New, Improved, Official Patch Gallery

The Timbers/Thorns patch gallery I built for PTFZine.com has become the official online archive of PTFC Patch Patrol, and has a new home at PatchPatrol.com. Updates have been happening solely on the new site for a while now, which is a group effort. Aside from adding new patches as they are released, a lot of the updates fill in missing information for older patches. At the time of this posting there are 381 patches in the archives! Check it out!

Good for the Goose, Good for the Gaffer.

The Timbers have what they call a fine wheel in the locker room. If you’re late for practice or have some other minor infraction you have have to spin the wheel and receive judgement. What’s good for the goose is good for the Gaffer, because Caleb Porter had to spin the wheel and was forced to put on a full Timbers kit for a training session. It caused quite a bit of laughter in the locker room, if you’re able to find the video that Alvas Powell posted, for a while at least. He was asked about it during a media briefing, and you’ll notice he goes out of his way tiptoeing around what the back of his jersey says, a reference to being a full kit wanker. It’s great see Caleb laugh, he always looks so serious.

Continue reading “Good for the Goose, Good for the Gaffer.”

New patches added to gallery

I’ve added over 100 new patches to the patch gallery since the last time I posted abut it. This gallery will be mirrored on the forthcoming official new web site for PTFC Patch Patrol, to be unveiled in the near future. Lot’s of other things have happened since the last post, but this is the quickest/easiest update to make. I’ll get back in the swing of it soon.

Saprissa CCL

Our last CCL match in this round, and we have a really good chance of advancing for the first time. In fact, as I’m writing this (before Colorado away), it may be our best chance of advancing in anything this year. When I volunteered to chaperone an overnight field trip at my kid’s school, I did not check the CCL schedule first. I’m not even going to be in a place with cell phone reception, so don’t spoil it for me. 107ist has a good read on what it’s like to travel to Costa Rica to take in a Timbers match.

pura-vida Pura Vida Away (Unabridged)

Read it: TimbersArmy.org

Timbers Tattoo Gallery Up!

tatttoos

I finally got the Timbers and Timbers Army Tattoo gallery and running. It would have been simple enough just to throw up some pages in a category labeled “tattoos” (crap, why didn’t I do that?) but I wanted to make it in the form of a plugin to handle taxonomies in the back end without having to make a custom theme. This in preparation for making a plugin out of the season tracker that you see under the masthead. I’m hoping to package it so other MLS supporters can easily use it to track their own teams without having to know the ins and outs of WordPress and be able to use it on any template. I’ve since become aware of this gallery posted by the Oregonian, which has a lot that I’m missing. That’s OK, the PTFZine Tattoo gallery is a living entity. There are 28 tattoos (Now 40, a short time later) in the gallery, and I hope to keep adding to it, as well as replacing some of the photos that were taken too soon after visiting the Double Post. There will be some interface tweaks as well, definitely room for improvement. There’s also room in every post for stories, the tattoo artist, tattoo parlor, and links to both if you have them. If they aren’t listed now, it’s because you didn’t tell me. Contact me if you have tattoos to add or edits to make. Tell a friend in the TA. Now go check it out.

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.

whitecaps

Timbers vs. Chicago Fire

Ugh.

gottalovetheitcrowd-longstoryshortfootballsocceris_0d1f2f_4796462

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!

20160530_190731-2

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.

phallic

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.

cant even soccer

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 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!

Supporters Culture

This article on Minnesota United FC supporters groups the Dark Clouds, and TNE (True North Elite) uses the Timbers Army as a yardstick, and includes a little behind the scenes video of our home opener tifo creation, filmed while Minnesota was in town for the Simple Invitational.

minnesota As MLS approaches, Minnesota United’s supporters’ culture blossoms
Read It: Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Nagbe is going to be OK

Alright, so the news has made the rounds. The ankle isn’t broken. And we all knew de Jong was a thug anyway, now we’re just waiting to see how the retroactive red and suspension will manifest.

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical to see how the increased handing out of reds would come about, but I can definitely see some benefit now… just wished we’d seen the red in the game.

nagbe-wheelchair
The saddest photo ever of Darlington Nagbe. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea – Goal.com

Anyway…

Let’s talk about the match.

We played better. I kinda called it in my last post, if I may gloat a bit, that we’d see Jewsbury back in the lineup and with the Captain’s armband no less.

Confirmed. Caleb Porter follows ptfzine.com!

Barring Nat’s own goal, I feel the backline played better. Borchers wasn’t getting caught out of position as much, and Taylor is stepping up his game. It was great to finally see Klute and some definitive LB skills at work. Powell was good defensively as well, despite his questionable attacking forays.

Jack and Chara have a great partnership at mid. I don’t even really know what else to say about that. Always feels good when I see those two in that formation.

Of course we had Valeri and Nagbe in our attacking mids, no worries there. That said… what to do about Melano? Now, I’ve got no beef with the guy and I think he played a pretty good game, showing some hustle on offense and defense, almost had a goal. Almost. Jack Barmby has got to be chomping at the bit to get some minutes in, and I think we’re at a point where we might see him get subbed in. I was almost expecting it in the LA match, and it may have happened if it weren’t for the own goal.

Adi aka ‘The Hold Up King’, had a solid outing. I must admit I was pleasantly bemused to see Adi with some midfield dribbles along the pitch as well! Not that I want to see that often, I want to see Nagbe doing that!

Now for tomorrow, good grief, already! I’m guessing we’ll see Grabavoy come in for Darlington, but on the heels of such a recent game, I’m not sure how the rest of the formation will pan out. I don’t think Liam is fit yet, maybe in the lineup though? I can’t imagine any other defensive change barring Liam’s presence. Offensively, we have options, the aforementioned Barmby, Darren Mattocks, JackMac. Asprilla is still injured I believe. I don’t even know what’s going on with BenZ anymore!

Time to check that depth chart boys!

No Pity!

Jack Jewsbury for LB

And let’s talk about giving him the Captain’s Armband as well. I’m frustrated, so are you, so are the Timbers.

Were’s the dominance we saw at the end of last season? Were’s that deadly offense, the stout backline, our midfield marauders?

It’s mostly there. Mostly.

The personnel losses from our championship team are noticeable. With all due respect to Will Johnson, his absence is less noted than Villafana’s, and maybe even Wallace’s and Pappa’s. Just sayin…

I don’t want to talk about the Orlando match anymore. My opinion:             ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So!

Let’s get a steady hand to marshal our wingers, bolster our defense, and give our attack a chance to put it past the dodgy keeper.

Put in that Ol’ Salty Dog!

ps. i’d be ok with CB too

RCTID!

Soccer Made In Portland Predictions

smip-predictions

There can be no doubt now. I am a huge nerd. I love listening to Soccer Made In Portland so much that I am keeping a running total of the random points Chris Rifer awards each week based on the previous week’s predictions. Of course, it started as a simple running points total, but ended up being a little more comprehensive. However, I did trim it back a little as I was on the verge of including a time marker for the predictions and awarding of points. Now you can check out the only meaningful soccer stats you need to know. Once this post is gone from the front page, you can find the link on the sidebar. Again, please don’t let my wife know I how I spent my Thursday morning.

Confirmed: Darren Mattocks is coming to Portland

This one surprised a lot of people. It’s not the first time (or year) we’ve heard about the possibility of Mattocks coming to Portland, but now it’s a reality instead of a rumor.

dm-to-ptfc Portland Timbers acquire attacker Darren Mattocks from Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Read it here: Timbers.com

1 Championship: 3 Beers

beer

 

Considering Widmer Brothers partnership as the official beer of the Portland Timbers, you’d expect them to brew up a beer or two in celebration of their MLS Cup victory, and they  have. There’s First Star red rye and Thrill of Victory dark Cascadian ale. Both of these are available on tap only, which is a bit lazy if you ask me, but don’t ask me because I’m still mad they stopped brewing Green And Gold Kolsch. First Star was made with input from the coaching staff. Then there’s the Hopworks project Captain Jack’s Lucky 13 Championship IPA, made with very direct input from Jack Jewsbury. Corporate beer sponsor notwithstanding, Jack mentioned his affinity for Hopworks on social media, and they reached out to him for a collaboration. They started this before the cup, so it would have come out regardless of a win or loss, although they might  have had to change the name. The old salty dog will be a Hopworks in person  for the unveiling after the opening match. Looks from the looks of the photo, you should be able to buy Jack’s beer in bottle as well as on tap.   Of course you can still get the Caleb Porter, porter. There’s no news yet of the beer that Columbus Brewing will have to brew in honor of losing their bet.

[Left Photo: Thomas Bleigh]

Continue reading “1 Championship: 3 Beers”

Oh Darlington where art thou?

Our deft attacking midfielder was noticeably quiet rounding out the final match in the Simple Invitational against the Chicago Fire last night. Suffice to say I heard Michael Harrington’s name mentioned more often in the play-by-play than Darlington’s. I suppose it happens, maybe this loss will shake off the last remnants of cobwebs.

So I payed a bit more attention to Jermaine Taylor this match, he helped me in this endeavor by earning himself a yellow, and getting caught out leading to a Chicago goal. Our left side is a bit soft and Valentin’s sub out for Jack McInerney was not much of a surprise. Jorge’s shoes look quite big to fill right now.

Valeri was fun to watch, Adi’s hold up play was solid, and Melano Asprilla’s attacks appeared on the point… however, we are running into that old problem of getting it into the back of the net. The season has yet to begin, and the Ides of March approach. I’m not sayin’ things are all Hell and Highwater, I’m just sayin’…

Let’s see, what else… Chara did his Chara thing. Thanks for that Diego.

Mr. Borchers seemed to have a pretty decent game, no real complaints.

Still a bit nervous about our #2, Alvas, thank goodness the man is fast.

All said and done, still feeling pretty good about this season, but let’s sort out that winger situation.

Say Hi to Savannah

savannah

Remember the Columbus Crew supporter that flipped Mr Garber the bird while he was talking about the great atmosphere the Nordecke provided for the MLS Cup? Her name is Savannah, and it turns out she didn’t want to be the sad fan poster girl on TV.  Someone came up with the brilliant idea to take up a collection and bring her to Portland for the opening day rematch, and it only took about an hour to reach the $1,500 goal. With Merrit reportedly kicking in a couple tickets, and her tweets that she’s on board and stoked, it definitely looks like she’ll be joining us. Because every good deed deserves punishment (and we love drama,) there are those upset that money was raised for a seemingly frivolous purpose when those funds could have been used in so many ways that would benefit more needy causes. That’s a valid point, but sometimes you just have to be… LEGENDARY.   More archival tweets and video after the jump.

Continue reading “Say Hi to Savannah”

Schedule Wallpaper

timbers-schedule-wallpaper

Last year I was annoyed that there was no iCal download available of the the Timbers Schedule, so I made my own, but I had no place to share it. This year I’m annoyed because they do offer an iCal download of the schedule, but you have to sell your identity  give up an email and a phone number. In the meantime, someone (JohnMLTX) made a nifty, high resolution infographic of the Timbers schedule that serves as desktop wallpaper. If for some reason you’re interested in other teams, they’re also available. When I get around to creating an iCal version of the Timbers schedule I’ll post a link to download it. Just a heads up, I haven’t checked the accuracy of the wallpaper graphic.

UPDATE: Here’s a direct link to a web-based iCal version from MLS. Since it’s web-based you can set iCal to check weekly or daily in case the start times change, as they occasionally do. The downside this calendar is that it’s a subset of the entire MLS schedule which shows the home team first cutting off the name of the visiting team on every home game. You have to click the event to get the complete team name, even with iCal at full screen.

Martin Shkreli Would Be Proud

craigslist

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.

Continue reading “Martin Shkreli Would Be Proud”

Best Inside Training Video Ever
(No really, watch this!)

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.

Hello Portland!

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.