Saturday, July 21, 2007

2:15 AM 118 Miles to Go

The Timbers' bus continues to roll along at nearly half past 2 a.m., turning onto I-26 for the final 120 miles to Charleston. The coach is about half and half, in terms of people awake and asleep. I attempted sleep for about 15 minutes, but it was utterly and completely useless. Looks like I'm up for the duration and will powersnooze the second my head hits the pillow at our awaiting Sheraton.

This winning business has become quite routine, wouldn't you say? Seven straight Ws and 10 in a row without a loss is remarkable. The USL engraver can begin etching Gavin's name onto the Coach of the Year plaque now if he/she hasn't already. Worst to first, all but guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and and threating to achieve the best record in team history (USL). Good gravy.

A win later today against the Battery and I'm mortgaging my house for a pallet of lottery tickets.

We're on our third movie so far in the bus. I think the first one was called The Protector II or something like that, followd by Old School and Wedding Crashers. Van Wilder can't be far off.

The stretch between Atlanta and Charleston has to have more Waffle Houses and Hooters than any other stretch of blacktop in the country. They love their greasy spoons and, ummmmm, hot wings (?) here in Dixie.

That's all for now. Hopefully, I won't sleep the entire day away and have a chance to roam the city before the match.


Tonight's Starting Lineup

It's about 45 minutes from kickoff and here's tonight's starting 11 for the Ax Men. No surprises-

S. Thompson
J. Thompson

The drawing is what Atlanta hopes the stadium eventually looks like. As you might suspect, it looks nothing like that yet - very Spartan to say the least. But the pitch is nice, seating views are great and you can see the potential.

Best get ready for the broadcast...

Illsutration courtesy of

ATTR in the A-T-L

Greetings from Hotlanta. Surprisingly, the weather is rather nice in the southeastern U.S. for this time of year, making Warmlanta a more appropriate handle today.

The Timbers are in great spirits, coming off Thursday's landmark victory against NW nemesis Vancouver (first 'W' since 2004). Tonight's opponent should be a tough test for an undermanned PTFC squad, but the confidence level of this group is at a season-high. Hopefully, that will carry them through to a point or better despite playing without Gregor (yellow card points) and only three field players in reserve.

If you're looking to figure out who those players may be, the travel squad is as follows for this trip: Wicks, S. Thompson, Knowles, J. Thompson, Griffin, Olum, Poltl, Gregor, Higgins, Jordan, Bagley, Elfvin, Hague, Lara, Dombrowski and Morrison.

Following the match tonight, we'll board a charter bus around 10:30 p.m. and begin the 320-mile trek to Charleston, S.C. Should be another daybreak arrival ala Montreal to Rochester earlier this season. That resulted in one of the Ax Men's two defeats this season, so tonight does hold a tad bit of importance. Regardless, the Timbers will return to Portland in first place on Monday any way you slice it.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

And Away We Go

Three matches, four days, 3,000 miles, planes, buses and automobiles. This is a test of the Timbers Competitive System. This is only a test...

Well, yes and no. A home match against unbeatable Vancouver (at least for Portland since 2004) tonight, followed by road games in Atlanta and Charleston on Saturday and Sunday will feel more like a four-day SAT. Looking on the bright side, the Timbers have put themselves in a situation - first place in USL-1 on 30 points through 14 matches - where this long weekend is more hell-like and uncomfortable than critical. Remember, this team was dead last in 2006. Anything better than a playoff berth in '07 is gravy.

Don't get me wrong, the team isn't looking at things that way. But that's reality, right?

Make sure to set your DVRs as tonight's match will be carried on FOX Sports Net. They were even plugging it on the Mariners' broadcast last night!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Checking In

Yeah, I know. The Ax was on the Road last Saturday in San Francisco, yet nary a blog. Mom, please except my most sincere apology, but when you only have 22 hours to work with on a trip to San Francisco, blogging ranks slightly down on the list of things to do.

One thing near the top of the list was heading to The Haight for a photo op at 710 Ashbury, once occupied by the Grateful Dead during the Summer of Love and beyond. The pad once raided by the Feds appeared more suited for yuppies than hippies and had no distinctive markings to signal the amount of groovin' that must have gone on there.

Nik Wald, the Ax Men's cut man, came along for the 'trip' and we each dropped the bulk of our per diem on used discs at Amoeba before trekking the 2.5 miles (downhill) back to the Holiday Inn.

The big news of the trip, obviously, was another Timbers' win; this time racking up three goals while posting their third straight clean sheet. Will California ever score against Portland? We'll find out when the two sides play the final two matches of the season series this weekend at PGE Park.

It's fitting that the offensive outburst took place shortly after a thread on
took aim at the Boys for perceived lucky results and poor forward play. This team may not have the firepower up top of years past (years other than '06, of course), but they don't mask their weaknesses and are still finding success. In the past, the offense often covered flaws in other areas until a scoring drought exposed them. This team is more balanced defensively and in the midfield, and that is clearly an important part of the recipe for succeeding in USL-1.

Timber Jim Bobble Head Night is just two days away! Cheers-

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Timbers Seek Victory Times Three

Quite a finish the other night at PGE Park with the late game-winning goal and all. I'm really glad that I made a point of including "on paper" when referring to Miami as mediocre in the post just prior to kickoff. They are vertically challenged to be sure, but far from mediocre based on what we saw Saturday.

The Timbers and California Victory can thank USL1 dropout Virginia Beach for the wretched triumvirate they are about to embark on. Three straight matches between two sides that don't really like one another a whole lot to begin with is a recipe for mayhem come the second half of the third and final tilt. To make the last matchup even more fun is the fact that the same referee who whistled the U.S. Open Cup match between Portland and Seattle will be charged with keeping the peace.

We're off to NorCal Saturday morning at the crack of dawn and the ATTR hopes to take a stroll to The Haight for lunch and a trip to Amoeba Music. I'll look to avoid anything with mushrooms in order to make sure the broadcast is somewhat coherent. You can tune in at and make sure to click the listen button even if the graphic shows the next game up there instead of the one taking place that night (glitch in the coding).

Until the coffee flows at PDX, cheers.