Providence Park

10 May 1:43 pm

With the Houston Dynamo opening their new BBVA Compass Stadium this weekend, MLSsoccer.com takes a look at some of the most memorable MLS stadium debuts. 

With all due respect to our Canadian neighbors in Toronto, and the Midwestern folks in Kansas City, the JELD-WEN Field opening takes the cake. Beyond that, though, the opening of Houston's new field marks another development in the growth of soccer-specific stadiums in MLS. 

And it's another great stadium to watch a match. Give Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle's Three for Thursday a read and then re-live the House of Pane opening.

What are some of your favorite memories at JELD-WEN Field?

Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.

09 May 3:41 pm

 Photo: Miranda Chrislocke

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.

08 May 8:59 am

Soccer history isn't always dealing with obscure fith division teams from some pastoral English countryside. No. Rather there's a long American--and even Oregonian--slant to what we know as The Beautiful Game.

 Jan. 20, 1914, Lincolln High School Boys Soccer Team
Photo courtesy the Futbol Heritage Archive/Boxscore News World Sportswire

George Fosty, president and a founder of the Society of North American Historians and Researchers, has written a lovingly researched post online that charts the history of soccer in Oregon all the way back to the 19th century. The early guises of the Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club—now known simply as the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) and its quest to build a stadium that eventually becomes JELD-WEN Field, intra-Oregon collegiate rivalries, road trips to Seattle, a Cameron Cup, the inception of the womens game, hoodlums, hoodwinks, and eventual creation of the Portland Timbers are all mentioned in his piece, Knee-Knockers: Celebrating 120-Years Of Oregon Soccer. Fosty explains his love of Portland and sets up its founding in the Oregon Territory as the precursor to a long soccer history:

The city of Portland, the largest city in Oregon, was incorporated in 1851. At the time of incorporation Portland boasted a population of 821, of which 653 were men, 164 women, and 4 were identified as "free colored." By 1885, the population would stand at 17,500. Fifteen years later, the city would register 90,426. By 1910, it would boast 207,214. During these years, Portland would distinguish itself as one of the most forward thinking cities in North America. A visionary approach that often split over into the realm of sports, among which included the game of soccer.

While much of those early years are difficult to research and may be built around more conjecture than fact, it's an interesting read into the nascent stages of Oregon soccer. Read the whole thing here.

Hungry for more history? Check out Portland-based historian and occasional PortlandTimbers.com contributor Michael Orr’s new book that expands upon the creation of the NASL-era Timbers in his new book The 1975 Portland Timbers: The Birth of Soccer City USA. Well researched with interviews from many of the original Timbers such as current MLS-era soccer ambassadors John Bain and Mick Hoban, the book is a unique snapshot of a key era of Portland soccer history.

Still wanting more history? The excellent soccer blog Free Beer Movement blog took the recent Lionel Messi achievement of scoring 72 goals over the course of a first division season—including all cup tournaments—to delve into how that broke a record once held by an American soccer player, Archie Stark.

With players like Pele (66 for Santos in 1958) and Mueller in the rear-view mirror for global scoring tallies who could have Messi blown by to set yet another record?
An American, of course.
Yes. Someone from the United States of America.
Buried in a host of articles celebrating Messi's accomplishment (many omitting any mention of it at all) was the name Archie Stark.
Read up on this great piece of American soccer history here.

Study up for finals.

Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.