March ended in what has become customary fashion for Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers, with no wins and only flashes of what the head coach assures the fans and media is a good team, one that is more than capable of mounting a strong playoff push. Slow starts have, sadly, become a trademark, and the trend is especially worrying as in the next month the Timbers face matches against teams ranked 2, 3 and 4 in terms of fewest shots conceded per game (Seattle [8.0], Orlando [8.5] and Dallas [9.8]) as well as a tricky trip to New York. Continue reading
Quick note to all the youngsters out there, just learning how to play soccer: if it’s late in a tie game, there’s a striker behind you who may or may not be onside, and the ball is rolling along right there in front of you, go ahead and stick your foot out. What’s the worst that could happen?
The final preseason match last Saturday was another walkover and clean sheet for Thorns FC: 6-nil over the University of Arizona.
Unfortunately, that match was in, well, Arizona. I couldn’t make it to Arizona.
What I could do, however, was slip into Merlo Field last Saturday to watch the Seattle Reign play the same University of Portland Pilots that the Thorns defeated 4-nil the previous weekend. Just to see what our enemies and last season’s runners-up looked like this year. So I sat up in the east side bleachers on the chilly evening to see what Laura Harvey and the Queens of the North would do.
Two goals scored, three points earned and no wins. Portland’s 2015 season starts just as the 2014 did, rather than picking up where it ended, with three wins in the last four. RSL, LA and SKC are all tricky opponents, and there is a lot to be said for Caleb Porter getting through such a tough start unbeaten, and doing so minus two of his most influential players. Continue reading
So far this season, three teams in MLS have perfect records. Dallas (3 games, 3 wins), Chicago (3 games, 3 losses), and Portland (3 games, 3 draws).
At least we ain’t Chicago, right?
Portland Thorns fans got their first up-close look at the 2015 Edition of Thorns FC this past Saturday evening when the team played the University of Portland Pilots at UP’s Merlo Field.
Well…sort of up-close…and part of the 2015 Thorns. The game so utterly one-sided (as the UP stats page attests; Thorns FC 4 goals on 27 shots (18 on goal), UP no goals, no shots) as to provide little insight into how the team will do against a peer opponent. And none of the international players – outside of Nadine Angerer – were in town for the game.
Still, we did get an first tantalizing glimpse of what this team might look like and how it might play when the Girls in Red run out for the first match here in Portland in less than three weeks. Continue reading
This column is getting to you a little late and a little short on words. Why? Because I’m sick. Crazy sick. Like, “I was walking around the hospital earlier today with a surgical mask on” sick.
Anyone who follows the Timbers must have wondered why Darlington Nagbe is always “almost arrived” and specifically why he has been “almost there” for going on five years now. After all, his first goal in MLS was 2011 MLS Goal of the Year! Continue reading