Timbers Weekly: Events (Team & Fan), New Signing

It's been a busy week in Portland Timbers-land, though more off the field than on; the former will come later, no doubt...

...as in the middle of April. OurSports Central caught the Timbers' press release on the latest preseason plans. Yeah, training camp opens on March 19 (so what?), but the same release notes a couple preseason scrimmages open to the public:

April 13, v. University of Portland Pilots
April 15, v. (the damn) Vancouver Whitecaps

The latter will leave less than a week before the start of the "fer-reals" regular season, which, as the newly-face-lifted Portland Timbers official site points out, happens on April 21 versus the Puerto Rico Islanders (who, by the way, had a way sexier preseason).

Preseason announcements aside, the big news of the past week came with the signing of Leonard Griffin from the Chicago Fire. Because I follow Major League Soccer (MLS) much more closely, I thought for a moment that I just might have something intelligent to say about Griffin. But, nope, can't say I've ever really seen the guy play. Hope he's good though. Judging from some comments on the Soccer City USA message board, it looks like people think he will be. If nothing else, guys Luke "Krispy" Kreamalmeyer and Alan Gordon speak well of "almost-MLS" players (that's not a knock, by the way, even if MLS has shown to be consistently better in, say, the Open Cup; the way players fit with teams is a complicated business).

And, by the way, if you're wanting to stay on top of Timbers' comings and goings, I stumbled on (what looks a lot like) a good source today: a sidebar on the Timber Mill lists more players associated with the Timbers than I've ever heard of and shows the players' status with the club. Nice.

Returning to fan events and related activities, a couple things to pass on. A trip to the BigSoccer.com Timbers message board revealed that the Timbers Army will have their inaugural party of the season on March 30. I won't be attending that one and the reasons are complicated....but it's also fair to say I've been called "aloof" more than once over the past decade. But, if you're in to that kind of thing, well, there it is.

Finally, the ever-valuable Timbers Blog makes note of all the apparent TV dates for Timbers' games this year; and, for the record, the Timber Mill mentions the same games, but with less caution about whether Fox Soccer Channel has yet firmed up the dates. The Fox Sports Northwest piece to this prompted one question for me: Fox Sports Northwest appears to be showing only one Timbers' game, so, with only three or so teams up this way, who else are they going to show?

Anyway, that's what I learned about the Timbers' this week. Perhaps during the regular season, I'll expand on this concept by having an "All-USL Division 1 Day" each week. Hmmm.....

No comments: