Portland Timbers

15 May 11:18 de la mañana

Welcome to a new series on, where each week we'll take a look at some of the best images from the week that was in Major League Soccer. Here's a look back at the best shots from May 11-12, and check back every Monday as the series continues.

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath (center) skies to take the ball off the head of Chicago's Gonzalo Segares during the Union's 1-0 win at Toyota Park.

Felipe's 39th minute goal wasn't the game-winner for Montreal against Real Salt Lake last weekend - far from it, in fact, in what turned out to be a 3-2 thriller - but the Brazilian celebrated in style, playing up to Impact fans behind the corner flag.

The backflip goal celebration is nothing new to the world of soccer, but it's always spectacular when it gets thrown out on the field. Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins broke out the celebration during Seattle's 4-0 romp over San Jose.

We already knew Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks (right) could jump over the top of MLS defenders, but we had yet to see him jump chest high on Omar Gonzalez and throw a freeze frame pose at us. Now we have.

Don't lose focus of that ball, Bobby Shuttlesworth. Stare right on down that tunnel and don't break eye contact.

I'm just praying that Columbus Crew midfielder Matias Sanchez stuck the landing on this splitting dismount, and didn't rip the seat of his pants.

Well, see what had happened was.... FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson (left) really wanted to win the ball, but then Dwayne De Rosario told him, "Shoulder ride's over, pal," and dropped him like a sack of potatoes.

Portland Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace (right) is in the form of his life of late. So much so, that he's carrying the entire Timbers team on his back right now. Literally, and figuratively.

This is Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City in a nutshell, right here. Mechack Jerome (left) wins the ball in the air, gets upended and slams heavily to the ground. Sporting got slammed to the ground a few times, but won, 1-0.

13 May 7:04 de la tarde

Statistics are often overlooked in soccer, and we here at think that's too bad.

So each Monday, we'll be bringing you five of the most telling stats following the previous weekend's round of games. They might be about the individual game itself, a team's recent run of results or an individual player lighting it up. This week, we've got all three.

Here's five key stats from Week 11:

  • 25 players have scored 3 or more goals in MLS 2013 so far. Five of the 25 – exactly one-fifth – are Portland Timbers players. [Mike Donovan, @TheMikeDonovan]

The five players are Ryan Johnson, Will Johnson, Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace and Darlington Nagbe. The New York Red Bulls come in a close second with four players (Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Fabián Espíndola and Jámison Olave). To make up for those two hogging all the three-goal scorers, Chivas USA, Seattle, Vancouver, Colorado, D.C. United, Chicago and New England have a combined zero. Ouch.

  • With Sunday night's victory against the Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City have now handed MLS opponents their first loss at a new stadium at six different stadiums: BBVA Compass Stadium, BMO Field, Qwest Field, Rio Tinto Stadium, Robertson Stadium (Houston Dynamo) and Spartan Stadium (San Jose Earthquakes). [Sporting Kansas City]

Quite rude of them to crash house parties in such a manner, really.

Jack Mac has done everything in his power to earn a US national team call-up for this summer's Gold Cup. It would be more than a mild shock if his early season form doesn't translate to his first senior team cap. Are you paying attention, Jurgen?

The math is in their favor, though; only one Canadian team resides in the Western Conference, so they'll avoid Toronto FC and Montreal for a second (and/or third) time in the regular season as well as the playoffs, barring an MLS Cup meeting.

  • The San Jose Earthquakes have won just one of their past eight games, a stretch that includes three losses. During their Supporters' Shield-winning 2012 campaign, the fewest games they won during an eight-game stretch was four, and that run was without a loss.

For context's sake, the 2012 stretch came during the final eight games of the season with the Supporters' Shield already won and San Jose resting starters for the playoffs. Granted, it's still early in the season, but the Earthquakes are well behind their 2012 pace of 1.94 ppg (1.17 so far in 2013), which is a difference of 26 points over a 34-game season.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

13 May 6:20 de la tarde

In Friday's entry, I made the point that Portland have climbed toward the top of the standings by both dominating the ball, and by doing so upfield. They lead the league (comfortably) in passing completion percentage in the opposition half.

As many pointed out, both on Twitter and in the comments section, Vancouver were second in that same metric. And the 'Caps are nowhere near the top of the standings.

Here's the difference, though:

Team Passes Opp Half
Real Salt Lake 3,255
Portland Timbers 3,180
New York Red Bulls 3,147
Sporting Kansas City 3,090
San Jose Earthquakes 2,683
Columbus Crew 2,603
Houston Dynamo 2,541
Colorado Rapids 2,459
D.C. United 2,352
LA Galaxy 2,343
Vancouver Whitecaps 2,303
Seattle Sounders 2,199
New England Revolution 2,185
Toronto FC 2,167
FC Dallas 2,087
Philadelphia Union 2,022
Montreal Impact 1,987
Chivas USA 1,899
Chicago Fire 1,893

So, there's your context. The Timbers are defending from the front, holding the ball as far up the pitch as possible, for as long as possible.

And it's working.

13 May 5:09 de la tarde

Sometimes, supporters groups' tifo displays are designed to look really cool, to recognize a player's career-long contributions to the club or even to intimidate that day's opponent with a massive pregame display that covers the entire end of a 70,000-seat stadium.

And other times, the displays transcend the sport of soccer altogether, making a statement about life in general.

On the same day a match in Italy – one that happened to involve United States national team midfielder Michael Bradley's club team, AS Roma – had to be momentarily halted because of racist chants aimed at opposing AC Milan players, the Timbers Army chose to spend their Sunday afternoon taking a stand against another sensitive social issue in the sports world: homophobia. The 5,000-person section used roughly 4,500 colored cards to create the display, according to Timbers Army 107 Independent Supporters Trust board member Abram Goldman-Armstrong in an e-mail exchange with on Monday.

READ: Robbie Rogers' revelation opens doors, but also leaves questions

The display spanned six sections at JELD-WEN Field and featured a banner in the center reading simply "Pride, Not Prejudice." The Timbers went on to put three goals past the Chivas USA defense, picking up yet another impressive home victory to extend their unbeaten run to nine games.

It just so happens you can check out video of the Timbers Army tifo here and here. This is what the organization itself had to say:

"The Timbers Army has had a 'zero-tolerance for intolerance' policy since its inception in 2001,'" Goldman-Armstrong told "Our display in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia demonstrates our commitment to making certain all people are welcome at the beautiful game, on the pitch and off of it.

READ: Gordon will use aftermath of homophobic slur incident "for the good"

"As the language San Jose's Alan Gordon used to attack captain Will Johnson shows, homophobia is still a real issue in North American sports. As supporters, we must do our best to show that there is no room for such bigotry in our sport. Sunday's display is an indication of that sentiment."

The Timbers Army will be the first of many independent supporters groups across MLS to lend their support to the "Pride, Not Prejudice" cause this week, as many groups have agreed to unveil their own unique stands against homophobia prior to their club's home game that falls closest to the 2013 International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.

10 May 5:49 de la tarde

You've probably noticed that the Portland Timbers are pretty tough to beat. They're one of only two teams in the league with just a single loss, and it's not because they're bunkering.

On the contrary, they'll holding the ball higher up the pitch, and defending from the front better than anyone in the leauge:

Team Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2013 Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2012
Portland Timbers 74.1 69.86
Vancouver Whitecaps 72.48 68.55
Sporting Kansas City 71.7 69.81
Real Salt Lake 70.92 73.21
New York Red Bulls 70.74 72.21
Seattle Sounders FC 70.35 69.28
LA Galaxy 69.25 70.82
D.C. United 69 68.47
Montreal Impact 68 70.31
Colorado Rapids 67.51 72.11
Columbus Crew 67.14 69.18
Philadelphia Union 65.85 69.87
Houston Dynamo 64.8 74.13
Toronto FC 64.63 65.15
FC Dallas 64.25 64.45
Chicago Fire 64 71.68
New England Revolution 63.26 67.6
San Jose Earthquakes 62.64 69.92
Chivas USA 60.31 75.42

That's what coach Caleb Porter has instilled from Day 1: Defend the ball, not the goal. And his team has taken to it with aplomb thus far.

If you want to understand what "Porterball" really is, that's where you need to start.

P.S. We'll get to that outrageous 2012 number for Chivas USA at a later date. Statistics, remember, can often be damned, dirty lies.

03 May 12:23 de la tarde

Même au repos, Dallas bouclera en tête du classement général une semaine de championnat amorcée ce jeudi soir par un partage blanc entre Portland, qui a tout essayé, et New England, sauvé par son gardien Bobby Shuttleworth.

Le sommet du week-end se jouera dimanche soir sur ESPN2, avec une affiche identique à celle de la dernière Coupe MLS entre le LA Galaxy et Houston. Admiratifs du jeu offensif de leur adversaire, les Texans pourraient retrouver leur ancien joueur Colin Clark, transféré cet hiver en Californie où il a cependant rapidement perdu sa place.

Auréolé de sa plantureuse victoire contre Toronto, Montréal est heureux de récupérer Matteo Ferrari et continuera à faire tourner son effectif à l’occasion de son déplacement à San José privé des suspendus Alan Gordon et Steven Lenhart, qui s’est fait recadrer par Frank Yallop en raison de ses écarts de conduite.

Autre duel intéressant de ce samedi, celui diffusé par NBCSN opposant deux équipes qui n’ont pas encore tout à fait répondu aux attentes : Columbus, où Glauber accumule les cartons jaunes mais ne compte pas changer, et New York, qui récupérera Juninho.

Dimanche après-midi sur Unimas, Kansas City sera en quête de rédemption après sa défaite contre Portland, en accueillant Chivas USA où le gardien Dan Kennedy vient de prolonger son contrat jusqu’en 2016.

Déjà joué
Portland - New England 0-0
Samedi 4 mai
16h00 : Columbus - New York
16h00 : San José - Montréal
16h00 : Philadelphie - Seattle
21h00 : Salt Lake - Vancouver
21h00 : Colorado - Toronto
Dimanche 5 mai
17h00 : Kansas City - Chivas USA
23h00 : LA Galaxy - Houston

Classement général
Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs

29 April 12:41 de la tarde

Ah, les blessés et les rotations d’effectif. Voilà qui a alimenté bien des discussions lors de la dernière journée… tantôt positivement, tantôt négativement.

Ainsi, le leader, Dallas, qui avait pris une avance de deux buts à Vancouver, a finalement concédé le partage. Le tournant du match : les sorties sur blessure de Jacobson et John.

À Montréal, ce sont les changements effectués mercredi dernier pour la visite à Toronto qui ont fait jaser… ou plutôt se taire les supporters qui ont manifesté leur mécontentement par plusieurs minutes de silence. Ils étaient plus heureux en fin de rencontre suite à la victoire contre Chicago de leurs favoris avec une attaque remodelée.

Au LA Galaxy, certains ténors sont hors-circuit et Bruce Arena est obligé de s’en passer. Mais ses jeunes ont brillamment pris la relève, en s’imposant 0-2 à Salt Lake. Bien qu’ayant récupéré Davis, Houston semble en manque d’énergie et a souffert pour sauver un point chez lui contre Colorado.

L’exploit de la semaine est à mettre à l’actif de Portland, toujours invaincu en déplacement, qui est allé s’imposer en marquant trois buts à Kansas City à qui pareille mésaventure n’était pas arrivée depuis un 4-0 concédé en juin dernier à Philadelphie. Peter Vermes blâme les pertes de balle des siens, qui ont permis à l’adversaire de les surprendre en contre.

Enfin, de Columbus - DC United, on ne retiendra pas autant la belle victoire locale ou la confirmation des problèmes de l’équipe de Ben Olsen que le spectaculaire incendie qui a touché le marquoir du stade.

Toronto - New York
Montréal - Chicago
Vancouver - Dallas
New England - Philadelphie
Columbus - DC United
Kansas City - Portland
Salt Lake - LA Galaxy
Chivas USA - San José
Houston - Colorado


Classement général
Cliquez sur un résultat pour voir le résumé vidéo


26 April 10:45 de la mañana

Une chose est déjà certaine : à l’issue des rencontres disputées en cette fin de semaine, Dallas sera toujours en tête du classement. Fort de leur avance et de leur confiance, les Texans se déplacent à Vancouver (direct Univision) pour des retrouvailles qui feront certainement chaud au cœur d’Eric Hassli. L’attaquant français est pourtant confiné au banc au Texas, mais il s’y dit heureux et Schellas Hyndman pense qu’il inscrira son premier but de l'année sur le terrain de ses anciens exploits.

Actuel dauphin, Kansas City recevra Portland, seul club encore invaincu en déplacement cette saison et qui respire la joie de vivre, à l’image de son gardien Donovan Ricketts, que Caleb Porter n’échangerait pour rien au monde. De son côté, Peter Vermes relativise le peu de buts marqués par son équipe, d’autant qu’ils rapportent de nombreux points.

Après un ralentissement en championnat et un match « de série B » en coupe, Montréal doit se faire pardonner devant son public, et les caméras de NBCSN, RDS et TSN, face à Chicago, dont le propriétaire a publiquement affiché sa déception suite au mauvais début de saison. Vainqueur des Québécois mercredi, le Toronto FC a poursuivi sa belle semaine en annonçant l’embauche de Matias Laba à titre de jeune joueur désigné et voudra la ponctuer en direct sur RDS et TSN par une victoire contre New York, privé de Dax McCarty.

Notons encore le déplacement de Philadelphie et de son jeune buteur Jack McInerney (que certains comparent à Chicharito) à New England, un match théoriquement facile contre Colorado pour Houston qui déplore cependant de nombreux blessés, et les cas incertains que constituent Donovan et Keane avant la visite du LA Galaxy à Salt Lake.

Samedi 27 avril
14h00 : Toronto - New York
16h00 : Montréal - Chicago
18h00 : Vancouver - Dallas
19h30 : New England - Philadelphie
19h30 : Columbus - DC United
20h30 : Kansas City - Portland
21h00 : Salt Lake - LA Galaxy
22h30 : Chivas USA - San José
Dimanche 28 avril
17h00 : Houston - Colorado

Classement général
Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs

23 April 11:20 de la mañana

Le Toronto FC soulèvera-t-il encore la Coupe des Voyageurs ? À quelques heures des demi-finales aller, l’équipe de Coup Franc aborde l’édition 2013 du Championnat canadien Amway dans son émission de cette semaine (à écouter ici).

Outre ces deux rencontres, Montréal a un calendrier très lourd pour les trois prochaines semaines : comment Marco Schällibaum va-t-il gérer son effectif ? Toronto joue-t-il encore la carte jeunes ? Les plan A et plan B de Toronto offensivement. Le danger pour Montréal de laisser centrer son adversaire. Le duel contre Edmonton sera-t-il une formalité pour Vancouver ?

L’attaquant du Toronto FC Robert Earnshaw trouve que le style de jeu en MLS est moins direct qu’en Angleterre. Alors, physique ou technique la MLS ? D’un côté, des défenseurs costauds qui s’engagent pleinement dans les duels ; de l’autre, beaucoup de matchs joués en été avec une grande influence latino-américaine. Le débat est ouvert et votre avis nous intéresse !

On revient sur le match San José - Portland. Battue une seule fois depuis le début de la saison, l’équipe de Caleb Porter est une des plus agréables à regarder et nous offre un jeu positif, avec un état d’esprit offensif. De son côté, le dernier lauréat du Supporters Shield commence à retrouver ses blessés et s’est découvert une nouvelle idole en la personne d’Adam Jahn (revoir son but).

L'émission Coup Franc est disponible sur Stitcher et iTunes. Vous pouvez nous joindre par courriel (, sur Facebook ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

22 April 8:36 de la tarde

MLS WORKS, Continental Tire and the Portland Timbers hosted an Earth Day Service Project at Hosford Middle School today.

Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe assisted a few Hosford students for a tree planting.  In total, 13 new trees were planted around Hosford in honor of Earth Day 2013. Other Timbers players on site assiting in the Hosford Environmental Beautification unveiling included: Jack Jewsbury, Jake Gleeson, Ryan Kawulok, Brent Richards, Sal Zizzo and Sebastian Rincon.  Timbers owner and president, Merritt Paulson, was also in attendance as was a representative from MLS corporate partner Continental Tire. Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith also attended the event and kicked off the all school assembly led by Timber Joey.

In advance of the project, Timbers Creative Designer, Matti Jonsson, asked Hosford students, "What Does Green Mean to You?" and out of the students' responses created a sustainable mural at Hosford.

To showcase all of the environmental projects conducted at Hosford as part of the Hosford Environmental Beautification (which was presented by MLS WORKS, Continental Tire and the Portland Timbers) Timber Joey took Hosford students and faculty on a walking tour around the school grounds.

The Earth Day Service Project from MLS WORKS, Continental Tire and the Portland Timbers included more than $10,000 in added donations from the Portland community and Portland-area businesses, which helped in making the following projects possible at Hosford:

  • BEF solar panel installation and subsequent Solar4Schools learning materials
  • Student-designed, green-themed mural
  • Custom bike racks, including an art bike rack created by Oregon-based designer Matt Cartwright
  • Helmet and bike lock giveaways to Hosford students and faculty who ride a bike to work
  • Reusable water bottles for every student at Hosford
  • New Elkay drinking fountain, which will reduce the amount of plastic water bottles used at the school and track the number of plastic bottles saved from landfills
  • Tree-planting and beautification of the entrance to the school
  • Permanent directional signage to display the environmental benefits of the project to the Portland community
  • Creation of communal gathering places on the school campus

Thank you to the following organizations that donated their services to the project at Hosford: Kelly Fitzpatrick with Benchmark, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, Grey to Green Tree Program, City of Portland Environmental Services, Portland Public Schools Project Facilities and Communications staff, CAL Portland, Portland Nursery, and City of Portland Transportation and Safe Routes to School.

MLS WORKS Greener Goals identifies ways to reduce our carbon footprint and helps raise awareness for environmental issues throughout the soccer community. The greening of our game will encourage MLS clubs, players, corporate partners and fans to create a cleaner, healthier environment.