Tag Archives: Portland

Portland Timbers “rain” supreme over the Dynamo

The Portland Timbers got two second-half goals from forward Ryan Johnson and overcame two devastating first-half injuries to get their first victory under Caleb Porter; a 2-0 shutout victory over the Houston Dynamo on a cold, rainy night at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday.

Here’s three quick thoughts regarding last night’s impressive victory:

* Trust in Porter’s plan

Last night’s lineup announcement certainly raised some eyebrows and had Twitter buzzing (Rodney Wallace getting the start as a forward/wing player and Jack Jewsbury at right back), but in the end it was really quite a brilliant coaching decision. Over the last few matches, I’ve sided with the recent school of thought regarding the idea that Jack Jewsbury and Diego Chara should not be on the pitch together. I’m happy to admit that I was wrong, although I will state that if they are going to play together, last night’s lineup is the only way to do it.

The moral of the story is that Timbers supporters (including myself) may just need to be patient and trust in Porter’s plan.

* Rodney Wallace

I’ve been on the Rodney Wallace “Bandwagon” with Mike Donovan and a few others for awhile now. My only caveat to being a part of the RWB is that I was only on the RWB when Wallace wasn’t playing left back, where I think he is not at his best. Wallace began to turn the corner as a player as he started getting quality minutes for the Costa Rican national team. His rise coincided and possibly was jumpstarted by his winning goal against the United States national team back in September of 2011. With increasing call ups and opportunities, Wallace has shown he can be a positive contributor either as a sub or a starter. Last night, we saw a Rodney Wallace brimming with confidence and he shined. Credit to Porter for putting Wallace in the position to do so.

* A benchmark victory

After last night’s victory, Portland Timbers supporters are finding themselves in some very new territory. The Timbers have a positive goal differential (that’s never happened this late into a season since joining MLS). They saw a team playing with confidence and showing a very strong resolve and character in overcoming two brutal and discouraging first half injuries. They saw the Timbers play with absolute dominance in the second half and was probably the best 45 minutes I’ve ever seen this club play. They saw the Timbers control possession and create multiple scoring opportunities. They saw an opposing club wilt under the weight of being trapped in their defensive half for lengthy periods of time. Hopefully this is the first of many more wins, but I think this is a match which may be looked upon as a benchmark. Obviously it’s early, but it’s hard not to be optimistic; yet another new and uncommon feeling for Timbers supporters.

* Quotable:

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
Thoughts on the win:
“It feels good winning our first of hopefully many, proud of the guys. They had a bit of adversity in the first half, but as the half went on we just got rolling. The guys that came into the game did a great job.”

On unlocking the Dynamo defense in the second half
“We shifted Darlington Nagbe in his role, and we put Kalif [Alhassan] on and I thought those two guys played fantastic, and really everybody. I thought it was a comprehensive performance on both sides of the ball. It really looked like what we want our identity to be. Tonight I think you saw what could happen when we get up on teams. They had a hard time getting on the ball because we kept attacking and kept moving the ball. It’s important to get results for the players to realize what they’re capable of doing. This was a big step in the right direction, this was that breakthrough that I was looking for. It is one thing to know you’re playing well and know you’re a good team, but to get three points, that reinforces it.”

On the performance of Ryan Johnson
“He was very good. This team is predicated on working hard; running, pressing. He’s a workman-like player and he did that tonight. He worked them hard running, pressing, and making things happen – he played well.”

On the play of the Timbers backline
“It was very good, and it wasn’t just the backs that were tremendous. I thought Jack Jewsbury did an unbelievable job. He played like I’d hoped he would; smart positionally, balancing our team out. He’s a mature player, and you could see that tonight. Mikael Silvestre was class tonight, he won a lot of air balls in that second half. Michael Harrington has been very consistent. Again, it wasn’t just them, it was the entire team. The pressure that we put on when we got going was relentless.”

* Highlights:

Thorns FC Release 2013 NWSL Season Schedule

Portland Thorns FC will open the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League season on Saturday, April 13, against FC Kansas City at Shawnee Mission District Stadium, it was announced today with the release of the full, 22-game 2013 NWSL schedule.

Thorns FC will square off against Seattle Reign FC on Sunday, April 21, in the home opener at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific).

The club will play 11 home matches, all at JELD-WEN Field, and 11 away matches during the five-month season. The eight-team league features a single table, and Thorns FC will play an unbalanced schedule; hosting the Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Seattle Reign FC and Sky Blue FC twice at home. Portland must travel twice to face Boston, Chicago, FC Kansas City and Seattle.

Highlighting the Thorns FC schedule are two home matches against Pacific Northwest rival Seattle Reign FC on Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, June 16, as well as a marquee home match against U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach and the Western New York Flash on Sunday, July 14.

Also scheduled are three Saturday-Sunday pairings with the Portland Timbers. The weekend pairings are June 15-16 (Timbers vs. FC Dallas, June 15/Thorns FC vs. Seattle, June 16); July 13-14 (Timbers vs. LA Galaxy, July 13/Thorns FC vs. Western New York, July 14) and Aug. 3-4 (Timbers vs. Vancouver, Aug. 3/Thorns FC vs. FC Kansas City, Aug. 4).

The regular season will conclude the weekend of Aug. 18 with the top four teams qualifying for the NWSL playoffs.

Thorns FC is scheduled to open training camp in March.

Schedule Breakdown:

Home Dates by Day of the Week:
Wednesday (1), Thursday (2), Saturday (2), Sunday (6)
Road Dates by Day of the Week:
Wednesday (1), Saturday (7), Sunday (3)

Home Dates by Month:
April (1), May (2), June (3), July (4), August (1)
Road Dates by Month:
April (2), May (3), June (2), July (1), August (3)

2013 Portland Thorns FC Schedule (home matches in bold, CAPS)

Date Opponent Kickoff (Pacific) Venue
Saturday, April 13 @FC Kansas City 5:35 p.m. Shawnee Mission District Stadium
Sunday, April 21 SEATTLE REIGN FC 2 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Saturday, April 27 @Chicago Red Stars 5 p.m. Benedictine University Sports Complex
Saturday, May 4 @Washington Spirit 4 p.m. Maryland SoccerPlex
Sunday, May 12 @Chicago Red Stars 3 p.m. Benedictine University Sports Complex
Thursday, May 16 SKY BLUE FC 7:30 p.m.  JELD-WEN Field
Sunday, May 19 WASHINGTON SPIRIT 2 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Saturday, May 25 @Seattle Reign FC 7 p.m. Starfire Sports Complex
Saturday, June 1 CHICAGO RED STARS 7:30 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Thursday, June 6 FC KANSAS CITY 7:30 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Sunday, June 16 SEATTLE REIGN FC 2 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Saturday, June 22 @Sky Blue FC 4 p.m. Yurcak Field
Sunday, June 30 @FC Kansas City 1:10 p.m. Shawnee Mission District Stadium
Saturday, July 6 BOSTON BREAKERS 7:30 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Sunday, July 14 WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH 2 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Sunday, July 21 @Boston Breakers 1 p.m. Dilboy Stadium
Sunday, July 28 CHICAGO RED STARS 2 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Wednesday, July 31 SKY BLUE FC 7:30 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Sunday, Aug. 4 FC KANSAS CITY 2 p.m. JELD-WEN Field
Wednesday, Aug. 7 @Boston Breakers 4 p.m. Dilboy Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 10 @Western New York Flash 4:35 p.m. Sahlen’s Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 17 @Seattle Reign FC 8 p.m. Starfire Sports Complex

Thorns FC add four players in today’s NWSL college draft

Portland Thorns FC selected Kathryn Williamson, a defender from the University of Florida, with the eighth overall pick in the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft on Friday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

In the following rounds, Thorns FC drafted University of Central Florida forward Nicolette Radovcic in the second round (16th overall), University of North Carolina midfielder Amber Brooks in the third round (24th overall) and Pepperdine University goalkeeper Roxanne Barker with the final pick of the draft (32nd overall).

“I’m very excited about our four college draft picks. They’re all very technical players and players that I can see jumping into a game right away,” said Thorns FC head coach Cindy Parlow Cone. “They’re all going to be wonderful professionals.”

Here’s a quick rundown of Portland’s picks in today’s draft:

7kathrynwilliamson1st pick at #8: Kathryn Williamson (Center back)

College: University of Florida, where she anchored the defense for all four years. She was an All-American for the past three years.

Skills: Williamson has excellent pace which always her to play aggressively on defense. She is also very comfortable with ball in possession.

Concerns: Injuries have been a big concern as Williamson has missed time with ACL and meniscus injuries. If she can stay healthy, Williamson could easily step in and be an immediate contributor for Thorns FC.

nicolettradovcic2nd pick at #16: Nicolette Radovcic (Forward)

College: University of Central Florida, where she led her team in scoring over the last two seasons.

Skills: Radovcic led her team with 12 goals last season and became known for coming up big when it counted most. Her new teammates will love Radovcic’s impressive workrate.

Concerns: Radovcic won’t be an immediate contributor, but that shouldn’t be a big worry as she’ll be able to learn a great deal from Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair.

Brooks13rd pick at #24: Amber Brooks (Midfielder)

College: University of North Carolina, where she was captain and anchor of the Tar Heels midfield. Coach

Skills: One of the most highly rated players coming into the draft, Brooks is known for her excellent leadership skills as well as her tenacity. She can also provide good service on set pieces, but has also scored goals as a poacher on set pieces as well.

Concerns: None really, except Brooks won’t be joining Thorns FC right away as she signed with Bayern Munich for the remainder of their season last week. This explains why Brooks, who was projected as a first-round pick, dropped this low. Hopefully, Coach Cindy Parlow-Cone’s relationship with Brooks (Parlow-Cone was her assistant coach at UNC) can possibly help bring in Brooks sooner than later. More on this in a later post.

roxannebarker4th pick at #32: Roxanne Barker (Goalkeeper)

College: Pepperdine University, where she was a four-year starter. Barker is also a South African international and made the roster for Bayana Bayana’s Olympic squad last summer.

Skills: Barker’s stock began to rise over the last two seasons at Pepperdine and has developed a reputation as a quality keeper who can come up with big saves in big games.

Concerns: Not many really, but Barker can sometimes be inconsistent and isn’t particularly known for her athleticism. However, she’s in a terrific situation in Portland where she can learn and grow as Karina LeBlanc’s backup.

 

Official: Portland women named Portland Thorns FC

PrintAfter weeks of anticipation, the new Portland women’s team finally has a name: Portland Thorns FC.

The Thorns FC crest was created by Portland artist Brent Diskin, an ardent local soccer supporter and member of the Timbers Army.

“Portland Thorns FC quickly emerged as a natural choice that was appropriate for the city and the culture of Soccer City, USA,” said Merritt Paulson, owner and president of the Timbers and Thorns FC. “And a nice side benefit of the name is the Army’s P-T-F-C chant doesn’t need much re-scripting for the women’s team.”

With some help of their friends from Girls, Inc., Thorns FC showed off their new logo and name in the video below.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Thorns FC introduced the club’s official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PortlandThornsFC).