providence park

MLS sets Timbers home playoff date

Potland will host Dallas in two weekends, Nov. 22
Staff Report

With one trophy already in hand, the Portland Timbers will begin their search for a second Nov. 22, with a home match in the first round of the MLS Western Conference playoffs.

Portland will play host to FC Dallas at 7 p.m., at Providence Park. The team has not announced any plans to allow spectators within the stadium.

The two teams did not meet during the abbreviated regular season nor the MLS is Back Cup that played out in July and August in Orlando, Fla.

Portland won the summer tournament, and will be looking to return to the Cup finale for the third time, and second since winning in 2015. Portland fell to Atlanta, in Atlanta, in 2018.

Dallas has played for the MLS Cup once, but never won.

The Timbers enter having lost just once in their past six games, going 2-1-3 with two of the draws being against LAFC.

Diego Valeri and Jeremy Ebobisse both tallied nine goals for Portland during the 25-match season. Felipe Mora had seven goals and Yimmi Chara added four with eight assists. Valeri led the team with nine assists.


Portland Thorns



The Portland Thorns made national news Thursday when they announced the addition of midfielder Crystal Dunn from OL Reign in exchange for allocation money, an international roster spot for the 2021 season and its natural first-round pick in the 2022 NWSL College Draft.

Tacoma, Wash.-based OL Reign will receive $150,000 in allocation money upon execution of the trade.

“We are delighted to add a world-class player to an already talented group,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Thorns FC general manager and president of soccer. “Crystal has proven herself on the international level and been a dominant player in the NWSL for many years. Her professionalism and presence will reinforce and add to the strong culture we have in this club.”

The 2021 season will mark Dunn’s seventh season in the NWSL.

Dunn, 28, began her career with the Washington Spirit (2014-16) and played the last three seasons (2018-2020) with the North Carolina Courage. She also played with Chelsea in the FA Women’s Super League in 2017.

Individually, Dunn won the NWSL MVP in 2015 along with the Golden Boot, scoring a league-best 15 goals, earned NWSL Best XI accolades in 2015 and 2018, and NWSL Second XI honors in 2016 and 2019.

During her NWSL career, Dunn has appeared in 89 games (81 starts), recording 32 goals and 20 assists.




18    UTAH ROYALS FC, 7:30 p.m. Sat.
25    At Chicago Red Stars 4 p.m., Sat.
29    At North Carolina Courage 4 p.m., Wed.

6     ORLANDO PRIDE 7:30 p.m., Wed.
9     HOUSTON DASH 7:30 p.m., Sat.
16   REIGN FC 1:30 p.m., Sat.
22   At Utah Royals FC 7 p.m., Fri.
30   SKY BLUE FC 7:30 p.m., Sat.

12    REIGN FC 7 p.m., Fri.
20    At Washington Spirit 4 p.m., Sat.
28    At Houston Dash 4 p.m., Sun.

5     At Orlando Pride 2 p.m., Sun.
11   SKY BLUE FC 7:30 p.m., Sat.

1     At North Carolina Courage 4 p.m., Sat.
9     CHICAGO RED STARS 7:30 p.m., Sun.
15   ORLANDO PRIDE 7:30 p.m., Sat.
29   At Reign FC 12 noon, Sat.

2     At Chicago Red Stars 5 p.m., Wed.
12   At Washington Spirit 4 p.m., Sat.
26   At Sky Blue FC 4 p.m., Sat.

3     WASHINGTON SPIRIT 7:30 p.m., Sat.
9     At Houston Dash 5:30 p.m., Fri.
18   UTAH ROYALS FC 12:30 p.m., Sun.


NOTE - Olympic Games soccer tournament runs July 22 - August 8


Timbers hire Savarese, schedule opener

Portland addresses the 2018 season and beyond
By Cliff Pfenning,

PORTLAND – The Portland Timbers needed only a short time to fill it’s coaching vacancy, tapping Giovanni Savarese as the club’s head coach Monday.

Savarese becomes the team’s third head coach, replacing Caleb Porter who resigned in November following a disappointing playoff exit.

Savarese brings over 25 years of professional experience as a player and coach, most recently serving as the head coach and sporting director of the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, where he led the club to three Soccer Bowl championships in five seasons.

Savarese, 46, will be formally introduced as the Timbers new head coach during a press conference in early January.

“After an intense coach search, I am very pleased to introduce Gio Savarese as the head coach of the Portland Timbers,” said Merritt Paulson, owner of the Timbers. “Gio is an intelligent, attack-minded coach and is a driven individual who is both a great fit with us on and off the field. We are extremely pleased to welcome Gio and his family to Portland.”

“We are excited to bring Gio on board as the club’s head coach. Gio brings a wealth of experience across all levels of the game, and his playing philosophy aligns with the expectations of the club and suits the playing personnel,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “His leadership and man-management, coupled with his core values and previous accomplishments, made him the right fit for this club, and we are delighted to welcome him to the Timbers.”

The Timbers announced they will play the LA Galaxay at the StubHub Center in their 2018 season opener, March 4, and their home opener, April 14, against Minnesota United FC, at 7:30p.m.

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Savarese developed the Cosmos into one of the most successful clubs in the NASL, compiling a 65-26-44 record in 135 regular-season games, including a career-best 20-7-5 record in 2016.

Additionally, the Cosmos scored 223 goals during Savarese’s five seasons at the helm, which rank as the most in the NASL during that stretch. Savarese led the Cosmos to four Soccer Bowl appearances, claiming the 2013, 2015 and 2016 championships.

Savarese guided the Cosmos to a 10-7-15 record in 2017 and their third straight appearance in the NASL championship match. They fell 2-0 to the San Francisco Deltas in the final.

“I am both excited and proud to become the head coach of the Portland Timbers, and this is an ideal fit and outstanding opportunity for me as I take the next step in my coaching career,” Savarese said. “The passion, ambition and support surrounding this club is truly inspiring, and I am sincerely honored and grateful for this opportunity to lead it on the pitch and to build on the club’s history of success for the community and the incredible supporters of the Portland Timbers.”

Savarese enjoyed an 18-year professional playing career, including five seasons in MLS. He scored 159 goals in 322 games played in various leagues in the United States, Venezuela, Italy and England. At the international level, Savarese earned 30 caps for the Venezuela National Team from 1989-2001, scoring 10 goals, including a notable finish against South American rival Argentina in 1996.

Porter, who led the Timbers to the 2015 MLS Cup title, stepped down after guiding the Timbers to the top record in the Western Conference this season, but lost to Houston in their first playoff round.


Timbers slice up Minnesota in opener

Portland pounds the expansion club 5-1 before home crowd
Staff report

PORTLAND - The Portland Timbers are going to need a bigger log if Friday's season opener was any indication of the season ahead.

Sparked by a goal in the 14th minute, and capped by three goals in the final 11 minutes of play, Portland beat expansion Minnesota United 5-1 in the season opener for both teams Friday at Providence Park.

Newcomer Lawrence Olum scored first for Portland, and Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi each talled twice as the Timbers pounded the visitors before yet another raucous, sold out crowd. The Timbers edged Minnesota 13-11 in shots, but had a 6-2 edge in shots on goal.

Both of Adi's goals were in extra time.

Portland returns to action Sunday at Los Angeles against the Galaxy, and returns home March 18 to play the Houston Dynamo.




Timbers have high expectations

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 5:04am
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 5 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

Is there anything close to a dynasty brewing for the Portland Timbers?

That’s one of the things fans of the team can dream about after the franchise won the Major League Soccer title in only its fifth year of play.

And, it’s brought the teams’ fans bragging rights throughout the Northwest in regards to league results. Neither Seattle or Vancouver, their Cascadia Cup rivals, have even played in the league championship since it began in 1996.

When the 2016 season begins, not only will defending the title be among dreams of fans, but winning more than just one will as well.

Looking at the history of the league, three franchises: D.C. United, Houston and the Los Angeles Galaxy have won back-to-back titles, but none has won three straight. That will be among the thoughts of fans when the team begins play March 6 with its season opener at Providence Park against the Columbus Crew, its opponent in the league finale.

US ready for playoff revision

MLS needs to finish Americanization of global football
Nov. 11, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

Does anyone remember the Miracle at Providence Park? It was just two weeks ago, but the MLS Playoffs have essentially buried the excitement of the Portland Timbers' shootout victory over Kansas City in the first round of the league playoffs.

Fans owe that to the global soccer version of playoffs, which allows for each team to play a home game.

It's used across the world, and in the U.S. At least for part of the playoffs. It's time for the U.S. to complete its revamping of the world's playoff structure and ditch the home-home system.

Just play of game each round, and get to the championship game, which could be played Sunday if the league wanted.

That's a U.S. playoff system - one game with the winner moving on. U.S. football uses it, and MLS does to, at least for the first round, and then the final. The conference semis and finals are the problem, with each team getting a home game in each round. All it truly does is extend the playoffs and make them less exciting.

Get to the championship game - that's the point of the playoffs, especially with all the inter-league and national team matches going on.

If the Timbers eventually do reach the MLS Cup, it'll be nearly six weeks after the win over Kansas City because of the home-home series, and a week off for national team play. From the start of the season til the Cup, the Timbers will have played nine months starting March 7. Not even baseball, which has a 162-game regular season, plays that long.

MLS already has a U.S. version of regular season play, which separates the league into two conferences rather than one full table. And, there's no relegation/promotion with the next level league. So, it's a U.S. version of soccer. The playoffs are the final step to Americanizing the global game, which the league needs to do to capture the excitement of games like Portland's win at Providence Park, Oct. 29, 2015.



Timbers right in playoff hunt

After a home draw with KC, Portland remains among to six in the West
Sept. 10, 2015 /

PORTLAND - With a 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City Wednesday, the Portland Timbers remained tied for fifth place in the Western Conference and within striking distance of the league's top record.

They just need to score some goals for that to happen.

Portland continued its season-long struggle to score with the outcome, which combined aggressive offense with determined defense. The Timbers outshot the visitors 18-8 on the night and had eight on target, but KC goalkeeper Tim Melia had a career-high seven saves in the match with one shot being stopped by a defender. Portland finished with an 8-2 edge in shots on goal with much of the offense being sparked by midfielder Diego Valeri.

Overall, the Timbers improved to 11-9-8, 41 points, entering a game Sept. 20 at Providence Park against the New York Red Bulls, who lead the East with 45 points and 45 goals.

Portland is last amongst the 12 current playoff teams in both conferenses, with just 29 in 28 games. The other 11 teams have each scored at least 34 goals. Only one team: the Colorado Rapids; have scored fewer goals - 26. The Rapids are last in the West.

The Timbers remained last in the league in first-half goals with just seven.

San Jose sits just two points behind both Portland and Kansas City with 39 points.

Vancouver leads the league with 48 points with six games remaining.


Thorns can use a boost

Portland hasn't won in a month heading into home match
June 19, 2015

In spite of having one of the top rosters in women's club soccer, the Portland Thorns are mired in the thrill of the World Cup.

Having a top roster has been a challenge for the team as its top players have been called up to national team duty, and are central figures on each of their squads as they play against one another in group action that began Friday.

Christine Sinclair, Nadine Angerer, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan - all gone from the Thorns' roster. In their place, Portland has resorted to a relatively untested squad, including amatuer players in a number of matches.

The result has been a winless streak that began April 25 with a 2-all draw at Chicago. The following five matches included two draws and three losses, and the team has scored just one goal in its past four matches. With the results, the Thorns sit in eighth place in the nine-team National Women's Soccer League after eight of their 20-game regular season.

The good news for Thorns fans is the team sits just two points out of third place, and they have outshot opponents in most of their matches.

Portland (2-3-3, 9 points) plays host to Kansas City (2-4-1, 10 points) tonight at Providence Park.

The Thorns' last win came April 18 at home against Western New York, and the team is 2-1-0 in home matches. Three of their next four matches are at home.





Timbers flattened at home

Orlando City's energy ends up in a 2-0 victory over Portland
April 12, 2015 / Staff report

PORTLAND - An ugly game turned into an ugly result Sunday as the Portland Timbers lost 2-0 to expansion Orlando City at Providence Park.

The Timbers, who hadn't lost at home in seven consecutive games, gave up a goal in each half - the second coming on a penalty kick by Kaka.

With the result, Portland dropped to 1-2-3, 6 points on the season, with a road game at the New York Red Bulls next Sunday, followed by a Cascadia Cup match at Seattle, April 26.

Orlando City improved to 2-2-2, 8 points.

Cyle Larin scored in the 30th minute to put Orlando City up a goal, and then Kaka added the PK after Portland keeper Adam Kwarasey was called for a penalty in the box. Kwarasey initially blocked the attempt, but Kaka was given a second attempt after two Timbers were ruled to have been in the penalty box before the kick went off.

Portland led the game in time of possession, shots, shots on goal and even crossing passes, but was widely viewed as being far less energetic than the visiting side.


Timbers finally break into win column

Portland's 3-1 win over Dallas shows off offense, defense, resiliency
April 4, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

PORTLAND - Like an oil well awaiting to be discovered, the Portland Timbers finally found their way into the win column with an explosive 3-1 win over FC Dallas Saturday night before a sold-out crowd at Providence Park.

Nat Borchers, Maximiliano Urruti and Diego Chara all scored for the Timbers, who had one loss and three draws in their previous MLS regular season games. Portland's record defied its offensive play in particular as it was the league leader in chances created and second in shots on goal entering the game.

"The weight's been lifted," Portland coach Caleb Porter said afterward. "Now we can work on accumulating points and go on a run."

The Timbers (1-1-3, 6 points) have a week off before playing at home against Orlando City, April 12.

Dallas dropped to 3-1-1, 10 points.


Borchers, who had souvenir handouts with his head on them showing across the stadium, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a header off a corner kick by Jorge Villafana.

Dallas responded six minutes later with a goal by Tesho Akindele.

Urruti boosted Portland back in front in th 62nd minute, taking a cross from Dairon Asprilla and flicking it just past Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

The Timbers added an insurance goal on a viscous counterattack by Chara, who beat Seitz in a one-on-one duel at the Dallas 20.



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