Pro

Thorns show off home magic

Portland handles Chicago 3-0 before Providence Park faithful
Staff report

Portland's NWSL return to Providence Park could hardly have gone better in front of a raucous, sun-drenched crowd of 19,461 fans Sunday afternoon with the Thorns beating the Chicago Red Stars 3-0 to move into second place.

Playing without nearly half of its regular rotation due to the upcoming World Cup, Portland got a pair of goals from Midge Purse and one from Simone Charley to improve to 4-1-2, 14 points. The season began with six road games.

Thorns fans can watch for four team members on the U.S. National Team - midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, defender Emily Sonnet, and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, as well as Christine Sinclair playing for the Canadian side. In addition, Ellie Carpenter is with the Australian side and Andressinha is playing for Brazil.

The World Cup begins Friday with the league taking a week off for the opening round. Portland next plays at North Carolina, June 15, and again in Portland June 21 against Utah.

 

 

 

Timbers energize the Rose City

It's a 3-2 loss to LAFC, but Portland shows off to the world
Staff report

After three months and 12 games on the road, the Portland Timbers finally played in front of home fans and didn't disappoint other than on the scoreboard.

With mid-season signee Brian Ferenandez scoring his fourth goal of the season, the Timbers pushed Los Angeles FC all the way to a sideline rumble during second-half added time before dropping a 3-2 decision before 25,218 fans at remodeled Providence Park.

Fernandez scored on a bicycle kick in the 84th minute in front of the Timbers Army as the team rallied from a two-goal deficit for the second time. Cristhian Paredes scored Portland's first goal in the first minute of the second half to cut a 2-0 deficit in half. LA then scored in minute 54 to advance to 3-1.

Carlos Vela opened the scoring in the sixth minute, taking an errant pass from Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella and firing it past him for his league-leading 16th goal of the season. LA added a goal by Diego Rossi in the 34th minute.

The match was the second victory for LAFC between the teams, although the first one finished off 4-1 in March in LA. With Fernandez leading the effort, the Timbers appeared as a different team, especially playing from behind.

Portland has 11 days off before its next contest at Seattle in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Timbers play at home again June 22 against Houston.

 

Portland celebrates in the sun

Late goal by Blanco beats Seattle, scores fourth-straight win
Staff report

The hottest day of the year turned into the hottest ticket of the year, and the Portland Timbers didn't disappoint Sunday.

With a stellar connection between Samuel Armenteros and Sebastian Blanco and simple chip from 10 yards away to provide the scoring in the 86th minute, the Timbers won their fourth-consecutive game of the MLS Season, with three of them at Providence Park in front of the 21,444 screaming masses.

Blanco's goal was his team-leading fifth of the season, and made a positive memory of what was largely a bland meeting of the franchises for the 100th time, historically, through the NASL, USL and now MLS. The bitter rivals managed just 15 shots combined in the match, and only three were on target - each goalkeeper made just one save.

Jeff Attinella recorded his third-consecutive shutout for Portland.

Portland moved into a tie for fourth in the Western Converence at 14 points after having started the season with just two through five games. The Timbers are also one of four teams in the league without a loss at home, although only one has played fewer home games - DC United, which has played at home just twice in advance of opening a new stadium in two months.

The win was the first step in the Cascadia Cup, as well, between the teams.

Portland next plays host to FC Los Angeles, which is second in the West with 20 points and recently opened its own stadium near the Los Angeles Coliseum.

 

 

Thorns draw with Houston

Portland readies for home match against Orlando Saturday
Staff report

Forward Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic recorded her first goal of the season and helped the Portland Thorns earn a 1-all draw at Houston Wednesday night in NWSL action.

Portland improved to a tie for fourth place with the Orlando, which will play at Providence Park Satuday at 12:30 p.m. The game is set to be carried on Lifetime.

Crnogocevic's goal came in the 25th minute and was her first in the league since joining the team from Germany's FFC Frankfurt. At 27, she is the leading goal scorer for the Swiss national team and led her German side to the 2015 UEFA Champions League title.

Houston tied the match in the 57th minute. The Thorns dominated much of the match, holding possession of the ball for nearly 70 percent of the 90 minutes and attempting 541 passes - more than double those of the Dash. But, even with completing more than 80 percent of their passes, the team managed just four shots on goal.

Christine Sinclair recorded an assist on the lone Thorns goal, which was her 10th assist with the team.

 

Timbers ready for Sounders challenge

The 100th meeting between two of America's top rivals is Sunday
Staff report

It's a match for the ages set for Sunday at Providence Park: Timbers vs. Sounders.

The 100th meeting between the two clubs - starting in their NASL days - will begin at 1 p.m., with fans of the Seattle Sounders having been ushered in more than an hour ahead of Portland's army of fans.

Of course, Portland's diehard fanbase will have begun showing up at least two days prior in order to secure their treasured spots within the Army's section 107.

The match's historic nature spawned a video entitled "The Rivalry" that even got a response on Twitter from Ken Burns.

Both teams worked their way into the Major Lleague Soccer's history book in the recent past with Portland winning the MLS Cup in 2015 and Seattle winning the following year. This season, though, has been a challenge for both teams as the Timbers managed just two points through the opening five games - all on the road, and the Sounders managing just five points in its first seven games.

Sunday's match, though, will feature teams riding on optimism. The Sounders won their match Wednesday in Toronto against the league champion from last season, while the Timbers have won their past three games to move into a tie for sixth and just two points from third in the Western Conference.

 

Timbers, Thorns eye weekend goals

in
Both teams play another round of road games - as doubleheader
Staff report

The Portland Timbers and Thorns are preparing for a rare event in professional sports these days - a doubleheader.

Both teams play in Chicago Saturday at Toyota Park, the home field for both the Fire and Red Stars. Saturdays matches are set for 3 p.m. for the Timbers and Fire, followed by the Thorns and Red Stars at 5:15.

It's the only doubleheader of the season, and first of its kind for both Portland teams.

The Timbers head into the match with a point after a 1-all tie at Dallas Saturday, a match in with the team saw its first red card of the season handed out to Lawrence Olum after a pair of yellows. The draw was the first season point for new coach Giovani Savarese.

The Thorns opened their season with a 1-0 loss at the North Carolina Courage, a match that saw goalkeeper Andriana French produce what turned into the Save of the Week via the NWSL website.

The Thorns have two weeks off after Saturday to prepare for their home opener, April 15.

The Timbers continue their season April 8 at Orlando City before returning for their home opener, April 14.

 

 

Beavers prep for Baylor rematch

4CAST: NCAA Tourney, Hawks, Timbers, Thorns, Pac-12
Staff report

The NCAA Tournament established game times for the Sweet 16 Tuesday, and Oregon State got a 4 p.m. slot against second-ranked Baylor in Lexington, Ky.

Oregon will play Central Michigan Saturday at 3 p.m. in Spokane, Wash.

Baylor is 33-1, while OSU is 25-7, but has a 3-0 record against the Bears all-time. The Beavers beat Baylor in 2016 to advance to the Final Four for the first time. It's the third-straight year OSU has reached the Sweet 16.

Oregon heads for the Sweet 16 for the second-straight year after advancing to the Elite 8 last year. The Ducks are 32-4, while Central Michigan is 30-4.

2. WINTERHAWKS HEADED FOR PLAYOFFS

The 72-game regular season came to a close with a 5-4 loss to Spokane Sunday for the Portland Winterhawks, but the season begins anew Saturday. Portland, which finished the regular season at 44-22-1-5 for 94 points, plays the Chiefs in a seven-game series with the first two games in Portland Saturday and Sunday.

The Hawks-Chiefs series is one of eight that starts the first round of the WHL Playoffs. The winner will advance to the Memorial Cup, which will be played for the 100th time this year.

3. TIMBERS/THORNS EYE LEAGUE PLAY

The Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers return to the pitch Saturday with league matches. The Thorns, who drew with Houston 0-0 Saturday at Merlo Field, open NWSL play at North Carolina Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Portland won its second NWSL title last season.

The Timbers, 0-2 in MLS action, play at Houston Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Portland has scored just once in its two games, and is looking for its first win under new coah Giovanni Savarese.

4. PAC-12 SOFTBALL, BASEBALL

In Pac-12 softball, Sixth-ranked Oregon is 25-5 heading for a weekend off before a three-game series with rival Oregon State March 29-31 in Corvallis.

Oregon State recovered from a 12-0 loss Saturday to beat Cal 8-3 Sunday and earn a 2-1 series win in Corvallis. Oregon State is 19-10 heading into a three-game series at UCLA Friday.

In Pac-12 baseball, top-ranked Oregon State is 18-1 on the year, matching the 1951, 1962, 2013 and 2017 teams for the best record through 19 games. OSU has won 13 consecutive Pac-12 games dating back to the 2016 season. The Beavers start a three-game series with Washington on Friday.
 
In other Pac-12 action, Oregon starts a three-game series with Cal starting Friday. Oregon is 8-2 at home this season.

Blazers look to next streak

After Houston loss, Portland has more key games ahead
Staff report

The win streak is over, but it certainly put the Portland Trail Blazers on the map of teams to watch for as possible title contenders.

Next up is Boston.

James Harden scored 42 points, including a pair of 3s down the stretch, and the Houston Rockets snapped the Blazers’ 13-game winning streak with a 115-111 victory on Tuesday night before a rowdy crowd at the Moda Center.

“They’re the No. 1 team in the league for a reason,” Portland’s Damian Lillard said afterward. “We’ve just got to make a few more plays and make a few more shots if we want to beat a team like that.”

Portland’s winning streak was tied for the second-longest in franchise history. The team also won 13 consecutive games in 2007.

Al-Farouq Aminu had 22 points, including six 3-pointers, for Portland. The Blazers had also won nine straight at the Moda Center before the loss.

Jusef Nurkic had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Lillard added 20 for the Blazers. But, Lillard’s backcourt mate C.J. McCollum had just six points on 4-of-15 shooting, and combined with Lillard to miss all 12 of their 3-point shots combined - easily their worst performance of the season.

And, yet, Portland lost by just four to drop to 44-27 overall.

Chris Paul added 22 points for the Rockets, who have won six straight and 23 of their last 24 and have the best record in the NBA at 57-17.

Boston is second in the Eastern Conference at 48-23, 4.5 games behind Toronto, which is 53-19.

 

Blazers begin stretch run

4CAST: NBA, NCAA Tourney, Winterhawks, MLS/NWSL
Staff report

The Portland Trail Blazers start the first of four consecutive games against teams at the top of the the Western Conference and Eastern Conference with the Houston Rockets tonight.

Houston leads the Western Conference and will take on the Blazers at the Moda Center at 7:30 p.m., a game set to be televised by TNT.

Portland, with a 13-game winning streak through Monday, then gets Boston - the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 team - on Friday.

They head to Oklahoma City Sunday and play at New Orleans next Monday.

With the win streak the Blazers vaulted into third place in the Western Conference and first place in the Northwest Division. The conference strength is significant this season as all eight playoff teams are at least nine games above .500. The Blazers have just 12 games to go in the regular season.

Oklahoma City is 43-29 and just two games behind Portland in the race for the division title, while New Orleans is 40-30 and tied for fifth place in the West with Utah. The Pelicans may be a first-round playoff opponent for Portland.

2.NCAA WOMEN'S TOURNEY

Central Michigan, and 11th seed in the NCAA Women's Tournament 11th, scored a huge upset of Ohio State Monday, and will get the University of Oregon in the Sweet 16 Saturday in Spokane, Wash. Oregon is 32-4 on the year, while Central Michigan is 30-4.

Oregon State, meanwhile, gets second-ranked Baylor on Friday. The game is set for Lexington, Ky., Friday. Baylor is 33-1, while OSU is 25-7 following its upset of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday.

The Pac-12 got two more teams into the Sweet 16 Monday - UCLA and Stanford, and has four teams in the Sweet 16.

3. WINTERHAWKS HEADED FOR PLAYOFFS

The 72-game regular season came to a close with a 5-4 loss to Spokane Sunday for the Portland Winterhawks, but the season begins anew Saturday. Portland, which finished the regular season at 44-22-1-5 for 94 points, plays the Chiefs in a seven-game series with the first two games in Portland Saturday and Sunday.

4. TIMBERS/THORNS EYE LEAGUE PLAY

The Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers return to the pitch Saturday with league matches. The Thorns, who drew with Houston 0-0 Saturday at Merlo Field, open NWSL play at North Carolina Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Portland won its second NWSL title last season.

The Timbers, 0-2 in MLS action, play at Houston Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Portland has scored just once in its two games, and is looking for its first win under new coah Giovanni Savarese.

ALSO

In Pac-12 softball, Sixth-ranked Oregon is 25-5 heading for a weekend off before a three-game series with rival Oregon State March 29-31 in Corvallis.

Oregon State recovered from a 12-0 loss Saturday to beat Cal 8-3 Sunday and earn a 2-1 series win in Corvallis. Oregon State is 19-10 heading into a three-game series at UCLA Friday.

In Pac-12 baseball, top-ranked Oregon State is 18-1 on the year, matching the 1951, 1962, 2013 and 2017 teams for the best record through 19 games. OSU has won 13 consecutive Pac-12 games dating back to the 2016 season. The Beavers start a three-game series with Washington on Friday.
 
In other Pac-12 action, Oregon starts a three-game series with Cal starting Friday. Oregon is 8-2 at home this season.

 

Stotts Coach of Year material?

Blazers coach has award rating on the line this week
Staff report

Has Terry Stotts elevated the Portland Trail Blazers enough to be voted Coach of the Year in 2018? Well, maybe, especially if the Blazers can do something like sweep the next four games and head to the NBA Playoffs on a huge roll.

That's a key part of this week's Sportsland, Oregon podcast featuring Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber.

The Blazers plays host to Houston - the Western Conference leader - Tuesday, then Boston - the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 team - on Friday. They head to Oklahoma City Sunday and play at New Orleans next Monday.

With the win streak the Blazers vaulted into third place in the Western Conference and first place in the Northwest Division. The conference strength is significant this season as all eight playoff teams are at least nine games above .500. The Blazers have just 12 games to go in the regular season.

Oklahoma City is 43-29 and just two games behind Portland in the race for the division title, while New Orleans is 40-30 and tied for fifth place in the West with Utah. The Pelicans may be a first-round playoff opponent for Portland.

Also, the podcast focuses on the NCAA Tournament, NFL free agency, Timbers and Thorns, Tiger Woods and the start of the 2018 International Roofball Federation schedule.

SPORTSLAND PODCAST

 

 

RSS feed