Perhaps the biggest moment of all was Conrad actually attending the Cascadia Cup showdown between the Timbers and Seattle Sounders at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday. There were bagpipes, there was facepaint, there was yelling and as part of his indoctrination to the experience, Conrad became a full fledged member of the Timbers Army, No Pity scarf and all.
Saturday is a big day for the Portland Timbers: big rivalry, big sandwiches . . . Big-Ass Sandwiches, to be exact.
Big Ass-Sandwiches will be serving up the “best sandwich in the Northwest,” according to The Travel Channel’s Adam Richman during Saturday’s match against Seattle (12:30pm PT, NBC, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940).
Taking over the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium, Big-Ass Sandwiches will have their four original sandwiches available: a choice of roast beef, turkey or ham piled up with hand-cut fries, slathered in homemade bechamel cheddar fondue all in a Fleur De Lis ciabatta roll.
Big-Ass Sandwiches got its start after owners Brian and Lisa Wood went through a few layoffs in 2009. Instead of opening a restaurant, they tried their hand at popularizing their fries-on-sandwich technique, and the big-ass sandwich was born.
Brian and Lisa are also huge Timbers fans. “We have been going to games since the pre-MLS days. We have the ‘No Pity in the Rose City’ scarf hanging in the back of the cart and made shirts three or four years ago that said ‘Timber Joey is My Homeboy’ with part of the proceeds going to a local charity,” said Lisa. “We're vocal about our love for the game and team and offer 107ist and Axe Society discounts, so we've seen a lot of the Timbers fans become regulars at the cart.”
Big-Ass Sandwiches is the fourth food cart chosen by fans via Facebook to serve at the stadium through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA).
“We're excited for the experience and love that we get to bring our crew along for the ride and feed a ton of people,” said Lisa. “We love the team and the fans and if it goes well, maybe we can do it again!”
PTFCA is looking for new members. Applications for PTFCA will be accepted for the remainder of the season. Another fan vote for the remaining two home matches will run this week.
As is well known by now, Caleb Porter will be the Timbers new head coach beginning in 2013. After a stellar career at the University of Akron, an NCAA national championship, buckets full of talented players who went on to MLS--including our own Darlington Nagbe, a slip up with the US U-23s and Olympic qualifying, and one final year with the Zips, Porter has decided to make the jump to the next level.
MLSsoccer.com's Jonah Freedman talks about what he calls "The Fraternity" of college coaches who made the same leap and the challenges they face:
The 37-year-old Porter will join [Schellas] Hyndman, Bruce Arena, Thomas Rongen and Sigi Schmid. Those four have among them six MLS Cups, five Supporters’ Shields, five US Open Cups and seven MLS Coach of the Year awards among a laundry list of other accomplishments.
No pressure, right? By now, no one should be crying that college coaches don’t have the chops to make the jump directly to the pros. That quartet is clear proof they do.
Freedman goes on to explore what that pressure is like and how some of that quartet dealt with it to become successful in MLS.
On Saturday's match against Vancouver Whitecaps (7:30pm PT, ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940 Presented by KeyBank) Portland fans can try battered cod and haddock, courtesy of The Frying Scotsman.
The Frying Scotsman will serve out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium, and offer battered cod fish and hand-cut chips for $8.50 and battered haddock, also with hand-cut chips for $9.50.
Owner and chef James King, originally from Ayrshire, Scotland, opened The Frying Scotsman as a food cart in 2009 after moving to Portland and looking for work as a chef. He bought his cart from a seller on Craigslist one morning and the rest is history.
“I am not sure I could have done this in Scotland, or anywhere else in the US for that matter," said King. "I am very happy that Portland has afforded me the opportunity to do this."
Portland’s only Scottish fish and chip joint – or “chippy” can be found on SW 9th and Alder Streets.
The Frying Scotsman is the second of four food carts selected by fans via Facebook to serve at the stadium.
“I was really proud to be voted into serving at JELD-WEN, of course,” said King. “I have really enjoyed seeing Timbers matches and getting to know some of the players so it is a true honor to be a part of a great football club at its infancy.
"My customers are very happy too and it's natural for them to ask me all the time if I am involved with the Timbers. Now I can say YES!”
PTFCA is looking for new members. Applications for PTFCA will be accepted for the remainder of the season. Another fan vote for the remaining two home matches will run in early September.
Begun in 2009 in New York City—the center for all things independent film-related—the Kicking + Screening Film Festival set out to merge the art of the beautiful game with the art of cinema. Branching out to satellite editions in Washington, DC, Houston, North Adams, Mass., London, Amsterdam and, most recently, Liverpool, K+S presents films that examine the culture of soccer both on and off the field.
And now, they bring their cinematic and pitch artistry to Portland.
Arriving September 13-14, K+S Portland, presented by KickTV and presented in partnership with the Portland Timbers, takes on the theme of “rivalry” all in the build-up to Saturday’s Sept. 15 Cascadia Cup clash between Portland and Seattle (NBC, 12:30pm PT).
Along with the two headlining films, Argentina Fútbol Club—about the battles between Boca Juniors & River Plate—as well as Gringos At The Gate—a look into the U.S.A-Mexico soccer border clash—K+S Portland will also feature panels, gatherings, and all kinds of other engaging events.
All this week, MLSsoccer.com is taking a look at "food and its relationship to the beautiful game." Some of it delves into how nutrition is making an impact on players' on-field performance, like this article, and others take a look at some of the unique aspects of food culture and soccer.
Considered among the best press box food in league, MLSsoccer.com interviewed JELD-WEN Field Executive Chef Bob Bumbraugh on how he prepared the food for the big match against Seattle Sounders and a little insight into the delicious "Timbers Bacon."
With the Timbers looking ahead to Saturday's match with Colorado Rapids (6pm PT, KPDX TV, Timbers Television Network; 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940), many corners of the media are still talking about the incredible environment on display last Sunday in Portland's 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.
The Portland Business Journal took a look at how MLS worked to promote the game on a national scale and how they're looking to further expand rivalries across the league.
Today, The Guardian in England published a great examination of the constant game of tifo one-upsmanship between the Timbers Army and Seattle's Emerald City Supporters. With the Timbers Army's massive banner fresh in Portland fan's minds, Graham Parker writes,
[As] the latest banner was raised, and the latest visual gauntlet laid down, it was hard not to respect the sheer dedication and commitment the Timbers Army had put in to honoring one of their club legends [Clive Charles] this Sunday, whatever the origins of the art form in the US. Multiple hundreds of hours of labor go into producing an image that may appear only momentarily, but that has the potential to leave an indelible memory.
Speaking of the hundreds of hours of work put into creating the tifo, be sure to watch this Friday's June 29 Timbers in 30 (6:30pm PT, Fox 12 Oregon) as they'll have a special behind-the-scenes look into how the latest banner was constructed.
The Sporting News sent ace soccer writer Brian Straus here on Sunday to cover the Cascadia Cup battle. Calling the rivalry "among the most intense in American sport," Straus goes in-depth to try to figure out why our corner of the country has bred such an undying competition between the two communities. Comparing the Portland-Seattle clash to other rivalries from around the world doesn't quite work as its roots lie in a different area.
The Glasgow neighbors are divided by religion -- the Protestants support Rangers and the Catholics back Celtic. Elsewhere around the world, great (and occasionally violent) soccer rivalries revolve around politics, economics or geography. In the Pacific Northwest, it’s about civic identity.
Want to know more about how that civic identity operates within the larger ideal of what the very term "Cascadia" means? Portland Monthly's Martin Patail goes behind the deeper concept of the term and how "The Doug"--the green-white-blue flag with the massive Doug Fir emblazoned in the center that can be seen flying at all matches between Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver--is really part of a bigger discussion about a region's "independent state of mind."
It's clear the Cascadia ideal and rivalry therein--be it on the field or off--is stronger than ever.
David Horst has been picking up the honors this week with his CenturyLink Man of the Match performance in the memorable 2-1 victory over Seattle. MLSsoccer.com also bestowed an honorable mention to him in their Week 16 Team of the Week.
But perhaps most interesting is MLSsoccer.com taking a look at his first ever MLS goal in their great Anatomy of a Goal series. Calling his strike via Franck Songo'o's corner kick "textbook," editor Greg Lalas gives us the X's and O's of how Horst's gamewinner came to be.
Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.
As some of you may have begun to notice, there's a growing buzz about this upcoming match for the Timbers this weekend. Seattle Sounders FC is coming to town and that means Rivalry. That mean Intensity. That means Cascadia Cup.
Though the Vancouver Whitecaps FC sit atop the Cascadia standings on two points having drawn both Seattle and Portland earlier in the season, Sunday's game is the first 2012 meeting between the Timbers and Sounders (2:00pm PT, ESPN, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940).
We'll be rolling out all kinds of special Cascadia coverage throughout the week with a look back at memorable moments, stories from supporters, and more. Take a look at Monday's flashback to a classic NASL Portland-Seattle battle to get you started.
ESPN is getting into the act as well. They partnered up with MLS and us to make some unique posters that you may see popping up in many of our local watering holes and pubs. The posters take a particular "angle" on the match (see right).
Moreover, there's a brand new promo that was created to whet your appetite as well:
Are you ready?