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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Where's he from then?"

Bob's most recent lament (#25 in a series of 250 - clip 'em and keep 'em) at the lack of signing news (make that any news) made me think about "the olden days"...you know, the days before "the internet". If you were a fan of...let's say for arguments sake...a lowly South London team...the only way you got news about the club were:

1 You were related to the manager/players/groundsman/sponge man.
2 You hung out at the same pub as the players (usually called something like "The Sportsman") and had big ears.
3 Made stuff up.

Apart from the local newspaper it was slim pickins.

Usually the first you would find out about a new player say, or a change in kit colors was on the first game of the season.

"Who's that?
"Him out there on the left"
"That's Mickey"
"Naaa, no unless he's had a haircut...and dye-job"
"Maybe Mickey's cousin?
[ruffles of paper as program is consulted]
"Barnsworth Cholmondelay it says 'ere"
"Where the f##k did he come from?"
"...Barnstonworth United. Reg, know anything about Barnsworth Cholmondelay?"
"Come on Cholmondelay my son. Give us a C...[etc]"

Which is a long way of saying...times, they have a changed. Still doesn't forgive the lack of news from the Timbers front office though. I mean throw us a bone...a list of trialists...something. It's hardly top secret is it?

posted by the timberlog at 11:11 AM

Monday, February 20, 2006

Oral Bullen

The timberlog spoke to Oral Bullen today and the former UMass captain sounded excited to be on his way to the Timbers for the 2006 season.

"I'd heard of the Timbers, seen a few games on the Fox Soccer Channel. I played PDL so I'm familiar with the USL."

It sounded like some nerves were mixed into the excitement when I asked if he had been to Portland before. "No...never, never. I can't wait...since high school and club ball we always dreamed of (turning pro)."

Oral and his cousin grew up in Queens, NY, not a hotbed of soccer. "No, not a big soccer community...pretty much all basketball. We played a lot in Long Island where there's a big soccer community with tons of fields."

When asked to describe his game. "Speed. Speed is one of my greatest strengths. I'm not afraid to go one-on-one. I love to attack."

posted by the timberlog at 5:15 PM

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Episode #2 of the excellent 107Report is narrowcasting to your ears right now.

posted by the timberlog at 5:28 PM

Bullen x 2: Expect Salim and Oral in Portland for 2006

The timberlog had a quick chat with Salim Bullen this afternoon and talked to the Bradley University player on his reported signing for the Timbers.

Salim confirmed that the local newspaper reports were correct and that he had signed for the Timbers. He also said that his cousin Oral Bullen has also signed for the team. Oral is a right sided midfielder or forward who's career includes captaining UMass and and some PDL experience for the Albany Admirals and the Albany Blackwatch Highlanders.

The signing came about after the 2 Bullens tried out for the LA Galaxy and they were recommended to Chris Agnello by Billy McNichol and Steve Sampson.

As reported Salim, who is part of the Nike Skills team and has been in New York this past week giving skills exhibitions, was born in the US but has T&T nationality though his parents. His plan was to try out for the T&T national squad, but was told by the national coach that the right back position was pretty full for the World Cup. Salim plans on trying again after WC2006.

Salim told me that he doesn't know much about the USL or the level of play, but has been learning fast since being signed by the Timbers.

Salim told me he would not arrive in Portland until May as he still has to graduate from Bradley, but his cousin will arrive earlier having already graduated.

posted by the timberlog at 2:23 PM

Friday, February 17, 2006

Scot's Back!!!

Of course just after I make a snarky comment about no player announcements comes the announcement that Scot Thompson is returning to the Timbers for the 2006 season.

The defender who had trials with Columbus and Norway's Ham-Kam over the winter had this to say in the official press release:

"I've always loved Portland, and I'm looking forward to the new management and new style...I plan on being even more of a leader on this team and being more involved. Every season is a chance for us to show what kind of soccer we can play in Portland, and especially after my experiences in the off-season, I feel like I'm a better person and a better all-around player."
Great News.

posted by the timberlog at 3:48 PM

About once ten times a year the question of the Timbers ownership pops into a Timbers fan's head.

Most recently Bob mused on the state of the whole ownership saga and it looks like we may be musing a while longer.

I'm told that the deal finalization could be months away (possibly not being officially announced until the season is (well) underway). Nothing particular to worry about though, it seems as though the volume of paperwork involved in getting the various parties squared away is taking it's sweet time.

So hopefully Bob's wish to keep blogging about this ad nauseum won't come true!

Just as long as those player signing announcements keep on coming though, we'll all be happy as...

Oh right, as you were then.

posted by the timberlog at 2:50 PM

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Was that FRD or UB*

Interesting to note that MLS have done away with yellow card points for the 2006 season and are instead using a 5-8-11 card 1-game suspension system. Easier to administer and easier to keep track of (although mlsnet.com did a good job of making those points public).

Of course (tooting my own battered horn in a Don Cherry-esque way) the timberlog was the only place to find USL disciplinary point numbers although if the USL decides to follow suit (no 2006 USL Handbook yet) and move to this easier system I won't be sorry to see the old way go...plus it got me into a little trouble once!

FRD-Failed to respect the required distance
UB-Unsporting Behavior

posted by the timberlog at 12:23 PM

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Pre-Season MLS Morris Dance Continues




Alcaraz-Cuellar (#11 in pic?)

posted by the timberlog at 12:24 PM

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another Timbers link to WC2006?

With former Timbers favorite Brent Sancho already a possible World Cup 2006 participant another Timbers connection could be playing a part in Germany come June.

Timbers college draft pick Antony Noriega has been chosen by T&T coach Leo Beenhacker for the T&T squad that plays Iceland in a pre WC warm-up on Feb 28th. Noriega is one of 5 new faces in the 20-man squad for the game, which takes place at Loftus Road, lovely West London home of QPR.

Although Brent Sancho is not in the squad, the T&T coach has stated that the door is not closed to players left out of this game, a test he is using to look at potential newcomers to the team.

Noriega has been in Florida over the past week taking part in the T&T training camp for mainly US-based WC hopefuls.

Of course with increased interest and an international vote of confidence, the chances of Noriega playing in the delightful Rose City next year are surely decreased (the defender was also drafted by Kansas City.

posted by the timberlog at 9:08 AM

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Go Portland Timberwolves!!!

Go Portland Timberwolves!

posted by the timberlog at 9:49 AM

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Timbers sign Salim Bullen to contract

The PJ Star is reporting today that the Timbers have signed former Bradley University player Salim Bullen.

Bullen (22 years old in March) is an outside midfielder although he was deemed" best suited to the fullback position" by his coach (Richmond Kicker's Leigh Cowlishaw) at the 2006 Pro Soccer Combine.

Bullen tried out with the LA Galaxy last month, had interest from Crystal Palace and was reported to have tried out for the Trinidad and Tobego national team (he is a T&T citizan and holds a US passport).

Some of the other comments from the combine suggest that Bullen is a useful player!

Rarely gave the ball away and is able to play penetrating passes with the forwards
Joins the attack on the overlap very effectively
Played simple and clean
Crossing - Excellent

posted by the timberlog at 3:00 PM

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Timbers Open Tryouts

The Timbers have announced that Sat March 4th (10am - 3pm) is the date for this year's open tryouts at PGE Park. Interested players (18 or over) have to complete a registration form (available from portlandtimbers.com-PDF link) and pay a $75 fee.

posted by the timberlog at 4:02 PM

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Vancouver Whitecaps have finally officially announced the signing of former Timber Dan Antoniuk. At the same time Whitecaps coach Bob Lenarduzzi announced the re-signing of 2005 USL MVP Jason Jordan and Joey Gjertsen and the signing of forward Corey Woolfolk.

posted by the timberlog at 2:47 PM

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