This weekend is going to be fantastic for soccer fans in Portland. The film Pelada has its Portland debut, and the World Cup Final are Sunday! The Portland Timbers play two matches this weekend, at PGE Park. The first is July 10th, Saturday, when Miami FC visit. Kickoff is at 7pm, but come early to the Timbers Army Beer, Bachelors, and History Tailgate! Then Sunday, after cheering on Spain or the Netherlands, as the case may be, in the World Cup Final, head up to PGE Park again as the Portland Timbers host Mexican side Club Deportivo Atlas in a friendly – kickoff at 6pm.
Below you’ll find a roundup of mostly Portland Timbers related news stories from the past week or so.
These first two stories touch on the Timbers, but are really about the state of soccer in Portland, and the world:
“Who Cares About Soccer?” by Brian Costello at The Portland Mercury
“Who cares about soccer?” is a question that has been pondered for ages by pundits and pessimists outside the soccer world. The real story, however, is that millions of people, millions of Americans, and thousands of Portlanders care deeply about soccer—and not just because the largest and most well-known soccer tournament in the world is going on right now. Soccer in America and, more specifically, soccer in Portland, doesn’t have to prove itself as the next “big thing.” It’s been here—in one form or another—all along. [more]
2010: The Year Soccer Broke by Zach Dundas at True/Slant
Go have a look at the television ratings: it’s over. Here in Portland, one quarter of all active television sets tuned into the USA v Ghana match. One quarter. Of course, we’re kind of gay and foreign here in Portland. So go watch the YouTube celebrations of Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria. Lincoln. Springfield. Covington, Kentucky. This thing happened. The glaciers melted. It’s time to get solar panels. [more]
In Front Office news . . .
Where soccer beats baseball: Portland by John Patrick Pullen at Fortune Magazine
FORTUNE — Portland, Ore. is the city of a thousand nicknames. “Stumptown,” perhaps its oldest, harkens back to the region’s logging roots. “Beervana,” a nod to the city’s renowned craft brew scene, is another favorite. Rumor has it, violent protests prompted George H. W. Bush’s staff to christen the city “Little Beirut.” But if Henry Merritt Paulson III has his way, “Soccer City USA,” may become Portland’s next big moniker. [more]
Mike Golub: Timbers Coach Will Have MLS Experience at Prost Amerika Soccer
Mike Golub is the Chief Operating Officer of the new Portland Timbers franchise that will enter Major League Soccer in 2011. Golub has many years experience in sports administration, most notably with the basketball team the Portland Trailblazers.
We sat down with him pitchside at PGE Park, and talked football, passion, head coaches, beer and business among other things, to try and get a feel for what one of the two new local additions to the Pacific Northwest MLS family will look like. [more]
In player news . . .
Bright Dike lights up the scoreboard for Portland Timbers by Geoffrey C. Arnold at The Oregonian
His name is Bright, and his play has brightened what was threatening to become a dark Portland Timbers season.
Bright Dike nearly single-handedly has revived a Timbers offense that teetered on the edge of collapse a few weeks ago.
Now, Dike and the Timbers enter the final half of the season with renewed confidence. [more]
Dropping Timber Mid-season Awards by Dan at Dropping Timber
Biggest Surprise: Bright Dike
The questions at forward have been pressing the Timbers all season long, but they appear to have found the solution in the 6’1″ forward who was cut from the Columbus Crew before ever getting a chance. Dike was quicker and stronger than the MLS level defenders of the Seattle Sounders, and he is making the case that he is ready to move up to that level.
Honorable mentions: Tony McManus, Alex Nimo, Futty Danso [more]
And a couple from Kip . . .
Timbers at the halfway point – the positive, the negative, and the expectations by Kip Kesgard at OregonLive.com
With the scoreless draw against Vancouver on July 3 in the books, the Portland Timbers have reached the midpoint of their 2010 season. Before facing Miami on July 10 at home, I wanted to review the campaign so far and highlight what I’ve noticed. [more]
Timbers Weekend: Matches throughout the rose city, and opening of the movie “Pelada” by Kip Kesgard at OregonLive.com
With a major heat wave hitting the Portland area, summer has officially opened for business. For soccer fans in the region, there are plenty of Timbers matches for viewing. However, if you need a break from the heat, there is plenty of soccer to watch indoors. [more]