David Villa, simply one of the best strikers in the world, World Cup Champion, Euro Cup Champ, etc… Suffered a broken leg, came back and now is finding his form again. It’s awesome to see guys come back from devastating injuries like that. We’ve seen it with DNA FC, with Raul, Luis and Stevie now making awesome contributions again.
This beauty of a free-kick was the first of his two goals on the night.
Interesting bit of trivia here for those new to the area. The team Villa scored against today, and that Barca was playing against in the Copa del Rey, Deportivo Alaves, is a Basque side that made a great run in UEFA a while back seemingly out of nowhere, only to lose to mighty Liverpool in a thriller. They eventually were relegated from Spain’s Primera, then from Segunda, and now play in the Segunda B, the equivalent of the 3rd Division in Spain.
Well what does his have to do with local soccer you ask? Well, our own local big club, then a 2nd Division team far from the MLS, The Portland Timbers; a team that played on a converted Baseball field made a very good habit of feasting on Deportivo Alaves’ then newly formed sister team (2006). The team, the California Victory. Ah yes, you say the legendary California Victory. Same colors, same owners, same logo kind of.
In one of the wackiest chapters in the old USL and in recent American soccer, out of nowhere an Eastern European business tycoon put a soccer team smack down in the middle of a major city, San Francisco, CA. Only nobody really noticed except our local boys the Portland Timbers who would demolish the Victory every other week. They literally played the Victory like every other week when several USL teams folded and of course the poor hapless Victory folded as well soon thereafter. To make matters worse the Timbers owners at the time, were barely hanging on, or shrouded in mystery or interested more in baseball. That was pro soccer in the USA just less than 10 years ago, well at least in PDX.
I happened to sit through a few of those matches in old PGE Park, and it wasn’t what we’d call the beautiful game, but the drinks and food were cheap at least, maybe 3,000 fans dispersed in maybe 3 sections, and a beer garden, it felt normal then but weird too. As a player, it would give you an even weirder feeling, knowing that you could probably walk on the
pitch err…cement and pretty easily give it a better go since the quality of play was so dubious at times, and that’s after having sipped on a couple of cheap cold ones in the stands. Maybe it was the cold ones talking…who knows… Some of the play was good enough to wonder if MLS could work in PDX, and yet some of the quality was unfortunate, but it could still bring a smile for better or worse. I wore turf shoes to matches just in case.
It’s funny how far the local soccer scene has come, a true soccer revolution the NW. Take tonight for example, the USWNT is in town and it barely causes anyone to flinch anymore. You walk through a local mall and you see all these new Timbers supporters with scarves, young and old proudly displaying their kits, you turn the television on and national broadcasters are falling all over themselves praising the Timbers their supporters, the atmosphere etc.. At the time, very few people locally had even heard of or knew the Timbers even existed or still existed. It’s all mind blowing really. (more…)
Monday July 9th, 2012
By Moises Arellano
The Oregonian newspaper is reporting that coach John Spencer has been relieved of his duties as coach of the Portland Timbers. The 2nd year coach has endured an up and down season (5-8-4, 19 points).
While the amount of points is actually pretty respectable (19 points) it was the uninspiring road losses and the humiliating loss to at home to in the U.S. Open Cup to Cal FC, a high-level amateur adult squad, that to have weighed down heavily.
General Manager Gavin Wilkinson will step-in as interim coach.
By all indications Spencer is a terrific guy and was always pretty direct with his thoughts and communicated well with both the press and fans. The unfortunate side of sports is that when things don’t go exactly as planned, it’s always the coach that’s easiest to remove, well easier than removing all 14 players who participated in the Cal FC shocker.
Today’s action by the front office begs the question that at what point do the players accept responsibility for their underperformance? With the kind of support the fans and the entire region gives the Timbers, it seems that players would be self-motivated enough to earn every single cent of their paychecks, and if you look at each and every game that hasn’t always been the case. Professional players have to perform as well on the road as they do at home, they have to take pride in their performances. That should be a given. Hard to blame coach Spencer there.
It will be interesting to see if the Timbers players pull a Raymond Felton. The former point guard of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, who loafed around moping (and eating) for half-a-season, allegedly leading a coup to get honorable coach Nate McMillan fired, and immediately–miraculously went on a tear scoring in the 20’s and dishing out double-digit assists, looking like a completely different player. The smirks to the press gave him away as a coach-killer of sorts.
With the Timbers players it will be obvious to interim coach Gavin Wilkinson, who’ll be taking full-account of the situation up close to see who’s been coasting and who’s been putting in a true-effort. While there will probably not be a Zidane or Messi hiding on the roster, perhaps there will be a revelation or two. For those players not pulling their weight, they’ll probably pick-it-up or risk being shipped out by Wilkinson who as G.M. not only brought them in, but now has an even more direct path to ship them out.
Stay tuned. Moises
Thursday May 31, Jeld-Wen Field, Portland, Oregon
By Moises Arellano
In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in American sports, and one of the most humiliating losses in U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer’s history, Cal FC, a recently formed amateur team from the United States Adult Soccer Association, shocked the U.S. Soccer community and humiliated the Portland Timbers senior squad, beating them 1-0, in their own house. Mi casa, su casa. Right.
For the second time in a month, another amateur team has beat a Portland Timbers squad, last time it was PSA Elites beating a Timbers PDL (College) team though, this was the big boys, led by the 1.5 million dollar striker Kris Boyd (Former Glasgow Rangers, and all-time scorer) and veteran Captain Jack Jewsbury.
Yes, you read that right, a team from an equivalent league to the OPSL, but based in Southern California advances well into the U.S. Open Cup, and now earn the right to play at the Seattle Sounders, and that’s largely because Cal FC doesn’t even have a field to call their own, and probably play at a local park or high school like many amateur clubs. The Timbers also now miss out on a dream match-up with rival Seattle, and an assured big home pay-day, surely Jeld-Wen would have been a packed and a rocking madhouse with fans of both NW clubs salivating for that derby.
It’s hard to find an equivalent to this ordeal in other American pro sports leagues, but it would be safe to say and wouldn’t be hard to imagine given the lack of effort from some overpaid pros we’ve all sometimes witnessed; say the Portland Trailblazers–who have also distinguished themselves lately with putrid play on occasion. That if presented with a similar match-up of a hungrier and well-organized team of discarded and overlooked up and comers, playing with purpose and heart, that they too, may have also have folded as easily as toilet paper as they’ve actually done since the legendary closer Brandon Roy retired.
But that’s where Soccer is different. And it would probably behoove U.S. Soccer and MLS (blushing) to promote this win for Cal FC and to actually provide other high-level amateur leagues like the OPSL with some form of support–from equipment to financial support–to promote the sport and hope the next Messi or Ronaldo is being nurtured in leagues like the OPSL, busily training, and lurking, and ready to be spotted in one of these type of matches; and to not bury this upset as some sort of excused filled-hiccup, and to actually tout this as the different and accessible nature of MLS compared to other sports leagues. It takes guts to play against amateurs, it’s a shame other leagues don’t try it. Surely, there is also a talented local player even in Portland that’s fallen through the MLS cracks. A lot to be learned here.
Need more proof see: PSA Elites, and Cal FC.
In truth, this is even more of an upset Cinderella story than an NCAA Tourney #16 seed beating a #1 seed (which has never happened by the way) because those teams play on a largely even playing field (ahem) regulated by a strict governing body and strict eligibility rules and every one of those teams and players operates on a scholarship system and get to train every day in their very own gyms and own weight rooms, and walk around as big-men on their respective campuses and even have a cheering squad. Heck, they even can afford their own uniforms and equipment with their own school name on it.
Let’s put this in perspective for a second. The flagship professional soccer team of Oregon, from-youth-to-the-pros, the one with the fancy digs, with a madly passionate, loyal and rabid fans (I raise my hands there) that gets paid to fly all across the nation in jets to play other MLS teams, even get to be on T.V. and get paid to practice at a multi-million dollar brand spanking new private practice facility and get paid to have their daily choice of uniforms to wear, to kick brand new balls, have trainers, and dress in shiny bright new cleats galore. Yes they lost to a start-up group amateurs who don’t even have a home stadium, and who until last night played in left-over–donated Chicago Fire uniforms from a few seasons ago. You read that right, they played in hand-me downs until last night, that read “Fire” on them, like well amateur teams sometimes do hoping to look famous.
Yet, it did happen, an amateur team beat the Timbers in their own stadium in front of their own fans (5,000+)
More eyebrow raising than all of that, is the Timbers have their very own pick of the litter with literally tens-of-thousands of talented players to select from all over the nation and world, also charging hundreds of eager players $150 for just the right to even have a tryout.
The Timbers have searched many different continents for their guys from the West African Coast, to the jungles of Colombia to the creme de la creme of NCAA D1, and then onto the very expensive highlands of Scotland. They have their dudes.
The problem is somehow the amateur team ended up with all the players with any heart. Fingers will be pointed at the very top places but it’s hard to imagine a pro-player not having the heart and competitive desire to put an amateur team away in their own place.
As written here before. Amateur teams face all kinds of obstacles, from even securing practice time and space, working around people’s busy schedules, school, work, family obligations. Not to mention equipment and sponsorship.
One thing a good amateur team from a great league like the OPSL doesn’t lack is heart. Whether its DNA FC, or Cal FC. You can’t teach heart. Maybe it’s because we all do face those obstacles that we’re better off for it and play and teach the game for the right reasons even when it pours rain on us as it tends to do in Oregon, and perhaps that’s why the soccer gods smiled and the sun shines on all us amateurs, for once. Today.
Best of luck to Cal FC against the Sounders, but there’s nothing amateur about continuing to win with heart. Not sure if your riding a bus to Seattle, carpooling or flying coach, but keep on doing what your doing.
By Moises Arellano
The truly amateur side was wearing the black kits last night, PSA Elites, and they beat the Portland Timbers U-23’s. By amateur meaning they don’t get to train together every single day and they hold down day-jobs and night-jobs and everything in between. Well PSA Elites despite their day and night jobs, also dominated the first-half going up 2-0, and had enough left to get the job done late. Playing some smart, attractive soccer, there wasn’t anything “amateur” about their classy performance. The result means they advance to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup, and keep their soccer dreams alive.
Luckily for PSA Elites, gorgeous Portland weather made them feel right at home
A good-size contingent from the OPSL and DNA FC made it out to Jeld-Wen field last night, it didn’t take much convincing with the picture perfect weather and reduced prices. Everyone seemed a little curious about both teams, about what their respective levels of play would be, how they’d match up. It was fairly clear from the first touch, that PSA Elites would be a tough out.
PSA Elites hail from Southern California and plays in the equivalent league and level as the OPSL, and DNA FC. The only difference being their location, which being in soccer hotbed Cal South affords them a unique set-up, tons of teams, loads of talent, they play against pro-level talent and competition year round. After winning a tough Regionals, you knew they were battle tested.
Only 2nd game for loaded Timbers U-23’s
The Portland Timbers U-23’s had other curious things to overcome. At the moment, making it into the Timbers U-23 PDL set-up is akin to winning the lottery. They literally have their pick of the litter from every single college program in the nation. Hundreds of players paid $150 for the privilege to tryout knowing they faced long odds, some were also told to save their money, they were already full. Several OPSL standouts probably even feel they deserve a spot on that roster, but with so many players to choose from, it’s a tough deal.
There’s a really good reason for the Timbers U-23’s popularity, true to their word, players have been promoted to MLS, and it’s now seen as a direct link to the MLS Timbers, if you stand out, they will pick you up for the big side as soon as your eligible. You can see the dilemma it creates for their coaches unless you’re a key performer at the NCAA Division I level, you probably face long odds, the simple reason being that it’s easier to bet on tried and true DI talent.
Talent does not equal chemistry
PSA Elites had one major advantage over the Timbers U-23, and that’s chemistry. While the Timbers were younger, more athletic, probably fitter, more eager, they also at times, looked like a side that just came together and is still getting to know each other. The schedule was not in the Timbers favor, say this Open Cup game had been played in August, after the team had meshed, than you’d like their odds better. The Timbers U-23’s in fact just started training just weeks ago and some of the players still don’t know each other that well. It was only their 2nd match this year.
PSA Elites, meanwhile plays year-round, against some of the toughest competition, they may not get to train everyday together but they know each other by memory. The chemistry overcame any fitness issues for them. The skill of the PSA Elites was excellent and they showed great experience and understanding especially in the 2nd-half to hold the Timbers at 2-1. That was the point where the Timbers made their run, PSA was fatigued but relied on understanding and chemistry to pull through 3-1.
U.S. Soccer was the star of the show last night, great night for soccer, excellent work also by the Timbers brass
It’s great for U.S. Soccer that changes were made to the U.S. Open Cup so that we get to see unique games like this. Many OPSL and high-level amateur clubs have dreamed of an opportunity like the one PSA Elites took advantage last night, heck even PDL clubs dream of it–to shine in an MLS stadium. It has to be a memory of a lifetime for those guys.
Match notes: (more…)
Finally completed footage from our last match with PCU. What a sweet victory it was! Please enjoy the footy and if you like it go ahead and show us by giving it a “like” on Facebook and sharing it with your friends.
Thank you to the DNA Faithful Fans, Friends and Family for your support!
As was established in our comment section yesterday, by DNA FC player, Jason Bell. Kenny Cooper has indeed scored 4 international goals for the U.S. National team in his career. So technically speaking he was the first Timbers player to ever score for the U.S. at least in an international competition or in a FIFA designated international friendly. Although Kenny wasn’t a part of the Timbers just yet, at the time.
On another note, could Kenny Cooper some day regain that form, to once again suit up for U.S.? He’s certainly young enough and works hard enough, sometimes too hard I might add. I know some of us watch Timbers home matches with some confusion as to why Kenny is running literally everywhere, perhaps trying to do too much to avoid the hook. Is that possible and does that even make sense?
In other news, another match for Messi and Argentina, and zero goals to show but he did get some assists, and the win which are very important, beating Nigeria 3-1 in a friendly. The club vs. country saga continues for some players. Then maybe not, as Spain steamrolled tiny Lichtenstein 6-0, with the usual culprits, Iniesta, Xaxi, Villa, etc… Who knows, maybe Kenny, and Rodney Wallace are guys who rise to the occasion for their national team, there are those guys.
The U.S. certainly needs goal scorers as they lost 1-0 to a good Belgium side and have gone 180 minutes without scoring a single goal. Kenny put your application in, lead the Timbers to the playoffs.
In case folks missed it, and it was easy to miss here in Oregon with so much College Football hysteria going on, but the U.S. National team lost a tough match to Costa Rica in a friendly last Friday night. The result, a 1-0 loss, is all part of the natural growing pains for Coach Klinsmann’s troops, as he tries to retool an entire program and find the right pieces. The U.S. dominated at times but ultimately lost when RODNEY WALLACE OF THE PORTLAND TIMBERS SCORED THE WINNING GOAL!
I could be completely wrong on this, but I don’t think any Portland Timber player has ever scored either for the USA or against the USA in any match, under any situation. Part of that was the Timbers being exiled in the USL and it’s variants of lower division leagues for so long. Now that the Timbers are in MLS, another bonus for fans is that it’s kind of neat to watch players doing double duty for both club and country, something people in other countries get to see all the time. The good news is we’re sure to see more of this and even better news, this was just a friendly loss for the USA.
How would we feel if the U.S. was playing against Costa Rica say at Jeld-Wen Field and Wallace score against the U.S. in a World Cup qualifier? That could be kind of weird. By the way, the song on the video is very silly.
All eyes will be on Portland tonight on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes at 7:30 pm when the L.A. Galaxy and their star studded cast of David Beckham, Landon Donovn and Juan Pablo Angel roll into Jeld-Wen Field to tussle versus the local guys.
One of the major treats of Portland being in Major League Soccer this year has been getting to watch some top quality skilled players in person. Don’t get me wrong, we still go to support the Timbers despite their recent lackluster play, but if you watch these marquee guys up close and live, you can gain a whole new sense of appreciation from it. We used to go support the Timbers when not only was the home team tough to watch but the opposition was even worse. Your stomach churned so bad you needed Pepto. We’ve come really far in just a short year!
Not to brag, but I have been lucky to have seen both players up close in an actual match and let me tell you there is a vast gulf in quality between say a Landon Donovan and David Beckham to say any other player the Timbers have suited up so far. There’s no shame in that, as evidenced by the fact US Soccer is busy trying to discover the next Landon Donovans’ of the national team, superbly skilled American players are that scarce at the moment, hence Klinsmann was brought in to find more.
Again, what sometimes gets lost in all the marketing hysteria around these guys is how hard they work at their actual skills. These guys have mad skills. Becks and LD may or may not be best friends but they are both workaholics when it comes to building skills.
Do players like LD and Becks take nights off when they are fatigued, I don’t know. All I know is they will be at their best tonight in PORTLAND! Theses guys are performers just like say a good rock band, the better the scenario the better they play. Does this mean the Galaxy will roll over the Timbers with ease, nope it’s a team game after all and you actually have to play the games in person and we’ll be in the house supporting the home team but admiring the skill.
This morning, August 1st, 2011, marked the beginning of a new era for US Soccer. A bright new chapter begins for the USA, as Jurgen Klinsmann takes charge of the national program. For all intensive purposes you could say, Klinsmann has a blank canvas to shape at most levels; meaning that Klinsmann has a massive yet exciting challenge ahead of him.
Nobody has illusions that this will be a short and sweet exercise without some hiccups along the way but it’s absolutely necessary that Klinsmann find success. With one of the largest and diverse player pools in the world, and an almost unlimited talent supply and resources at his disposal, Klinsmann’s main task is to: finally create an “American” style of play drawing on all of our nations’ strengths, to embrace what is America rather than fight it.
This might sound very familiar if you’re a long time supporter of DNA Futbol Club!
Can the great German legend be the one to finally crack the code? Stay tuned for more analysis. Moises.
Saturday Night Football, OSPL style. DNA FC faces yet another tough opponent as the boys take on speedy Light of Africa. There are no weeks off in the OPSL, and the stakes are high, as each week DNA FC works towards the top. Game by game and week by week, our boys get tougher, stronger and faster as a TEAM. DNA boys want nothing more than to walk off the field tonight with yet another solid “W”. It is in the “DNA” as our team motto states: We take the DNA of each individual player and mold it together as one, stronger than the sum of its parts. True teamwork and communication is going to give us success tonight. The strategy is simple – play our style of soccer using speed and possession – SCORE.
When and where:
- Saturday (Tonight) 8pm, Delta Park/Strasser Field, Portland, OR.
Thank you to all of our friends, family and loyal fans!