Planning a relaxing Memorial Day weekend? Looking forward to unwinding on the couch and catching a full menu of sports? Well how about an exhilarating soccer tripleheader to keep you company this Saturday?
At 4 p.m. PT the Portland Timbers face D.C. United in our nation’s capital. At 7 p.m. PT the Portland Thorns FC take on rival Seattle Reign FC in Tukwila, WA. But before all of the excitement begins for the Portland sides, there is one game that the soccer community will surely be tuned in for: the UEFA Champions League Final.
Saturday’s final marks the end of the 58th Champions League season, a tournament with some very intriguing storylines. The final will be contested between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund; marking the first time the Champions League has seen an all-German final. Chelsea became the first defending champions to be eliminated during group stage. Dortmund's Mario Götze has been purchased by Bayern and will play for them next season. He is injured for the final and will not play for Dortmund. Perhaps the most intriguing story, however, will be the David vs. Goliath tone to the final matchup.
Bayern Munich, a perennial Bundesliga powerhouse, will be making their tenth Champions League final appearance, winning in 1974, 1975, 1976, and 2001. This will be Borussia Dortmund’s second final, having won in 1997.
Bayern may be the single most loved and hated German club at the same time. The team spends a hefty sum on acquiring the top talent in order to remain atop the table year in and year out. Dortmund, on the other hand, almost went bankrupt in 2005. They saved themselves by reallocating all of their resources to youth development and scouting, much to the pleasure of their fanatical support base.
The two German clubs will faceoff at Wembley Stadium tomorrow at 11 a.m. PT on FOX. You can also hit up the KICKTV Google Hangout over at www.kicktv.com. As a little bonus, here’s some of Dortmund’s tifo from earlier in the tournament:
The Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA) is a free, cross-promotional program designed to highlight the Rose City’s vibrant food cart culture. Through the PTFCA, select Portland-area food carts will have the opportunity to serve their food cart fare on Timbers and Thorns FC match days at JELD-WEN Field via fan vote.
Now’s your chance to choose the next round of carts that will serve at the stadium this season. Choose carefully, the five carts that receive the most votes on this poll will serve at three JELD-WEN Field events!
Know of any additional carts that should be included in this program? Post in the comments below or learn more about the program here.
Timbers U-16 Academy forward Rubio Rubin has been busy. Already named the No. 1 U.S. Player in the Class of 2014 by TopDrawerSoccer.com, he's also been traveling the world playing with the US U-17 national team. With eight goals for the US so far in 2012, the Beaverton, OR native was recently nominated for U.S. Soccer's Young Male Athlete of the Year.
Though Rubio is up against some stiff competition that includes USMNT senior squad member Terrence Boyd--who's on the roster for tomorrow's friendly against Russia (7am PT on ESPN2 & ESPN3.com)--the honor is controlled via fan voting.
What are you waiting for? Get voting for Rubin!
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.
Everyone I know who loves soccer loves EA Sports' FIFA series. You can play it on Playstation or Xbox, your iPhone or iPad, connect with friends, create a team, and manage it to untold glories.
Check out the latest ad EA just dropped touting FIFA 13's pending September 27 release:
MLSsoccer.com has teamed up with EA Sports to create a custom cover for FIFA 13. The number one player from MLSsoccer.com's 24 Under 24 will automatically be on the list, but there's three slots still available and our very own Darlington Nagbe is among the nominees in a special poll.
With 2014 World Cup qualifiers happening this weekend, there's an interesting CONCACAF clash today with two Timbers involved. Tonight at 7pm PT, defender Steve Purdy will take to the field with La Selecta of El Salvador as they travel to Costa Rica to take on Timbers teammate midfielder/defender Rodney Wallace and his Ticos.
For Purdy and El Salvador, it will be a tall order. Over the course of 71 years and 19 games, El Salvador has never won in Costa Rica.
The Central American footballing history between the two nations runs deep. In the Independence Contenary Games in Guatemala City in 1921, which was Costa Rica's national debut, the Ticos defeated El Salvador 7-0. Costa Rica has also qualified for the World Cup three times in their history with their most recent trip in 2006.
Purdy’s El Salvador looks to turn their luck around tonight against a team they've had some tough losses including most recently in 2007 UNCAF Nations Cup. El Salvador, the host nation that year, advanced to the semifinals at the top of Group 1, but lost 2-0 to Costa Rica who would eventually move on to be champions. Neither Wallace nor Purdy featured in that tournament but you can bet their respective teams' fans will remember.
Moreover, La Selecta hasn't been to the World Cup since 1982.
With this initial qualifier on the line, both teams look to move onto their next opponents. Following tonight's match, Costa Rica and El Salvador will see their next game on June 12, when Costa Rica will face Guyana and El Salvador will meet Mexico.
Both Purdy and Wallace have been making periodic updates on Twitter about their travels and international play. Give them a follow at @rodwallace22 and @spurdy25 respectively. Who do you think will win?
Timbers midfielder/2011 MLS All-Star Jack Jewsbury (left) vs. Manchester United and then Timbers defender now Alumni Ambassador Scot Thompson (right) (Photo: Getty Images & Craig Mitchelldyer)
Manchester United and Manchester City. Perhaps you've heard of them.
The 2011 MLS All-Star opponent United vs. the 2010 Timbers summer exhibition friendly opponent City--otherwise known as gladiators for the top of the English Premier League table--face off today on ESPN at high noon PT. United only holds a three point lead over City with only two matches left to play following today's clash.
The Backcut asks: Who you got?