There’s an argument going on over at Cascadia Trifecta about whether or not the the Timbers Army rendition of the Canadian national anthem is a serious affront to Canadians and example of typical Ugly American behavior. Most feel like it’s good natured and funny. But hey, your grandpa might still be pissed off at Jimi Hendrix.
The joke’s on us I guess. The Whitecaps pretty much ran the show last night. Granted, we fielded our second team. There was one highlight though; New Whitecap Blas Pérez briefly acknowledged fans heckling him near midfield. I’m not sure why he stooped so low, but he did look a little confused at the time. There were two bright spots, actually. The TA was in much better form last night.
I love awkward auto-translations. Here’s a bit from Perfil, an Argentinian weekend newspaper talking about Diego Valeri’s MLS Cup win and tenure in Portland.
Even those who barely understand a bit of Spanish deduce the magnitude of the term which represents the driver of the Timbers, brand new MLS champions, which gave the first title in four decades to a city that breathes football more than ever.
Here’s a link to the translated version in case you barely understand a bit of Spanish like I do. The image above was reposted on Facebook from a tweet that I can’t track down. If you know whose it is, please let me know. It likely dates sometime between the 1st and 16th of January.
Tonight we square off against the Whitecaps in preseason. I hope Vancouver isn’t as chippy as Minnesota and RSL have been in preseason, or for that matter, the Whitecaps of the 2015 preseason.
Northern Pitch reports that MLS will be testing some instant replay technology during the Simple Invitational. The article offers no information on how it will be implemented, over very little information at all except to says that sources reported the experimentation. A preseason tournament with multiple games in a short time period seems about as good a place as any to test the technology. That being said, I’m against it. Sure, MLS refs aren’t exactly known for their overall excellence. You only have to go back to the 2015 MLS Cup to see some really badly blown calls. Fortunately, there were blown calls made in favor of both teams so we don’t have to worry about adding and asterisk to our first cup win. Even refs in the beloved Premier League occasionally make some horrible mistakes. Since there hasn’t been much talk about how it would actually be implemented, it’s hard to argue either way, but I’m against anything that disrupts the play of the game. And really, it just isn’t needed. Statistically there just isn’t enough games whose outcomes are being affected by the referees. Goal line technology? Yes please. maybe even a 5th official? Sure, why not? Instant replay? No thank you.
You’re looking at a very mediocre phonecam shot of Caleb Porter at a recent live taping of Soccer Made in Portland podcast, something I listen to religiously, and was excited to go to, even before Porter was announced as a guest. It’s not his first appearance on the podcast, but they are usually recorded remotely. How do not love a coach of MLS Cup winning team taking the time to show up for live taping of a podcast? He hung out and talked with the crowd before and after the show. I had to leave right as the taping ended to receive the babysitter, so I don’t know how long the whole thing lasted. Also present were Thorns coach Mark Parsons and color commentator Ross Smith, both of who were as amiable and accessible as Porter. There were about a hundred people present at the Civic Taproom for the taping, which I fully expected to be packed like sardines, but wasn’t. Apparently some people have other things to do. I ditched my kids at a last minute babysitting situation and couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Do I need this negativity in my life, or do I have a problem? I’m pretty sure my wife is on the cusp of having an intervention for me. Please don’t tell her about this web site. Back to Soccer made in Portland, Chris and Jaimie do a great job on the podcast. It’s a good one for fans of all levels of engagement, not too technical, but still thoughtful, with a nice dose of humor and burritos to fill the void of weather talk since Michael Orr left. If you don’t listen already, give it a shot. Humor me. I’m trying to imagine a scenario where someone is aware of this web site and not aware of Stumptown Footy.
Have you noticed a general resentment towards StubHub bubbling up in regards to clubs allegedly allocating blocks of tickets directly to re-sellers, bypassing fans and essentially artificially raising prices? If that’s not enoughto make you mad, what about private online scalpers? On December 18th, 2015 I saw an ad on Craigslist for a guy selling 2 GA 2016 season tickets for $8,000. These were one season only and did not include perpetual rights to buy them in subsequent seasons. The ad was taken down after a short while. Recently, another douchebag was allegedly asking $25,000 for 2 season tickets plus rights to retain the tickets. The ad is not up there now, and the ticket holder’s account was allegedly flagged for non-renewal by the FO. I have to say allegedly on all this because everything has been deleted and pretty much the only thing that remains are some screen captures that are impossible to verify.
I checked out Great Notion Brewing last week. GNB took over the Mash Tun near the corner of NE 22nd and Alberta, which is my hood. The assortment of photocopied kids menus includes what can only be described as some sort of Timbers themed pizza, possibly with artichokes. I was able to snap a picture of it, but not before it was assaulted with crayons. Great Notion Brewing actually held a kickstarter campaign to help them “primarily focus on juicy IPA’s and creative sour ales.” That doesn’t sound like a bit in Portlandia at all.
For the past couple December’s here in Portland, Ikea has set up a tent in Pioneer Square adjacent to the giant Christmas tree. Late last year they were handing out flyers featuring a sale on a green shelving unit “to celebrate the Portland Timbers winning this year’s MLS Championship.” The last time I was at IKEA in November I was bored out of my skull waiting for my wife to stop browsing, so I changed all the LED strips in the lighting section to alternating green and gold units. Everyone probably thought they were set that way for an Oregon Ducks game. Man, was I geeking out.
I particularly enjoy the “off the pitch” variety of official Timber’s videos, the ones where you get to know the personalities of the team a little better. Sure, I religiously watch all the Front Office videos, but let’s face it, Porter never reveals any secret strategies, and they’re usually not relevant after that week’s match is over. They’re mostly just filler to tide you over until the real thing. This video is by far the best behind the scenes practice footage I’ve seen. You get to actually understand how the team practices and see some personality highlighted. I wish it was twice as long. I think Zarek Valentin is trying to make a secret push to become this year’s photobomb contest head on a stick.
These photos were taken about a week after the March 7th, 2015 match against Real Salt Lake in Portland. We dominated Real Salt Lake, yet somehow (Rimando’ed) ended up with a draw. Target usually has a pretty weak selection of Timbers gear, if any, so the appearance of RSL Jerseys in Portland Target stores was a bit of a head scratcher. Notice they went on sale for a heavy discount pretty quickly. Somebody in the NW regional logistics office was either very confused, or a huge Nat Borchers fan. Preseason Timbers VS RSL on February 11th. I wonder if there will be Timbers Jerseys on sale in Salt Lake City.
I’ve always had an affinity for Coke, growing up in a suburb of Atlanta, and as a skate punk in the 80’s (and beyond) feeling like the song Let’s Go Get Cokes, by The Faction was written for me personally, even though my straight edge phase didn’t last long. Still, finding this Timbers themed Coke display in Safeway, complete with custom scarf startled me a bit. Of course I want the FO to make money where they can, within reason, so we can keep paying those transfer fees. On the other hand, it just felt a little awkward.
Cart before the horse. At the end of the 2014, I had the grand Idea to start a zine about the Portland Timbers. It stemmed from having a long history in zine making and having a lot of energy leftover after the Timbers (just barely) failed to make the playoffs despite a really strong finish to the season. Like so many other grand ideas, this one never got off the ground. Then someone on Facebook mentioned the need for a database to document various supporter’s scarves, and I thought why not. But where to host it? That was as good of an excuse as any to register the domain name. Sometimes a good idea just need little push. I’m going to use this space to publish Timber’s related posts, but don’t look to me for detailed analysis of gameplay. I still can’t tell what formation we’re fielding by looking at the game play, and I didn’t even become interested in Soccer until going to my first Timbers match, which was a reserve team game in 2012.
When that scarf archive goes live, I’ll post a link. Disclosure: I’m backdating this post.