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Does a look at our Past hold hope for our Future?

The Timbers start all over again, as their first season long term goal fails. If you remember during their first year we were told it would take three years before we would see John Spencer’s vision of what the Timbers would look like. That all came to a end midway into last season. Now we have Caleb Porter running the ship with many new faces in Timber green.

But will the results be better then the past? So we look at the past a bit to get a better understanding what the future may hold. The first year I do not think any of us thought we would make a run into the playoffs and we fell short. We look at the players we had and I wondered why we had so many coming off injuries. Was Gavin getting players on the cheap side of things? Even Kenny Cooper was coming off a bad season in Germany. The weakness of the team was the center of the pitch and the outside back line. Midway into the first season we saw Spencer get two outside backs from Houston. They were not starters for Houston but still were better then what we had
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So as the Timbers got ready for last season they unload Kenny Cooper as they felt he was not the right fit. They end up getting Chris Boyd who had done nothing after he left the Rangers in Scotland. Now do you see a pattern here? Oh and we did not address the center mid problem. Which was having someone who could feed the ball to our forwards to score. Now Cooper went to the Red Bull in New York and had a good year as he had players that got him the ball. Boyd lead the Timbers in scoring but he lost his spot starting once Spencer was gone. Oh and the two outside defenders we got from Houston? One was traded and the other saw limited minutes playing midfield. So we ended last season with two new outside defenders. One from Scotland who was looking for a team and the other who was a reserve for Colorado. The Timbers second year was worse then the first.

So we take a look at this season with our new coach and new faces in Timbers Green. Boyd is gone. Our two outside defenders and Songo, a fans favorite, are gone.

So lets talk about Songo. Songo came to Portland after much praise due to his background. It looked impressive other then he never played for a club for more then one season. There is a reason for this. If he is all that, as many Timber supporters feel he is, he would have been a starter for many years for one club. Again can you see a pattern here?

The moves to bring Will Johnson, Diego Valeri and Ryan Johnson seem to be better then what we have done in the past. I have always felt building a team from the center was what all teams needed to do to become successful. The Timber pick-up of Valeri seems to address their center mid short comings. The only thing of caution is Valeri had lost his starting role for his team he was playing for in Argentina. I hope this is not a pattern we have seen in the past.

Will Johnson is one of the first players that Timbers got off a MLS team that was a starter. Salt Lake is a very good organization and it is good to see that we got a starter off their team. Ryan Johnson was a starting forward for Toronto last season. Even with Toronto’s last place finish you can see Johnson competing for the starting forward for the Timbers. What everyone should be worried about is once again we picked up a reserve from Kansas City to fill one of the outside back roles in Michael Harrington. The other outside back role is Ryan Miller who was playing in Sweden for a club who was just promoted into the top division. What you have to realize here is second division in Sweden is not all that great.

Now last let us look at who is in camp. Mikaël Silvestre who is 35 but has played for Man U and Gunners. Rumors are he will not make the cut but why would the Timbers waste their time to have him on trial? I have not seen any glowing reports on him by our so called preseason experts on their Blogs but if he was not going to fit in the Timbers plans I think he would be gone by now and not going to Arizona. I saw on his tweet that he took in a Blazer game? I am sure the club was behind that and why would they do that for a guest? He may be the guy in center D that the Timbers are looking for to hold things together.

So in the end the Timbers do have a pattern that may have a hiccup this season thus may lead to a better result. So the pattern that I keep referring to is our go to guy Gavin Wilkinson brings in players who have just come off a horrid season. Or coming off an injury or is a reserve off another team. That folks is a pattern he has stuck with the first two seasons. This season is the first time we have seen any breaks in that pattern. I have a lot of faith in Porter and I do hope his leadership bring good things for the Timbers. For all of our ex players I do wish them the best. To our current players, let’s get it done.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Its Sunday…………………….

So it is Sunday and I have sometime to start up the blog again. The idea for this blog was to go over and post some stuff about the Portland Timbers from the good old NASL days to present. Well I will try to do that once again as time allows.

Today I wanted to talk about a blog and pod cast you all should have as a link. If you have not checked it out go to 5mtko . It is excellent stuff! Roberto and Nevets do a great job on all the latest stuff relating to the Timbers. Nevets is doing a pod cast on how the Cascadia Cup got started.

Talking about the Cascadia Cup I was part of the group that got it going back in 2003. It all started with Allison Andrews telling me about a Sounder supporter who wanted to see if a supporters cup would work with the cities of Portland, Seattle and Portland. David Falk was the the person from Seattle who came up with the idea and name for the Cascadia Cup and I was his Portland contact.

David did all the leg work of finding a trophy and asked us in Portland and Vancouver to pony up our share of the money to purchase the cup.  Each group was to come up with $150 to buy the cup. We had 27 people put here in Portland that put money in for the cup. Seattle had 10 and Vancouver had 8. It seemed from day one when the Timbers Army had more a bit more passion to get the Cascadia Cup going. I know many in the TA at that time still had a connection to the old NASL Timbers so this may be why. The group who put money into buying the cup became known as the Founders Circle. Here are the names:

Portland Founder’s Circle
Kurt Schubothe (“Drumman”)
Hagen-das
Lady Hagen-das
Kevin Alexander
Eric Berg
Paul Schmidt
Argo
Allison Andrews
Rick Curwen
Chris Salter (NB)
Gisele Currier
Chris Cooper
Dave Upper 90
Ralph Chilton
Kara Anderson
In Memory of
Paula Currier
Scott
Don Cox
Roberto
James
Juggler
Finnegan
Marcos Marcançola
Sci-Fi
Ricky Torchia
Greg Weston
Jennifer Karps

Vancouver Founder’s Circle
Kieron Warner (“Krammerhead”)
Craig Flamma
Ardito M. (“r2″)
Max Fornasier (“Footy99″)
Claudio Arato (“Puskas”)
John Knox (“Johnnie Monster”)
Devon Rowcliffe (“Blue and White Army”)
Carlos Aquino (“Nolberto S.”)

Seattle Founder’s Circle
Tom Agost! i (“Tagosti”)
David Falk (“sounderfan”)
Eric Gilbertson (“EricGi”)
Heather Johnson
Peter Zastrow
Greg & Mary Stensrud
Scott Kieffer (“scooterville.org”)
Ron Stickney (“RonS”)
Edward Simpson (“Blue Lightning”

So David Falk purchased the Cup and the rest is History.  David ran the first Cascadia Cup web page and later I was asked to run it. David did a much better job then I did. You can still see the page at Cascadia Cup.

It was many years ago when we got this done and I am very proud of all of the Founders Circle.

Maybe Nevets cam get a photo of all the people from the Founders Circle of Portland with the Cascadia Cup.

To end you can check out a  video of myself talking about the Cascadia Cup at Portland Timbers.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Drummans Post

 

There’s No Pity In The Rose City!

There’s No Pity in the Rose City

Everyone in the Timbers Army do this chant every match as they raise their “No Pity Scarfs”. Did you ever wonder when these scarfs were made and who designed them? We all know the people who have designed things for the 107ist and the TA currently but none of them designed the First ever “Timbers Army Scarf”.

The Timbers Army’s were known as the “Cascade Rangers” when the Timbers took the pitch in 2001. By 2002 the Cascade Rangers became know as the “Timbers Army”. The Timbers Army would meet up once a month when it was off season for the Timbers. We called them “The Gathering” back then. It was one of these meet ups in October at the Bitter End 2002 that the idea of a Timbers Army scarf was put on a napkin. A very good friend of mine, Chris Slater started to draw his idea of what the Timbers Army Scarf would look like. This is when and how “No Pity” was put on one side of the scarf. The Bar design was to represent the current “Hoops” jersey the Timbers had at this time. The Cascade Rangers logo was to honor where the Timbers Army came from. 107 is where the Timbers Army stood and PTFC was our Club.Timbers Army

2fd1In our November Gathering Chris came up with a color designs and we picked which font we liked. The picture is Steven, Chris and Kurt from Horse Brass. Chris then placed the first order to Sports Scarf. Chris wanted to get the scarfs done so we would all have them to give out as Christmas gifts. It was not long after that Chris invited me to his place to see a prototype Sports Scarf made. I was amazed on how well it turned out.887d

December we all Gathered at the Bitter End to pick up our first ever Timbers Army Scarf order. Cost was $8 a scarf. What a deal. Chris would say “It was on this day that we turned Portland Green and White one scarf at a time”.DSCF0001 I have given away many scarfs. I gave these out when I was in Ireland and England. Chris did the orders for these scarfs for years only asking for money to cover the coast of the scarf. Through the years you have seen small changes done to the scarf but it still remained true to the original design. Chris would change the color of the fringe after a thousand were made. We were a small group back then. There was no 107ist to draw money from or bounce ideas from. Anything we did was done with our own money. We never sold the scarfs for profit. I know to many that this scarf is known and advertised as “The No Pity Scarf”. To Chris and I it is the “Timbers Army Scarf”. The Timber Army grew after the Scarf came out and everyone knew you were part of the Timbers Army. So the next time you put on your Timbers Army scarf or see one, think about who came up with the idea and design. When you see Chris at Jeld -Wen field at the South end give him a wave or thank him for what he has done for the Portland and the Timbers Army.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Drummans Post

 

Megson gets Fired!

Yesterday was not the first time a Timbers Coach was let go. Back in the NASL Days Don Megson was let go after 4-6 record.

So the Timbers went on and lost the next 4 games before Vic Crowe became coach for the second time. This time his magic from the 1975 season did not work. The Timbers Record that 1980 season 15-17 last place in the Western Divison

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Drummans Post

 

Mid Season Review

The MLS Timbers, So Far

As we are at the mid season lets take a look at how the Timbers are doing. As of late the Timbers are winless in the last seven games and stand just above the Whitecaps who are on the bottom of the league. I seem to recall that the goal of this team was to do as well or even better then Seattle did in their first season in the MLS. That will not happen as the Timbers are out of the open cup which Seattle won their first season. The Timbers need 47 points to match what Seattle did in their first season. Can the Timbers get 29 points in the second part of the season? At the current rate the Timbers will not an thus the goal the Timbers set for themselves will not be reached. Can the Timbers make the playoffs? The current trend makes this another goal that the Timbers will not meet. So all in all what does this all mean. For one the Timber fans were let down as the team that was put together has not done their job.

Should the Timbers make some moves to try to turn things around? If you read the press, both Gavin and coach Spencer have been looking for players to make the team better from day one of the season. Now they are looking into the MLS market to make trades to improve the team. The problem here is that the Timbers don not have much to offer to make this happen. So lets take a look at the coach an the players on the team to see the good and the bad side.

First off Spencer tells it like it is which as a fan I love to see this. He has an aggressive style of play with attacking soccer. Could this be a reason the back line seems to be weak? The problem seems to be having the right players do this in the games. Now a good coach works with what he has and we did see some of that with the formation change in the last match. He has changed his lineup as well. The trouble is the team is not deep enough to turn things around. So the good in Spencer is his attacking style of play but the players he has are weak. The bad. You have to put the blame on the weak players on Gavin and Spencer as the are the one’s who picked them. Do you sack Spencer as the team is not doing well? No. You need to give a coach an entire season then review what they have done.

Now to the players. Who are doing well and those who are not So we will start with the player who may be on the trading block. Kenny Cooper was a big signing for Portland as he was a striker who did very well for FC Dallas in the past. But were did we get him from.
Cooper went over seas to play for 1860 Munich only saw 12 matches where he scored 2 goals. Not very impressive. So I guess what led us bring him back to the MLS where he scored all these goals. I do like the way Cooper players and I hope the Timbers hang on to him. It seems to me that you just need to get him the ball at the right time. It could be that Cooper may never fit in Spencer style of play then a trade would be needed.

Jorge Perlaza the very quick forward that has resulted in some goals. The only draw back I see is he can not handle the physical play of the MLS. I see him as a starter up front the rest of the season.

The only other forward I will mention is Bright Dike who is coming off an injury. Will he ever be as effective as he was last season I am not sure. It seems many players really never get over a major injury and Dike may be in this boat. i hope not a Dike was amazing to watch with his size and speed getting around defenders. This is a key we are missing this season and I do hope to see the Dike of old as he can turn this team around.

The best player on the team is Jack Jewsberry in midfield. His leadership is the only thing holding the team together . The set pieces are amazing from someone who was known as a defensive midfield player. Jack has the best outside shot of anyone on the club and is our best PK takers as well. Jack is the best pickup the Timber have made in their first season in the MLS.

Diego Chara. Is he the player Gavin and Spencer said would be the best midfielder in the MLS? If you remember back during the draft why we traded Dax was that we had a midfield player who would become the best in the MLS. We if this is the guy I am disappointed. Better then Dax no doubt but the best in the MLS? No. I do like this guy as he is really beginning to show some good play. His drawback is he is small and can be manhandled by bigger players.

Kalif Alhassan is a very good young player that needs to take more players on as he does have that skill. He is another player who has problems with the physical play in the MLS. Still a diamond in the rough.

Darlington Nagbe another quick young talent who will continue to improve with time and need to get use to the physical style in the MLS. Another diamond in the rough.

Sal Zizzo is used as a sub for Nagbe or Alhassan. Does very well when he comes into the match with his good speed. Would like to see what he can do as a starter as he has been in the MLS. Could be trade bait.

Eric Brunner the best defender we have on this team. However he can not do it all by himself. Sad thing is he maybe on the trading block as the Timbers look to improve their center defense. Brunner has saved the Timbers many times and the only solid defender we have.

Mamadou “Futty” Danso very good when it comes to set players but does need improvement on his D. At 28 years old he may be at his peek and Spencers needs to look hard at is it worth keeping him on the field for set plays and give up a goal in the process. Do not get me wrong as he way better then Wallace, Hall, and Goldthwaite.

Rodney Wallace scored two goals for us but how many has he given up. Makes the Dax trade look bad.

Steve Purdy is better then last season but again like Wallace how many goal has he given up. Better defender then Wallace? Yes.

David Horst when he plays he is solid but can he over come his injuries. He is the only central defender who can bring the ball up the field and he takes his players out which is something I would like to see all are defenders do more. This guy I would like to see as a starter.

Troy Perkins a good keeper but with Jake Gleeson in his shadow I see Troy moving to the bench or to another team in a year or two. The Timbers are good with their keepers it is other areas they need to improve on.

As far as the rest of the players some will come on to be better and make their mark for the club others will move on. As far as this season goes I do not seeing them having a major impact on our push to make the playoffs. I do not see this team making the playoffs the way they currently are playing and I am not sure by adding a player or two that will turn them around to make the playoffs.

The kick the long ball or Bobby Ball has been a real pain to watch this season and I think it has come to this point as the team struggles to move the ball forward. Do not get me wrong as seeing the first win at home is something I will never forget. It is time for the team to come together play solid defense and work the ball up the field and score some goals. Time to also get rid of our weak links as it has been more then enough time for them to step up. I would never want Gavin and Specers job as it is a thankless one when times are bad.

As always RCTID!

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2011 in Drummans Post

 

A Night to Remember!

A sellout crowd saw a once in a lifetime event as the Portland Timbers took on the Chicago Fire in the first home MLS game. The non stop rain could not stop the magic that happened on Thursday evening. The pre game display was amazing as flags from every MLS club was displayed on the pitch as well as the the big Timber flags. The teams came out of the tunnel in front of the Timbers Army and made their way to the center of the pitch. The Timbers Army sang the National Anthem  with fireworks going off at key moments of the song. The tifo display came up in the North end as the anthem ended a sight to be seen.

This had to be one of the largest displays ever in MLS history.

The match started with some amazing energy as all the crowd were on their feet. The Timbers were on the attack from the start as they made some quick passes on many good runs. The Timbers got an early corner kick which Jack Jewsbury took. His kick seemed right on the mark as Kenny Cooper headed it into the back of the net. The crowd exploded but as luck would have it the linemen ruled the corner was over the line before it came back in for Coopers header. Chicago is a well established club that a proved the game would be a battle with their physical play. The two sides got close to getting into it as Cooper was taken down hard. Yellow card was issued to Chicago as the game remained intense. Then in the 29th minute history happened as Kalif Alhassan received a pass just pass the midfield mark on the left side of the pitch. He slipped and went down and it look as he may loose the , which seemed to freeze the Chicago players for a second. Kalif was able to recover quickly placing a perfect through ball to Jorge Perlaza. Perlaza made a perfect run with a cutback move that froze both defenders and the keeper coming at him. This allowed him to put an easy shot into the far part of the net. The Timbers first goal was what dreams are made of and the crowd went nuts.The game was far from over as nine minutes latter defender Rodney Wallace would punish Chicago for a weak clearance as he blasted a shot from 2o yards out as the Chicago keeper  Sean Johnson watched helplessly as it went into the net. The play all started with a Jewbury free kick.

As the second half started in did not take long for the Timbers to find the net once again. Two minutes in Wallace crossed the ball in from the left side that got away from Johnson to a waiting Perlaza who slipped it in for his second goal of the night. It seemed the Timbers were in complete control of the match for the night, but Chicago came to life and the Timber Keeper Jake Gleeson and to make a break away save on Chicago striker Dominic Oduro.

This seemed to put the Fire on fire as the Timber ended up giving up an own goal in the 66th minute off defender Eric Brunner. From where I was at it look as if Marko Pappa of Chicago had scored on a great strike. The replay showed otherwise. Pappa did get his goal for Chicago in the 81st minute on one of the best strikes I have seen in the box into the upper left corner of the net. The Timber lead now looked shaky as Chicago was back into this match. The Timber got the momentum back on a Jewsbury corner kick in the 84th minute. There were a lot of bodies in front of the goal as the ball came in and what looked like a Cooper hand ball was not called and he ball ended up in the net off a Chicago player.

Johnson had no way of getting to the ball with all the bodies in his way. You may say it was a Timbers Army goal as it seemed their energy is what caused the ball to roll into the Chicago net.

Thus the match ends in fireworks and history is made as the Timber win their first match of the season at home. A night to remember!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Drummans Post

 

Timbers get their first point.

The Portland Timbers and the New England Revolution played to a 1-1 tie at Foxborough. The Timbers earn their first point in the MLS. This was the best game the Timbers have played so far in the season.

The Timbers changed up their starting line up with David Horst  at center D. Kalif Alhassan played on the left side in midfield. James Marcelin made his first start of the season as a central midfielder.In goal Jake Gleeson started his second match. Once again Gleeson came up big with some fantastic saves.

New England got on the board first as the Timbers had a problem clearing the ball out of their area. Midfielder Stephen McCarthy found the net with a good strike as he picked up a loose ball outside the area. This was McCarthy first goal in his first season in the MLS. The Timbers started to pick up their game putting together some good passes and just before half time got the tying goal. It came on a play as a ball was found Kenny Cooper on the left side who slotted it to Jeremy Hall in the center just outside the area. Hall was able to make a soft touch to a wide open Jack Jewsberry who put a low shot pass Matt Reis into the net.

The second half saw both teams with some chances but no goals. The Timbers hit the post on Kalif Ahassan free kick just outside the area. The match ended with New England putting a lot of pressure on the Timbers.

It was sad to see just over 7000 fans attend the match. The home opener is sold out for the Timbers that will be just under 20,000.

Match Report

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in Drummans Post

 
 
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