MLS Regular Season
“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 roar of the crowd.
The electricity of matchday.
Do you want to be a part of the Portland Timbers AND get paid at the same time? Today is your lucky day as the Timbers are in the market for Guest Services Attendants.
Guest Attendants act as the primary providers of direct service to guests as they enter and attend events. They're oftentimes the first people that fans meet when entering JELD-WEN Field and are among the most crucial to helping set the tone for what can be a spectacular Timbers experience. And we need more of them.
To find out more and apply, visit the MLS job board here.
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."
Followers of City Hall may remember that a friendly Twitter wager was placed last season between the three Cascadia Cup mayors of Portland's Sam Adams, Seattle's Mike McGinn, and Vancouver's Gregor Robertson. The stakes were simple: the mayors of the two losing MLS teams had to wear the Cascadia Cup victor's team jersey.
While the jury is still out on Vancouver, Seattle's Mayor McGinn fulfilled his end of the bargin over the holiday break:
Here's hoping that Cascadia Cup stays right here in the Rose City in 2013.
After a 2012 season that saw Bright Dike score 16 goals across all competitions--5 in the regular season, 5 in the MLS Reserve League, and 6 in the USL Pro while on loan to the LA Blues--the Timbers forward added one more tally to his growing goalscoring exploits as he scored the equalizer for Nigeria in a friendly against Catalonia on Wednesday.
Dike started the match in Barcelona as Nigeria faced the unique autonomous region of northeastern Spain known as Catalonia. Though not recognized by FIFA or UEFA, Catalonia has fielded a national team since the early 20th century often with numerous stars from FC Barcelona in their starting XI. Wednesday's match was no different as the Johan Cruyff-coached side featured Barca legends Carles Puyol, Xavi, and Gerard Pique.
For Dike, it didn't matter. After battling all game--including a nasty elbow to Puyol in the first half that left the centerback temporarily bloodied--Dike broke through in the 55th minute with a nifty cutback and lashed a shot with his left foot into the upper left corner of the net. Notice the trademark cartwheel backflip celebration.
Congratulations to Dike. Here's to getting 2013 started off on the (left) foot and to making your case for inclusion in Nigeria's squad for this January's Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Dan Itel, MLSsoccer.com Timbers beat writer (and Hillsboro Argus sports writer), has a strong commentary piece today on MLSsoccer.com about the recent flurry of Timbers trades and moves. Looking back at the expansion year and taking it through to Caleb Porter's hiring plus the last two weeks of moves--as well as some looks into the future--Itel says the new makeup is a markedly different direction than two seasons ago.
It’s why the Wilkinson-Porter team shored up the midfield with road-tested guys like [Will] Johnson and [Michael] Harrington – more no-nonsense, less step-over. And Porter’s fingerprints were all over Wednesday’s acquisition of forward Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Milos Kocic in a trade for promising young ‘keeper Joe Bendik as well.
Johnson is a proven talent in the league – he’s bounced around a bit but established himself as a double-digit scoring threat every season in the right system – and Kocic should be a worthy challenger to incumbent Donovan Ricketts.
Itel grants that questions remain but overall believes Portland is aiming for "Less gambles, more guile. Get used to it."
Much like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Timbers’ Saturday regular season finale against the San Jose Earthquakes (3:30pm PT, NBC Sports Network, 101.1 FM KXL / La Pantera 940) will have an element of golden tickets.
In recognition of Fan Appreciation Day, the first 7,000 fans into the stadium will receive the specially designed poster seen above. At 24”x36”, it’s big.
Thirty of said posters will have the aforementioned special golden tickets that will be granting a plethora of special Timbers items including autographed jerseys, game-worn boots of Timbers players, gift certificates, signed soccer balls and more.
Moreover, the adidas Timbers Team Store will be having a huge End of Season Fan Appreciation Sale with steep discounts on merchandise, hats, jerseys and more.
The Sale applies to over half of our store’s inventory and offers fans four discounted price tiers of $5, $10, $20 & $40 with discounts ranging from 25-85% off standard retail prices. Moreover, Timbers Season Ticket Holders will be able to use their benefit card to add their discount onto any clearance merchandise.
But the sale is limited. Things get rolling tomorrow at the team store at JELD-WEN Field (open on non-match days Mon-Sat 11a-5p), online at shop.portlandtimbers.com, and run through Halloween.
So between the poster, golden tickets, and screaming deals, there’s a little something for everyone.
The Local Grind will serve their Hawaiian-style plates out of the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium for $6.50. Up for grabs will be a choice of grilled teriyaki chicken, garlic honey chicken or “The Shred” – teriyaki chicken with ginger and garlic. Each dish will be served over white or brown rice, and sides of Asian-style vegetables and macaroni salad will be available for $1 each.
Abell started The Local Grind in 2007 after many years in the food service industry and an interest in Hawaiian cuisine. He designed his cart and friends helped him build it in his garage. In the winter, The Local Grind is set up at Ira Keller Fountain in the summer, and relocates to SW Park and Montgomery Streets in the winter.
“I love working with the public, being outside, taking the cart to different festivals, serving the people a good quality product,” said Abell. “I could eat my bento every day and I know many of my customers could, too.”
The Local Grind is the last of six food carts chosen by fans to serve at JELD-WEN Field via Facebook vote through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA).
“JELD-WEN Field is such a great facility, plus it’ll be cool to see my regular customers in a different setting, as well as introduce so many other Timbers fans to The Local Grind,” said Abell. “A lot of people have said, ‘I will see you there.’ Generally, my customers are just excited to see The Local Grind grow!”
PTFCA is looking for members for the 2013 season. Applications will be accepted throughout the off-season.
In honor of the league's support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, adidas has reached out to a number of MLS players to design their own special boots. As a result, DCU's Chris Pontius, New York's Kenny Cooper, Seattle's Fredy Montero, Sporting's Teal Bunbury and our very own Darlington Nagbe have all become shoe designers.
Nagbe has been training in his special custom shoes for a couple of weeks now looking to break them in for matchday. He's definitely excited to have them.
“These will be my first custom cleats, I’m pretty excited," he said. "Adidas is famous for their stripes, so I wanted to make the stripes, laces and other pieces on my boots pink to support breast cancer awareness. I used black and gold on the rest of the cleat to draw attention and try to make the pink really stand out.”
Like 'em? You can pick up your very own pair here.
And just because he didn't want to feel left out, Timbers 'keeper Joe Bendik has some special pink gloves he's sporting as well.
— Joe Bendik (@Jtbendik) October 4, 2012