Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers star striker Brian Fernández dominates Seattle, again

Portland Timbers star striker Brian Fernández dominates Seattle, again

Ambition doesn’t grow on trees.

That was the tifo the Seattle Sounders had ready for their rivals, the Portland Timbers, in front of 50,072 rave green cladded supporters at CenturyLink Field on Sunday evening. 

But in a place where victories are hard to come by, the Timbers proved to be the more ambitious team, leaving everything on the field in a heated rivalry that might just be the finest in Major League Soccer.

Argentine forward Brian Fernández had his way with the Sounders on June 12, tallying two goals in the Timbers 2-1 victory over their rivals to the North in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. But on Sunday, Fernández proved he was hungry for more. 

Here's a look back at all the best moments of the Timbers 2-1 win over the Sounders in Seattle. 

In all started in the 19th minute when Fernández caught fire. Off a Jorge Moreira shot that hit the crossbar, Fernández buried the rebound to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Sounders fired back with shots from Jordan Morris and Gustav Svensson in the 22nd and 40th minute, but Seattle’s offense was stifled. Portland led 1-0 at halftime.

Seattle finally got on the board in the 50th minute, when Raul Ruidiaz rounded Timbers goalie Steve Clark for the equalizer.

But in a matter of moments, 75 seconds to be exact, Ruidiaz’s game-tying goal was forgotten.

While his goal was being replayed in front of the home crowd, Brian Fernández did Brian Fernández things, notching his second goal of the night and ninth goal in the last eight games.

It’s safe to say, it’s Brian Fernández's world and we just live in it. The Timbers will now get a well-earned six days of rest before taking on the LA Galaxy next Saturday at Providence Park. 

Timbers to welcome Liga MX team to Providence Park in 2020

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Timbers to welcome Liga MX team to Providence Park in 2020

The Portland Timbers will host a Leagues Cup match this July.

According to the Timbers, Portland will welcome a Liga MX team to Providence Park on either July 21 or July 22 as a part of the 2020 Leagues Cup. Major League Soccer (MLS) and Liga MX released the competition’s full schedule on Thursday.

“This is a very important tournament for the Timbers and MLS and we look forward to playing host to what will be one of the better sides in Liga MX,” Timbers general manager and president of soccer said in a release. “It gives us a tremendous opportunity to play a meaningful match against top-end competition in front of our fans and is the first step towards a deepening MLS relationship with Liga MX.”

The 2020 Leagues Cup will feature eight clubs from each league in a single-elimination tournament with three rounds: quarterfinals, semifinals and final. Like the 2019 edition, all matches between the MLS and Liga MX team are played in home market of the MLS team.

This is Portland’s first appearance in the Leagues Cup. The Timbers qualified to be in the tournament after finishing top-four in the Western Conference and thus not participating in either the 2020 CONCAF Champions League or 2020 Campeones Cup.

Goals from Diego Valeri, Andy Polo edge Timbers over Whitecaps

Goals from Diego Valeri, Andy Polo edge Timbers over Whitecaps

It’s just the preseason, but every win the Portland Timbers can get over their Cascadia foes, the Vancouver Whitecaps, is a confidence builder. 

Portland, playing the first of three preseason matches in the Timbers Preseason Tournament, emerged victorious in a rivalry match against Vancouver on Sunday in front of a crowd of 13,882 at Providence Park. Diego Valeri and Andy Polo notched goals in the 2-1 victory to help the Timbers improve to 4-0 leading up to their March 1 season opener.

In the 34th minute, Felipe Mora was was pulled down on the edge of the six-yard box. Valeri stepped to the box, hammering in a shot to the upper left corner and converted the penalty kick for the Timbers first goal at Providence Park this season. All Hail Valeri, who now has the most preseason goals of any Timbers player with 10 goals. 

Less than 20 seconds into the second half, Polo, via a pass from Valeri, had the go-ahead goal from the near right edge of the box to give Portland its second goal of the match and 2-1 lead over Vancouver.

This was Polo’s first goal of the 2020 preseason and third in three-consecutive preseason matchups.  

The Timbers are now 4-0-0 in the 2020 preseason with a game against Minnesota United FC up next Wednesday, Feb. 19. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Providence Park. 

Portland Timbers sign midfielder Blake Bodily to a Homegrown contract

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Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers sign midfielder Blake Bodily to a Homegrown contract

The Portland Timbers announced the signing of midfielder Blake Bodily as a MLS Homegrown Player for the 2020 season.

From Eagle, Idaho, Bodily played three collegiate seasons at the University of Washington (2017-19), where he tallied 17 goals and 18 assists in 56 games played (39 starts). He registered 12 goals and six assists in 19 appearances (16 starts) en route to being named the Pac-12 Player of the Year as a junior and earned United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-American honors. 

Bodily becomes the third prospect of the Timbers Academy program to sign a Homegrown Player contract since the club’s inaugural season in 2011. 

“We are excited to add a talented Homegrown player to the club in Blake,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “He already has experience playing with T2 during his time with the academy, and has excelled in his development at the collegiate level. Blake will start with T2 with an opportunity to earn first-team minutes. We’re happy for Blake and his family and look forward to his continued growth as he begins his professional career.”

The Tigard High School graduate played three years for T2 (2015-17) while with the Timbers Academy, tallying four goals and two assists in 35 matches played (21 starts). 

Three takeaways from 2020 Portland Timbers media day

Three takeaways from 2020 Portland Timbers media day

It has been 95 days since the Portland Timbers have taken the pitch. A 2-1 loss at home to Real Salt Lake. The 2020 season will begin in 25 days and it all started on Wednesday afternoon at Timbers Media Day.

Those who spoke to the media included: General Manager/President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson; head coach Giovanni Savarese; Sebastian Blanco (midfield/forward); Diego Valeri (midfield) and the Chara brothers of Diego (midfield) and Yimmi (midfield).

Here are three main takeaways from the day:

A bearded-Savarese is excited for what’s in store in 2020

Sporting a new, full beard, head coach Giovanni Savarese is excited for the first time in his coaching stint in Portland to begin the season at home in Providence Park.

It’s been 95 long days since the end of the 2019 season and Savarese is eager to begin this 2020 season.

I’ve never had so much time off, in regards to the end to the beginning [of a season]. So I think it did me well to be so hungry to come back… — Savarese

Not one, but two Chara Brothers on the field now

During the offseason, Portland made roster moves and signed new faces including Yimmi Chara, the younger brother of Diego Chara.

According to the Timbers organization, Chara joins Portland with over 350 professional appearances in the top leagues of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico since making his professional debut in 2010 with Colombian Primera A side Deportes Tolima.

First we have to say that he is a versatile player, which is amazing. He has incredible attributes as a player offensively and defensively. We have our thoughts on how we want him to play in the system we want to play. But the good thing is he gives us also other options in some moments if we need to change he can adapt to other situations and that’s great about Yimmi. — Giovanni Savarese on Yimmi Chara

I think he’s going to bring something different to our attack. I think he’s a great player. We are very excited as a team and I know the fans too. — Diego Chara on Yimmi

Retaining Diego Valeri was the utmost importance

At the end of last season, one big question heading into the offseason would be how to retain Diego Valeri. The 33-year-old veteran midfielder signed a multi-year contract extension on December 16, 2019. In seven seasons since joining the club in 2013, Valeri, 33, is the Timbers leader in goals scored (76), assists (81) and points (233) during their MLS era.

Obviously, getting Valeri sorted from the start of last year actually was a key objective. The unfortunate part is it took so long for all parties to come back to where we needed it to be. From a club perspective and I know from a fan perspective, we’re all delighted that he is back. — Gavin Wilkinson 

It feels great. It was a long process but at the end it was easy to solve. Thinking about the team, thinking about this moment and how to be better than last season, and very happy to keep playing for these colors, for our supporters and for this organization. — Diego Valeri

Timbers sign defender Bill Tuiloma to multi-year contract extension

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IMAGN

Timbers sign defender Bill Tuiloma to multi-year contract extension

The Portland Timbers have locked up defender Bill Tuiloma, announcing he signed a multi-year contract extension Thursday.
“Bill is an ascending young player who has a very bright future,” Timbers GM and President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson said in a release. “He has played his way into becoming a fixture along the back line and we are delighted to secure his services for years to come.”
The 24-year-old has spent the past three seasons (2017-19) in Portland, making 38 regular-season appearances (28 starts) and registering two goals during that span.

During the 2018 campaign, Tuiloma logged 13 appearances (seven starts) and scored one goal. Tuiloma made four appearances (two starts) during the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, helping the Timbers claim the Western Conference Championship. In 2019, Tuiloma set career-bests in appearances (25), starts (21) and minutes played (1,919) while scoring one goal in league play.
“We feel very excited that Bill will continue as part of the Portland Timbers family,” said Giovanni Savarese, head coach of the Timbers. “He is a defender with a lot of quality who can be versatile. He has worked hard to be an important player and still has the potential to grow.”
The Timbers regular season begins March 1st, 2020. 

Circle your calendar: Key dates in the Portland Timbers 2020 schedule

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Circle your calendar: Key dates in the Portland Timbers 2020 schedule

Major League Soccer today unveiled the Portland Timbers full 34-game Thursday. 

The Timbers will open their 10th season with a nationally televised home match against Minnesota United FC on Sunday March 1st. 

In addition, the Timbers will have at least 13 matches featured on national television. 

When do the Timbers play the Sounders? 

May 17th, 2020 in Portland

August 22nd in Seattle

The Timbers open Cascadia Cup play at Providence Park on April 25 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC and conclude the regular season on the road against Whitecaps FC on Oct. 4.

Schedule Breakdown (provided by the Timbers):


Home Dates by Day of the Week:
Wednesday (2), Saturday (10), Sunday (5)


Road Dates by Day of the Week:
Wednesday (1), Saturday (8), Sunday (8)


Home Dates by Month:
March (3), April (2), May (2), June (2), July (3), August (3), September (2), October (0)


Road Dates by Month:
March (2), April (2), May (4), June (2), July (2), August (2), September (2), October (1)


Eastern Conference Opponents at Home: 
Columbus Crew SC, FC Cincinnati, Inter Miami CF, Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC


Eastern Conference Opponents Away: 
Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire FC, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC


Starting on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. (Pacific), fans can purchase single-game tickets for the first half of the season (through June 17).

Here's the FULL 2020 Portland Timbers Schedule (home matches in bold, CAPS)
All matches are Pacific time

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

Television

Sunday, March 1

MINNESOTA UNITED FC

4:30 p.m.

FS1

Sunday, March 8

NASHVILLE SC

4 p.m.

ESPN

Sunday, March 15

@New England Revolution

10:30 a.m.

 

Sunday, March 22

@Los Angeles FC

6 p.m.

FS1

Saturday, March 28

PHILADELPHIA UNION

7:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, April 4

@Houston Dynamo

3 p.m.

 

Saturday, April 11

FC DALLAS

7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, April 19

@Atlanta United FC

3:30 p.m.

FS1

Saturday, April 25

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

7 p.m.

 

Saturday, May 2

LA GALAXY

12:30 p.m.

ABC

Saturday, May 9

@Real Salt Lake

6 p.m.

 

Sunday, May 17

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

2 p.m.

FS1

Saturday, May 23

@Minnesota United FC

5 p.m.

 

Wednesday, May 27

@Chicago Fire FC

5 p.m.

 

Saturday, May 30

@Orlando City SC

4:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, June 13

SPORTING KANSAS CITY

2 p.m.

ESPN

Wednesday, June 17

COLORADO RAPIDS

7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, June 21

@New York Red Bulls

2 p.m.

FS1

Sunday, June 28

@Sporting Kansas City

3:30 p.m.

FS1

Wednesday, July 1

COLUMBUS CREW SC

7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, July 5

@Nashville FC

4 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 11

@Colorado Rapids

6 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 18

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

7:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, July 25

HOUSTON DYNAMO

7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, Aug. 2

@LA Galaxy

7 p.m.

FS1

Saturday, Aug. 8

FC CINCINNATI

7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, Aug. 16

INTER MIAMI CF

6 p.m.

FS1

Saturday, Aug. 22

@Seattle Sounders FC

1 p.m.

ESPN

Sunday, Aug. 30

LOS ANGELES FC

6 p.m.

FS1

Saturday, Sept. 5

@FC Dallas

5:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, Sept. 12

@San Jose Earthquakes

7 p.m.

 

Saturday, Sept. 19

TORONTO FC

6 p.m.

 

Saturday, Sept. 26

REAL SALT LAKE

7:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, Oct. 4

@Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

*Portions of the Timbers press release were used in this article

Diego Valeri signs contract extension with Portland Timbers

Diego Valeri signs contract extension with Portland Timbers

Good news for soccer fans in the Rose City - franchise star Diego Valeri and the team have agreed to a contract extension, the team announced Monday. 

Valeri, 33, has been with the club since 2013 and is one of the greatest players to ever wear the green and gold. In the MLS era, he is the team's leading goal scorer (76), the leader in assists (81) and the leader in total points (233). He also scored one of the most famous goals in franchise and MLS history, putting the TImbers up 1-0 in just twenty-six seconds into the 2015 MLS Cup. He would go on to win the MLS Cup MVP after leading Portland to its first and only title. 

Via the official press release from the team, general manager Gavin WIlkinson said: 

Diego is a Timbers legend and we couldn’t be happier that he and his family will remain in the Rose City... Not only has Diego been a leader in MLS over his career, he has become a local icon who is tremendously important to the club, the fans and the City of Portland. We look forward to raising another Cup with him.

Head Coach Giovanni Savarese added: 

Re-signing Diego was one of our priorities ahead of the upcoming season and we feel delighted to have been able to keep him in our roster... Diego is a unique player both on and off the field and his experience and leadership will help us to further extend the team’s winning culture.

There were a lot of questions regarding Valeri's status at the end of last season. Would he return? Did the team want him back? Are we watching the end of an era? Thanks to the news Monday, we have a solid answer. El Maestro ain't going nowhere. 

I am happy to extend my contract with the Portland Timbers... I would like to thank all the people involved to make it happen as I always expected. I have a special mention for Florencia, Connie and our fans who have warmly supported me throughout the years. It’s an immense honor to play for them. - Diego Valeri

 

Thank you, Zarek Valentin!

Thank you, Zarek Valentin!

The MLS expansion draft proved to be detrimental for the Portland Timbers.

Here’s how the expansion draft went down, according to MLSsoccer.com:

Ahead of their 2020 inaugural season, MLS expansion teams Inter Miami and Nashville FC continued to build their squads with five selections each in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft held on November 19.

Per draft rules, no MLS club lost more than one player in the draft.

That one player on the Portland Timbers squad: Zarek Valentin.

“There was always a strong likelihood that we were always going to lose a player in the expansion draft given our depth and talent,” Portland's president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson, said in a statement released by the team. “Zarek was an important player for the Timbers and one that will be tough to replace ..."

Valentin was selected by Nashville but was traded immediately to the Houston Dynamo (along with $75,000 in 2021 for goalkeeper Joe Willis.

The 28-year-old right/left back began his stint with Portland back in 2016 and has been a staple ever since.

You will be greatly missed, Zarek!

MLS terminates Brian Fernandez’s contract, no longer on Timbers’ roster

MLS terminates Brian Fernandez’s contract, no longer on Timbers’ roster

The Portland Timbers have announced Brian Fernandez’s contract has been terminated with the MLS and has been removed from the Timbers’ roster. 

Paul Tenorio, via The Athletic, has reported that the termination is due to “failure to comply with the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health (SABH) program.”

League rules allow MLS to terminate a player’s contract if he "violates the SABH or is subjected to any penalties for testing positive for a banned substance, for noncompliance, or for refusal to submit to a drug test as required under the SABH.”

The 25-year-old, 5-foot-7, shifty forward scored 11 goals and assisted on one through 19 matches with the Timbers.