Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cameron Knowles career continues as he joins Timbers' coaching staff

Former Portland Timbers' defender Cameron Knowles became the newest member of the Timbers' coaching staff.  The standout back might well have been playing on the side instead of coaching were it not for the terrible luck of a broken leg suffered in a 2009 match against Montreal.   Knowles was a quality back in my opinion, and the Timbers last USL season suffered much from his absence.   It's great to see that the club has decided to give him a try on the coaching staff.  Particularly in that we've got the hardest work to do in the position he played.  I think this is a brilliant choice and a sign of the club's loyalties.  I'm sure they wouldn't have hired him unless they had utmost confidence he'd bring something important to the table.   That being said,  he's been part of the Timbers' family and they've done well to look for a place he can contribute.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sad soccer...

The Oregonian in recent days recounted a story of an eastern European block criminal enterprise in which 'operatives' flew into PDX and established false identities and bank accounts in the pursuit of selling phantom cars and sending the bulk of the money back to home base.  The story was unfolded largely because of the arrest of the operatives arriving in our town.  One of the miscreants was a Hungarian national who was quickly nabbed.  In his brief bio for the article he was described as a soccer player and Hungarian national team hopeful.   Which, if true, would reflect a sad decline in Magyar football aspirations since the miscreant is 41 years old.   Hopeful is good but national teams don't generally cruise up to the rarified air of the 'forty somepuns' .  Sad story all around.  The guy was trying to find a way to support his wife and kids and the idea of boosting cars in the US seemed like a trifecta.
Very sad.

Copa del Rey Part Two

The crew from Barca may be getting older and the trajectory of their glory may no longer be floating higher,  but tonight in the second leg of the Spanish cup, they showed resilience and poise against archrivals, Real Madrid, finishing the first half of the match 2-0.   The assassination of Messi still appears to be a goal in these matches as the Argentinian took ferocious hits more than once, particularly after setting up the initial Barcelona goal.  The intensity of the match was easily revealed when the cameras focused on C. Ronaldo having apoplectic fits as that goal was scored.  Not that only Barca's side suffered injury and insult.  There were hard tackles and disappointments on both ends.  This classico inevitably draws such intensity, such focus. 
And what happens?  with scarcely twenty minutes left,  Real comes back.  C. Ronaldo scores one.   And three minutes later Real knocks in another.   No question of the intensity of this battle.  At 80 minutes , Messi is dragged down with the ball on the attack, again.   The free kick? Just over the bar.  90 minutes in Barca mounts an attack ending in a header on goal.  A minute later Dani Alves is slammed down and another yellow is thrown.  Interesting that many of these guys play together on the national team.  Is that great? Warriors who can battle fiercely for each other and yet battle against each other as well.