Monday, May 28, 2007

A May Timbers Miscellany

The Portland Timbers appear to be on a winning, or at least a not-losing streak: the last four games have been wins or draws, and only one loss so far this season. It's downright disconcerting to those of us still traumatized by the previous season. Why, a couple of weeks ago, we actually defeated the Rochester Raging Rhinos for the first time ever! We are, however, still in sixth place at the moment, which relieves me of the misapprehension that maybe I've accidentally ingested, I don't know, a Clive Charles-imprinted tab and have entirely dissociated from reality. Still, we have played fewer games than most of the teams above us on the table (save for those fancy-pants Montreal lads), and we are, thank the gods of soccer, looking better on the pitch than we did last season.

Again, lest we get too big-headed, it's also worth noting that apparently in last night's game we could not score at all despite being one man up for fifty minutes (I missed the match, and given that news and the 0-0 scoreline, I don't feel so bad about it). There is the fact that four of our goals have been scored by former Seattle Sounders arch-villian Andrew Gregor, whose turn away from the dark side remains, in the words of Eleven Devils, an emotionally confusing twist in the plot for me. The good: New keeper Josh Wicks continues to impress me with his fearlessness. It has been said he makes some mistakes, to which I reply, dude, that's why it's the USL! On Friday night a couple of lone voices now and again could be heard belting out "It's a Wicks . . . HOUSE!" which is a salute that absolutely needs to catch on. Speaking of the Army, more good news (aside from a rather nasty mob moment like some shit out of the The Lottery earlier in the month when folks would not stop taunting a Rochester player even as it became clear he was hurt pretty badly*): it's growing and growing, and enthusiastic even when on the small side. I even saw people standing in 207 when I made a break for concessions shortly before the half on Friday. Finally, the local news stations seem to be consistently reporting on games with video included, which is increased coverage over last year.

Better than any local professional coverage, however, is the plethora of fan-maintained blogs and sites about the Timbers. If you're reading this you probably know about all of them anyway, but just in case, be sure to check out the many links at the top of the Soccer City USA message board. Just last week we learned that the Timbers have a new owner, about whom very little is known. P-Town in general, and the North End on game night in particular, are rich with creative, energetic, footie-loving fans; let's hope the new boss appreciates what he's got.

*Lesson learned: avoid PGE Park if the local harvest ever fails!


Zach Dundas said...

It seems Gavin has the squad in pretty steady shape. The fact that Carolina defeated champions Vancouver is an interesting sidelight on the Timbers' difficulty with them.

I bet 6th is about where we'll end up in the final table. The good news is, that means a playoff berth, and in the USL playoffs, anything can happen.

If reports about the new owner are correct, he's played tag with MLS before. I wonder what that might mean...

Lynda said...

I agree with your assessment of the team and the season. I really do hope we get into the playoffs, and hang in there for a bit, because otherwise our last home game here is sometime in August.

Your comment about the owner just reminded me that I dreamed he was going to bring MLS to Portland (yes, I know I'm pathetic). But in my dream he was very cartoon-villainous, twirling mustache and all.

pate said...

I hope he does bring MLS to Portland ... I'd love to see Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland all duking it out in the MLS.

Lynda said...

Pate, that would be amazing. I'd like to see MLS in Portland on two conditions, both of which are possibly pipe dreams: that they keep the Timbers name and that the stadium remain, if not PGE Park, downtown, or at the very least easily accessible by light rail. I fear the construction of a stadium out in the burbs, further sealing the fate of soccer in this country as a sport with appeal only to middle-class suburbanites. I love the central location of PGE Park, the easy accessibility, the plethora of places to eat and drink surrounding it.

(Plus, like a number of Portlanders, I don't own a car.)