March 25, 2011 MLS--Timbers Box To Box: Pacific NW As Epicenter Of Soccer, Winter Preaches Patience (from Portland Timbers web site)

Timbers Box to Box: Pacific NW as epicenter of soccer, Winter preaches patience
A round up of Timbers news from the week and a peek into Toronto
Fri, 03/25/2011
Mark Nelson, Portland Timbers

As the Portland Timbers’ MLS era officially kicked off last week, the soccer scene witnessed frenzied support on display from the league’s two newest teams. Plus, the Timbers aim to capitalize against a 5-year-old Toronto franchise still searching for solid ground.

FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, took note of the fan support last week for Portland and Whitecaps FC, declaring the Pacific Northwest the epicenter of an MLS revival.

Glasgow’s The Herald speaks with Timbers midfielder and Scottish native Adam Moffat about life in Portland, playing in MLS and his relationship with fellow Glaswegian John Spencer.

A new book by Portland State University scholar-in-residence Tracy Prince details the history of Portland’s Goose Hollow neighborhood and the land where the Timbers’ JELD-WEN Field now sits, says Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune. The team will honor the area’s notoriety with historic photos and information installed on the stadium’s east side.

Reds’ Rollercoaster
Each week, we’ll give you some insight behind enemy lines and show you what they’re saying about the Timbers’ opponent.

The Timbers might need to break out their snow boots and gloves on Saturday in Toronto. A freak blizzard hit BMO Field earlier in the week, writes, but the pitch should be in good condition thanks to a $3 million system TFC installed to help melt the snow from the ground up. Old Man Winter still has his grip on Toronto; Saturday calls for a high in the 30s with a chilly breeze.

The Reds are aiming to get on track in Year 5 of the franchise with changes in the front office and coaching staff. The hope is, says Toronto Sun writer Ryan Wolstat, to foster professionalism and not become Toronto’s punch line.

In a preview of Saturday’s game, Toronto Sun writer Gareth Wheeler highlights five things Toronto must do to get a result against Portland.

The man who might be able to work some magic in the TFC front office, according to writer Duane Rollins, is new director of player personnel Paul Mariner, a former assistant coach with the New England Revolution.

Written prior to the season opener, Paul Attfield of the Globe and Mail spoke with new Toronto FC head coach Aron Winter, a former Netherlands international, about the need for patience as Winter implements his vision for TFC while currently serving a three-year contract.

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