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Thursday, February 28, 2002

Let's just recap yesterday's goings-on at Oregonlive.com shall we?

Mark Baena - "I want to focus my energy elsewhere so I'm stepping out of the game"
Greg Howes - "The Timbers officially released me last week."


posted by the timberlog at 9:07 AM

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

A baby sardine

Saw her first submarine:

She was scared and watched through a peephole.

"Oh come, come, come,"

Said the sardine's mum.

"It's only a tin full of people."

Spike Milligan 1919-2002

[from A Book of Milliganimals 1968]

posted by the timberlog at 8:52 AM

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

2002 Open Cup
The format for this year's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is different from last year's. This time around the Timbers 2 games against the Seattle Sounders (May 4 PGE Park and May 5) will determine which side progresses to the Second Round. The winner of the aggregate goal series will join Rochester, Richmond (who both receive a bye into the second round) and 5 more A-League sides who win their particular match-ups.

"This is a great cup draw for our supporters," said Bobby Howe, head coach of the Timbers. "The games against Seattle last year were both competitive and entertaining. There will be even more on the line this year as we have only two games to reach the knockout phase of the competition."

posted by the timberlog at 12:48 PM

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Having a lovely time in Chile. Think Sigi likes me. Love...Jesus O.

It looks like the LA Galaxy are still taking a look at Jesus Ochoa, taking him on their 5 game pre-season training trip to Chile. Jesus played the full (although only 35 min halves) game against Magallanes of Chile's first division "B" in Santiago on Monday in a game that saw LA coming out 3-1 winners.

posted by the timberlog at 11:00 PM

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

NEW - 10 Questions with Michael O'Neill

One of the high points of last season was getting to see Michael O'Neill playing in the heart of the Timbers midfield and I recently got the chance to ask Michael about his career, spanning 10 clubs in N. Ireland, Scotland and England; his experience of playing in Portland, and his future plans. Read what he had to say in the latest "timberlog 10 questions".

posted by the timberlog at 5:18 PM

Timbers Re-Sign Vadim
The Timbers announced today that last year's college draft pick Vadim Tolstolutsky had been re-signed for the 2002 season.

"Vadim has all the tools to become an outstanding player; he has excellent ball control and dynamic finishing ability," said Bobby Howe. "He had a promising season with us last year and this season we are looking for him to build upon his tactical understanding of the game."

Vadim scored 3 goals in the 2001 season (Open Cup and League games) including a memorable goal at PGE Park, a 25 yd swerving shot past Sandhu to save a point against Vancouver.

It was also announced that Timbers individual game tickets would go on sale on Saturday, March 2 at 9 a.m.

At that time, tickets will be made available at PGE Park in addition to all Portland-area Ticketmaster outlets, including select Fred Meyer and G.I. Joe's locations. Also, tickets may be purchased by phoning Ticketmaster at (503) 224-4400 or on-line at ticketmaster.com.
The tickets, which range from $4.75 to $14.25 will be available for the 15 Timbers home matches, including the April 9 showdown with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy.

posted by the timberlog at 4:09 PM

Sunday, February 17, 2002

Timbers Tryouts-Day2

Bobby Howe talks to the trialists at the end of today's games against a University of Portland team

posted by the timberlog at 3:35 PM

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Timbers Tryouts

A sorry pic from today's tryout (for the real deal check out Allison's pics)

Izzy Ihekononye taking the throw for the trialists against a University of Washington team.

On the bench (left to right): Jimmy Conway, Bobby Howe, Billy McNicol (Utah Blitzz technical director)

posted by the timberlog at 8:27 PM

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

You want multimedia...we got it!

the link to Bobby Howe's comments about the 2002 College Draft is now here.

[the Apple Quicktime player can be downloaded here.]

posted by the timberlog at 7:04 PM

[Timbers press release]
Portland coach ‘delighted’ with Wednesday selections

For immediate release: February 13, 2002
PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Timbers Head Coach Bobby Howe went into Wednesday’s College Draft with a wish list of three players. To his delight, he emerged with all three and didn’t have to stray far from home, getting all three players from the University of Washington.

Howe and the Timbers selected two midfielders and a defender, using each of their three available picks in the annual A-League College Draft. The Timbers chose Bryn Ritchie, from Medford, Ore., in the first round; Ben Somoza, from Edmonds, Wash., in the second round; and Jake Sagare, from Yakima, Wash., in the third and final round.

“We have scouted University of Washington games for the last two years and were very focused on this year's senior players, Bryn Ritchie, Ben Somoza and Jake Sagare,” said Howe. “I am delighted that we were able to select these players in the draft. They were leaders at college and will be excellent additions to our squad.”

At the top of Howe’s list was Ritchie, who was previously chosen by Colorado in the third round (28th overall) of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft that was held February 10. Ritchie, a defender, was part of three consecutive conference championships at Washington. With the Huskies, he was a two-time Pac-10 first-team player and earned third-team all-America honors as a senior in 2001. In addition to his playing accolades, he was named the National Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association last month.

“Ritchie is an outstanding, dominant central defender,” said Howe. “He is strong in the tackle and is one of the best headers of the ball in the college game. His talent has also been recognized by MLS where he was recently drafted by the Colorado Rapids. As Bryn is a native of Oregon, we are quietly confident that he will be wearing our colors this season.”

Ritchie tallied 10 points on four goals and two assists in his senior season at Washington.

At South Medford High School, Ritchie earned first-team all-state and conference MVP honors as a senior after leading his team to a state title, a 15-1-1 record and a finish of 14th in the nation that year.

Ritchie was the Timbers’ territorial pick. In the first round, each A-League team had the exclusive opportunity of drafting a player from a college or high school in its draft territory, which for the Timbers included the state of Oregon.

In the second round, the Timbers selected Somoza, an experienced midfielder who led all Huskies’ scorers this past season with 17 points on five goals and seven assists. His 41 shots on goal were good for second-best on the UW team.

Somoza drew All-Pac 10 first-team honors after his junior season, in which he compiled six goals after starting all 20 games.

“Somoza is a hard working, forceful midfield player with excellent all-round ability,” Howe said. “He is both a leader and a winner.”

The Timbers rounded out their draft-day selections with Sagare, a midfielder who had four points on two goals and 21 shots on goal this season for the Huskies. After limited action in his freshman season of 1998, Sagare saw a marked increase in offensive production after assuming a starting position as a sophomore.

“Sagare is a natural wide player who is equally effective on either flank,” added Howe. “He has outstanding speed, excellent dribbling ability and is a first-class crosser of the ball."

The Huskies finished the 2001 season with a record of 13-6-0 overall and 4-4-0 in the Pac-10. After receiving a first-round bye, the Huskies met Northwest-rival Portland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Pilots won, 1-0, at Husky Soccer Field in Seattle.

posted by the timberlog at 2:53 PM

First the good news...

On the day that the USL announced a 5-year partnership with Fox Sports which will result in 25 A-League games being shown this season, some not so promising news on Timbers owners, the Goldklang Group.

In Tuesday’s Portland Tribune there is a report that the Pacific Coast League (in which the Beavers play) is reluctant to approve the Goldklang group as the Beavers new operators, the problems resulting from Mike Veeck’s (Goldklang's president) past battles with baseball’s ruling class over his other minor league teams. Veeck may be forced to step back from a leading role and let PFE’s president Mark Schuster become the Beavers official leader. Neither the PCL president, nor Mark Schuster would speculate whether the situation could affect the Beaver’s 2002 season.
Scott Thomason, lead PFE investor, said that the group has alternative plans if the Goldklang Group is rejected as PFE’s operators. He did say however that:

I think we’re well on the way to getting (league) approval.

All this in addition to this week’s decision by the city as to whether to approve Goldklang as the operators of the Beavers and the Timbers after reviewing the “turnaround plan” submitted by Goldklang.

UPDATE: I'm told that the dispute with the PCL is not affecting the running of either the Beavers or the Timbers and the only likely change would be Mike Veeck's role.
UPDATE on the UPDATE: Mark Schuster was named president of PFE and general manager of the Beavers today (Thurs Feb 14th).

"While I'll still be Mike Veeck's partner," Schuster said, "it's evident that there were unnecessary delays in the approval process and that it was best if I take over as the company's president on a permanent basis. With all the big-time events we are attracting to PGE Park and the great enthusiasm for baseball and soccer in Portland, PFE is getting stronger every day, and I'm very committed to being a part of that continued success."

posted by the timberlog at 2:18 PM

A-League College Player Draft Day.
Tune in to uslsoccer.com for the details beginning at 10 am Portland time.

Timbers Picks:

First Round: Bryn Ritchie D (University of Washington/Seattle Sounders Select)
Bryn Ritchie, a Medford, OR native, played a part in helping the Huskies to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles in 1998 and '99 and to the inaugural Pac-10 Conference crown in 2000. Ritchie was a two-time All-Pac-10 first team player and earned third team all-America honors as a senior in 2001. In addition to his playing honors, he was named National Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association last month.
Byrn was also 28th pick in the recent MLS super draft (Colorado)

Second Round: Benjamin Somoza MF (University of Washington/Seattle Sounders Select)
Benjamin Somoza was the Huskies 2001 points leader with 5 goals (including 3 PKs), 7 assists (including 2 against the U of P in Nov) in 18 games.

Both Ritchie and Somoza (Huskies co-captains) were named to the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Soccer All-Academic teams 2 years in a row (2000-2001)

Third Round: Jake Sagare M (University of Washington/Yakima Reds)
Jake Sagare is another member of the succesful Huskies team, scoring 2 goals in 2001, the co-team leader in shots on goal (47) in 2000, and scorer of the game-winner in the Huskies' 3-2 first-round NCAA tourney game at Portland in 1999.

posted by the timberlog at 9:06 AM

Saturday, February 09, 2002

MLS 2002 Super Draft
Details of Sunday's Super Draft can be found on the MLS.com site, with a link to live audio and player profiles.

posted by the timberlog at 10:36 AM

Friday, February 08, 2002

Who Threw the Gri-Gri?
Not Timbers related [but when was THAT a crime], but still for the "File Under Crazy Soccer" section, have you been keeping up with the 2002 African Nations Cup?

Malian riot police handcuff and arrest Thomas N'kono, (the assistant to Cameroon's German trainer Winfried Schaefer) prior to the semi-final game between Cameroon and hosts Mali for allegedly throwing a black-magic charm (gris-gris) onto the pitch! N'kono is then knocked to the ground and dragged onto the running track adjacent to the pitch, at one point appearing with his tracksuit trousers pulled around his ankles. A disgusted Schafer implored journalists and photographers to record the furore and later a policeman retrieved an "object" from the pitch to cheers from fans in the stadium.

All this as a culmination (unless something more bizarre happens in the final) to a competition that has seen Cameroon officials and German coach Winfried Schafer (again) refusing to stay at a high-cost hotel (claiming that it was too busy and noisy, "like a market") and instead choosing a new dormitory complex (on which construction was not fully complete) and then having to negotiate piles of rubble and the fact that there were not enough beds to go round; the new African Nations Cup trophy having to be sent back to it's makers because the Anglophone Confederation of African Football (CAF) members complained that the wording on the prize was only in French and not in English as well, resulting in a replica having to be used at the final on Sunday; Cameroon (yes again!) having to climb over locked gates to get into their training session for the semi-final game and then having to play in near-darkness because the floodlights hadn't been turned on; recriminations all round as Nigeria lost to Senegal in the other semi. Players blamed Nigerian sports ministry officials saying they had upset players by threatening not to pay promised bonuses following the quarter-final win over Ghana because the team had "played rubbish." Players were also upset after sports minister Ishaya Mark Aku failed to enquire about the health of Ike Shorunmu after the goalkeeper was knocked unconscious against Ghana.

Add in mysterious illnesses to many players and complaints about the Malian heat and you have one crazy tournament...and that's before you actually talk about the games themselves!

"Zulu religious specialists prepare teams for football matches. In Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and in Liberia, supporters and team members perform rituals to influence results in their favour. In Nairobi, teams budget for religious specialists. On the middle Congo, where resources were seen as finite, a match started with a preordained number of goals. The role of team magicians in this zero-sum game was to steal points from their opponents while protecting their own goals. African sport is 'bathed in the occult', wrote a Zairois [Congolese] referee.

posted by the timberlog at 2:06 PM

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Timbers to Play LA Galaxy - April 9th

As part of the 2002 A-League/MLS Exhibition series, the Timbers have announced a game against the LA Galaxy. Here is the press release in full:

The Timbers will play Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy in a special match to start the 2002 season, it was announced today. The match will take place at PGE Park on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 2 at 9 a.m. At that time, tickets will be made available at PGE Park in addition to all Portland-area Ticketmaster outlets, including select Fred Meyer and G.I. Joe’s locations. Also, tickets may be purchased by phoning Ticketmaster at (503) 224-4400 or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com.

Tickets for the MLS match will be priced the same as regular-season Timbers matches and will range from $4.75 - $14.25. The Galaxy match is also included in Timbers full- and partial-season ticket plans. These ticket plans are available by phoning (503) 553-5555.

"We're thrilled to be bringing one of the world's premier soccer teams to Portland," said Jim Taylor, Timbers vice president and general manager. "They're loaded with some of the most recognizable talent in soccer in the likes of Cobi Jones, Chris Albright, Maurico Cienfuegos, Ezra Hendrickson, Alexi Lalas, and Greg Vanney."

At 14-7-5, the Galaxy finished with the league’s third-best record and won the Western Division in 2001. The Galaxy emerged as 2001 MLS Cup finalists, marking the team’s third visit to the Cup. There, the Galaxy were narrowly defeated by the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, in sudden-death overtime. Additionally, the Galaxy were winners of the 2000 Football Confederation Champions Cup (Concacaf) and closed 2001 by winning the U. S Open Cup Championship against the New England Revolution.

“The Timbers have established themselves as a strong club and a source for some top-notch MLS players,” said Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid. “The match should prove to be an interesting and entertaining one.”

In its only other match against an MLS foe, Portland last season defeated the MLS-champion Earthquakes, 2-1, on a thrilling header in the 74th minute by Kevin Legg off a cross from Keith Costigan.

posted by the timberlog at 9:21 AM

Sounders Announce Sawatzky Signing

2002 MLS Super Draft set for Sunday 10th Feb

posted by the timberlog at 9:15 AM

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