War of the pick up lines (via text)
  • W:I love you like it's my last day on earth (+1)
  • S:Ew shut up
  • W:Never
  • S:It doesn't compare to my love for you being like diarrhea. I just can't keep it in. (+1)
  • W:...the face I just made to that...LOL
  • S:Omg babe did I ever mention how your eyes are like wrenches? They make my nuts tighten. (+1)
  • W:LMFAO!!! I'm like looking around hoping people don't see my reactions.
  • S:Isn't it snowing in ott right now?
  • W:No. Sky is clear. I'm trying to figure out to say something to those comments but LOL I can't omg.
  • S:Well you better watch out...cause I'm like a snow storm. Ill give you 8-10 inches and keep you inside for the whole weekend. (+1)
  • S:Did I ever tell you though that I'm like a firefighter? I find em hot and leave them wet. While you're like a pick up takes more than one load to get the job done. (+1)
  • W:Why don't you come over here, sit on my lap and talk about the first thing that pops up? (+1)
  • S:Oh I forgot you worked at Subway, cause you gave me a footlong. (+1)
  • W:Oh, well sex is a killer. Wanna die happy? (+1)
  • S:Did I ever tell you you're legs are like peanut butter? Smooth, creamy and easy to spread. (+1)
  • W:I'd like to squirtle over you (+1)
  • S:Babe my boxers are cotton, are your boxers felt? No? Would you like it to be? (+1)
  • W:LMAO!!!!! Omfg I fell while reading that. (-5)
  • -KNOCKOUT- [Snorlax = 7 points/Wobbuffet = -1 point]

Ok I’m honestly really pissed at my friend right now. I know that some of it was just misunderstandings but the other part…

She basically did whatever she wanted without thinking about what would happen to me. 

I would go into detail but that would take forever but she’s trying to do swing dancing but I thought finally we figured it out that I was going with this guy (who I like btw) but now she keeps on trying to do it with him? I mean ofc I’m a little like ehh cause I like him but the most part is she’s just doing whatever the fuck she wants and not caring about me.

I don’t want to bad talk about her cause when I explained the whole situation to the JELD crew individually (LOL NOT A MASS RANT) I kept on sounding like I was just constantly saying negative things about her but idk honestly I’m really pissed and I don’t even want to talk to her right now. And I haven’t for the past few days. 

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Countdown to Kickoff 2015: Portland Timbers

Team: Portland Timbers

Location: Portland, Oregon

Stadium: Providence Park (still Jeld-Wen Field will always be Timbers Stadium) (20,674)

Head Coach: Caleb Porter

Captain: Will Johnson

2014 Record: 12W-9L-13D

2015 Jerseys (Too ugly to link)

2013 was Caleb Porter’s first season as coach and he and the team attacked the league like mako sharks darting through schools of fish. They played teams off the park with the pressing and passing and an incessant high-tempo game. Diego Valeri was better than anyone anticipated, Darlington Nagbe had a phenomenal season and we placed first in the Western Conference – subsequently landing us in the CONCACAF Champions League. The fans wanted and expected this momentum to continue, much like us Timbros. Unfortunately, last season’s expectations were built from the previous year. We predicted PT to play with the same purpose, formation, and achieve a greater outcome. We were dead wrong.

2014 was bad, highlighted by the shambolic play at the back. The team simply could not adjust to the opposition. Despite constantly trailing, the Timbers never seemed to play back-footed. Their weakness being over aggression combined with significant deficits in talent along the back line made one of the worst defensive performances in history. The season was bookended by two epic collapses, one home to Seattle and the playoff crushing away draw to Toronto, a game in which the Timbers were up 2-0 after losing their captain Will Johnson to a broken leg with minutes of the start of the game. 2015 gifted Portland with an early spring; a sign of a new beginning; a fresh start with a beautiful outlook on life; with the vitamin D flowing through our troops, 2015 will be fruitful; the magic is real.


Players In:

GK – Adam Kwarasey (transfer)

M –   Dairon Asprilla (transfer)

D –   Nat Borchers (traded)

D –   Jeanderson Periera (free)

M –   Nick Besler (draft)

D –   Andy Thoma (draft)

F –    Christian Volesky (draft)

F –    Kharlton Belmar (draft)

Players Out:

M –   Steve Zakuani (quit)

D –   Michael Harrington (traded)

M –   Kalif Alhassan (option declined)

M –   Steven Evans (option declined)

D –   Bryan Gallego (option declined)

D –   Pa Modou Kah (option declined)

D –   Rauwshan McKenzie (expired)

D –   Danny O’Rourke (expired)

F –    Jose Valencia (sold)

GK – Donovan Ricketts (expansion)

The Exits:

Steve Zakuani: Heading into 2014, this addition overwhelmed us with joy, thinking we made a fantastic coup from our fiercest rivals. He was the loot from a fantastic coup! His season was abysmal, with only two or three bits of his former self, seen over the course of the season. His retirement immediately following the season was a bit sad, a bit of a relief, and a bit irritating in that it was just a long promotion for his autobiography. Based on his output last season, he will not be missed.

Michael Harrington: Personally, off the back of 2013, if there was one jersey I would purchase, it was MikeyMoMoney’s. He had a great year, was called into Camp Strudel, but then he fell face first off Multnomah Falls. He passed the stats test at times mostly hovering around an 80% passing percentage but the confirmation of his declining form would come with his demotion losing out to newcomer and reality star Jorge Villafana. His trade to Colorado came as no surprise considering his foreseen role as a substitute. He was not important enough on the veteran level with the likes of Will Johnson, Nat Borchers, Liam Ridgewell, and Diego Chara on the squad.

Pa Modou Kah: Pa Modou Kah led the Wall of Blunder for most of 2014. Eventually replaced by anyone the Timbers could find, Kah was the symbol for everything wrong with the team in 2014. Rash challenges, AYSO like positioning, and frustrating decision making, became symbols of what it was like to play like a Kah. Poorly, and that quickly spread throughout the rest of the team. Kah’s play will not be missed, though his fatherly kisses will

The Newcomers:

Despite all of the media attention placed on the MLS SuperDraft, it is obvious that the available talent pool has decreased significantly with the advent of the Homegrown Player rule. Top college prospects like Gyasi Zardes, Will Trapp, DeAndre Yedlin, Dillon Serna, Harrison Shipp, and Bill Hamid have all bypassed the draft and signed with their home clubs. With this in mind, it is the Timbros’ humble opinion that the best approach to the SuperDraft is to always take the player with the most potential, regardless of position. The opportunity to give players minutes with T2 only solidifies this point. It should therefore come as no surprise that we were a little underwhelmed with Portland’s first pick in the draft.

Nick Besler: Nick earned second-team All-America coming off his senior season at Notre Dame and won the NCAA in 2013, leading Portland to use its first-round SuperDraft pick on him. While Nick plays as a defensive center midfielder, his role will not be to slot in for the injured Will Johnson because he is too young and inexperienced. And potentially incapable of physically playing in this league. Ben Zemanksi demonstrated his aptitude in filling Will Johnson’s boots with a strong finish to 2014. Though an injury could for Porter’s hand to use Besler, it is still an unlikely event, especially considering Porter’s comments that only the weaker teams in the MLS are forced to play MLS Superdraft rookies.

Besler’s record of success at Notre Dame lends one to think he will be included in the 18 frequently, but game time is uncertain. If injuries last, recur, or strike other players, he might get a couple games. That I can recall, none of our 2013 picks saw the field, but I have a feeling that Besler is different. Supposedly, he can slot in at center back (we only have three at the moment). He is only 165 pounds so he may be a bit slight, but being 6’2”, could be good in the air.

Dairon Asprilla: Based on his occupation of an international roster spot, he is likely to feature quite often. No, the simple fact that he takes that spot does not mean he is guaranteed to play as the object is to field the best possible team for the formation and tactics set out, but it would be a waste to send him down to the reserves or T2. The Timbers made a significant investment in Dairon Asprilla this offseason. He takes up another international spot roster and is cited as the replacement for Zakuani.

His highlight reel showcases his speed and bravery. His goal record in South America is quite good from midfield, especially for a winger. Porter has given him praise for being exactly what they hoped for (self-congratulatory?), but him fitting into a midfield with Nagbe and Wallace will be difficult. As an option off the bench, he brings pace and direct play to goal. Think of the speed options we could have on the flanks – Wallace and Asprilla in the midfield with Villafaña and Powell supporting or overlapping, respectively. Caleb Porter has proven to be a bit rigid in how he starts games but he is also extremely flexible with the game right around the 60 minute mark. Porter knows the turn card before anyone else. He is our sexy riverboat gambler. He knows when to hold them and when to fold them…I digress. Also of note, keep an eye out for ridiculous choreographed dances between he and Urutti.

Andy Thoma: Originally suggested as a first-round pick, Portland acquired him in the second. His fall is attributed to a poor Combine showing but his selection is because of the exit of Harrington. Porter says, “he’s definitely one of the top left backs based on potential.” His addition contributes to our attacking philosophy – attacking from the back with skilled players. Villafaña has the starting spot at the moment, and how much a SuperDraft player will challenge him remains unclear. Remember, Jack Jewsbury still is a serviceable full back.

Kharlton Belmar: The least exciting roster addition, he will definitely not see any of the 18 this season.

Christian Volesky: This Timbro (Cody) thought from watching Christian’s college highlight clips was that despite being one of the fastest in the Combine, he looked desperately slow while on the ball. Others saw blind hope in a somewhat freakish athlete. In 2015, we have enough attacking talent that he will largely play for T2 or the reserves.

Players to Watch:

Adam Larsen Kwarasey: The young (for a goalkeeper) player was brought in to replace Donovan Ricketts. Admittedly, it was a needed change because Ricketts was aging; a poor communicator with the center backs; and while he still made the many great saves similar to 2013, they were fewer and farther between. Gavin Wilkinson and staff have been tracking this player for a couple years in anticipation Donovan’s exit, lending confidence immediately. From the highlights posted by PT, he is reminiscent of Ricketts in that he can get down very sharply and comes off his line when necessary. He should have a good season if he can better organize the defense. Goalkeeping coach Mike Toshack, referring to what he saw in recruitment said Adam “under a lot of pressure…and made some big plays at big moments.” Kwarsey has World Cup experience with the Ghana National Team, won the Tippeligaen and Norwegian Football Cup, and is a player to build a spine for the long-term. At the moment, his future with Ghana is unresolved, but they are trying to arrive at a solution. Between he, Nat Borchers, and Liam Ridgewell, it will be a completely new trio. At least he has experience as a ‘keeper and the center backs are veteran players.

Darlington Nagbe: 2014 wasn’t real, didn’t happen. I’m sure Nagbe has forgotten all about it already. 2014 was a soccer year that he would probably want to forget. Yes, he acquired seven assists, was second in the league with 2.8 successful dribbles and 2.9 fouls against per game, so statistically he wasn’t terrible, despite only scoring one goal all season. Porter insists that he had a good year, grew his footballing brain, and blamed lack of production on a busy family life. Some people call this an outlying season, others will call 2013 the outlier. In whichever camp you fall, 2015 will be interesting, especially with the potential USMNT eligibility looming.

Diego Valeri: Valeri led the team in goals scored with 12, was second (only to Landon Donovan) in the league with 14 assists. The Timbros ran out of superlatives for Diego last season. In our season preview Dan/Roscoe/Cody said “he is not a ‘star,’” but Valeri shooshed that nonsense immediately. Jose stumped hard for the Diego Valeri is a top three player campaign while the rest of us swooned and swayed to the delicate stylings of a footballing masterclass. Where would Portland have finished without him? It would certainly have been just like the first two seasons in MLS. First, he will miss the opening part of the season recovering from his ACL injury, meaning if he is required as much as last season, we could endure several more weeks of winter. Second, if he fits into a balanced team, everyone will contribute and feed off each other, likely leading to a higher finish in the standings. The Timbers will have to learn very quickly to win without him, a task that will require maturation of the whole to replace the one. If they are able to do that, Valeri’s ability to make his teammates better will make Timbers ain’t nuttin to fuck wit.

Coach and Tactics:

Our gaffer has Roscoe all in a tizzy. In Roscoe’s Rose City colored glasses, he is a saint ready to be knighted among the paladin of soccer greats. He engendered this adoration through his often baby’s bottom smooth face, fly suits, and authoritative figure. After 2013, Roscoe started designing a porter statuette pretty enough to soothe Damian Lillard’s fear of historical figures. Construction is currently on hold.

And of course his 2013 results helped out as well. The beginning of 2014 saw PT play several crosses to diminutive forwards in Gaston Fernandez and Maximilliano Urutti. After unloading Ryan Johnson, it seemed a counterintuitive tactic (so does the mid-season Designated Player signing of Adi). With Nagbe misfiring, us failing with crosses and corners, defensive lapses, the season seemed like it would be long and frustrating. Porter adjusted and results came flowing in to the tune of 1.67 points per game after May which would have put them fourth in MLS overall. If only the CBA would have expired last season.

Then Porter changed the focus of play slightly and it resulted in a few tap-in equalizing goals to earn us some points.

It was not until the Adi acquisition, a player whose skillset we should have had from the beginning of the season in respect to the early tactics, that we started earning more points. The Timbros have debated if he was a “good” signing based on productivity, value, and statistics; but it cannot be argued that he was a missing piece in some capacity. We needed presence in the box during open play. His hold-up play was exhibited on a few occasions, including that goal by Will Johnson.

Hopefully, on the back of 2014 it was evident to Porter that MLS success requires the adaptability during preparation for the game and to set out with different formations if necessary. The physicality, roster depth, travel fatigue, number of games, and skill levels mandate rotation throughout the year. Not everyone can slot in perfectly despite that being Porter’s focus in recruitment (some are having poor runs of form, some are injured, some may have a suspension, et cetera).

The players need the system to implement their unique styles and occasionally flex for moments of brilliance. Porter has proven that he will go all out when giving up an extra goal is only an aesthetic difference but his tendency to be loyal to his guys in combination with a short leash for younger players results in sluggish adaptation. His ideas have a tendency to be so far into the system he cannot seem to see the greater context until there is nothing left to do but cut every wire. To his credit, the dude has brass balls.

While I think it took Porter a full season to come to that realization (or maybe admit it because he is certainly an arrogant man), he has the knowledge to rotate the necessary players. Using Zemanski after Johnson’s injury seemed to lessen some of the problems defensively because he is more inclined to stay deep compared to our captain. That said, he did not have much of a choice. Michael Nanchoff could have come in, but more defensive cover was necessary.

During this preseason, he has still started Adi over Urutti, despite the industry, tenacity, and productivity of the latter. Working them both into the stating line-up will be difficult, if not impossible. Having Chara, Valeri, Johnson, Wallace, and Nagbe all needing to fit in somewhere means the forward position is cut because of the attacking potential out of midfield. To start the season, Caleb will do much of the same. Why Urutti is not put into the game more frequently, or from the start, is beyond us. He is role player in Porter’s view and is in the top 10 for goals per 90 minutes.

Predicted Starting Line-up vs. RSL:

GK:      Kwarsey,

LB:       Villafaña

LCB:    Ridgewell

RCB:    Borchers

RB:      Powell

LM:      Wallace

DCM:   Chara

DCM:   Jewsbury

CAM:   Fernandez

RM:     Nagbe

FW:     Adi

This could change to a 4-4-2 with Fernandez as the second striker but in his case, it is just semantics.


Should we keep expectations low? We had high hopes going into last year and were tremendously underwhelmed. It would help all our sanities if we approached it this way. But no, this is Portland. The rabid supporters group would never have that, and rightly so. We support the team through everything, selling out all the home matches and having a strong presence nation wide. Caleb Porter has the players to cope with the season. Depth is the most difficult aspect to develop in MLS, but the tactics and formations are arguably more important.

What I expect to happen is for PT to continue their philosophy of pressing, passing, and high-tempo, but learn and generate the ability to adjust to the game and opposition. We have the foundation for scoring goals (third highest with 61 behind Seattle (65) and Los Angeles (69)) veteran defenders, but we need to start games with a formation that will not allow us to go behind. Adjusting when chasing the game was fairly decent, and was productive on several occasions. Additionally, when we were leading teams, we continued to play an offensive game, leaving us exposed and ultimately forfeited points.

The Western Conference lost Chivas USA, gaining one good and one consistent team in Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo, respectively. 2014 saw us miss the playoffs and success in 2015 will be much more difficult. Finishing seventh could come as no surprise. SKC had 49 points (same as us) and HOU finished on 39, and both were in the easier conference. Houston brought in Owen Coyle to replace Dom Kinnear, lost their starting ‘keeper in Tally Hall (to the East), but made potentially one of the best moves of the off-season in snagging Erik Torres. They could go either way, but bridging that ten point gap in the more difficult half is still a big ask. Kansas City had a strange winter because they lost Claudio Bieler and Aurelien Collin, but brought back Roger Espinoza. Seeing a drop in performance from them is unlikely, so I feel it is a wash in respect to our league position.

But wait. It would not be PT if Sunday night did not happen. Z-Man out.

Fun and Games:

On the podcast, The Timbros did an over/under for some season stats. Got something to say? Let us hear it! For our answers, you will have to listen, or I will respond to comments. Have fun!

Adi: 11.5 goals

Urruti: 7.5 goals, 9.5 games started

Fernandez: 6.5 combined goals and assists

Nagbe: 10.5 combined goals and assists

Jeanderson: 3.5 starts

Wallace: 13.5 combined goals and assists

Valeri: 17.5 combined goals and assists, 24.5 starts

Chara: 4.5 combined goals and assists, 75.5 fouls committed

Kwarasey: 7.5 shutouts, 1.25 goals against

Johnson: 6.5 goals, 22.5 starts

Zemanski: 7.5 games started

Nanchoff: 190 minutes played

Powell: 5.5 combined goals and assists, > one horrible mistake per app

Ridgewell: 4.5 combined goals and assists, four open headers given up, lose leadership to Borchers?, 1.5 terrible hairstyles

Borchers: 31.5 starts, 1.5 combined goals and assists

Paparatto: 6.5 starts

Vilaffaña: 4.5 combined goals and assists

Jewsbury:  1.5 starts, 350 minutes played, 5.5 second 40-yard dash

Asprilla: 16.5 appearances, 5.5 starts

Besler: Five appearances in the 18, 65 minutes played

Trophies: Over .5

Cascadia Cup: 33%

CONCACAF Appearance: 20% (Arsene Wenger Trophy)

US Open Cup: 15%

Supporters: 7%

MLS Cup: 5%

Le comité central d’entreprise de Jeld Wen, réuni hier à Eauze, a confirmé la fermeture d’un site breton de 105 salariés et la suppression de 5 postes dans le Gers. Les salariés gascons et bretons se sont mobilisés. Nombreux et déterminés. En …