[L]ast month The Economist hit the headlines for publishing a distinctly unflattering portrait of several British towns including Wolverhampton, Hull, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. As the stats - for unemployment in particular, but also educational standards, welfare cuts and numbers of empty retail units - made clear, the towns and cities in question are undeniably enduring tough times.
A pub fight started after one man told another he looked like Joey Barton, a court heard. Sean Beckwith, 21, and Maxwell McStravick, 40, admitted using threatening behaviour after Beckwith had told McStravick he looked like the former Newcastle bad-boy while both drank at the Tap and Spile pub in Darlington.
West Brom midfielder James Morrison gave Scotland the lead in tonight's game against England with a helping hand from Joe Hart. The Man City keeper made a right mess of his attempts to keep out Morrison's long range effort. But since Morrison was born in Darlington this doesn't really count, right?
This week's Non-League Videos of the Week will be the last to be posted up here on a Sunday night. We're moving them to a midweek spot from next week on. This weekend's batch of matches come from the Northern League, the Blue Square Bet South, the Southern League Premier Division and the Combined Counties Football League.
The Portland Timbers once again go to Colorado and get absolutely pasted. The Colorado Rapids
did everything they were supposed to do and wanted to do, meanwhile the Timbers looked listless on
offense and some of the defenders looked clueless. 3-0 loss and back into the cellar.
Late in the Portland Timbers' match at Toronto FC, Darlington Nagbe, playing on the right wing
in place of subbed-out Sal Zizzo, saw the chance to do something he hadn't done in five months. He
snuck in behind the Toronto defense and got himself on the end of a perfectly chipped cross from
Well what do we have here? Could it be... should I say it? Oh what the hell, I'll say it. Could
it be that the Portland Timbers have found themselves in the midst of a winning streak? I don't
want tog et everybody's hopes up being that it's only two wins, both of which were at home, but I
think it's safe to say that the Timbers' performance during those two games were markedly better
than they were in the months since John Spencer left.
Fresh off their first win in a long time, the Portland Timbers remain at home this week to take
on Western Conference rival the Colorado Rapids in a two game, home and away series. While the
Timbers are still sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference table, last week's win has
offered them a gleam of hope that they don't have to stay down there.
The waiting is over! I can't tell you why but i really think this could be a great hire. Porter
turned down an MLS head coaching position once before in 2009 but this time Caleb felt if was a
better fit and a much better situation. Hopefully his instincts are correct. This also explains why
Portland has gone to a 4-3-3 and has started using Darlington Nagbe differently.
The Portland Timbers have been playing improved soccer over the past few weeks, but they hadn't won
a match since their July 3 win over San Jose. Behind some new faces, improved offensive flow and
lessening defensive mistakes, the Timbers beat their Canadian rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 to
1 behind goals from Darlington Nagbe and Franck Songo'o.
The Timbers' win over the Vancouver Whitecaps last night put them at the top of the Cascadia Cup
standings and pushed the team up a place to 17th overall in the league standings. Yesterday's win
came with some close calls on both ends of the pitch, but again it was the team's attacking play
that looked the most impressive with key contributions coming from players all across the
Portland Timbers control the first half for 45 minutes and 30 seconds and get the first goal.
The 30 seconds they didn't control the game the Vancouver Whitecaps get a Corner on a dubious call
and of course they score. Portland did not let the late first half goal get them down and they came
out firing on all cylinders and got the go ahead goal.
Pardon us for being a day tardy with our usual Man of the Match series as we aim to return to
full power after the four of us have taken turns going on vacations, etc. It's a busy job keeping
track of the Portland Timbers, and some weeks we just need a break, ya know?
Last Sunday saw the Portland Timbers take on the New York Red Bulls in what would be a thrilling
offensive affair from both sides.
With the final minutes of the first half ticking away on Sunday night, the New York Red Bulls
looked like they just might suffer their first loss at Red Bull Arena this year. Two early goals by
the Portland Timbers had the Red Bulls on the ropes and looking ripe for defeat.
Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson
What are your thoughts on the game?
Toronto created some chances in the second half, but I think we controlled the tempo and the rhythm
for a majority of the first half. When you do that, I think you have to finish teams off, but
Toronto responded very well.
The Portland Timbers may not have won their first road game of the season on Wednesday night,
but they did manage to get a result that surely felt like a victory.
The Timbers drew Toronto FC, 2-2, at BMO Field on Wednesday after a late headed goal from
Darlington Nagbe. The Timbers attacker took advantage of some poor defending by TFC to get open and
equalize in the 82nd minute after Portland had relinquished a 1-0 lead earlier.
The Portland Timbers traveled east on a two match road trip in the hopes to secure their first win
away from JELD-WEN Field. Behind a promising start and a Sal Zizzo goal, the Timbers appeared to be
on their way, but instead, the Timbers had to fight back to salvage points from a draw behind a
late goal from Darlington Nagbe.
The weather made it feel like FC Dallas was at home and the Portland Timbers were on the road
but the result was not the same as the last game these teams played. Portland, namely Franck
Songo'o, came out strong but were unable to get the opening goal in the first half and were then
punished for a defensive mistake.
The Portland Timbers rolled out a modified 4-5-1 and actually looked decent going forward.
However none of the chances actually created a goal and in the end it cost Portland the game.
Chivas USA scored the only goal of the game past the hour mark. 1-0 loss.
Brent Richards was rewarded with his first start of his career and Portland played Darlington
Nagbe and Diego Chara played the attacking base in an inverted pyramid in the center.
After 10 hours of scoreless road soccer here is what everyone had to say.
Portland Timbers Quotes
Timbers general manager/interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson
Thoughts on the game:
"I think in the first half we lacked a little bit of energy, we lacked imagination, we lacked
creativity - our ball speed was a little bit poor and individual areas cost us the goal.
The Portland Timbers again open the road going down a goal and look listless in the attack.
Chivas looks just as bad offensively, except for the ability to exploit the Timbers' LB, but
defensively they look miles ahead of Portland. 1-0 loss
Gavin Wilkinson trotted out the 4-2-3-1 just like the Galaxy game but this time he had Futty
Danso in stead of David Horst and Diego Chara in for Palmer.
In each of Portland's last 2 home games they have come out strong and actually scored the first
2 goals of the game. If the Portland Timbers want to win this game they will need to do so again.
Writing that is easier than actually doing it, especially with how inconsistent Portland has
Side note: For all those who are hoping to see some changes in the line-up I want to warn you to
not get your hopes up.
After failing to shut out their opponents in their last fifteen league matches, a run that
started in May, last night the Timbers finally were able to keep their opponents off the board in a
herculean defensive effort. The Timbers didn't quite click on the offensive end of things but the
team were able to put together several moments of magic in the first half that let them keep the
pressure on Colorado and put one in the back of the net.
With MLSSoccer.com reporting that the New England Revolution are planning on taking Juan Toja
with their first pick in the current allocation order and that they are entertaining offers for the
services of the Colombian play-maker, there has been talk around the Internet that the Timbers
should make a play of their own.
I am ever the optimist and always try to find the silver lining in dark and stormy clouds and
these last few months have not been even close to the CumulUs humilis of last year. The clouds have
not even been the typical Nimbostratus clouds of a normal up and down season but have been the
cumulonimbus incus which usually foretells a very rough patch in the weather.
I'm doing something a little different with this week's player ratings. Instead of adding my
own, I'll be using just my fellow editor's opinions. The unfortunate truth is that I'm in my last
week of classes at PSU and I just don't have the usual hour-hour and a half or so it takes me to
craft these articles what with all my looming projects coming up.
With all of the games in the Olympic soccer tournament spread throughout the U.K., the WNT is
getting a pretty extensive tour of England and Scotland. After spending some time in Darlington,
Middlesbrough, Glasgow and Manchester the WNT is now in another new city -- Newcastle -- for their
quarterfinal match-up with New Zealand.
Abby Wambach gives some putting advance to Alex Morgan
You may have seen video of the USA's golf scramble competition in Darlington before the team left
for Glasgow, but if you didn't, you can watch below...
As fans are well aware, even the smallest of competitions can turn intense with the WNT gets
involved, so even though some of the above golfers went a bit on the lighter side, others knew the
distance to the hole, the best lies and even how to chip out of the sand.
The U.S. WNT spent its last full day at its training base in Darlington today, but that didn't
include training. After a scrimmage yesterday, the U.S. players got today off, besides some regen
work in the morning that included yoga.
The players mostly rested today and packed up in preparation for traveling to Glasgow, Scotland
tomorrow, but a handful of players took a short excursion to the charming city of Durham for some
brief shopping and dinner.
The U.S. WNT finished up the on-field portion of its pre-Olympic training camp in Darlington with a
closed door training match against Norway. The Norwegians, who failed to qualify for the Olympics
after finishing third in Group D behind Brazil and Australia, were kind enough to drop down to
England for the scrimmage.
SoccerInsider tends to be on the money with these types of rumors. Can't say I mind hearing the
Timbers interest him. While unproven at the professional level, his raising of the Akron program to
national title levels and the grooming of such players as Mattocks, Zakuani, Bunbury and our own
Darlington Nagbe certainly would bode well for his prospects.
Perusing acres of statistics that can be found in newspapers on the opening weekend of the
football season can be a most enlightening way to pass the couple of hours, even if focusing on the
attendance figures rather than the results themselves does require a certain degree of furtiveness.
At the top end of the game, there are few surprises to be found.
For the first time in their brief MLS History Portland has scored 2 away goals and not only have
did they score two but one of them was a late equalizer. With all that said there were not that
many players to choose from for Man of the Match honors as quite a few players had pretty poor
performances, so let's see who the writers thought was their MOTM.
The U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer has arrived in England for its pre-tournament training camp and the
excitement is building. It was a long (especially for the West Coasters) but smooth trip for the
U.S. team (just a five hour flight from Newark! Hello tailwind!), which flew into Manchester before
hopping a bus north for a three-hour bus ride to its training base in Darlington.