Monday, August 29, 2005
Portland Grab Crucial Win on the Road
posted by the timberlog at 9:26 PM
A vital 3 points in the bag
after a weekend road-trip see the Timbers in the 6th and final playoff spot with 4 games to go in the regular season
.Dan Antoniuk's 2 goals
led the Timbers to a 2-1 win in Atlanta on Sunday, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar
getting his league-leading 10th assist of the year.
The previous night had seen Charleston get a late game winner
, Alon Lubezky breaking the deadlock in the 88th minute to give the Battery a 1-0 win.
Antoniuk, the Timbers 2-goal hero, will miss the Timbers next game
after getting a red card late in the second half in Atlanta.
Portland play at Virginia Beach
on Friday, Richmond
on Saturday before returning for 2 games at PGE Park (Atlanta on 9/8 and Richmond on 9/10)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
posted by the timberlog at 3:43 PM
posted by the timberlog at 2:27 PM
According to Scot, the cliffhanger
in his last diary entry was on purpose
and he will have more to say
on his trial when he is back after this weekend's games(!)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Scot's Final Diary Entry
posted by the timberlog at 11:24 AM
Aug 23 2005
Today was another beautiful day in Northern England, a little windy, but you can't complain when the sun is shining. Especially when it was cold raining and wet yesterday.
Sunderland plays Man City tonight and I can't wait to see it. The reserves didn't train with the first team today, they were having a very light morning practice while the rest of us had regular training with some fitness. This entire experience has been amazing and I've learned much about myself and what I'm capable of doing. Seeing my extended family this weekend is always a added bonus and beating up my little cousin, who isn't so little anymore fills the empty void inside when you start to think about home. Speaking of, I'll be back in the states soon to finish out the season and as such I had a meeting with the manager after training today...
As a result of a day off on wednesday and the fact that I'm leaving friday, this will probably be my last journal entry, but I want to thank anyone who has read this disjointed piece, sharing this entire experience has been extremely beneficial.
Monday, August 22, 2005
...and on another tack altogether...
posted by the timberlog at 4:37 PM
...in the timberlog's view one sign of a vibrant and healthy city
is the presence of pirate radio
. If the timberlog was in the market to do a story unrelated to the Timbers I'd be asking about the strange reggae pirate
that broadcasts over Portland on 100.7 FM at weekends.Nice tunes
Any one know anything about that?
USL Div 1 Attendance
Latest numbers are up
posted by the timberlog at 4:31 PM
and Portland are showing a positive change
(+1.8%) in announced attendance over last year's numbers (as are most teams
) and the league as a whole up 3.2%
over last year (ignoring teams who are not in Div 1 this year).
My compilation of disciplinary numbers
is slightly out-of-date, but hopefully
will be updated soon.
Brent Sancho Q&A incoming!
posted by the timberlog at 1:31 PM
A skilled team of operatives from timberlog heavy industries
has tracked down former Timbers' fave Brent Sancho
and a short Q&A is on the cards.
Brent has just signed for Gillingham
and if anyone has any questions, forward then to the timberlog email address.
Scot's Diary Continued...
Aug 22nd 2005
posted by the timberlog at 10:16 AM
I'm tired today, a little drained mentally and very lethargic.
Partly because of training and being at the grounds until this afternoon, partly because I went shopping with Nugsy to buy a gift for my beautiful caring girlfriend and partly because I want to know what's going to happen football wise.
I know that the manager has been pleased with how I'm playing and I love being around the players on the squad but they have just signed a huge Frenchman today and not huge like 5 million pounds, I mean 6' 3 190lb, the next Patrick Vierra huge. I've seen him play and he can easily play in the back but he is primarily a defensive mid. Either way I'm going to keep playing hard but my trip is coming to the end, just as I'm becoming more attached to being here.
Speaking of Sunderland, I was told today that my journal was very interesting by one of the front office personnel here. I don't know if I should be flattered that someone beyond my family and friends are reading these, or scared that people here actually know about this. I've already been chastised once by my mother for what I've written and once or twice, maybe thrice by others very close to me.
That's all I need is the manager reading this and telling me off in pigeon British, me looking back 2 inches tall, not understanding him, wide eyed and dumbfounded... I think I'll keep writing my politically correct thoughts instead of my usual immature rantings, it should save me a bunch of apologies in the end.
all the best
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Timbers 1 - 1 Seattle; More From Scot in Sunderland
posted by the timberlog at 9:51 AM
The Timbers pulled a single point out of the bag
Saturday night at PGE Park when Shaun Higgins equilized
on 86 minutes converting a Tom Poltl cross. The Sounders had led from the 22nd minute after Scott Jenkins
had given Seattle the lead.
The Timbers are now unbeaten in the last 6 games
August 21, 2005
Congrats to the Timbers for pulling out the tie and keeping the unbeaten streak going!!! It's annoying having to wait to find out the score but knowing that we are holding strong makes it well worth it.
Today's training went well, the majority of it was reserve guys and those that played 30 or less in the Liverpool game. It was a standard post game practice, possession, going to goal, and ending with some optional finishing. It was a struggle today in that I got banged up when we went to goal. As one of the other players was dribbling to goal I slide across from the outside left to stop him and as he was about to shoot he took a strong touch and slide trying to poke the ball in. As he did so, I stepped in to block the shot and my ankle caught in between his poking left leg and the trailing right. Surprisingly it looked a lot worse than it actually felt, because my immediate reaction was that I severely twisted my ankle. But after a minute or so I walked it off and kept playing.
My overflowing pride would never let myself walk off in the middle of a game while on trial, especially in England and my bullocks are too big for that. And speaking of bullocks, after my tackle I was marking one of the forwards and as the ball was played into him I stepped around him and poked the ball away. Unfortunately though as we struggled to win the ball, I felt the stinging back hand slap against my royal jewels. The coaches could only have a laugh at my pain, and bent over...I had a laugh too. The more times I'm fouled or injured, the better I'm playing...so hopefully my bruised jewels are a sign of good things to come.
all the best
August 20 2005
Today has been a long day, boring and uneventful.
I'm here for such a short amount of time that I really appreciate the days we have training and like being around the other guys on the team. I worked out in the hotel gym again and afterward went on a half day journey to find a pub showing the Sunderland vs. Liverpool game.
If you don't know, Newcastle and Sunderland share an ardent rivalry and as such no pub in the city would dare show the game. Unknowingly I made the trek anyway, but with no avail. The straw that broke my back though was that none of the premiership games were televised today. Soccer Saturday, as advertised by sky sports, was nothing more than repetitive commentary of ex-players giving color commentary. Further adding insult to injury, the numerous highlights weren't even shown.
Frustration and anger boiled with each step I took throughout the city and was only quelled by the gorgeous whether and interaction with other people besides Jean, the hotel maid, and Jo the front receptionist. Yes I know their names...we're very close...best friends even.
Anyway so as I'm taking my journey my stomach starts talking to me because I haven't eaten since breakfast. But I don't want to buy anything because I have free meals at the hotel. Yes I am that cheap. So I'm walking around Newcastle getting sky sports updates that Sunderland, a man down, is losing to Liverpool in the second half and I couldn't watch any of it. Now I'm just waiting to go to sleep so that I can go train tomorrow. I guess it's better that I'm complaining about my day off than how I'm actually playing.
all the best
Friday, August 19, 2005
Sunderland Diary Part -I
August 11, 2005
posted by the timberlog at 2:03 PM
I'm waiting in Montreal for the KLM counter to open. It was a good trip, got a road win which everyone thought we couldn't do against Montreal.
The defense played well, Gavin had a great game for the first full one back and we shut down their beast of a forward, I swear this guy's parents must have been a horse and an ox. For those of you who know McKinley Tennyson it was like marking an ugly Canadian version of him. So now I have to leave just as we get our first winning streak for the the greatest opportunity of my life. Hopefully we keep it going and roll into the playoffs.August 13, 2005
I'm completely full right now, I just got back from dinner with Jon Stead and his family, Chinese food in Newcastle is just a little better than in Portland especially after you watch a premiership match, unfortunately though Sunderland lost 3-1 to Charlton.
The atmosphere alone was amazing 33,000+ fans screaming at the start, Charlton fans chanting talking smack after their goals, hands in the air chests out singing in glory. Sunderland fans yelling screaming cheering singing clapping spitting back, divided only my a few fluorescent security guards and a tunnel leading deeper into the stadium, was by itself worth seeing.
Tomorrow I'm going to walk through Newcastle, the city is only a couple of minutes drive from Sunderland and I'm staying along the Tyne river. I start training on Monday because of the game this weekend so hopefully the jet lag will be out of my system by then. When I arrived I was exhausted, I hadn't slept in 18 hours. The flight from Montreal to Amsterdam was so quick that I didn't have the chance to fall asleep and by the time I landed I was afraid of falling asleep in the airport and missing my connecting flight.
When I finally arrived at the training grounds the team was out on the field so I had the chance to relax in the players lounge. Thirty individual top quality reclining leather chairs facing a 30 inch flat screen tv with pillar speakers on either side, and of course a PlayStation2 mounted in the wall in the back of the room. I spent 4 hours in that room watching sky sports over and over and over again waiting for a ride to the hotel. Because I was trying so hard to stay awake I really couldn't appreciate my surroundings, and by the fourth hour and sixth repeat of analysis I finally started to crash. hopefully on Monday I'll have a better description of their facilities.August 14, 2005
Another day off, but one day closer until I start training. I went for a 20 minute bike ride this morning down in the gym and mixed in some sit ups with light lifting. Afterward I watched the Arsenal v Newcastle game but missed the second half...damn jet lag got me again. But I was lucky enough to watch the Chelsea v Wigan which was on immediately afterward. So I watched an amazing game where the newly promoted Wigan club held off the premiership champions for 92 minutes with chances of their own to win. But it was that 92nd minute when Crespo unleashed a 23 yard blast that left the entire stadium including myself stunned.
Later that day I went for a walk through the newly developed areas of Newcastle, uphill from my hotel to a bastion of soccer. Like a citadel amongst peasant houses, St. James stadium, the home of Newcastle United Football Club, rose from the city, a futuristic home playing a game centuries its elder. I took a picture, but my camera could only capture a corner of immense size. Hopefully I'll get a chance to walk by on match day.
Sunderland Diary Part IV
August 19, 2005
posted by the timberlog at 1:56 PM
Today was good day, a very good day.
It's not often that I'm happy with how I play but today was one of those days were I felt like I stood out a little. Because the team plays Liverpool tomorrow it was a light day, and maybe that's why I did so well. I guess I'll never know, but we began the training split into four teams of five. It turned out to be a funny game and very confusing but it also tested your skill and how well you thought on the pitch.
The restrictions were that two colors were on a team together, but Taft, the assistant manager, would call out new teams throughout the game. So it would start red and blue teams vs. yellow and black, but a minute later it was blue and black vs. the rest. Further complicating the game was the restriction that you couldn't pass to the same color. So if I had the ball I couldn't pass to my other blue teammate. We didn't play for points but it got you moving and thinking, especially picking your head up to find the right pass.
We then moved into a half field game the width of the box 10 v 10. My squad lost 3-2 but individually I played some good balls out of the back and even though I made mistakes in giving the ball away, I did stand out some. We finished with set pieces and some lunch.
The rest of the team left for Liverpool as I took a cab back to the hotel and passed out, consequently I've given up on the language barrier. I've come to realize that I speak muttered American and people here speak pigeon English. The cab driver and I had trouble holding a decent conversation...nice guy but we couldn't really speak to one another without saying "what" or "pardon me" a few times.
As we drove back to the hotel I realized that everyone on the first team has Louis VI ton man purses. It's funny and a little strange, but its the custom amongst most footballers, especially those that can afford to buy the full man purse set.
hahaha...I really shouldn't laugh because it's not like my Nike cleat bag is any better. And speaking of rich footballers, I think some people might have gotten the wrong idea about these guys when I explained how they are like the pros in the states. What I meant was that they are very well known within their respected cities and highly scrutinized. It's nothing like the athletes in the states who are ego driven, and poorly represent themselves and their teams. Not to say that all players here are angels, I just feel like these are a good group of guys and that by not saying what occurs when they go out was just a matter of respect and by no means a way to hide drunken belligerence and debauchery.
These guys are the best in the world at what they do and take great care of themselves and hopefully I'll have the chance to be one of them. And if I am so lucky, it will only happen because of my family, friends, and loved ones whom I have the utmost respect for and love unequivocally.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Whatever happened to...
posted by the timberlog at 2:37 PM
After a couple of mentions on talktimbers.com
and some fruitless
(so far!) attempts to track down former Timbers' fave Brent Sancho
, my thoughts wandered to another popular former player McKinley Tennyson
It appears McKinley now coaches for the PCSC
(Pacific Coast Soccer Club) in Ca and is listed on their website
with another former Timber Keith Costigan
and current Timber (and globetrotter) Scot Thompson
Sunderland Diary Part III
August 18, 2005
posted by the timberlog at 12:15 PM
So today was a long hot drawn out day. I've finally gotten into my normal sleeping habits, which are just as bad as having jet lag. I lay in bed until about 2 am watching tv until I finally go to sleep, fortunately we didn't train today until 2 pm. So this morning I watched about 2 hours of analysis for the England v Denmark game. The embarrassing score of 4-1 brought back haunting nightmares of the Rochester game and even though this was at the highest of levels I realized that on any given day a team can have a nightmare, and that this can be the cruelest of games.
It's funny but in my hotel room, out of the 11 or so channels 3 of them were showing the main friendlies this weekend between Wales/Slovenia, Italy/Ireland, and England/Denmark and once they were finished they were all replayed. The funny part is that all the news networks also replayed the highlights on a continual basis. Football is just a way of life, and when you're here, not as a tourist, it's so easy to become completely immersed in it. It's understandable how people feel so connected to all the players because they see their faces every night in their living rooms.
When driving to training, I always see at least 10 or so kids running around with Sunderland jerseys on, and everyday someone is waiting to have a jersey signed outside the front gates. Today's training was somewhat strange as many players spent most of the time standing around and watching. We started with some technical work and then went into possession. Afterward we played half field offense vs defense but emphasis on what certain players need to for the game on Saturday. I was playing right back and it was at this point in training that I felt like I played my best today.
Off of the first attack I closed down the outside winger, poked the ball away from him to the left back, and like a mad pitbull closed him down and forced the turnover. It was good, and everyone noticed, but afterward I was spent. The mad pitbull turned into whipped lapdog. The rest of the time I played ok, I made some good stops and cut out a couple of passes to break up the play, but their winger was fast as hell and quick.
During training I really questioned how this team lost to Vancouver 3-0. After training with the squad for three days, I've realized that the majority of players that played against us were reserves or u18. Don't get me wrong, they are top notch players, but it was their preseason and new playing with each other. I have no doubt in my mind that a full fit first team would have a much better result if they were to come over again. By the way, it's hotter than Africa today. You come over expecting the nasty, wet, cold weather and so far its been nothing but southern California. OK maybe not so cal, but equally as nice as Portland in the summer.
I'm going to have to start wearing sun block soon if this keeps up.
yea I'm worried about getting skin cancer in northern England...hahahaha.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Sunderland Diary Part II
posted by the timberlog at 8:55 AM
August 17, 2005
It's almost 4:00 in the afternoon and its a beautiful day in Newcastle, unfortunately I'm too tired and way too lazy to leave the hotel and appreciate the weather. Surprisingly it's been very nice weather here and yesterday it was actually hotter than Portland, of course perfectly timed for our practice match yesterday.
We played a League 1(3rd level) squad yesterday and we won 2-1. I played a full 90 and our side controlled most of the play for the match, especially in the first half.
I was wearing my studs expecting rain and that the field would be wet and of course it was sunny, humid, and the carpet pitch was extremely firm. You know that saying "Assume makes a ass of you and me"(ass-u-me) well my assumption only made an ass of me because my feet were killing me the entire match. But besides the minor inconvenience I played well and was happy with my overall effort.
I didn't give any balls away and I was solid in the back. Our squad consisted of reserve players, one or two first team players, and the rest were u18's. I will say that the players around me made my job a lot easier but the speed of play was fast but I never felt overwhelmed when I had the ball at my feet.
My one fault, and it was a huge one was giving up a pk late in the second half. The forward I was marking checked deep into the midfield and then spun off me as their fullback played a long ball over the top. I expected the other center back to pick up the long ball, but once again assuming just made an ass of me as I was forced to sprint back 50 yards to catch this forward. As I caught up with him he cut back and I put my arm out to stop him. Of course he fell and the ref gave him the penalty.
In the end, the coach of the u18 squad basically told me I played well and that next time don't come so deep into the midfield. Seeing all these players, I think that most Americans can play over in England, the only problem is work permits and the fact that over here, the country is immersed in football 24/7 so there is no need to really cross the atlantic to find players. I'm not saying that the premiership isn't top quality, I just think that the lower levels Championship, League 1, and League 2 are not beyond our reach.
That night I went to dinner with some of the guys and for the first time in my life I felt what it was like to be a pro basketball or football player in the states. Though everyone was dressed casually, they all wore designer clothes and everyone owned huge watches, whether it was diamond encrusted, or enormous leather strapped, to solid platinum, they all looked like Calvin Klein models.
After dinner we went out for a while, unfortunately I cannot further divulge what happened, but it was a good time and a great night spent with quality guys. It's funny but the first couple of hours I really didn't speak that much, I was just sitting there trying to understand everyone. The northern accents are sooooooo thick here in Newcastle and Sunderland that sometimes it's like they're speaking another language.
As time goes by it's becoming easier, actually, everything is getting easier as time goes by. The hotel, the football, interacting with the other players, the British food, which by the way is an experience unto itself. I like to say that I can eat anything, and I can eat the food here, and I mean no disrespect to any of the cooks here, but this is one of those differences between the US and Britain that I don't want to get used too. Maybe its just a Northern thing because when my mom cooked British food it always tasted good, same with my grandparents, and my aunts when they visited.
Anyway, life is good and I'll be training again at 12:00, actually I'll be going to have lunch at the clubhouse at 12:00 then training at 2:00. This is one of the huge differences in that clubs here give you breakfast and lunch after you train, which is MONEY. Even with MLS, I wouldn't eat until an hour after training because it took so long to drive home from, so having a ready meal right when you get done is key.
I'm done, I wrote way to much today.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Alvarez, Antoniuk on ToTW
posted by the timberlog at 4:45 PM
Ahead of Saturday's game against Seattle
(where the Timbers will be celebrating their 30th anniversary
, Bryon Alvarez
and Dan Antoniuk
have made the USL Team of the Week
for week 17.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Scot Thompson's Sunderland Diary
posted by the timberlog at 3:06 PM
The Timbers' Scot Thompson (currently in Sunderland for a trial) was kind enough to send this account of his first day's training.
August 15, 2005
So today was the first day of training, for me at least and I was beyond excited, but surprisingly I wasn't nervous.
I had a locker set up for me, #40 in the reserve side of the locker rooms. There was two separate locker rooms, one for reserves and one for starters. It felt like I was in there forever but around 10:20 we started walking out to the fields.
First of all, which was new to me, is that you're not allowed to wear your outside shoes within the club house. There is a separate room for the shoes you come in and there is a separate room for everyone's football boots.
On the way out we walked along rubber paths that snake throughout the fields, four total, but each field has three football pitches on it. And that is only a quarter of the land that Sunderland owns around the club house.
So I'm wearing my studs thinking that the pitches would be muddy and wet and of course it's a perfect carpet of grass. The first thing we do is fitness, the "3 fields run" which consists of running one lap around a total of 9 playing fields, then back around the opposite way, and finally a lap around just three fields. The best part was the hills inbetween each set of three that makes your legs burn that extra little bit. So we did that, I finished 2nd in my group a respectable time of 11:25 but in all honesty I should have done better.
Next we went into 5v2 with various restrictions which I thought I played well in. I played quickly and sharply and when I had to defend I defended well. Following that we went into a three team 12 v 6 game and my play dipped a little. We stayed in the three teams and then went to goal. My team played horribly and I wasn't pleased with how I played.
Finally we played a 9 v 9 game where I played better, but I was beginning to feel the run in my legs. I made a few good stops, played a couple of good balls but all in all I think the day was just ok.
After lunch and two hours of rest we go into the gym for weight lifting. The team was split into 2 groups, one doing 2 circuits of free weightlifting and the other doing boxing. Yea boxing. I started on the boxing, 4 rounds of three 30sec sets punching a medicine bag alternating with my partner. My arms have never hurt so much in my life, for a little while I thought I had somehow broken my shoulder and after that we go straight into the free weights.
I'm a little surprised I can type right now and tomorrow we have a 11 v 11 game so we'll see how that goes.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Timbers on the Road
posted by the timberlog at 2:20 PM
After handing top of the table Montreal
their first home loss
of the year on Wednesday, thanks to a Dan Antoniuk goal
from a Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar free kick, the Timbers try to keep the momentum going
(cut and paste this phrase for the rest of the season methinks) Timbers play Minnesota
tonight without Gavin Wilkinson (suspension) , Tom Poltl (personal) and Scot Thompson (world conquering).
Wednesday's win took the Timbers back to respectable mid-table
, but more importantly level with Atlanta
(currently in the 6th and final play-off place) with 3 games in hand
Check out all the goss on Andy Mac's Ax to the Road.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
...and here's where I play...
posted by the timberlog at 8:42 PM
New coffee place alert
near timberlog towers. Ristretto Roasters
, where Winterborne used to be on 42nd and Fremont. Open in a couple of weeks, run by Nancy Rommelmann's husband (Nancy you might remember got into a spot of controversy
when she reviewed Saucebox for the WW
). Looks like Nancy will be doing the baking
for the new joint. Peeped through the window today and saw the gleaming roaster
in back and the bar area under construction.
God am I turning into one of Oregonlive's neighborhood blogs
? Perish the thought!
...anyway, as you were.
Hugo Player of the Week
posted by the timberlog at 8:40 PM
Timbers winger Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar
was named as the USL First Division player of the week
for his 2 assist/1 goal weekend. Congrats Hugo!
posted by the timberlog at 11:36 AM
The Timbers improved their chances
of picking up a playoff place in the 2005 USL First Division with a draw and a win
over the weekend against Minnesota and Seattle respectively.3-3 on Friday night
against Minnesota with Byron Alvarez, Scot Thompson and Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (his first in the league
this year) scoring for Portland.
Then a 77th minute goal from Paul Conway
(his first in the green and white) gave the Timbers a 1-0 win over Seattle
on Sunday leaving the Timbers in 9th place, but with games in hand over most of the teams above and only 1 point adrift
from the 6th and final playoff spot.
After tomorrow's game in Montreal, Scot Thompson
will miss the next 2 games as he wings his way to Sunderland for a trial
. Good Luck Scot!
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Timbers Exit Cup: Portland 0 - 2 San Jose
posted by the timberlog at 9:04 AM
in these situations to say "...well, at least we can concentrate on the league now", so let's go with that
The San Jose Earthquakes
came to PGE Park last night and ended up with a pretty comfortable 2-0 win
after 90 minutes with goals from Wade Barrett
and Brian Mullan
The Timbers started the better side
, but from about 20 minutes in, the Earthquakes took control
and apart from a few of chances (a Dizzy header on 24', a Tom Poltl shot on 58', and a Hugo shot off the bar on 82') the outcome never looked in doubt
The Timbers really missed their suspended or injured players
, but without much time for reflection they have to pick themselves up
for Friday's league game against the Minnesota Thunder
. KO 8pm (to accommodate a national broadcast
on the Fox Soccer Channel)
[full match report
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Timbers v San Jose Earthquakes
posted by the timberlog at 9:40 AM
The San Jose Earthquakes visit PGE Park tonight after cruelly taking away the Timbers' new loaner Kevin Goldthwaite
for tonight's game!
with Portland for the past few days, the Earthquakes decided that they would recall the 22-year old left-back
for the US Open Cup 4th round tie leaving the Timbers short-handed
at the back and up front (Bryon Alvarez
misses the game for the red card he received in the 3rd round).
Oh well, kick off 7pm tonight at PGE Park.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Goldthwaite in, Thompson impressed Black Cats
posted by the timberlog at 10:34 AM
The Timbers new on-loan player Kevin Goldthwaite
will be available for Wednesday's cup game against San Jose and today's O profiles the left-back
...and from that same article the news that Scot Thompson
might be getting a trial with Sunderland after impressing in the exhibition.