University of Portland Pilots
The men earned split results over the weekend, starting with a 1-0 loss to Denver on Friday. The Pilots bounced back on Sunday with a 3-0 rout of SMU, including a goal from Timbers U-23 forward Jaime Velasco. Portland begins West Coast Conference play on Friday at San Francisco and Sunday at Saint Mary’s.
The women extended their winning streak to five games after a pair of wins over the weekend. A pair of goals and an assist from senior Amanda Frisbie handed the Pilots a 4-2 over Wyoming on Friday. On Sunday it was Micaela Capelle who had two goals as the Pilots beat Washington 3-0. The 8-1-1 Pilots open conference play at Pacific on Friday.
University of Oregon Ducks
The Ducks women played their third consecutive double overtime match in a scoreless draw with undefeated Washington State last Thursday. Oregon has only allowed one goal in the past three games. The Ducks, which went 0-5-0 on the road last season, continue Pac-12 play at Utah on Friday and Colorado on Sunday.
Oregon State University Beavers
The men improved to 7-2-0 on the season after defeating Northwest Christian 5-0 in their final nonconference game of 2013. Four goals came in the second half, despite difficult weather conditions. The Beavers open Pac-12 play on Thursday night at No. 2 California.
The women battled to 1-1 overtime draw with Washington on Friday in Corvallis. The 2-6-2 Beavers hit the road for games against Colorado on Friday and Utah on Sunday.
Portland State Vikings
Portland State women's team started Big Sky Conference play with two wins over the weekend. The Vikings took down Northern Colorado 3-1 on Friday and then held North Dakota to just 2 shots in a 1-0 win on Sunday. Holding a four-game unbeaten streak, the Vikings hit the road for a Friday showdown with Eastern Washington and Sunday match against Montana.
University of Akron Zips
Timbers U-23 midfielder Reinaldo Brenes scored an early goal for the Zips that turned out to be the game winner in a 1-0 result at West Virginia. Brenes now has four goals on the season, including two in conference play.
University of Portland Pilots
After over a week off, the men return to the field on Friday night to face Denver at 4:30 p.m. at Merlo Field. The men play again on Sunday when they host Southern Methodist at 10:30 a.m.
The women claimed their third straight win in a 2-1 comeback at San Diego State. Senior Micaela Capelle scored 12 seconds into the second half to equalize and senior Ellen Parker notched the game winner in the 81st. The women face Wyoming on Friday at Merlo Field in the second half of the doubleheader with the men’s team.
University of Oregon Ducks
The Ducks got an equalizer from redshirt-sophomore defender Reilley Moore to finish 1-1 in a double-overtime draw against San Francisco last Friday. Oregon begins Pac-12 play tonight when they host Washington State in Eugene.
Oregon State University Beavers
The Beavers men bounced back from a loss to the Portland Pilots with a 1-0 win at home against San Jose State on Sunday afternoon. The Beavers look to build on that win when they host Northwest Christian in Corvallis on Friday at 4 p.m.
On the women’s side, the Beavers notched a dominating 3-0 win against Cal Poly last Friday night. After a week off, the Beavers begin Pac-12 play when they host Washington on Friday night in Corvallis. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Portland State University Vikings
The Vikings women played to a 0-0 draw against San Francisco on Sunday afternoon at Hillsboro Stadium. They open Big Sky Conference play on Friday afternoon when they host Northern Colorado at Hillsboro Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
University of Memphis
Timbers U-23 forward Mark Sherrod scored in the Tigers 3-1 over Mercer on Tuesday night. The Tigers returns to action against conference opponent Rutgers on Saturday night.
Timbers U-23 midfielder Jose Ribas notched his second assist of the season in Creighton’s 2-2 draw with Michigan State on Tuesday. The Bluejays return to the field on Saturday when they face Georgetown in the nation’s capitol.
Several local collegiate teams are making some noise as the non-conference part of the schedule wraps up.
University of Portland Pilots
Beaverton, Oregon native and Timbers U-23 forward Jaime Velasco scored twice on Thursday night as the Pilots took down Oregon State University 3-0 at Merlo Field. Velasco’s first goal game in the 42nd minute to break a 0-0 draw. Teammate Eddie Sanchez doubled the score in the 59th and Velasco wrapped up the scoring in the closing seconds. The win puts the Pilots at 4-2-0 on the season.
On the women’s side, the Pilots senior Micaela Capelle scored twice on Sunday as the Pilots came back from 1-0 to defeat the Missouri Tigers 3-2 at Merlo Field. The #16 Pilots women are now 5-1-1 on the season as they head south to take on the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday.
Both Pilots teams will return to Merlo Field on Friday, September 27, as part of a Pilots double-header. The men will face the Denver Pioneers at 4:30 p.m., and the women will play Wyoming following that game.
University of Oregon
Junior goalkeeper Abby Steele was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after shutting out No. 6 BYU through regulation and two overtime periods on Thursday at Pape Field in Eugene. The Ducks host San Francisco in Eugene on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Oregon State University
The men’s team dropped a road game to the Pilots on Thursday, putting them at 5-2-0 on the season. The Beavers return home on Sunday to host San Jose State at 1 p.m.
The women’s team lost a closely contested 1-0 battle to Gonzaga in Spokane on Sunday. They have one final non-conference game remaining before beginning Pac-12 play. The Beavers host Cal Poly in Corvallis at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Portland State University
Sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Plese was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week after making a career-high 10 saves in the Vikings 2-0 win over Hawaii. The Vikings host San Francisco on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.
Earlier this month, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) held their inaugural College Draft for the new league in Indianapolis. After a weighted draw determined the draft order, Portland Thorns FC selected University of Florida defender Kathryn Williamson with the eighth overall pick. (Read this feature on how she was engaged only a week before the draft. A busy January for her to be sure.)
While in Indianapolis for the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and the NWSL College Draft, I also had the opportunity to attend the Women's Soccer breakfast at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Convention (NSCAA). The NSCAA is a massive gathering of, yes, coaches, but also soccer gear manufacturers, leaders, players, and more. There's workshops, panels, speeches and gatherings. Basically, it's everything that is anything that is happening in U.S. Soccer at the moment. The Original Winger has a great photo essay and blog post about the NSCAA and its scope in their Portrait of A Sport.
The Women's Soccer breakfast is a celebration of excellence over the past year in the women's game and while there, I just happened to be seated next to Becky Burleigh, head women's soccer coach at the University of Florida and most recently, she coached Williamson for all of the defender's four years in Gainesville. Burleigh started the women's soccer program at Florida in 1994, won an NCAA national championship in 1998, and helped mentor U.S. national team stars Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash) and Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers) as well as Canada's Melanie Booth (Sky Blue FC).
Following the breakfast, I chatted with Becky for a short while about what type of player Kathryn Williamson is, what she thinks she'll bring to the Thorns, and how the NWSL presents a great challenge and opportunity for recent collegiate players.
The Backcut Podcast sits at the intersection of Timbers, Thorns, 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.
“She’s a nightmare for defenses. Her size was never an issue in college because she’s so fast and so fit. … How do you replace that engine? Who’s going to be as willing to work as hard as Nicolette did?”
Those are the words of University of Central Florida head coach Amanda Cromwell. A former U.S. Women’s National Team member alongside Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone, Cromwell recommended Nicolette Radovcic to Portland prior to the National Women’s Soccer League College Draft nearly two weeks ago.
Parlow Cone, formerly an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina, already had a bit of familiarity with Radovcic before the draft. The energetic attacker played 86 minutes in UCF’s 5-4 penalty kick win against UNC on Nov. 20, 2011, helping the Knights reach the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.
Sports writer Jane Havsy of Radovcic’s hometown newspaper the Daily Record (Morris County, N.J.) caught up with Thorns FC’s second round pick, Parlow Cone and Cromwell for a good story.
“It’s a dream come true,” Radovcic said. “You play soccer, you go through college, and you’re like, ‘I really want to play after college,’ but only a few people are fortunate enough to be able to play after college. So to be selected in the draft, to that team, I am just so speechless and so grateful.”
Those are the words of Thorns FC forward/midfielder Nicolette Radovcic who just a few months ago was a marketing intern with the New York Red Bulls helping out at Red Bull Arena's Interactive Zone. The Rockaway, NJ native had 30 goals and 16 assists in four seasons at the University of Central Florida before being drafted by Portland 16th overall.
NewYorkRedBulls.com's Frank Della Femina has a nice profile of the new Thorns pick and how she's excited to jump from the Red Bulls to the new NWSL.
The Oregonian's Geoffrey Arnold chatted with Thorns FC's first-round draft pick Kathryn Williamson to get the story on how she found out she was drafted. She apparently had some pretty excited friends.
"They were on computers and I was on Twitter on my phone. I guess their computer was faster than my phone, because they started screaming and said I got drafted," Williamson said. "I thought they were joking, because it hadn't come up on my phone yet. I'm like, 'That is a really mean joke.'"
But of course, it was not a joke at all. Williamson was the club's inaugural first-ever NWSL Draft selection on Friday--an honor that she quickly warmed to.
So thankful and excited to start a new chapter of my life with the Portland thorns @thornsfc!
— Kat Williamson (@KatWilliamson7) January 18, 2013
Williamson's new teammates were also excited to have more players on the Thorns squad:
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) January 18, 2013
— Karina LeBlanc (@karinaleblanc) January 18, 2013
Check out Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone's take on the new crop:
Clearly, the day had plenty of fun and promise.
MLS's Armchair Analyst, Matthew Doyle, knows this 2013 MLS SuperDraft backwards and forwards. A veritable genius on tactical analysis, Doyle spent the whole of the past week at the MLS Combine looking and thinking about who should go where and why.
He did a recent winners and losers take on the recent draft and had this to say on the Timbers second round pick-up of defender Dylan Tucker-Gangnes:
"First of all, I . . . could argue that he’s the most MLS-ready of the center backs on offer, so just on a nuts-and-bolts level, it was the right pick. As important, though, is that Portland took a kid who is Seattle born-and-bred, and University of Washington star, one pick before the Sounders were up. Seattle fans flipped their collective bean in the live chat, on Twitter and elsewhere."
Surrounded by family, friends, former players, current players, university staff, and fans, Caleb Porter had an emotional farewell to his University of Akron community last night in a special goodbye ceremony on campus. The Akron Beacon Journal's Maria Ridenour was on hand to write about it:
University of Akron President Luis Proenza began coughing midway through his tribute to departing men’s soccer coach Caleb Porter on Wednesday night at InfoCision Stadium, prompting a member of the catering staff to deliver water to the podium.
“It’s not my throat, it’s my emotion,” Proenza said.
Those feelings eventually overcame Proenza. While recalling the celebration after UA captured the school’s first team national championship in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2010, Proenza said Porter gathered his players and delivered “one of the most impassioned, emotional communications of teamwork and family that I’ve heard.”
Recalling the scene and Porter’s words, Proenza broke down and cried.
“I don’t know why, it’s been two years,” Proenza said as Porter came onto the riser to hug him.
Even after the two-hour event ended, Proenza couldn’t explain what had happened, barely able to choke out a few words about the special bond he felt with Porter.
Watch the powerful moment in question at the 4:50 mark:
With Darlington Nagbe scheduled to get married on Saturday in Cleveland, he came to the event along with numerous MLS players including Seattle's Steve Zakuani, Houston's Kofi Sarkodie, and more. Calling all of his current, former, and any past Zip players up with him to the podium, Porter was gracious and emotional.
"This program has a long tradition of excellence," he said. "It’s bigger than any coach, any player."
It is clear that Porter had a tremendous impact on numerous individuals both on and off the field and established a dedicated spirit of energy and success while in Akron.
That spirit is one that his successor, Jared Embick, will now takeover having been elevated from assistant coach to head coach. The New York Times Goal blog delves into that challenge and Akron's hope of continued success.
But as Porter and Akron turn the page on his time there, Portland remains ever eager on his Rose City arrival.
It is not every day that your local paper does a Sunday editorial about the local college soccer team. Sure, you might hear about the local football team heading to the conference title, or how the baseball team won a championship.
It is also not every day that that editorial celebrates the style of play that said local college soccer established and how that innovation can impact an entire city.
But that is just what Akron Beacon Journal editorial page editor Michael Douglas did today. While watching the NCAA College Cup, even though one of his own alma maters made the final, Douglas laments the absence of Caleb Porter's Akron Zips and the creative way that they play. Going on to discuss the tremendous impact Porter had in not only creating a unique style but then explaining what that meant to Akron as a community, Douglas is proud of Porter's accomplishments in establishing an overall desire for innovation across industries in the city, admiring of his decision to take on new challenges with the Portland Timbers, and certain that the legacy of "Porterball" will remain in Akron.
What leaves the strongest impression is the style of play. Akron long won respect for its soccer program, from Stu Parry to Ken Lolla. Porter elevated things dramatically, with his possession game, elegant and attacking, college soccer with a new element of purpose and plain fun to watch.
Watch the Zips play, and the echoes are apparent, of the “total football” of Johann Cruyff, the brilliant Dutch star, now in his 60s. The more current comparison is Barcelona, where the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi break down the opposition with their relentless short and exact passes.
The achievement of Porter resides in his innovation, applying these principles, building on the strengths already here and producing something new. Possess the ball, and the other side chases, as you play offense and defense at the same time. Porter has talked about the Zips wanting the role of the “deciding” side, dictating the flow and the opportunities.
. . . . .
The word “revolution” may be too much. But we have been watching a remaking of the game.
“This is Akron” is the cry. It points to what is distinctive, the soccer here what you cannot get elsewhere.
And it carries a wider lesson. What must Akron and other aging industrial cities do to prosper? They must build on their core strengths. They must keep and attract talent, Porter reaching across the country, from Washington state to Texas, from Massachusetts to Colorado.
In addition, they must be organized for innovation and distinction.
It is an essential read into learning just how much Porter meant to the Akron community but also a testament to what his soccer vision could mean to his new home in Portland.