The Portland Timbers are back in preseason action today, taking on their hated rivals, the Seattle Sounders. Like the Timbers, the Sounders have strived to keep the core of their side intact over the offseason, but have made a few significant changes along the way.
The match will mark the fourth time that the two sides have met in the preseason since the Timbers joined MLS, starting with 2011's Cascadia Summit.
As RCTIDnomatterwhat pointed out yesterday, according to Global Premier Management and several others on Twitter the Portland Timbers hold the discovery rights to Panamanian international Armando Cooper. By itself this is not significant, but with the increasing reports of the Vancouver Whitecaps' intent to sign Cooper, 28, the Timbers find themselves in position to profit from the Whitecaps signing, unless they intend to make an offer of their own for the play.
The Portland Timbers have announced their preseason schedule for 2016 today, including the opposition lined up for the Simple invitational, the first matches of the year in Portland.
The Timbers will start their preseason with a week of training in Portland from January 23rd to 27th before heading to Tucson, AZ for fifteen days where they will play friendlies against FC Tucson, the Houston Dynamo, the Seattle Sounders, and Real Salt Lake.
The Portland Timbers travel to Mapfre Stadium to take on Columbus Crew SC in the MLS Cup Final. Three Big Storylines, National TV and Streaming Listings and From a Sounders Point of View. Here is your MLS Cup Gamethread
Three Big Storylines:
The Portland Timbers were out of the playoffs spots in early October when manager Caleb Porter switched to a 4-3-3 and since then they have been enjoying a splendid run of form.
The road to the 2015 MLS Cup Final has been fraught with peril; from the close call against Kansas City to the danger from Dallas, the Portland Timbers have managed to stay just a step ahead of their opponents.
With less than two days before kickoff in the biggest game in the club's history, let's take a nice stroll down memory lane and take a look at just how the Timbers advanced through the playoffs and made their way to the final.
It appears that all MLS clubs will soon be controlledby different majority owners.
Houston Dynamo co-owner Gabriel Brener is nearing a deal that would likely give him controlling interest in the club, Fox26Houston.com reported on Tuesday. Brener currently owns 25 percent of the Dynamo, but is teaming up with another pair of investors to buy the 50-percent stake that Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) holds.
In the Conference Semifinals against the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Portland Timbers could afford not to score at home. Tired from their marathon match against Sporting Kansas City only three days before and facing a team notorious for their sub-par home form, the Timbers rightly had every confidence that they could go to BC Place and get a result if they just kept things under control at home.
The Portland Timbers are in a bit of a bind as they head into the first leg of their Western Conference Final matchup against FC Dallas next Sunday; starters Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace will be forced to sit out the match after each picked up their second yellow card of the playoffs in the team's 2-0 road win over the Vancouver Whitecaps to clear the Conference Semifinals.
Krisztian Nemeth's transfer from Sporting Kansas City to Qatari club Al-Gharafa drew the confusion and ire of many, and the Hungarian international has spoken out as to why he chose to move there.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Nemeth expressed his disappointment with how Sporting KC handled his attempt at negotiating for a new contract, and signing with Al-Gharafa "was the only way to get out of it.
In the wake of recent news regarding an NFL team relocating from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the MLS commissioner has emphasized his interest in possibly expanding to Missouri.
Don Garber wrote a letter to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon explaining his desire to expand there, saying: "I look forward to working with you, your staff and local leaders to explore ownership candidates and to investigate viable stadium solutions to bring MLS to St.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have reportedly signed a Costa Rican international, the San Jose Earthquakes made a couple of signings, and more:
Christian Bolanos may soon be the next Costa Rican to don the Vancouver Whitecaps' jersey, and an official announcement is expected some time this week. Capped 60 times by the Ticos, the 31-year-old winger will reportedly make the move on a free transfer from Deportivo Saprissa.
Seattle travels to Vancouver Whitecaps once and Portland Timbers twice in 2016 as they defend their Cascadia Cup title on their quest to unseat the Team from Oregon as Champions of MLS.
Major League Soccer announced their full schedule today. As usual the Seattle Sounders FC are heavily featured on national television appearing seven times on ESPN, six times on FoxSports 1 and do not appear on Univision's suite of stations.
A couple of signings were made in the Western Conference, New York City FC will officially have a new president come March and more:
The LA Galaxy confirmed recent reports by signing 32-year-old free agent Jeff Larentowicz. The journeyman midfielder moves to the Galaxy after after 11 seasons in MLS, starting in 94 of 95 appearances for the Chicago Fire during the past three years.
A new year means a new look, and that is expected to be the case for many teams across MLS in 2016.
Some teams, like Toronto FC, have already made some key acquisitions and signings in order to bolster their rosters ahead of the new season in March, but many teams have yet to add any fresh faces to their current squads.
I mean, if you feel like reading about something besides Jordan Morris...
JoMo. That is all.
MLS will release the full 2016 season schedule on January 7th. Given the tinkering MLS did last year with Rivalry Weeks, Decision Day, and an expanded playoff field, there's going to be a lot to look at on Thursday.
She doesn't have to be the bane of my existence for a year...
Centurylink Field won't be hosting playoff games this January, but Sounders roommates the Seattle Seahawks are in their fourth-straight playoff run after smashing division rival Arizona Cardinals 36-6. They'll play in the NFL Wild-Card Round at the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at 10:00 a.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have added a much-needed goalscoring option ahead of the 2016 season.
After a strong start for the Whitecaps in 2015, main striker Octavio Rivero couldn't quitecontinue his sizzling form. With Tuesday's signing of Japanese striker Masato Kudo, though, the Cascadia club has taken a huge step forward.
It's the end of another year, so let's hate on other MLS teams.
It's back again for Year 3, our annual MLS Hate Index for D.C. United fans. This is where you get the chance to let the hate flow through you, and we can all contribute to ranking the rest of the teams in our league in order of their despicableness.
After playing a critical role with the New York Red Bulls for the better part of six seasons, Roy Miller will return to his native Costa Rica and join Deportivo Saprissa, according to the club's official website.
It was already known back in November that the 31-year old defender would not be back in Harrison come 2016.
After qualifying for its first-ever MLS Playoffs, Toronto FC is doing some minor shuffling with its roster.
The team announced Tuesday that it has picked up its club options on 13 players — including Jonathan Osorio and Marky Delgado — and declined options on four others.
Joining Osorio and Delgado in returning to TFC next season aregoalkeeper Quillan Roberts; defenders Mark Bloom, Nick Hagglund, Ashtone Morgan, Josh Williams, Eriq Zavaleta and Clement Simonin; midfielders Collen Warner, Daniel Lovitz, Chris Mannella and forward Jordan Hamilton.
Jamie and Chris take to the microphone once again to recap the Portland Timbers' Western Conference Semifinal victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps, chat about Darlington Nagbe's imminent call to the United States Men's National Team, and touch on some happenings around Major League Soccer.
The former Mexico international made 53 appearances for Seattle
Former Seattle Sounders midfielder Gonzalo Pineda has announced his retirement from professional football at age 33 after having his contract option declined by the Seattle Sounders following the 2015 season. Pineda appeared 53 times for the Sounders since arriving in 2014, scoring three goals including this screamer against the Vancouver Whitecaps last year:
Born in Mexico City, Pineda began his career in 2002 with hometown club UNAM Pumas before heading to C.
Roughly a month-and-a-half remains before the start of the MLS season, and several teams have further bolstered their rosters before the start of preseason. Here's a look at Wednesday's MLS news and notes:
New York City FC has completed the signing of Costa Rican internationalRonald Matarritafrom Alajuelense.
Also catch how Club America bowed out of the Club World Cup
If you're the LA Galaxy - presumably still a MLS Cup-caliber team with a revolving door at the goalkeeper position - what do you do to fix the problem? The Los Angeles Times reports the Galaxy's solution is trading for Dan Kennedy, the former Chivas USA all-star who missed time with FC Dallas last season with back injuries.
Steven Beitashour will stay in Canada next season, but he'll be donning a different color jersey.
According to TSN, the 28-year-old right back will be leaving the Vancouver Whitecaps and heading to Toronto FC. The Iranian international has reportedly been acquired by TFC ahead of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Friday.
The Revolution closed out their first Copper State excursion of the winter in wild fashion as a pair of equalizers authored by Foxboro outfit went for naught in a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
The Seattle Sounders lost their preseason opener to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, falling 2-1 before beating FC Tucson 1-0 in a 45-minute game afterward. As promised, the Sounders used a 4-3-3 throughout. Here's what we learned:
About the 4-3-3
The 4-3-3 looked functionally the same in all three periods.
Tim Parker'sMLS path was lined with more questions than answers leading up to the 2015 MLS Draft. After starting four years at Big East school St. John's, the defender began his pathof pursuing a future in professional soccer and tested his skills at last year's MLS Combine.