Catching up on three matches

Timbers vs. NYCFC

Just watching the recap of this match makes me so frustrated. A game I felt we should have won. The handball (handballs?) that didn’t get called, and of course Luca getting dragged down in the 18.

I thought almost through the whole match we were going to pull it off. We played pretty cohesively and had some hustle… but no finishing. It’s been a while and I’ve tried to wash away most of the stain of this loss, but watching some gifs and replays of this match did remind me of one thing. I thought Jermaine Taylor had a decent run at LB. Nice to see some defensive depth development. I’m still not sold on Valentin, much less Klute.

Vancouver vs. Timbers

Just when they needed a win, to get some fire going… and I miss the match. Ugh, I was in Washington… north of Seattle, yich.

Don’t worry though I watched all the youtubes and gifs I could. Looked fun and dynamic. Great to see Nabge on point and JackMac with some hustle. I wish I could’ve seen this one as it really illustrates what we’re capable of.

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Timbers vs. Chicago Fire

Ugh.

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Nagbe was gone on international duty, BenZ is a CDM, and our outside backs are not playing to their potential, so Chara couldn’t really join the attack. It seemed we played a lot of the match in our half, and this is why. I guess I should be happy with 1 point on the road, but I was really hoping for some more momentum here.

So to add my own momentum, here is a little gift I received this morning from one of my kiddos!

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PTFC Indeed!

Portland Boys

Jaimie Goldberg’s piece in the Oregonian on the controversial phrase in the Portland Boys chant certainly has people talking. It’s one of my favorite chants, because I love the part where 10,000 people yell “I don’t hear a fucking thing!” and it’s always clearly audible over the TV. That’s just me. I’m immature about certain things. I don’t mind the line “shag your women, drink you beer.” In context it’s obviously a silly boastful line about also winning a competition for the opposing team’s dates. We don’t really advocate burning, destroying, wrecking, and killing either. Human life is the most sacred thing, right? If anything, I’m more uncomfortable with that line. However, and this is a big but, (Said Pee Wee: Let’s talk about your big “but” Simone. ) I can 100% understand how people are offended by the line. I’ve often wondered about it’s place in the repertoire of official chants for an organization that prides itself on inclusiveness and tolerance.

Simply changing the official words is unlikely to work. Disseminating that information to several thousand loosely aligned people is impossible, and the crowd will simply chant whatever it prefers. I suppose over enough time, with repeated reminders and enough examples, it might possibly work. Fact: It’s not going to happen in one season. So I’m on the record for keeping the chant and abstaining from saying it if you don’t like it, or changing the words if you prefer. If we get rid of it, someone please come up with another way for us to get thousands of people yelling “fucking” on national television, and I’ll get behind that one too. This is my opinion only, and not necessarily the same as the other (2) contributors to this site. You’ll have to ask them. BTW, I’m Polish, so feel free to send me your favorite Polish jokes if you want to see if I have a double standard about this. I don’t. I can appreciate a good Polish joke too.

Meanwhile, speaking of humor, the Nutmeg News tackled the subject of the offending chant by suggesting an official TA rewording carried out to the most excruciatingly politically correct extreme. It’s the low hanging fruit version for sure. I love the Nutmeg News, but some pieces fall flat. The winner by a long shot is the sometimes hilarious but way-to-infrequently-updated MLS Satire Facebook page.

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Nagbe!!!!!!

Darlington Nagbe scores his first goal for his country on a volley. Well done sir. After you’re done watching his first goal for the USMNT, check out the excellent MLS Insider video Citizen Nagbe.

Continue reading “Nagbe!!!!!!”

Giuda Live in Portland Tonight

Giuda is live at Dantes tonight. They should play this song over the P.A. before matches in Providence Park. This is Giuda with Number 10. These guys are Italian, I wonder how they feel about Pirlo’s whining.

More Subbuteo table top soccer action after the jump with the Undertones and My Perfect Cousin.

Continue reading “Giuda Live in Portland Tonight”

MLS promo or online dating commercial?

There’a a lot of awkward shots in this MLS produced video with host Andrea Feczko. It’s very reminiscent of an online dating site or adult chat line, and just feels really forced. Also strange that they waited until now to release this footage which washout in advance of our season opener. Ah… good times right? Remember when the future was full of the expectation of dominating the season?

(Warning: The preroll commercial will will play loudly with volume control disabled. I wish MLS would discontinue this poor netizen behavior.)

Frustrating

Not really sure about the last two matches. Things aren’t linking up, someone is off, or the team seems lethargic. We got beat by Vancouver because they wanted it more and played more physically; Dallas beat our defense.

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So let’s talk about our defense. In general I’m happy with Ridgewell and Borchers. Taylor is a competent backup centerback. I’m worried about our outside backs. I’ve tried to stay positive on their performances, and despite some quality moments, it seems we’re getting beat there. It was very noticeable against Dallas with their fast offense. I saw Valentin chasing more than once, and Klute was caught out of position as well.

Chara has been a stalwart at defensive mid. Not perfect mind you, but I don’t have any real strong complaints regarding his lapses.

Valeri and Nagbe need to get on the same page. Valeri wasn’t so hot against Vancouver and while Nagbe has shown well in both matches they aren’t connecting the way I’d like them too. Honestly it seems like The Maestro is either on point, or struggling to get something going.

Mattocks, Barmby, Melano, Asprilla(?)

I’m not even sure what’s happening on the wings anymore. Luca has shown some moments, I do like his speed… still waiting on the whole package though. Mattocks seems too eager, again a speedy character, but we can do without the tap dancing. I’d like to see more Barmby, and what’s happened to Asprilla? Not even in the lineup the past two matches. Ouch.

JackMac just seems a bit rough, don’t know if he needs more practice or maybe a start and then let Adi maraud around a tired defense as a sub in the second half. Regarding Adi, yes his hold up play is good and all, but if the ball isn’t getting to him then we need more versatility from our big forward.

Gleeson, excluding the nutmeged goal, has held his own as a starting keeper. He’s kept the past two matches’ scorelines looking a lot better than they might have. Thanks Jake.

I’m open to mixing things up at this point. New formation, start Barmby, or start JackMac? Maybe not both, I don’t know. The 2015 MLS Cup champs are still there, we just need to see the team firing on all cylinders.

RCTID!

Four Three Tattoos

Four Three tattoos poorly photographed (with permission) outside the No Pity van after the Toronto match on 5-1-16.

UPDATE: There were four, but I was asked to remove one of them. The good news is that I’ve received over 20 additional submissions so far! Once I figure the best way to display them I’ll post a proper gallery. Several people asked me to include credit and links to the tattoo artists, so it’s slightly more complicated than the way things are in this post. I anticipate the gallery growing large over time, so I want to make sure it starts out right.

UPDATE: The official gallery is up, with 40 tattoos so far.

Who’s got ink? Send in your Timbers tattoos.

“I’ll Go With You” and Some Notes on Inclusion

I didn’t grow up in a sports house. Sure, we would watch the big games and I had a workable understanding of the more popular American sports, but we didn’t have any obsessions or even alliances to teams. As a kid, I didn’t have even much interest in sports and that culture seemed very clique-ish to me; it felt exclusionary. It’s hard to get very invested in something that is designed to keep certain people out. I don’t think that’s the intent of many sports cultures, but it’s often the result.

I do some speaking on social media and digital culture as part of my day job and I often cite the Portland Timbers—and by extension, the Timbers Army—as examples of community engagement. My standard line is, “Soccer is their product, but community is their brand.” And that’s not a throw-away comment, the community built up around the team is what makes it special. But what is community without inclusion?

With all the news in the last couple weeks regarding restrictive (sorry, I mean BULLSHIT) laws governing the use of public bathrooms, I was delighted, but not surprised, to see a statement from this community I have become so enamored of. It’s a simple, but powerful statement.

I’ll Go With You

Continue reading ““I’ll Go With You” and Some Notes on Inclusion”

Four points two games

I’ll take it.

Our match against the Revolution seemed pretty hard fought. It’d been a while since I’d seen the 4-4-2 formation, but I definitely understood why. I almost feel that we should have come away with three points, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The Revs really pressed at the end, and despite a top tier performance from Jermaine Taylor his own goal sullied the match. I’m having trouble assigning blame to him on this one though as it was his best match by far, and the OG seemed just unlucky more than anything else.

For the rest of our defense with the Revs, Nat seemed a little better, and our outside backs seemed a little off. I’m just not sure what to make of the off play by Klute and Valentin.

However with Liam back in for the Toronto game. The whole backline (the whole team!) seemed bolstered. Nat’s positioning seemed on point and he was chasing less, while our outside backs were showing that same spark we saw against the Quakes. Valentin really held his own again Giovinco, and Klute had some nice offensive footwork and passing with Valeri more than once.

The formation at midfield is anchored by Chara, guy knows how to work defensively and distribute effectively. For the Revs match, I don’t recall anything too spectacular from our attacking mids. For TFC, with Valeri back, Nagbe’s few good dribbles, and Luca streaking down the right… I was quite content. It was really great seeing Luca breakaway and cross to Adi, hopefully that connection will get more solid. And the Maestro, what can I say… Valeri got a goalazo of his very own for his birthday! Jewsbury lined up a starter for the Revs and came on to relieve Valeri and the end of the Toronto match. The Maestro was gassed, no doubt.

JackMac didn’t get it in the net for the Revs game though I did seem him stalking about the 18, no worries there… yet. And here comes Jack Barmby in for JackMac with a hacked one-timer for a goal. How about that? Good lad!

Darren Mattocks relieved Adi in the Revs match, and started against Toronto to be subbed by Asprilla late in game. Generally like Mattocks’s speed and voracity. Could maybe be a bit more defensive? Yeah.

Asprilla. Oh man. Coming onto the pitch against TFC and earning a yellow right off the bat, then some more fouls, then some other different sketch. It’s weird, he seems to have lost some calming edge to his game. Really hope he finds it soon. I definitely enjoy his play when he’s on.

GLEESON!

Who the? What the? How the?

Ok, so first just to touch upon the Revs match, the only ball that got past him was a fluke OG. Otherwise he seemed pretty solid.

Now against TFC, what was it 3 or 4 fantastic reactive saves? The man was huge and fast, controlling his box with poise and aplomb. Accolades have already been spoken about our backup (??!?!?!) keeper. How often does it happen where a starter keeper is out due to injury and the backup keeper holds onto the starter’s spot after the injury is healed? Just curious!

Aside from a few questionable foot related distributions I’ve yet to find any serious fault. I know we haven’t seen Jake play as much as Adam so we don’t know how consistent he is, but I think Adam is out a few more weeks so I guess we’ll find out.

On a similar note, the same question lurks for Powell and Valentin.

And lastly… BenZ! Very happy to have him back in. I was quite bummed when he got injured last season, as it looked like he was warming up to create some havoc in the mids. Let’s see what ya got Ben!

PTFC!