Every year, the Portland Timbers take on a veritable army of interns to help across a host of departments. Whether it's public relations, marketing, sponsorship, game operations, soccer operations and everywhere in between, life as a Timbers' intern is rarely boring. Getting to see the inner workings of a Major League Soccer club is an enticing proposition--even if it doesn't pay any money--and former interns have gone on to get jobs with the club, the U.S. Soccer Federation, other MLS teams, and throughout the sporting landscape.
For last winter's PR and marketing intern Mike Ekstrom, however, leaving the Timbers did not entail returning to school. Rather, Ekstrom had another job already lined up that entailed reporting to Oakland A's spring training in Tucson, Ariz. with the club's pitchers and catchers contingent. The Portland, Ore. native who played his high school ball at Barlow High School and college at Oregon State, has spent parts of the last five MLB seasons as a reliever with the San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Colorado Rockies.
"First internship ever," said the 29-year-old Ekstrom, a non-roster reliever in A's camp. "First taste of wearing dress clothes and going downtown and feeling like a real person."
Sharing time between helping organize the Dribble Oregon tour to writing the occasional article for portlandtimbers.com, Ekstrom was able to get a full picture of the inner front office workings of a pro sports franchise.
"It was kind of eye-opening because there was a lot of stuff I took for granted being on a pro sports team, so I have a little bit better perspective of the workings that go on. It was fun seeing all of the moving parts."
Are you looking to be the next Timbers intern? Apply online.
The Portland Timbers, in conjunction with Alberta Main Street & Art On Alberta, will be unveiling their new primary and secondary kits this February, and as part of the event, are looking for 10 Timbers themed pieces of art to be included in the event.
The unveiling will feature an art exhibition, with the Timbers pieces included in select galleries on Alberta Street in Northeast Portland. If your piece is selected, you will receive an invitation to the event, AND if your work sells, you will receive part of the proceeds, and the Timbers will donate a percentage of the remainder to their Community Fund on your behalf.
How it works
- Design a Timbers inspired piece of art. (If you’ve already created one, great, feel free to submit it)
- Art must not be any larger than 2 feet x 3 feet and fit in a frame (pictures, photos, illustrations, paintings etc. are preferred). Three dimensional art pieces like sculptures will not be included.
- Art must be framed and ready to hang (back wired)
- Please label your artwork on the back
- Art must be received by the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field no later than Wednesday, February 20 at 5 p.m. If you are selected, you will be notified by the Timbers no later than February 25.
If you are interested in participating, please confirm your involvement in advance by emailing email@example.com, using the subject line “2013 Kit Unveil.” Please include your full name, contact email and phone number, as well as a brief (2-3 sentence) summary describing your piece.
Yahoo! Finance's Businessweek.com just published a list of America's Best Cities with Portland coming in at No. 5 overall. Utilizing a number of different criteria (number of restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, professional sports teams, park acres by population) along with economic data, Stumptown made the list on account of it being "beloved of America’s hipsters, do-it-yourselfers, and localist foodies."
Another big reason? "[The] popular recent arrival is the city’s Major League Soccer team, the Portland Timbers, which regularly sells out its games."
The fans have spoken!
The first four food carts to serve at JELD-WEN Field through the Portland Timbers Food Cart Alliance (PTFCA) have been chosen via Facebook fan vote. The first food cart will serve at the August 5 match.
Each food cart will offer a selection of their specialty items at the Soccer City Grill concession stand on the east side of the stadium.
Here are the winning food carts for the next four home matches:
August 5 – 808 Grinds (Twitter)
About: 808 Grinds is the creation of Jensen Yip and Kevin Scolfield. The food here offers up flavors that have influenced Hawaiian food for years like teriyaki, ginger, wasabi and others. Their menu features traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kalua pig and Shoyu chicken served with rice and traditional mac salad.
August 25 – The Frying Scotsman (Twitter)
About: British fish and chips prepared fresh daily in Portland, OR by Scotsman James King. The recipes they use have been handed down through generations in Scotland. Chef James King hails from Ayrshire, UK, on the west coast of Scotland.
Sept. 15 – Big Ass Sandwiches (Twitter)
About: Big-Ass Sandwiches is exactly what it sounds like: Delicious, ample sandwiches filled with home roasted meats and homemade ingredients, sure to squash big hunger in its tracks. This new Portland food cart is owned and operated by husband and wife Brian and Lisa Wood. Located downtown on the corner of SW 3rd & Ash Street, they serve up one-of-a-kind sandwiches to the people of Portland, who are already delightfully in the midst of what can only be described as an outright sandwich revival.
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.
Stay tuned for more details on each food cart as the season goes on. First up: 808 Grinds!
Our friends at Turner Construction--the builders behind the renovation of JELD-WEN Field--have been putting their construction know-how, support of the Timbers, and outreach in the community all to good use in the latest edition of Canstruction. Canstruction is a national organization working to end hunger having contributed over 17.5 million pounds of food to community food banks across the country since 1992.
They do it it by gathering donated cans of food and then letting teams utilze those cans in elaborate and creative artistic sculptures. Turner Construction created a massive Timbers crest out of hundreds of cans of donated food and their project is in the running for the Canstruction People's Choice Award. Simply head to their Facebook photo album and give them a like. You can also see the behemoth in person at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland. Voting runs through Sunday. VOTE!
With today's acquisition of Danny Mwanga from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for Jorge Perlaza, much has been made of Mwanga's Rose City roots. Originally born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mwanga and his family fled the Congolese civil war in 2006 to settle in Northeast Portland whereupon he starred for Jefferson High School (53 goals in nine games) and later for Oregon State University (Pac-10 Player and Freshman of the Year in 2009).
Stephen Alexander of the Portland Tribune did a nice profile of Mwanga and the story of his journey to the United States when the then-Union forward came to take on the Timbers last season:
Mwanga was born into the bloodshed and sorrow of the Second Congo War. The war claimed the life of his father and forced his mother to flee the country, leaving Mwanga and his three older sisters behind. As a boy, Mwanga played soccer in the streets after school to forget some of the pain. A daring escape in June 2006 reunited Mwanga and his sisters with their mother in Northeast Portland.
It's a good read. Check it out here.
Searching through our own PortlandTimbers.com archives, last season Terry Horstman spoke with Mwanga's former Oregon State Beavers coach Steve Simmons as well as John Bain--president of Mwanga's youth team and adidas Timbers Alliance club, Westside Timbers. Bain is also a current Timbers alumni ambassador.
“He’s really humble, he really appreciates everybody, and he’s a really genuine and nice person.” Westside [Timbers] President and Timbers Ring of Honor inductee John Bain said. “I don’t think we’ve seen the surface of how good he’s going to be.”
At that same match in Portland last season, 400 of Mwanga's family and friends from the Westside team were in attendance. It's another great read.
The influence that Westside had on Mwanga is unmistakeable. In an article MLSsoccer.com did on Mwanga's homecoming, they talked about the role youth coach Monty Hawkins had on the young forward:
From teaching him how to drive to helping him find out where to go to school, Hawkins filled a very large void in the teenager’s life. “He helped me a lot and is a big part of my family,” Mwanga said.
Check out the full article here.
Timbers fans in Oregon, do you remember Mwanga's youth in Portland? Share your stories and memories in the comments below.
Two second-half goals, first by Timbers forward Kris Boyd and then from Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks, led to a 1-1 draw between the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps on an evening that had it all: intense rain, hail and lightning, not to mention an action-packed final 45 minutes.
The image is made up of 570 individual images taken throughout the first half and stitched together to form one large image. The final high resolution picture is 118,188 X 49,694 pixels or 5.8 gigapixels.
Find and tag yourself through Facebook by dragging the red marker over your picture to share with your friends and family.
Soccer history isn't always dealing with obscure fith division teams from some pastoral English countryside. No. Rather there's a long American--and even Oregonian--slant to what we know as The Beautiful Game.
George Fosty, president and a founder of the Society of North American Historians and Researchers, has written a lovingly researched post online that charts the history of soccer in Oregon all the way back to the 19th century. The early guises of the Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club—now known simply as the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) and its quest to build a stadium that eventually becomes JELD-WEN Field, intra-Oregon collegiate rivalries, road trips to Seattle, a Cameron Cup, the inception of the womens game, hoodlums, hoodwinks, and eventual creation of the Portland Timbers are all mentioned in his piece, Knee-Knockers: Celebrating 120-Years Of Oregon Soccer. Fosty explains his love of Portland and sets up its founding in the Oregon Territory as the precursor to a long soccer history:
The city of Portland, the largest city in Oregon, was incorporated in 1851. At the time of incorporation Portland boasted a population of 821, of which 653 were men, 164 women, and 4 were identified as "free colored." By 1885, the population would stand at 17,500. Fifteen years later, the city would register 90,426. By 1910, it would boast 207,214. During these years, Portland would distinguish itself as one of the most forward thinking cities in North America. A visionary approach that often split over into the realm of sports, among which included the game of soccer.
While much of those early years are difficult to research and may be built around more conjecture than fact, it's an interesting read into the nascent stages of Oregon soccer. Read the whole thing here.
Hungry for more history? Check out Portland-based historian and occasional PortlandTimbers.com contributor Michael Orr’s new book that expands upon the creation of the NASL-era Timbers in his new book The 1975 Portland Timbers: The Birth of Soccer City USA. Well researched with interviews from many of the original Timbers such as current MLS-era soccer ambassadors John Bain and Mick Hoban, the book is a unique snapshot of a key era of Portland soccer history.
Still wanting more history? The excellent soccer blog Free Beer Movement blog took the recent Lionel Messi achievement of scoring 72 goals over the course of a first division season—including all cup tournaments—to delve into how that broke a record once held by an American soccer player, Archie Stark.
With players like Pele (66 for Santos in 1958) and Mueller in the rear-view mirror for global scoring tallies who could have Messi blown by to set yet another record?
An American, of course.
Yes. Someone from the United States of America.
Buried in a host of articles celebrating Messi's accomplishment (many omitting any mention of it at all) was the name Archie Stark.
Read up on this great piece of American soccer history here.
Study up for finals.
Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.
In logging terms, it's the last of the cuts needed to fell a tree. As an experienced logger would tell you, it's a key element to make for a clean cut.
For us, it's the beginning of a new blog that sits at the intersection of Timbers, soccer, and culture. We'll talk about Timbers news, sure, but we'll also talk about great soccer books you can't do without, important soccer results from a local area match, random soccer tales from around the world, films, music, tidbits, and more. At least, that's the plan.
Join us as we go on this journey deep into the various nooks and crannies of this grand game we call football. Or soccer. Take your pick.