07 August 5:19 pm


Remember how not that long ago, KeyBank was giving you free pizza and/or cookie dough at Papa Murphy's?

And remember how you could't lose as it was FREE?

Well, they're at it again this Thursday buying free Burgerville cheeseburgers for all. All you need to do is visit the Convention Center Burgerville (1135 NE MLK Blvd., Portland, OR  97232) between 4-5pm and you get free eats. KeyBank clients, show your KeyBank debit card and you’ll be upgraded to a basket at no charge!

Also, Timbers players David Horst, Hanyer Mosquera and Sal Zizzo will be on site as well.*

So again, how can you lose?

(You can't. It's free.)

Be sure to check out more of KeyBank's Summer of Rewards as they've planned a whole slew of goodies to keep an eye out for.

*Player appearances subject to change.

06 August 10:25 am

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

As the US Women's National Team continues their run at London 2012 for Olympic gold, they'll have to go through Canada to do it. Unbeaten in the group stage and dispatching New Zealand in the quarterfinals, the USWNT now face a spirited Canada later this morning following the France-Japan semifinal (11:30am, NBC Sports Network).

The two teams know each other well. It was just about a year ago when JELD-WEN Field hosted a friendly between the USA and Canada in a match that had three University of Portland alums in it--Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Lopez for the US and Sophie Schmidt for Canada. While Lopez is not on this Olympic squad this time around, Rapinoe and Schmidt look to feature heavily today in London. Moreover, Christine Sinclair, who did not play in last year's friendly in Portland, is another University of Portland player who directs much of the Canadians' attack.

Back at JELD-WEN Field last September, Wambach had two goals while Rapinoe was snakebit but with all the Cascadian connections on the field, it made for a decidedly special night in the Rose City. Take a look at the postgame video from last year then be sure to watch the Olympic semifinal later this morning. 

03 August 8:23 pm

Long is the list of numerous and creative Timbers Army chants that are used to thunderous effect on matchdays.

But the TA is also well known for their commitment to their town through a robust and developed community outreach programs. Whether it be helping through Operation Pitch Invasion and their efforts to repair and improve soccer fields throughout Portland or their work at fundraising for the unique Harper's Playground project, the TA volunteer efforts run deep.

Tomorrow, the Timbers Army are helping put on a unique show that combines their famous chants with distinctive art. Partnering with Portland design collective Factory North and a host of other talented designers and artists, the Timbers Army are putting on Art Takeover: Operation Harper's Playground aims to raise money for the still under construction Harper's Playground in North Portland. The Harper's Playground project is an initiative aiming to build a fully accessible playground for children and adults of all abilities can come together to play.

Perhaps the coolest part of all this? Each poster created is built and designed around a unique phrase pulled from the litany of famous Timbers Army chants. And at only $30 a print, each item is a steal of a deal. The list of artists is impressive including OMFGCo, Jolby and Justin "Scrappers" Morrison. Visit their website for a full list of designers and get a sneak peek of some of the posters to be on display. There's a total of 30 artists with editions of 50 made for each handpulled artist signed and numbered print.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Coava Coffee on 1300 SE Grand Avenue tomorrow anytime between 8am-6pm (or a special 21+ 7-10pm reception the same night) and get your poster then come Sunday to cheer on the Timbers as they take on FC Dallas at JELD-WEN Field.

Watch the great video for a complete rundown of the whole shebang:

03 August 9:57 am

This Sunday's August 5 Portland Timbers match against FC Dallas (4pm PT, NBC Sports Network, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940) marks the first appearance of a Portland food cart at JELD-WEN Field through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA). But just what kind of menu of delicious food can we expect?

808 Grinds will be occupying the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium serving up their Hawaiian-style plate lunches, including their Shoyu Chicken, Kalua Pig, and 808 Fried Chicken for $7. A combo of two entrees can be purchased for $9, and all plates are served with rice and macaroni salad.

Childhood friends Kevin Scofield and Jensen Kip grew up in Maui and started 808 Grinds in September 2010. The 808 Grinds food cart can be found on SW 9th and Washington Streets and has since grown to include a mobile truck that serves in various locations around Portland.

808 Grinds is one of four food carts selected by fans via Facebook to serve at the stadium.

“It feels good to be voted in by our customers. There’s always a good vibe around here,” said Scofield. “A great customer experience is something that we want to accomplish, and it feels good. We’re happy to be here.”

“[Serving at JELD-WEN Field] is a great opportunity. It’s a chance for people to experience 808 Grinds that live on the east side, or Hillsboro or Clackamas and might not visit downtown every day, but make the trip to see the Timbers every game,” continued Scofield. “To be a part of the Timbers organization is very exciting for us, not only to expand our reach, but to serve to local fans who are loyal to both us and the Timbers is a really great feeling.”

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.


02 August 4:49 pm

Begun in 2009 in New York City—the center for all things independent film-related—the Kicking + Screening Film Festival set out to merge the art of the beautiful game with the art of cinema. Branching out to satellite editions in Washington, DC, Houston, North Adams, Mass., London, Amsterdam and, most recently, Liverpool, K+S presents films that examine the culture of soccer both on and off the field.

And now, they bring their cinematic and pitch artistry to Portland.

Arriving September 13-14, K+S Portland, presented by KickTV and presented in partnership with the Portland Timbers, takes on the theme of “rivalry” all in the build-up to Saturday’s Sept. 15 Cascadia Cup clash between Portland and Seattle (NBC, 12:30pm PT).

Along with the two headlining films, Argentina Fútbol Club—about the battles between Boca Juniors & River Plate—as well as Gringos At The Gate—a look into the U.S.A-Mexico soccer border clash—K+S Portland will also feature panels, gatherings, and all kinds of other engaging events.

There will be more info to follow but visit the K+S Portland website to see the full lineup, learn more get tickets (Thursday, Friday).


02 August 11:14 am

A few weeks ago during the Timbers' exciting friendly with Aston Villa at JELD-WEN Field, you may have noticed a spontaneous round of applause beginning at the stroke of the 19th minute. It was a show of solidarity and respect for Villa team captain and number 19 Stiliyan Petrov during his battle with leukemia. Petrov, who was diagnosed late in the 2011-12 EPL season, was undergoing treatments and did not accompany the team to Portland. 

Aston Villa was happy to announce today that Petrov's leukemia appears to be in remission:

It is with great delight that the club can confirm on behalf of our long-standing captain, Stiliyan Petrov, that Stan's acute leukaemia is in remission.
Stan would like to take this opportunity to express his deep gratitude to the medical staff who have looked after him so well since his condition was diagnosed just over four months ago.
He also wishes to place on record again his profound sense of appreciation for the incredible outpouring of love and support he has received from Villa fans, his team-mates and colleagues at the club, as well as football fans and many more people around the world during this period.
Read the full statement here.
01 August 10:11 am

The fans have spoken!

The first four food carts to serve at JELD-WEN Field through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA) have been chosen via Facebook fan vote. The first food cart will serve at the August 5 match.

Each food cart will offer a selection of their specialty items at the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium.

Here are the winning food carts for the next four home matches:

August 5 – 808 Grinds (Twitter)
About: 808 Grinds is the creation of Jensen Yip and Kevin Scolfield. The food here offers up flavors that have influenced Hawaiian food for years like teriyaki, ginger, wasabi and others. Their menu features traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kalua pig and Shoyu chicken served with rice and traditional mac salad.

August 25 – The Frying Scotsman (Twitter)
About: British fish and chips prepared fresh daily in Portland, OR by Scotsman James King. The recipes they use have been handed down through generations in Scotland. Chef James King hails from Ayrshire, UK, on the west coast of Scotland.

Sept. 15 – Big Ass Sandwiches (Twitter)
About: Big-Ass Sandwiches is exactly what it sounds like: Delicious, ample sandwiches filled with home roasted meats and homemade ingredients, sure to squash big hunger in its tracks. This new Portland food cart is owned and operated by husband and wife Brian and Lisa Wood. Located downtown on the corner of SW 3rd & Ash Street, they serve up one-of-a-kind sandwiches to the people of Portland, who are already delightfully in the midst of what can only be described as an outright sandwich revival.

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.

Stay tuned for more details on each food cart as the season goes on. First up: 808 Grinds!

31 July 4:48 pm


Hungry? Like pizza? I'll go out on a limb here and say that even if you aren't hungry, you probably like pizza. Who doesn't like pizza?

Want to know something even better than pizza?


Tomorrow, August 1st, all day, our friends at KeyBank are providing a free large one-topping pizza for pick-up for any KeyBank client who shows their debit card at the Papa Murphy's Hawthorne location (4115 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214).

Not a KeyBank client but still like free stuff and/or are hungry?

Go to that same Papa Murphy's on Hawthorne in your Timbers gear and they'll give you free cookie dough! No purchase neccessary.

How can you lose?

(You can't. It's free.)

Be sure to check out more of KeyBank's Summer of Rewards as they've planned a whole slew of goodies to keep an eye out for.

20 July 3:14 pm

For Timbers players Diego Chara, Hanyer Mosquera, Sebastián Rincón and Jose Adolfo Valencia, today marks the 102nd anniversary of their native Colombia’s independence. To get us all in the spirit of celebration, here are a few facts about Colombia’s independence and the flower vase that helped to start it all:

 Photo: Portland Timbers

  • Formerly called New Granada, Colombia was under Spanish rule – then under Joseph Bonaparte after his brother, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain in 1808.
  • Bogota, New Granada’s capital, was the stronghold of Spanish power. Smaller surrounding cities and towns had announced their independence as early as April 1810.
  • To incite the riot, Bogota patriots asked a well-known Spanish merchant to borrow a flower vase to decorate the table of a patriot sympathizer. The merchant, known for his quickness to anger, would be sure to lose his temper and begin the riot. Accounts to his reaction are mixed and unclear, though the patriots ran throughout town shouting about his rudeness, regardless.
  • Simultaneously, another patriot appealed to Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón for an open council regarding independence. This request was denied, and the Bogota residents took to the streets, openly protesting the Spanish rule.
  • Patriot leaders once again approached the viceroy, but with a different solution: they asked for a town meeting to elect a governing council, of which Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón would be a part of. He agreed after some hesitation (and the prodding by the mob outside his front door), and signed the act that eventually secured Colombia’s independence.

Today, Colombians celebrate their independence day with feasts, parades and festivals. Learn more about Colombian culture and traditions in this segment of Verdado o Falso from with Hanyer Mosquera and Diego Chara (In Espanol).

19 July 3:42 pm

Last weekend, my wife dragged me out to a massive—and I mean MASSIVE—antique show in North Portland. Two full expo center halls plus and outdoor soccer pitch’s worth of tents filled with sellers of all manner of knick-knacks, furniture, vintage toys, prints and the like.

While I was on the hunt for nothing in particular, I found myself drawn to tables with old postcards and photographs. It was here that I began to uncover fun little elements of soccer history.

At one table, the merchant had three-ring binders of old photos. In one overflowing tome simply labeled, “Sports,” were random photos of soccer clubs from Prague in the 1930s.

I was particularly drawn to a collection of six photos labeled, “Sparta ABA vs. Heidelberg SC, National Cup, 1936.” Underneath each club is “Chicago” for Sparta and “Pitsburg, PA” (sic) for Heidelberg.  A few Google clicks later revealed that Sparta ABA stood for Sparta Athletic and Benevolent Association. Wikipedia tells us that Sparta ABA, aka Chicago Sparta was founded by Czech immigrants in 1917.

The National Cup referred to in the photos is, in fact, the now more commonly known Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Wikipedia gets a bit vague here, but best I can make out, the pictures are from the Western Division National Cup semi-finals which Heidelberg won 2-1. Wikipedia lists a Sparta Garden City of Chicago playing Heidelberg but given the photo, I’m inclined to believe Wikipedia meant Sparta ABA.

My score of the day, however, came just as the whole show was finishing up. Tucked behind some old Muppets pint classes and other plastic toys was an early-year MLS soccer ball from at least 1997. Adorned with numerous now defunct logos of Miami Fusion FC, San Jose Clash, Tampa Bay Mutiny, and old skool New York/New Jersey MetroStars, I talked the guy down to $10.

While I expected to find old baseball mitts, balls and bats—and I did—it’s clear there’s a rich historical soccer memorabilia world out there. eBay is full of vintage goodies. For Father’s Day, my family got me an NASL Portland Timbers pennant off of eBay. Surprisingly when I opened it, however, it turned out the seller made a switcheroo mistake. I opened a triangular shaped box to find a pennant for the Edmonton Drillers. Presumably, there was an equally confused father opening his present in Alberta.

Want to find other random bits of soccer lore? Soccer blog has a whole feature dedicated to it called “Treasures of eBay.” From Pink Floyd soccer kits, to a signed 1979 Minnesota Kicks ball, to a team autographed USWNT baseball, it’s all here.

What random bit of soccer history do you cherish? Let us know in the comments below or email us a pic at thebackcut(at)