Urruti, Nagbe score in 2-0 win at Dallas, but Vancouver wins, too
Oct. 25, 2014
FRISCO, Texas – The Portland Timbers tallied their third consecutive clean sheet, receiving goals from midfielder Darlington Nagbe and forward Maximiliano Urruti in a 2-0 win against FC Dallas before 17,231 fans at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday night to conclude the team’s 2014 MLS campaign.
But, the result and late-season surge wasn’t enough to get the team to the playoffs.
Just hours later, Vancouver scored a 1-0 home victory over Colorado and passed the Timbers in the conference standings for the fifth playoff spot.
Nagbe netted a goal just before halftime and Urruti tallied a goal late in the second half to help Portland register its third straight clean sheet in regular-season play. The Timbers compiled a 304-minute shutout streak since an Oct. 4 win over San Jose and registered eight consecutive unbeaten games against Western Conference opponents (5-0-3) – earning a plus-12 goal differential during the stretch.
Over the final 26 regular-season matches in 2014, Portland (12-9-13, 49pts) registered one of the league’s highest point totals (44) while compiling a 12-6-8 record over that stretch to come within one point of qualifying for the MLS Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season.
With the road victory over FC Dallas, the Timbers briefly moved ahead of Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the final spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, but Vancouver regained the fifth spot in the conference by just one point with a 1-0 win against Colorado on Saturday night. Portland finishes the season with a plus-nine goal differential, the highest margin for a non-playoff team in MLS history, surpassing the 2005 Kansas City Wizards and 2013 Whitecaps FC (+8).
Portland concluded the regular-season schedule on a strong note, sustaining just one defeat over its last nine games (5-1-3), including five wins and four shutouts in its last six matches, and five clean sheets over the last eight matches in all competitions.
With a goal in each half against FC Dallas (16-12-6, 54pts), Portland finished the regular-season with a Timbers MLS-club record 61 goals, including a league-best 34 in the final 30 minutes of matches while compiling one of the league’s top road records (7-6-4) and the second-most road wins in MLS this season.
Nagbe put Portland in front in the 43rd minute with a low drive from the top of the penalty box that deflected off FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd’s leg and settled into the back of the net just before halftime. The goal marked Nagbe’s first of the season and his fifth goal in 10 career matches against FC Dallas and helped Portland to its first-ever road win at Toyota Stadium in MLS play.
Urruti tallied his 10th goal of the season in the 82nd minute, giving Portland a two-goal cushion. Settling a pass from midfielder Gastón Fernández, Urruti fired a strong shot past FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz from the top of the box to become Portland’s second player to register 10 or more goals during the regular season (Diego Valeri, 11).
Portland held FC Dallas to just one shot on goal in the match, snapping the home side’s eight-game winning streak at Toyota Stadium.
Portland's big win Friday sparks second-half optimism
July 21, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
After a disappointing first half of the Major League Soccer season, the Portland Timbers reached a measure of satisfaction Friday with a pair of second-half goals that resulted in a huge win - at home.
While most teams, in every sport, feature better records at home, the Timbers have struggled throughout the season with home games, where sold-out crowds have watched as they've rallied to simply tie games.
Friday, though, the Timbers rallied from a deficit, and then won on a pair of memorable goals that boosted the team to a record of two wins, two losses and seven draws at Providence Park.
Overall, the team is 5-6-9, 24 points with 14 games left in the regular season. Portland sits in seventh place in the nine team Western Conference, but is just one win from reaching fourth place and a playoff spot.
Sunday, they play host to Montreal at 5 p.m. The Impact sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference at 3-10-5, 18 points, and has been outscored by 13 goals on the season.
Portland then heads to Los Angeles for an Aug. 2 game against the Galaxy, which is 7-4-6, 27 points. The game will be televised by NBC at 11:30 a.m.
The Ducks are almost an elite-level program, while Timbers can't win
April 8, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
After two consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament, and at least one win each season, the University of Oregon's men's basketball program is definitely headed in the right direction toward winning a national title.
When that might happen is a big question. That's the opening topic of Episode 8 of Sportland, Oregon 2014, recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.
Coach Dana Altman has led the Ducks to consistent success since taking over the program from Ernie Kent in 2010. Cast members Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber chat up the next step for Oregon starting with an unprecedented third consecutive trip to the tournament next season.
Then, it's off to the Portland Trail Blazers, who are back in the NBA Playoffs for the first time in three seasons. The Blazers are headed for a final record that's 20 games over .500, but they were that far above .500 at mid-season. Since then, they're .500, and might be the least dangerous playoff team in the Western Conference.
The Portland Timbers are as dangerous and exciting as any team in Major League Soccer after five games, but they just can't turn those qualities into a win so far. Saturday's 4-4 draw with Seattle showed off that factor as the team led 4-2 entering the final 15 minutes.
The Winterhawks get some air time, as well as the Roofball World Championships.
Jesuit girls continue with scoreless streak; Woodburn moves forward
Nov. 4, 2013
The amazing season being put together by the Jesuit girls soccer team continued Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Clackamas in the second round of the OSAA playoffs.
Jesuit improved to 13-0-3 on the season having not given up a goal.
Next up for the Crusaders is Southwest Portland rival Lincoln, which beat Barlow 1-0 Tuesday to improve to 11-4 overall. The Cardinals have won five straight - the last three with shutouts.
On the boys side, Jesuit continued its title defense with a 6-0 victory over McMinnville. The second-seeded Crusaders have outscored their opponents 65-8 during the season, including 15-0 in two playoff wins.
Next up for the Jesuit boys is Grant on Saturday. When the teams met in September, Jesuit won 2-1.
Among other notable playoff pushes, Woodburn continued its drive for a fourth straight Class 5A title with a 3-0 win over Sherwood, a win that improved the team to 12-1-2. The Bulldogs play Putnam on Saturday.
Also at Class 5A, both Summit teams won to move into the quarterfinals. The top-seeded girls beat Parkrose 6-1, while the second-seeded boys beat Liberty 1-0.
At Class 4A, top-seeded LaGrande and second-seeded Philomath both won easily in girls play, while Cottage Grove pulled the biggest upset of the day with a 2-1 win over top seeded Brookings in the boys playoffs.
Defending Class 3A boys champion Riverdale beat Gervais 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, while Oregon Episcopal, Gatlin Gabel, Valley Catholic and St. Mary's all won at Class 3A.
All quarterfinals games are set for Saturday, with semifinals on Tuesday in advance of finals, Nov. 16, in Hillsboro.
A first-half score is all Portland needs to move to top of MLS
Oct. 14, 2013
The Portland Timbers’ late-season Supporters’ Shield push got a huge boost with an impassioned 1-0 victory on Sunday evening over Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders at a raucous JELD-WEN Field, all but securing their first-ever spot in the MLS playoffs.
A goal by midfielder Kalif Alhassan right before the halftime whistle was all Portland needed – not to mention two Seattle shots that drew woodwork – to not only leapfrog the skidding Sounders but also Real Salt Lake to the top of the Western Conference standings.
The Timbers are now tied on points with the New York Red Bulls with 53 points from 32 games, although New York hold the tiebreaker with more wins.
Seattle’s remarkable slide continues as they are now winless in their last five matches, including three straight losses by a combined score of 10-2, dropping them to third place in the West with 51 points from 32 games.
And true to the rivalry between the two clubs, a late fracas broke out after a hard foul on Timbers forward Darlington Nagbe in the 73rd minute. It resulted in Sounders captain Osvaldo Alonso being shown red for an elbow to the face of his counterpart Will Johnson.
Seattle were unable to take advantage of Clint Dempsey’s first start for the club since Aug. 31. The U.S. national team captain has been limited for more than a month with a hamstring injury, which has also kept him out of the USMNT’s final two World Cup qualifiers. He also appeared to pick up another knock when he began to favor his right shoulder early in the match, having to go to the touchline several times to receive treatment.
The Sounders also made a change in the net with veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann taking over for normal starter Michael Gspurning, who fell out of favor after allowing nine goals in his previous two matches.
But it was of no use on the game’s only goal when a Jack Jewsbury ball into the box deflected to an open Alhassan, who fired a missile from about 20 yards out past a hapless Hahnemann.
Seattle put together the game’s first real threat of the night when Lamar Neagle nearly headed home a Mauro Rosales free kick in the 13th minute, requiring a lunging save by Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
And on the ensuing corner kick, Dempsey nearly opened his account with the Sounders. But his header clanged off the crossbar.
Despite controlling much of the early action, Portland hung on for a frantic final 20 minutes as the 10-man Sounders desperately pushed for the equalizer. And they nearly got it when a Steve Zakuani shot pinged off the crossbar in the first minute of stoppage time.
The Timbers win also means the Vancouver Whitecaps officially win the Cascadia Cup, the regional derby among the three Pacific Northwest clubs, for the first time since joining MLS.
Portland next play host to Real Salt Lake on Oct. 20 in a top-of-the-table clash at JELD-WEN Field. Seattle next play at FC Dallas on the same day.
Portland's star soccer player hits the beaches and cliffs on Twitter
Oct. 8, 2013
Alex Morgan has no problem showing off her body, and the world of Twitter has no problem following her.
Morgan, who has more than 1.2 million followers on Twitter, has been dazzling the world with a tour of beaches in Hawaii with friend Sydney Leroux, another young soccer star in the National Women's Soccer League. The two have been posting their adventure through tweets, including video of cliff diving.
Morgan, 24, was a member of the US National Women's team that won the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal and finished second in the 2011 World Cup. She helped the Portland Thorns win the WPSL title this summer. She posed in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 2012.
Leroux, who played for the Boston Breakers, is 23 and was the youngest member of the 2012 US Olympic team. She has more than 114,000 followers on twitter, and promotes "I kick balls" as one of her slogans.
Portland ties Vancouver, takes another step toward playoff berth
Oct. 6, 1013
The Portland Timbers missed their chance to move to the top of the Western Conference Sunday, but a 2-2 draw at Vancouver still helped their drive to their first MLS playoff berth.
Darlington Nagbe and Will Johnson both scored and assisted on each others' goal as the team battled with their Northwest rival.
With the draw, Portland improved to 12-5-14, for 50 points, while Vancouver improved to 11-11-9, 42 points.
A victory would have moved the Timbers into a tie for first with Real Salt Lake at 52 points, but the draw kept them in third place, one point behind Seattle, which lost to Colorado 5-1 Saturday night.
Portland plays host to Seattle and Salt Lake the next two weekends. The Timbers are six points ahead of sixth-place San Jose with each team having three games left on their schedule. Vancouver is seventh.
The draw did eliminate the Timbers from defending the Cascadia Cup against the Whitecaps and Sounders.
Nagbe scored the opening goal in the 41st minute off an assist by Johnson. The teams battled evenly into the second half, when Vancouver's Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo scored in the 76th minute, sparking a run of three goals in three minutes. Johnson put Portland back in front off an assist by Nagbe in the 77th minute, then Da Silva Sanvezzo tallied the second time to make the match all square.
A pair of first-half goals boosts the Crusaders past Central Catholic
Nov. 10, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
The Jesuit combination of offense and defense worked to perfection again Saturday, and the Crusaders beat arch-rival Central Catholic 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the OSAA Class 6A boys soccer playoffs at Cronin Field.
Juniors Tyler Street and Christo Michaelson scored in the first half and Jesuit improved to 15-1-1 with its 10th shutout of the season.
The win was the fifth shutout in the past six games, in which the Crusaders have outscored opponents 25-1.
Central Catholic had produced six consecutive shutouts entering the game, but failed to score for only the third time this season and finished at 12-1-3.
Jesuit will head to the semifinals Tuesday looking to advance to the championship match for the 16th time, and second time in three years after winning in 2010. The Crusaders lead all boys programs with 12 titles.
An overtime win boosts the Apollos forward in rare road win
Nov. 6, 2012
Sunset sophomore Alexann Bibo scored in the eighth minute of overtime to boost Sunset to a 2-1 victory over top-ranked Tualatin in the second round of the Class 6A girls soccer playoffs Tuesday night in a rematch of last year's title game.
Tualatin won the 2011 final in penalty kicks, but the Apollos didn't let the game get that far, holding the host Timberwolves scoreless in two 10-minute overtime halves.
The Apollos advanced to the quarterfinal round as the lone 6A road team to win Tuesday night, which saw a number of upsets in other classifications - particularly in matches that involved No. 5 seeds.
A No. 5 seed won at Class 5A, 4A and 3A to provide an underdog in all four playoff brackets heading into the weekend quarterfinals.
Of the top seeds, though, only Tualatin has been beaten.