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.
John Strong, voice of the Portland Timbers, headed out east a little ahead of the team this week as he travels to Kansas City to make his national broadcast debut on the NBC Sports Network. Calling the Midwest rivalry game between Sporting Kansas City and Chicago Fire at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Friday evening at 5pm PT, Strong will be joined in the booth with former MLS player and Olympian Brian Dunseth.
Friday’s match is the first of five matches Strong will call with Dunseth for NBC Network and he is already adjusting to the KC heat.
Greetings from Kansas City! Where it's officially 49 degrees warmer than when I left my house this morning! twitter.com/StrongMLS/stat…
— John Strong (@StrongMLS) June 27, 2012
Soccer fans will undoubtedly recognize Strong on Friday and they should also be familiar with Dunseth who is the main soccer analyst for Real Salt Lake broadcasts as well as having been an analyst with Fox Soccer. It will be a great rivalry match to watch with a familiar voice to help guide the way. Keep an eye on @StrongMLS and @BP_TOW on Twitter for updates from the road.
While the Portland-Seattle Cascadia Cup rivalry chatter increases to a fevered pitch, let us not forget all the excitement happening over in the Euros. Portugal eliminated the Czech Republic 1-0 on Thursday in the quarterfinals and today at 11:45 am PT on ESPN, the formidable Germany will take on the suprising Greece.
Now you could watch Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas break down the game in a cool holographic virtual tabletop on ESPNFC.com. Which is great, no doubt. And looks like something from the future.
But perhaps you be better served going back a ways--both in history and in philosphical theory--by referencing the great Germany vs. Greece match so ably presented by Monty Python years ago:
What do you think? Who is Greece's new version of Socrates in this Euro 2012 clash? Or will the Germans triumph via the argument that "reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics"?
Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.
As some of you may have begun to notice, there's a growing buzz about this upcoming match for the Timbers this weekend. Seattle Sounders FC is coming to town and that means Rivalry. That mean Intensity. That means Cascadia Cup.
Though the Vancouver Whitecaps FC sit atop the Cascadia standings on two points having drawn both Seattle and Portland earlier in the season, Sunday's game is the first 2012 meeting between the Timbers and Sounders (2:00pm PT, ESPN, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940).
We'll be rolling out all kinds of special Cascadia coverage throughout the week with a look back at memorable moments, stories from supporters, and more. Take a look at Monday's flashback to a classic NASL Portland-Seattle battle to get you started.
ESPN is getting into the act as well. They partnered up with MLS and us to make some unique posters that you may see popping up in many of our local watering holes and pubs. The posters take a particular "angle" on the match (see right).
Moreover, there's a brand new promo that was created to whet your appetite as well:
Are you ready?
The 2012 FIFA European Championships got off to a rousing start late last week with group play. Poland's Robert Lewandowski got things started with the first goal of the tournament. The celebration of over 100,000 people in Warsaw's central square was not to be missed.
While MLS has only one player in the mix this year--LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane is the captain of Ireland--there are a number of players who Portland fans may have come across via recent international friendlies with the Timbers. Will it help you pick your side? Who knows, but take a look:
Roy Hodgson - The current England manager most recently was the head man for West Bromwich Albion when they came through Portland in 2011 and helped lead them to a 3-2 win. Euro 2012 marks Hodgson's first tournament with the Three Lions
Joe Hart - The current England starter in net was also the starting goalkeeper in Manchester City's 3-0 win over the USL-era Timbers in 2010 at the University of Portland.
Joleon Lescott - Part of the Manchester City travel roster in 2010, Lescott came on in the second half against the Timbers at UP. More recently, he started and scored England's only goal in their opening Euro 2012 1-1 draw with France on Monday.
Gregory van der Wiel - The young Dutch defender came to Portland last season as part of Ajax's U.S. trip and played the full 90 picking up an assist in their 2-0 exhibition win over the Timbers. Van der Wiel also started in Holland's 1-1 draw with Denmark last week.
Simon Cox - Though English-born, Cox qualifies for Ireland from his grandmother's side. The West Bromwich Albion striker came on as a second half sub against the Timbers last July. He was also a 62nd minute addition for Ireland in their 3-1 loss to Croatia.
Shay Given - Part of the travel roster with Manchester City in 2010 when they played the USL-era Timbers at University of Portland, Given was held out of the match. He is currently the starting goalkeeper for the Irish and leads the squad witn 123 caps.
Jonas Olsson - Another member of the West Brom squad who played here last season, the veteran Olsson was an unused sub in Sweden's 2-1 loss to Ukraine earlier today.
Looking to learn more about the Euros? Check out KickTV's coverage of the tournament. Former U.S. international and MLS defender Jimmy Conrad has been traveling about Poland and Ukraine taking in the sites, training, and the matches. It's a must watch if you want to get a feel for the pure fun that is the European tournament. As a sampler, take a look at his talking his way into the Spain-Italy match on Sunday:
Next Tuesday, May 15, presents a unique double-header event for Timbers fans.
The Portland Timbers of MLS travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo in the first evening home game at BBVA Compass Stadium at 5:30pm PT on ROOT SPORTS / 750 AM The Game. Also on the same day, The Timbers U-23s of the PDL begin their U.S. Open Cup campaign hosting the USASA's PSA Elite at 7:30pm PT.
You may be asking yourself, how can I--devoted Timbers fan that I am--watch them all in the same place?
JELD-WEN Field has you covered in four simple steps:
Step 1. Get yourself a ticket to the Timbers U-23s match for Tuesday. Tickets for U-23s are only $7 bucks general admission and can be purchased at the JELD-WEN Field box office or via Ticketmaster.
Step 2. Come to JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday beginning at 5:15pm with beer specials and $7 hotdog/soda combos available.
Step 3. Watch the Timbers-Dynamo match on the big BIG screen in the House of Pain that starts at 5:30pm.
Step 4. Stick around for the Timbers U-23s U.S. Open clash following the MLS match that kicks off at 7:30pm.
What are you waiting for? It's a simple four-step process. See you on Tuesday.
Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.
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?
I don't know how many of you out there are fans of The Wire but if you aren't yet, then you best should be. It is among the finest television shows of all time. Set in Baltimore and ostensibly about the drug trade and the people who try to both profit from it and put a stop to it, the show expanded on issues of education, unions, politics, culture, youth, and everything in between. If you haven't watched it yet, stop reading this and go rent it post haste.
Back? Okay. The depth of narrative arc led to some truly memorable characters. So memorable, soccer blog The Other 87 celebrates the tenth anniversary of The Wire's first season by asking, what would make the best fictional Starting XI out of such a cast?
What I find amazing is that the infamous bandit Omar Little does not feature in either XI. The Other 87 argues that he "doesn't fit neatly into either team" and that sorta makes sense if you assume he'd constantly be on the lookout only for himself. But aren't some of the greatest soccer players of all time the same? Wouldn't Omar have been the consummate #10 pulling the strings across the pitch?
I have to believe B&B Enterprises is the kit sponsor for the Bad Guys. Maybe Stringer Bell's copy shop. For the Good Guys? It's got to be Kavanaugh's Irish Pub. How do you think these teams stack up?
via The Other 87:
The Good Guys
GK – Lester Freamon – He could be painting dollhouse furniture and still pull out a brilliant save between the sticks. He also keeps a level head when the rest of the team loses discipline.
LB Ellis Carver – Known to bash a few skulls, but commands his troops well. Carver provides outlet passes to Bunny Colvin ahead of him, but also has the talent to switch wings with his partner, Herc Hauk.
LCB – Cedric Daniels – Tall, imposing, disciplined. What more could ask of a world class defender? Despite his age, Cedric shows tremendous upshot.
RCB – Rhonda Pearlman – Partners well with Daniels in the back. The two take turns cleaning up messes. When all else fails, she uses her charm to appeal to the ref.
RB – Herc Hauk – Along with Carver, Herc ensures nothing gets into the box. While intelligence isn’t always his forte, he muscles any hoodlums stupid enough to challenge his authority.
CDM – Bubbles – Tactically, Bubbles knows the opposition inside and out. With this insight, he shrewdly predicts every play and provides outlet passes to Kima ahead of him.
LCM – Bunny Colvin – Our warhorse. He’ll try anything to break the opposition, even if it means allowing them to play their game.
RCM – Tommy Carcetti – Carcetti has the energy and guile to go on the offensive, especially when he identifies a weakness in his marker.
CAM – Kima Greggs – She would take a bullet for her team, and that’s exactly why we want her providing support for the front line.
LS – Bunk Moreland – Our target man. While Bunk lacks in speed or athleticism, he more than makes up for in persistence and strength.
RS – Jimmy McNulty – Opposite Moreland, McNulty cracks open the defense with risky runs, often to the displeasure of the coaching staff.
The Bad Guys
GK – Stringer Bell –Because of this attacking formation, we need an intelligent goalkeeper capable of reading the opposition and deflecting any attacks.
LB – Wallace – Runs up and down the wing, often unsure of his position. Uses D’Angelo for guidance.
LCB – Clay Davis – Senator Davis is more than willing to take the ball from Stringer and distribute it as he sees fit.
RCB – Proposition Joe – Prop Joe is by far the most cautious member of the squad. While his teammates are eager to attack, he waits patiently and watches for the counter.
RB – D’Angelo Barksdale – Like Wallace, D is often unsure of his position, but is intelligent enough to play capably in both halves of the field.
LCM – Chris Partlow – Always one step ahead of the opposition, Chris is the left side of our midfield triangle.
RCM – Snoop – Our bruiser. In spite of her size and age, Snoop isn’t afraid to put in a hard tackle if she’s asked to do so.
CM – Marlo – Marlo is ruthless in his pursuit of victory, but doesn’t come to life until the second half.
LAM – Slim Charles – Often at odds with Stringer’s instructions from the back, Charles acts as provider in the box.
RAM – Bodie – Distrustful of the midfield lineup, Bodie often creates his own goals, especially when Avon is out of position.
ST – Avon Barksdale – If Stringer is the calming voice for the squad, Avon is the banshee’s scream. However, as the head of the attack, you can’t blame his enthusiasm for forcing the issue.