Tag Archives: soccer

FIFA World Cup Game 1: I Don’t Miss Vuvuzelas!

I’m trying to get ready for a road trip so sadly you are going to get some very half-assed coverage.

I admit I spend too much time online but allows me to tell you pretty much every site that I regularly read had some form of “Beginner’s Guide to Watching the World Cup” feature. I read none of them. I did bookmark a few items like this post with profiles of the German team. They have a guy on their team who is 6’6″! I can’t wait to find out more about him.

But first let’s talk about Brazil v. Croatia.

Pity the poor team that has to play against the host team in the opening match. The commentators did not even try to hide their bias. They said things like, “Huh, [Croatia’s] cross wasn’t too bad.” Like this team hadn’t played a half a million games to qualify to be there.

And then Croatia opened the scoring and it was like when the aliens blew up the White House in Independence Day. I was not fond of the commentating. At one point he told us that the Croatia, who was down at that point, was probably thinking they wanted to score a goal. What a risky assumption. Where is John Strong? When they released the birds at the beginning of the match the commentator told us that now the Brazilians were behind the team. As if earlier they’d been on the fence. Also I can’t type the word Brazilian without thinking of a hairless crotch. Thanks to the people responsible for that.

But on to the important stuff: How cute were these teams? And Croatia’s coach is gorgeous, too. Cheekbones. I immediately decided that Marcello (Brazil) is my favorite. And then he scored an own goal. My superpower is jinxing soccer. But meanwhile, that hair. So much amazing hair (ironically) on these teams. I’m sorry I don’t have time to put up photos for you but if, like me, you believe that all soccer teams need at least one player on the pitch with amazing hair (on his head), you would have been pleased today.

And there’s a difference between amazing hair and stupid hair. I will try to distinguish in a future installment.

I enjoyed the match. Brazil won but I thought Croatia, despite their terrible checked jerseys, played well and it’s just the first match.

Sadly, I’m probably not going to do better than a match a day until the middle of next week. I’ll be offline for a few days but hopefully will catch up when I return.

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FIFA World Cup is Coming!

You ever run into one of those people who will go out of their way to tell you how they saw Bruce Springsteen back in 1974 in Ashbury Park and how they were onto him before he became famous?

That’s kinda how I feel about me and World Cup.

Anyone remember the olden days when couldn’t even get all the World Cup games and you’d have to tape the re-broadcasts when they were aired in the middle of the night? I do, barely.

Now you can choose from 200 soccer matches a day and there are broadcasts of friendly matches between countries no one has even heard of. Amazing. And I still keep seeing the dialogue about whether soccer is finally going to happen in the U.S. like it isn’t already here. Yes, I realize that it’s not as big as other major sports but it’s doing just fine. There’s been so much World Cup coverage I’m already sick of it.

Just kidding.

Meanwhile, you can catch up on my previous World Cup coverage here. Looking through those old posts, I have learned a lot. Timbers started in Major League Soccer in 2011 so this is my first World Cup since I started following a club although I did have half a season ticket for the Timber’s last season in the lower division.

Here’s a hilariously over-the-top promo for German National Team.

World Cup Coverage 2014 will be spotty at first. I am going to California next weekend to celebrate Father’s Day and (a) no Internet and (b) not sure how much soccer we’re going to get away with at a family gathering. Never fear, I’ll be back.

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It’s Everything I Wish I Didn’t Know

Hey, check out these little watermelon sproutlets, surging toward the window.

I keep promising myself that I’m not going to write about being busy because, d’oh! Everybody’s busy.

But holy avalanche of documents and activities, this week has been another crazy one. Lots of stuff going on and an unusual blip at the office that has resulted in a bunch of stuff needing to be happen at the same time. On separate occasions, both colleague and I stood in front of our desks and stared down at the piles and said: I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

But, I think we’ve got it under control. (Unless by writing that I just jinxed myself.) I still have plenty to do but all the pieces are in place.

Rainbow of Piquionne (name of our player who scored 4 goals in 45 minutes at this game. Yes, it was awesome to watch.)

On Wednesday my team played the first round of the U.S. Open Cup which is a competition among all the teams in the US Soccer Federation. Last year’s game was an abomination and a forbidden topic.

This year’s game was not. I have never seen my team score 5 goals in one game and I liked it very much. This is separate from Major League Soccer. I’m telling you, soccer is a part time job. The boys have the weekend off for the international break (That’s for competitions among national teams, so above and beyond the league and the US federation. There’s also a regional federation. No, I’m not messing with you.) so we only have a lady team match to go to this weekend.

Here are a couple other updates:

I still don’t have a shower door. I’d tell you all the missteps but it’s too exhausting. The latest snafu is that the glass was the wrong size.

Now they’re saying they can install next Wednesday. Everybody think good thoughts.

Our house is apparently a portal for giant hairy flies. There is always 1 giant hairy fly in the house. It lurks in the kitchen when I’m cooking, the bedroom when I’m trying to sleep or nap, my room when I’m on the computer or on the TV when I’m watching a show. If I follow it around with a fly swatter until I kill it, the next time I go into the kitchen there will be a giant hairy fly. Is there a way to monetize this?

Yesterday I participated in a rally for the Klamath salmon. Coverage here and here.

The power company has agreed to take down the dams but Congress needs to take action to make it happen. An Oregon senator is committed to the cause so the rally was to reiterate that there are still people who want this to happen.

A whole bunch of my family was up from California so it was fun to be with everybody and show our support.

Update on the windowsill sprouts. Look at these pumpkins growing like crazy. it’s warm and dry this weekend so everybody is going to be planted outside. I have a spot out front where historically, the pumpkins have done really well. I also am going to put some in back where I’ve had mixed results. I need to get out there and see what’s going on. It looks like there’s already some stuff bolting and the volunteer sunflowers are still coming on strong.

That’s the update for now.

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By Any Other Name

Did I mention we have a lady team?

I’m not completely sold on this iPhone camera yet. But since I am learning to use the phone on the 5 minutes a week schedule, I’m hoping there are some tricks that I haven’t figured out yet.

And sadly, as it turns out, this additional set of home games is the straw that is breaking the camel’s back.

If I had no interest in writing, or my butt size, or how clean my house is, or how weedy my yard is, or how much sleep I get, I could do all this.

Or if I was independently wealthy and didn’t want to work.

But as it turn out, I am having a tough time managing all these games along with all the other things that I would like to accomplish in my life.

I love the team. The goalie is my new girl crush. But I am learning that sometimes it’s okay to skip a game. This includes the U-23 games and at least one exhibition game. Next year when it’s World Cup, it’s going to be crazy.

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Green Machine

Today the Portland Timbers did a Make-A-Wish event where they played a game against the Green Machine, a team of 8 year olds. The event was in honor of Atticus who found out he had cancer when he had pain while playing with his team last year. He missed their final match because of his treatments.

He wanted his wish to include his teammates.

3000 fans attended the match which was during lunch hour. The supporters group made special banners and signs and revised the chants in favor of the Green Machine. There is no way to convey how amazing it was to be a part of this event.

There’s a great video recap here.

The Oregonian has a terrific photo essay here. There’s also a Facebook photostream here.

Even Deadspin couldn’t come up with anything bad to say about it.

A few highlights:

The Green Machine won 10-9 with Atticus scoring 4 goals including the game winner.

The post game remarks note: “It was the first loss for the Timbers since March 9.”

When the Timbers came onto the field they were booed and serenaded with around of “Go home you bums.” They also got booed every time they scored. The Timbers team captain Will Johnson was busted with a couple of fouls and was booted out of the game with a red card while his teammates protested.

In the first half the Timbers fielded 4 players and I don’t remember how many the Green Machine had, maybe 8. In the second half the Green Machine’s entire bench was on the field and it was hilarious watching the Timbers try to do anything when surrounded by Green Machine players.

At the end of the match, the team captain traded jerseys with Atticus and then put the tiny jersey on.

Updated to add: Here’s a better video clip. The whole thing is great but the bit when the Green Machine see their locker room is priceless.

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November Soccer

Remember the plastic pants?

Well, I lost them.

I wasn’t wearing them but I was carrying them to a game where I might potentially need them but didn’t.

What can I say? I like to have a good time and that means pants get misplaced now and again.

Meanwhile, I haven’t replaced them because it seemed like something that would be easier to do later.

Later has arrived. Tonight I’m going to see the US Women’s National Team play Ireland and our seats are not protected. It’s only supposed to drizzle so I might get away without it but I don’t think I’m going to try.

I went to the Columbia store yesterday and of course they don’t have the regular old plastic pants. They have some sort of fancy plastic pants that are stunt pants with zippers on the side so you can tear away like in Magic Mike.

They also cost about 40% more. So I said I didn’t want the stunt pants and they sent me around the corner to the mountain climbing store and they have the non-stunt pants which are about 90% more than the plain old pants because they are for mountain climbing, not keeping your butt dry while you watch soccer. I can order the cheaper plastic pants online but I need to travel back in time so that I will have them for tonight’s game.

There is no point to shopping downtown. They never have what you want.

The plan is to go back for the stunt pants after lunch. At that point I’m sure they’ll be sold out and only have extra large stunt mountain climbing pants for $500.

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What It’s Like to Love the Last Place Team

Seattle game tifo with Clive Charles.

You’ve probably been wondering, what’s up with these Timbers she’s so crazy about? She never talks about them anymore. Has she moved on? Was that just a passing obsession? Is she now into collecting expensive purses or going to foreign film festivals?


I still love the Timbers. I still go to every home game including the reserves and exhibition games if I am in town.

When I started writing this I hadn’t seen them win since June 24th. They actually won another game on July 3 but I was out of town.

They won big this weekend breaking an 8 match winless streak and sending the fans cartwheeling into the aisles.

Here’s how I was summarizing the season before that win.

Positive things.

I’ve been on the jumbotron 4 times! I visited the Timbers locker room! One of my tweets was on the jumbotron (at a reserves game). One of the Timbers retweeted me and one of the Timbers responded to one of my tweets.

We’ve gone through two buy-12-get-one-free pint cards and two frequent buyer slice cards.

I know what you’re thinking: “Uh, this positive stuff is all about you.”

That is true.

My beloved team is in last place in our conference. When I started this post there was only one team in the league with fewer points than us. By 1. Since Saturday’s win there are 2 teams with worse records.

It is rugged being in love with the last place team. Some team has to be in last place but it’s usually someone else’s team.

My team leads in all the worst statistics. We’ve never won a game on the road. We’ve lost games in the last minutes. We’ve lost leads. We’ve never come from behind. If there’s a miracle goal or a miracle play, it happens for the other team against us. We’ve had games where we made millions of shots on goal but none in goal. Too bad the game isn’t whomping the ball over the top of the net.

We hosted an exhibition game against EPL team Aston Villa. Almost the entire roster was out on the field which I loved.

Every week on our TV show we’re building on some tiny moment of non-horribleness. One game we tied 0-0 and they were talking about building on that. We tied on the road. We’re building on that. At least we scored on the road.

These are the things we’re building on.

But this team has the most loyal fans in the universe, including me. And they know it. Well, they don’t know about me personally. But check out the Army section:

Green smoke means GOAL!

I don’t mind if we’re not the best. I don’t mind losing sometimes. But holy moly, every game takes 10 years off my life because even if we’re ahead I can never enjoy it. I can’t trust my guys to keep it together. That lady screaming “whistle!” starting in the 79th minute is me.

I still love them and I’m still RCTID. This life and the next.

Check out Boyd’s smile. I also like media guy with his pointy finger. This was from an earlier match before Troy Perkins was traded to Montreal.

Lots more photos here: Timbers! Here’s the photoset from the Sounders rivalry match.

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Today Sinéad graduates from high school.

This is a me holding her when she was one day old. Wow.

I have a million notes here for stuff I want to write about but the EuroCup started today! Team Germany!

For some reason I thought the tournament started tomorrow so today was to be my day of amazing productivity. I was only productive until I realized that the Poland v Greece game was on. First impression: Poland has the cutest goal keepers. Other revelation: Michael Ballack is doing commentary for ESPN!

Already I love this tournament.

I’ve got thirty soccer games to watch this month on top of my usual Timbers duties plus the US Mens National Team has its first World Cup qualifier game tonight. I’m going to be busy.

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The Things We Do For Love

Season opener!

Timbers billboard Burnside and Broadway (taken from moving car)(don’t worry, I wasn’t driving)

I was trying to show off my professional game-day chic but I can’t take a photo of myself to save my life.

Solid rain from the time we left the car until right now when I’m back home and summing it up. My coat doubled in weight it was so wet. My new gloves I bought were wet, too. Pruned hands. Damp hair. I was happy but I would have been happier if I was dry.

Timbers won 3-1. Goals by the rookie, John-Baptiste! The guy hired to score, Boyd! and my fave, Kalif! Worth cold feet and more.

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Timbers Shrine

Oh, so you thought the endless nattering about the Timbers was over just because soccer season is finished?

Nope. Not yet.

This is the Timbers’ Shrine at the office. Co-worker is my ticket partner and they give season ticket holders a lot of gifts but only one per pair so we keep everything at the office. Remember the story about my axe photo? That’s the poster. I finally got it framed. The signed t-shirt and signed photo co-worker won in auctions.

The mini-soccer ball on the left is something the players throw into the stands before the game starts. I had to elbow a little kid in the head so I could get that, thrown by Darlington Nagbe who won Goal of the Year.

They also give away things at the games. We missed the t-shirts and the plastic replica of the stadium (darn!) But that big thing on the right is a skateboard deck. I was going to take it in and get wheels put on it but I was afraid the urge to then try to ride it would be too great and I’d break my neck and feel like a moron.

I don’t know where we’re going to put the stuff we get next year.

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