With the #SoccerInOregon photo project continuing and voting on Pinterest, the core of that whole project was showing the many people and places where soccer takes place across the state. Away from the big stadiums and big matches, soccer can be played on a bumpy pitch in any corner.
For Britain, football is as much about daily life and playing for the love of the game as anything. Much like the #SoccerInOregon project shows the grassroots elements of the love of the game, so too does this documentary short about Madron FC--widely considered the worst football club in England.
Situated near the southwestern tip of England, hope springs eternal for these dedicated lads:
After a summer that saw Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and defender Ian Hogg both spend a good deal of time with the New Zealand national team in friendlies, the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup, and London 2012 Olympics, it should come as no surprise that the duo are already eyeing qualification for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
FIFA.com took a look at the pair with an eye towards the numerous new players coming up through the New Zealand ranks.
“My time will come,” Gleeson, New Zealand’s third-choice goalkeeper, told FIFA.com. “I’m still young and I have plenty of time to grow. The junior sides are a good platform, but the step up in quality from there to the All Whites is still very big.”
Hogg also chimed in:
“The competition is improving in Oceania, where teams are unpredictable and players don’t really stick to their positions,” he continued. “So we know that our concentration and intensity has to be absolutely spot-on. New players have come in, and it will take a bit of time for things to gel. But we’ll see a much better New Zealand team in the near future.”
It's a nice piece about the numerous changes happening in the New Zealand side and how the infusion of youth--and the patience required with said youth--could play a big part in the All Whites World Cup campaign.
Yesterday it was all about Portland being among the Top Cities in America due in part to the presence of the Portland Timbers.
Today in "Best of" Lists, Bleacher Report takes a look at the 15 Coolest Club Logos in World Football. Here are a few to get you started:
How many do you recognize? There's at least one more in there that should be familiar which "[symbolizes] not only their club, but the entire state of Oregon with [a] logo and its homage to the logging tradition of the area."
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.
The Oceania Football Confederation--home federation for New Zealand Football--wrote a nice piece about new Timbers signing Ian Hogg recently that makes for a good read. A starter in all three matches for the Oly Whites at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Hogg played alongside Jake Gleeson who was also a member of the team.
"I'm just looking to take any opportunities I get given," said Hogg. And with Timbers GM/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson and assistant coach Cameron Knowles also being veterans of the All Whites New Zealand national team, Portland has a growing Kiwi contingent.
Read the article here.
The article refers to Hogg's first goal in his senior national team debut during a friendly against El Salvador earlier this spring in Houston. It's a pretty quick run down the left flank that leads to a confident strike. See it here (Fast foward to the 29:41 mark, commentary in Spanish).
Then watch Hogg's first training with the team from last week.
Last week, famed English Premiere League club Manchester City announced a special program that would release loads upon loads of statistical information from the team’s 2011-2012 EPL season. They did this in a unique way to crowdsource ideas and analysis of players' performances. Gavin Fleig, Man City's head of performance analysis, told The Guardian, "The whole reason for putting this data out there is to open the doors. The data has value, previously it has been kept in-house and behind guarded doors, but there is a recognition now that clubs need to help this space develop."
Both Michael Lewis' Moneyball and Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski’s Soccernomics tell the story of the importance of statistical analysis in sports--Lewis' with baseball and Kuper and Szymanski's then building off of that to get into soccer. With Man City, their document is incredibly thorough and open to all after registering at their website. Broken out by player, there’s every match and every stat you could think of: Right Footed Shots off Target, Goals from Corners, Total Unsuccessful Passes Excluding Crosses, Corners and much much more. It’s a deep document.
But that kind of statistical analysis and, more importantly, access to it, is something that MLS has been similarly doing on a league-wide scale since last season as they rolled out their toolbox of features with Opta. Every Matchcenter page on MLSsoccer.com has up to the minute stats in game and the Chalkboard feature is filled to the brim with heat maps, pass stats, positioning information and more.
And with adidas’ new Smart Soccer platform having debuted at the 2012 MLS All-Star Game with an eye towards even more use in 2013, the importance of statistics and their meaning on the game becomes even deeper. See their latest ad running with quite a few cameos from Timbers players.
How do you see the focus on statistics changing the game? Got a thought? Let us know in the comments below or send us a note at thebackcut(at)portlandtimbers.com.
If you were watching the Timbers 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday night, you may have noticed Lovel Palmer and Steve Purdy not with the team. This was due to both men being away with their respective national teams as Purdy was with El Salvador and Palmer with Jamaica. With both national teams matching up against one another Wednesday evening at RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C., there was a unique Timbers intrasquad rivalry at play with Palmer’s Jamaica beating Purdy’s El Salvador 2-0.
Palmer and Purdy both started and played the full 90 minutes battling against one another. Jamaica’s midfielder Luton Shelton would give The Reggae Boyz the win as he put two goals into the back of the net. Now not only does Palmer have a little bit of bragging rights here in Portland, but he also gets a nice home cooked meal of his choice made by Purdy due to a bet placed earlier on Twitter.
This past Sunday, Purdy and La Selecta took to the pitch in the first of their two matches this week as they played Guatemala to a 1-0 victory at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Purdy started and played the full 90 minutes while teammate Nelson Bonilla scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute to give the Central Americans a boost ahead of the next round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Jamaica will play Kenya next in a friendlyl on Aug. 25 followed by a World Cup qualifier against the U.S. on Sept. 11 in Columbus. El Salvador will play Guyana in a World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 7.
RECAP in Spanish: La Prensa Grafica – El Salvador lost 0-2 against Jamaica
Timbers teammates Lovel Palmer and Steve Purdy are in the interesting situation this week of coming face-to-face with each other on the pitch far from JELD-WEN Field. Both players were called up to their respective national teams--Palmer for Jamaica and Purdy for El Salvador--to take part in an international friendly on Wednesday, August 15 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. at 5pm PT.
As both players are quite active on Twitter, the chatter began after Purdy's La Selecta beat Guatemala 1-0 in a friendly Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Palmer noticed the win and tweeted a question about having a friendly wager for this week's match.
@spurdy25 congrats on the win against guatemala. Tweeps what you think the bet should be wednesday night when JA play El salvador.
— Lovel Palmer (@palmerboy30) August 13, 2012
After some good-natured jibes back and forth the best idea was presented by a fan: The loser must make the winner dinner.
— Steven Purdy (@spurdy25) August 13, 2012
Now with both teams training in D.C., the two have run into each other as part of the preparations.
— Lovel Palmer (@palmerboy30) August 14, 2012
— Steven Purdy (@spurdy25) August 14, 2012
While the game does not count in any CONCACAF standings anywhere, it should present a great tune-up ahead of September's World Cup qualifiers. And for one of two Timbers teammates, it means a hearty meal and bragging rights.
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer
As the US Women's National Team continues their run at London 2012 for Olympic gold, they'll have to go through Canada to do it. Unbeaten in the group stage and dispatching New Zealand in the quarterfinals, the USWNT now face a spirited Canada later this morning following the France-Japan semifinal (11:30am, NBC Sports Network).
The two teams know each other well. It was just about a year ago when JELD-WEN Field hosted a friendly between the USA and Canada in a match that had three University of Portland alums in it--Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Lopez for the US and Sophie Schmidt for Canada. While Lopez is not on this Olympic squad this time around, Rapinoe and Schmidt look to feature heavily today in London. Moreover, Christine Sinclair, who did not play in last year's friendly in Portland, is another University of Portland player who directs much of the Canadians' attack.
Back at JELD-WEN Field last September, Wambach had two goals while Rapinoe was snakebit but with all the Cascadian connections on the field, it made for a decidedly special night in the Rose City. Take a look at the postgame video from last year then be sure to watch the Olympic semifinal later this morning.
A few weeks ago during the Timbers' exciting friendly with Aston Villa at JELD-WEN Field, you may have noticed a spontaneous round of applause beginning at the stroke of the 19th minute. It was a show of solidarity and respect for Villa team captain and number 19 Stiliyan Petrov during his battle with leukemia. Petrov, who was diagnosed late in the 2011-12 EPL season, was undergoing treatments and did not accompany the team to Portland.
Aston Villa was happy to announce today that Petrov's leukemia appears to be in remission: