Much has been made about the release of EA Sports FIFA 13 with special Darlington Nagbe downloadable custom covers, players talking about playing, and Snoop even getting in on the act.
However, another popular video game is nearing release and USWNT star and London 2012 Gold medal winner Alex Morgan joined talk show host Conan O'Brien to review it. As you might expect, it is genius.
Favorite line: "Puts the bird in its cage, shut the door, put it to sleep. Those are the moves that are going to make this game a winner."
You may have noticed the flood of videos on YouTube from a channel called KICKTV. They have quick summaries of footy related news on The Mixer, compilations of all the goals in a week, a show all about soccer equipment called The Gear Show, there's looks into interesting online soccer video clips calle The Whip, and much more.
Perhaps one of the more visible people of this new soccer online channel is host Jimmy Conrad. Conrad, a former MLS All-Star, World Cup veteran for the U.S. national team and one-day member of Real Madrid, takes questions from fans, talks about the sport, and is their go-to guy to go on the road and dig into the interesting fun elements around the culture of soccer. The first big trip they sent him on was Euro 2012 whereupon he watched games in public squares with throngs of Polish fans, played pick up games in farm fields, and gave a unique perspective into the massive tournament.
Most recently, Conrad was in Portland interviewing Merritt Paulson, learning how to chainsaw, attending the Kicking + Screening Film Festival, and becoming a member of the Timbers Army at the huge Portland-Seattle Cascadia Cup rivalry match.
In the inaugural edition of The Backcut Podcast, I sat down with man-about-town Conrad to learn about what exactly the new YouTube soccer channel KICKTV is, why it matters to soccer fans, and how Jimmy got involved with it.
The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, soccer & culture to explore the unique elements of the beautiful game. You can subscribe to The Backcut on iTunes in the same feed as the Talk Timbers podcast.
Watch them all. Then go vote for Danny Mwanga's second strike to win MLS Goal of the Week.
— Sal Zizzo (@SalZizzo) September 25, 2012
Just picked up fifa. Hope everybody enjoyed their headstart.
— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) September 25, 2012
Heck, even @SnoopLion has.
For soccer fans and video games and all the fans in between, today is a particularly exciting day as it marks the release of EA Sports' FIFA 13. You can join in the fun with a special custom Portland Timbers Darlington Nagbe cover to insert on your copy.
Be on the lookout too for a special Nagbe and Diego Chara FIFA 13 promo video coming up in the near future as well.
What are you waiting for? Get playing.
-Visit this special Flickr album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/easportsfifa/8023605019/in/set-72157631621283005
-Then right click on image, select "Medium 640"
-Then click "Download the Medium 640 size of this photo" above the image
-That size will fit inside your copy of FIFA 13 though there are other larger versions available for download as well.
FIFA 2013 released Tuesday morning and is now available in stores and online.
Bright Dike's second half 61st minute header against Real Salt Lake may not have been enough for the win Saturday night but it was a tremendous display of skill. Check out MLSsoccer.com's special goal GoPro camera capturing the moment.
Dike's got hops.
If you want to see just how close we came to scoring on two other shots only to be stopped by crack RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, you can see his saves here (Warning: RSL's goals included in this collection too).
When things are clicking, things are clicking.
Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips began the defense of their Mid-America Conference title on Friday night with a 2-0 win over Bowling Green--their third shutout in a row. Senior David Maves, the reigning MAC Player of the Week, continued in his quest to unseat Evan Bush as the all-time Akron leader in shutouts making six saves. Freshman Alfred Koroma (right) and senior Scott Caldwell both tallied goals for Akron while the team peppered Bowling Green with 30 shots--a 14-3 advantage in the first half alone. Caldwell leads the Zips with five goals in eight games in 2012.
It was Porter’s 39th straight league match without a loss going back to 2007—good for third on the NCAA's list for the longest conference unbeaten streak. UA improved to 82-1-3 when scoring two or more goals and 100-3-4 when scoring first under Coach Porter.
After their two wins, MLS on Campus rankings has the Zips holding steady at No. 4 with shoutouts for Colorado Rapids Academy freshman attacking midfielder Dillon Serna and predict the New England Revolution will move to sign Caldwell as a Homegrown player at season's end.
The Zips will continue MAC play next weekend when they host Buffalo Saturday night at 4:30pm PT, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Elsewhere in the college ranks, former Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans dropped a first-half hat trick for the University of Portland on Seattle University in the Husky Fever Classic in Washington only to fall 4-3 in the match. The Pilots lost to No. 21 Brown on Sunday 2-0 and are currently 2-4-1 on the year. Also at the same tournament in Seattle, Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Spencer Richey picked up a shutout in University of Washington's 2-0 win over Seattle University on Sunday.
Heading south to Oregon State University and things are definitely clicking for Timbers U-23s forward Emery Welshman (right). The senior was named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Player of the Week and was included in the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his offensive explosion last week. The striker had a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Univ. of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday and then a double overtime golden goal against UC-Irvine in Sunday’s 1-0 thriller both as part of the Oregon State Hensor/Zaher Nike Classic tournament.
Fellow Timbers U-23s Roberto Farfan and Chris Harms joined Welshman on the all-tournament team. Apparently, teammate Farfan helped teach Welshman how to cook (watch video below).
You can watch this Beavers trio on the Pac-12 Networks next Sunday at 4pm PT as they take on Spencer Richey and the Univ. of Washington Huskies.
This one is for all the marbles.
The Portland Timbers head north to take on the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 7 at 6pm PT. Currently sitting atop the three-team standings for the Cascadia Cup between the Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Sounders, the Timbers could return home with the coveted cup if they draw or win at CenturyLink Field.
Unable to make it north for #SeattleAway? Do not fret, we'll be hosting a big bash at one of our esteemed Timbers Pub Partners but we want your help in deciding where. Vote on the poll at right to have your say about who should host and where you'll want to be when you watch this historic match.
The poll ends September 26 at 5pm PT.
In his latest Throw-in column for MLSsoccer.com, Jonah Freedman opines on how a precedent can set up a team's expectations. Whether it's the Cascadia Cup, Brimstone Cup, Trillium Cup, MLS Cup, U.S. Open Cup or more, Freedman posits that no matter the silverware, these trophies matter. They can help define, or at the very least, begin to define the direction a team aims to take. Given how close the Timbers are to winning this year's Cascadia Cup in what has been a difficult season, Freedman asks,
So what are fans supposed to make of these trophies? For Portland, it’s a sign of progress, a symbol of success upon which they can hang their hats in their second MLS season. It is perhaps a springboard to future glory, when a young team with a young coach can do great things as they evolve.
Noah Davis, contributor to NBC Sports' ProSoccerTalk.com as well as MLSsoccer.com, was in town recently for the Timbers-Sounder Cascadia match. But he also took note of the massive crowds generated for the MLS Reserve League games earlier this summer that drew on average this season 8,200. The Aug. 26 match against the San Jose Reserves set a new Reserve League record of 14,121--more than a regular season matches at New England and Chivas.
In his latest piece on Grantland, Davis writes about how with Reserve League tickets easier to come by and being affordable, the matches present opportunity to see rising stars play which the Rose City has quickly embraced:
In Portland, attending a reserve league game means seeing 19-year-old potential American star Charles Renken and the brilliant Colombian 18-year-old Sebastian Rincón. Hometown favorite, Brent Richards, a 22-year-old forward who starred for the University of Washington and the Timbers U-23 squad before signing as senior side's first homegrown player in January, is also a fixture. "We have a knowledgeable fan base and they know the quality that can come up through the reserves. I mean, Brent Richards is already a hero, and he's played what, a whole 45 minutes this year?" Fernando Machicado, who chairs the Game Day Ops and the Merchandise Committee for the Timbers Army, says. (Actually, it's closer to 200 minutes, but point taken.)
Moreover it's something MLS has taken notice of as well:
"I think clearly what's going on in Portland shows what the reserve league's potential is," MLS President Mark Abbott says. For most teams, it will take a long time to reach that potential, if they ever do, but, Abbott says it's undeniable that there's something special going on in Timbers Nation: "They have had some decent draws up in Seattle and occasionally in some other places, but nothing like we're seeing here in Portland."
Reserve League Highlights: Timbers set attendance record against San Jose Reserves
Former Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans continues to impress at the University of Portland. He scored an incredible golazo already featured on The Backcut and is one of the Pilots featured in their new athletic department ad campaign.
Most recently, however, the Oregonian did a feature on Evans saying he "is close to becoming one of the program's all-time greats." Given UP's track record at producing some excellent players over the years--Heath Pearce, Steve Cherundolo, Kasey Keller to name but a few--that is high praise.
A veteran of a national championship with Portland youth club Eastside United--now adidas Timbers Alliance club Eastside Timbers--as well as the 2012 Timbers U-23s PDL championship, Evans isn't letting all his recent Pilot success go to his head.
"It's nice to see your hard work is paying off, but I'd rather the team have a good season," Evans said.
Also of note is MLSsoccer.com's latest MLS on Campus power rankings which has Caleb Porter and his University of Akron team moving up a spot to #4 overall.