbers teammates, it means a hearty meal and bragging rights.

09 August 11:25 pm

While we often post here in The Backcut about news and interesting soccer tidbits, cool events with team partners, and other assorted ephemera, this Saturday, August 11 presents a particularly easy way to mix your love of Timbers with beer and helping out a great cause.

Join defender David Horst and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson--Gleeson freshly returned from London 2012--along with Timbery Joey at Widmer Brothers Brewing at 929 N Russell Street this Saturday from 5-8pm for a special "Brother's Day" event. There will be live music, prizes - including a pair of 2013 season tickets, plus for $20, you get two Timbers Reserve League tickets for the match against the San Jose Earthquake Reserves on Aug. 26, two drink tokens to Brother's Day, and a Timbers scarf and keychain. 

All proceeds from the 21 and over event's beer sales and special ticket packages benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest--one of the Timbers Stand Together Pillar Partners.

Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday evening.