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Friday, April 29, 2005

Next Up...Minnesota

The Minnesota Thunder visit PGE Park tonight (KO 7pm), the Timbers on a high after their 3-0 win over Toronto.

The Tribune reports this morning that Shaun Saunders (sore leg) is the only doubtful Timber and Aaran Lines (profiled in today's Oregonian) will be straining at the bit.

Ahead of the game there is this fairly downbeat assessment in the Pioneer Press of the USL's new structure, again highlighting the good thing we have here in Portland where we seemed to have transcended the whole USL/MLS quality argument somewhat.

The Timbers seem to have no problems with getting relationships with MLS teams (particularly LA) and public perceptions of the team and the games at PGE Park seem to be getting better each season.

The article also states that Thunder owner Jim Froslid thinks that Portland (along with Rochester and Montreal) are the only teams whose finances have been in the black. A statement that those knowing about the whole PGE Park/PFE/{insert owner here} saga would find strange!

The Timbers then move onto Seattle on Saturday night at Qwest Field.

posted by the timberlog at 7:29 AM



Saturday, April 23, 2005

Timbers Hit Three Times on Opening Day

Portland won 3-0 at PGE Park tonight against the Toronto Lynx, the Timbers midfield having an outstanding second half.

A Toronto own goal by Dekker off of a Brian Winters ball on 51' started the ball rolling and goals from Edwin Miranda on 60' and Byron Alvarez on 85' rounded off a satisfying night.

[Full match report here]

posted by the timberlog at 9:46 PM



Ko Minus 5!!!

Just over 5 hours to the start of the 2005 Portland Timbers season and for many the excitement is far too much to take. Tonight's visitors Toronto are in for a treat and probably a shock when they walk out at PGE Park tonight. By my reckoning this is Toronto's first visit to PGE Park and the teams have only met once before (Timbers were on the end of a 3-0 defeat in Toronto in 2001).

A nice hors d'oeuvre in the Oregonian this morning was this profile of Gavin Wilkinson.

I have a great feeling about this season (mixed in with the usual how-the-hell is the team going to look on the pitch butterflies), a year that could really see the Timbers taking off big time in Portland.

See you there!

posted by the timberlog at 1:41 PM



Friday, April 22, 2005

CulturePulped!

Not sure what the bigger news is ahead of tomorrow's Timbers love-fest at PGE Park...the fact that the Timbers announced that they will officially have the services of keeper Josh Saunders on loan from LA for the season and have signed back-up Sam Reynolds OR the fact that the Timbers Army appeared in today's CulturePulp in the Oregonian!

I'd say the latter!

posted by the timberlog at 2:57 PM



Thursday, April 21, 2005

Timbers Sign 2 Ahead of Saturday's Opener

The Timbers have announced the signing of 2 midfielders, Shaun Higgins and Tom Poltl, ahead of Saturday's 2005 season opening game against Toronto.

The 2 players, who have been part of Portland's pre-season training camp, both played for the PDL's Orange County Blue Stars in 2004.

The Timber's other new midfielder Aaran Lines is due into PDX on Friday and will be available for Saturday's season opener against Toronto (PGE Park 7pm).

posted by the timberlog at 10:16 AM



Thursday, April 14, 2005

Galaxy Edge Out Timbers 1-0

A fitter, quicker and stronger LA Galaxy side edged out the Portland Timbers by a single goal at PGE Park last night. It was a pretty even game throughout the night, drifting into stalemate at times, but it was Landon Donovan who helped break the deadlock when on 38' he threaded a ball from the edge of the box to Herculez Gomez and the LA forward slipped the ball past Josh Saunders for the only goal of the night.

The Galaxy definitely had the most chances, forcing Timbers keeper Josh Saunders into a number of good saves. On 7' Paulo Nagamura's 25yd shot sent Saunders diving to push the ball past his left hand post.

The Galaxy attacked on both wings well, Naldo da Conceicao and Paul Broome on the left and Michael Umana and Herculez Gomez on the right, but on the whole the Timbers defense dealt with them well.

Gavin Wilkinson suffered an injury to the head in the first 10 minutes and the Timbers put together some nice flowing moves early trying to get trialist Joe Beytebiere in on goal.

Danger on 15' as Wilkinson foul on Donovan set up a free kick 25yds out. With Shaun Saunders getting a yellow for a push in the wall, Donovan touched off for Guillermo Ramirez to blast just wide left.

A free kick at the other end, after a foul on Scot Thompson coming forward, led to Beytebiere almost getting a head on Alcaraz-Cuellar's kick, LA keeper Cronin getting there first.

A great play on 21' with Thompson breaking up a Galaxy attack and playing a through-ball to Beytebiere who was called offside.

On 23' it was Thompson again covering as Donovan, with a great outside of the foot pass, almost got Ned Grabavoy in on goal.

Saunders had to tip over on 27' after Umana shot from 20yds and with Gavin Wilkinson now with a bandaged head the Timbers defense seemed to wobble. On 33' after a LA corner the ball wasn't cleared and Gomez' cross back into the Timbers box found Umana up from the back line and unmarked in the 6yd box. Luckily his ball across goal was cleared, but it was a dangerous moment for Portland.

The rain started about now and continued for most of the game and with LA gaining the upper hand Gomez latched onto Donovan's deft pass to slip the ball into the Timbers net. 1-0 LA.

The Timbers made changes in the second half (Harrington for Afash, Higgins for Beytebiere, Henning, Winters and Heinzen on for Wilkinson, Poltl and Benedetti) and a few times almost got in behind the Galaxy defense. Heinzen in particular almost got in on a Miranda through ball on 59' but couldn't bring the ball under control.

Grabavoy's deflected shot almost sneaked in on 62' and with the rain stopping the Timbers were on the receiving end of some really tight offside decisions trying to run from deep. Harrington was particularly unlucky on 65', but the LA keeper would have probably got there first.

As the announced crowd of 4,227 watched Timber Jim fail to complete his trademark backflip 4 times in a row, that probably summed up the Timbers evening as they couldn't get any consistent attack going and the score remained Galaxy 1 - 0 Timbers.

Notes: Scot Thompson was again in fine form all night (as expected) and Miranda and Beytebiere in particular had a good game.

Was it my imagination or has Brian Winters "bulked up" a bit since last season??!!

posted by the timberlog at 8:52 AM



Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Timbers v Galaxy Tonight

The LA Galaxy return to PGE Park tonight, bringing a squad of 18, about half of which played in their 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake last Saturday. The squad includes Landon Donovan and fellow US national team members Chris Albright and Kevin Hartman.

Former Timber Alan Gordon unfortunately will not make the trip due to a groin strain.

Flashback to this quote from former Timbers keeper Matt Napoleon after the Galaxy's visit in 2002 when the Timbers won 2-1.

"Maybe we should keep playing those MLS teams because we keep beating them."


Kick Off is 7pm.

posted by the timberlog at 11:26 AM



Monday, April 11, 2005

LA Galaxy this Wednesday, Updates and a Sad Story

So...having been away doing "other things" the timberlog has a lot to catch up on.

Probably most important is a reminder that the LA Galaxy of MLS visit PGE Park this Wednesday for a pre-season friendly against the Portland Timbers (KO 7pm) so all of you who think that somehow a visiting MLS team= automatic class should come out of the woodwork and (hopefully) see the Timbers + trialists put on such a good display that you will return for the whole of the Timbers regular season!

Supposedly a certain Mr Donovan will be in attendance, ensuring much ribaldry from the hordes!

Next in importance is surely the Timbers 2-1 win over Seattle on Saturday (meaningless pre-season scrimmage/friendly or not). Goals from Scot Thompson (shameless plug: read the timberlog interview with Scot here) and trialist Luc Harrington.

Other big news included the new Timbers sponsor, Toyota, who's logo now graces the front of the Timbers jerseys and who will be giving away a free Prius to all 2005 season ticket holders....OK not really. Quite a coup that and I'd love to know the story of how that came about.

Other news includes the re-signing of Lee Morrison and Scott Benedetti.

On a more serious note a situation that developed during the winter that has affected a Timbers player turns out to be another reason why some sort of organization that represents the players of the USL may be needed.

The following is a "blind" item unfortunately.

A source tells me that a Timbers player from last season signed a contract with another club in order to gain more experience ahead of a possible return to Portland for the 2005 season. The player, his agent and the GM of the other club entered into a verbal agreement that if the player was to return to Portland he would be released from his contract.

According to my source the GM of the other club went back on that verbal agreement and has refused to allow the player to rejoin Portland, even in some sort of sharing system whereby the player would rejoin the club if needed.

Obviously the Timbers couldn't keep a contract on the table and withdrew their offer leaving the player stranded .

It seems that between the clubs, the player's agent, the way that differing professional soccer leagues are organized and the reliance on a verbal agreement at least one US soccer professional has been left out in the cold.

According to my source, many similar situations arise in the USL and since the players have no union or collective body who represent them they are often prey to shady deals and unscrupulous team owners.

As a post script to this story I have to add that the player in question seems to be crushed that he will not be returning to Portland to play in front of the amazing fans here and regards Portland as THE place to play in the USL First Division.

Hopefully this particular situation has a happy ending and the player gets to play in the USL this season and that similar situations to this are prevented from happening in the future.

I'm guessing that only some cooperation between the MLS, USL, MISL and other leagues and a strong voice for the players who week-in week-out try their hardest in the always unstable world of US soccer is the long term answerr.

posted by the timberlog at 8:56 AM



Saturday, April 02, 2005

Scrimmage Reminder

Just a reminder that there will be a scrimmage today at PGE Park. KO is 1pm and the Timbers will play Seattle Pacific University.

Access to PGE Park will be down the slope on 18th next to MAC.

posted by the timberlog at 7:51 AM



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[timberlog 2006]

roster/stats

results

usl d1 attendance

[Fixtures 2006]

4/22 Vancouver (A)
5/5 Vancouver (H)
5/6 Minnesota (H)
5/12 Miami (A)
5/14 Puerto Rico (A)
5/19 Rochester (H)
5/28 Toronto (H)
5/27 Minnesota (A)
6/2 Seattle (A)
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6/10 Vancouver (H)
6/15 Minnesota (A)
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7/21 Seattle (H)
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8/4 Minnesota (H)
8/10 Virginia Beach (H)
8/18 Puerto Rico (H)
8/31 Montreal (H)
9/3 Charleston (H)
9/7 Atlanta (H)


[timberlog 2005]

current roster/player news

results/match reports

usl d1 attendance

2005 disciplinary points

[Fixtures 2005]

4/23 Toronto (H)
4/29 Minnesota (H)
4/30 Seattle (A)
5/7 Minnesota (A)
5/12 Charleston (H)
5/28 Virginia Beach (H)
6/3 Rochester (A)
6/4 Toronto (A)
6/6 Puerto Rico (A)
6/10 Vancouver (A)
6/16 Puerto Rico (H)
6/18 Rochester (H)
6/30 Montreal (H)
7/2 Vancouver (H)
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7/9 Vancouver (A)
7/14 Vancouver (H)
8/5 Minnesota (H)
8/7 Seattle (H)
8/10 Montreal (A)
8/13 Minnesota (A)
8/20 Seattle (H)
8/27 Charleston (A)
8/28 Atlanta (A)
9/2 Virginia Beach (A)
9/3 Richmond (A)
9/8 Atlanta (H)
9/10 Richmond (H)


[timberlog 2004]

current roster/player news

results/match reports

a-league attendance

2004 disciplinary points

2004 player diary


[Fixtures 2004]

5/1 Seattle (H)
5/13 Calgary (H)
5/15 Seattle (A)
5/23 Vancouver (A)
5/29 Milwaukee (H)
6/4 Charleston (A)
6/5 Atlanta (A)
6/10 Edmonton (H)
6/12 Vancouver (H)
6/17 Rochester (H)
6/22 Minnesota (A)
6/23 Milwaukee (A)
7/2 Vancouver (H)
7/8 Edmonton (H)
7/16 Vancouver (A)
7/17 Seattle (A)
7/24 Seattle (H)
7/28 Calgary (A)
7/29 Edmonton (A)
7/31 Milwaukee (A)
8/5 Minnesota (H)
8/7 Edmonton (A)
8/8 Calgary (A)
8/12 Calgary (H)
8/14 Minnesota (A)
8/19 Puerto Rico (H)
8/27 Minnesota (H)
8/29 Milwaukee (H)


[timberlog 2003]

current roster/player news

results/match reports

tables

a-league attendance

2003 disciplinary points


[Fixtures 2003]

5/1 Seattle (H)
5/2 Seattle (A)
5/11 Vancouver (A)
5/12 Calgary (A)
5/14 Calgary (H)
5/18 Seattle (A)
5/25 Calgary (A)
5/27 Minnesota (H)
5/29 Vancouver (H)
6/7 El Paso (A)
6/8 Milwaukee (A)
6/12 Vancouver (H)
6/27 Calgary (H)
6/29 Calgary (A)
7/1 Vancouver (A)
7/3 Vancouver (H)
7/11 El Paso (H)
7/13 Milwaukee (H)
7/23 Cincinnati (A)
7/25 Minnesota (A)
7/27 Calgary (H)
8/9 Seattle (H)
8/10 Seattle (A)
8/15 Indiana (H)
8/17 Vancouver (A)
8/18 Seattle (H)
8/23 El Paso (A)
8/29 El Paso (H)


[timberlog 2002]

2002 team/player profiles

2002 results/match reports

2002 tables

2002 a-league attendance

2002 disciplinary points


[timberlog 2001]

2001 team/player profiles

2001 training camp

2001 results/match reports

2001 tables


[features/interviews]

Byron Alvarez

Fadi Afash

Jim Taylor 2003

McKinley Tennyson

Brent Sancho

10Q - Bobby Howe

10Q - Jim Taylor

10Q - Michael O'Neill

Bobby Howe - Pre-season

10Q - Hugo Alcaraz



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