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Mid-Day Ticker: Portland stadium progress, Quakes get midfielder and more



'Tis the season of stadium news.

On the heels of the Kansas City Wizards getting approval for a new stadium, the Red Bulls opening their arena against Santos FC and Baltimore looking into the possibility of building a new stadium comes word that the Portland Timbers are close to city approval for completing renovations to PGE Park.

The Oregonian reports that owner Merritt Paulson's proposal to renovate the downtown-Portland facility has enough political support to pass through the city council during next week's vote. Paulson has also guaranteed to cover the costs of renovation.

The Timbers currently play at PGE Park, but with the franchise moving from USL to MLS it became necessary to convert the stadium to more soccer-friendly specifications.

PGE Park is also home to the Portland Beavers, a Triple-A minor league baseball team, and the Portland State University football team. The Beavers will be moving elsewhere prior to the 2011 MLS season, but the football team will maintain its use of the park for home games.

In other soccer news this Friday:


The San Jose Earthquakes bolstered its midfield by acquiring USL veteran Joey Gjertsen, the San Jose Mercury News reported. A former standout for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact, Gjertsen will compete to replace Shea Salinas, who was taken by the Philadelphia Union in the expansion draft.


The revolving door in the Manchester United defense keeps turning.

A day after John O'Shea was shut down for the season with blood clots in his leg, the team announced that Rio Ferdinand will return from a back injury that caused a three-month absence to play Saturday against Hull City.

Nemanja Vidic is reportedly two weeks away from making his return.


Chelsea and Ghana-international midfielder Michael Essien will be out 4-6 weeks after tearing a meniscus at the African Cup of Nations. Essien, who had just overcome a hamstring injury, will miss Chelsea's crucial Premier League tilt with Arsenal (Feb. 7) and is likely to miss the first leg of the Blues' Champions League knockout stage bout with Inter Milan (Feb. 24).


It's becoming more clear that Ruud Van Nistelrooy will be moving from Real Madrid this month, but the destination is still up in the air.

Harry Redknapp declared that the Dutch striker's weekly wages likely prohibit Tottenham from making a move for him. Hamburg, West Ham and Stoke City have expressed interest in the 33-year-old as well. Stay tuned.


Excited for Portland? Can Gjertsen help the Earthquakes? Will Rio's return lift Manchester United back to the top? Can Chelsea withstand the Essien loss? Where would Ruud fit in?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The Timbers / Sounders rivalry is going to be insane and great for MLS. Honestly I think it could become one of the great American sports rivalries. A lot of history between these two cities, and both clubs will bring major travelling support to the others’ grounds.

  2. Which comes first: Stadium or player? Speaking as an San Jose Ultra, it’s freaking hard to get anyone excited about the Quakes, even soccer fans in San Jose. If we got a Central/South American DP, then their fans will come out, but I guarantee you not in Quakes colors. We need to start winning to attract a big name, we need a big name to increase attendance, and we need a bigger stadium to fit that attendance in. I think we start from the ground floor and nurture young talent – the draft was pretty good to us, so I hope hope hope we get rid of Doyle (sigh… maybe Yallop too) and stop making stupid mistakes on players who don’t amount to anything (Bobby “La-Z Boy” Convey).

  3. Yeah, I’ve been meaning to call Lew Wolff about that… Who gives a crap about the A’s moving? Build the Quakes a stadium first!

  4. The stadium will be “awesome”? Hahahahahahahaha!

    Location – above a river of piss and $hit. Sounds perfect for Portscum.

    You are still, and will always be irrelevent. Go smoke more meth, retard.

  5. It’s not as depleted as it was a month ago. Most likely he will see a backline of Rafael, Brown or Evans, Ferdinand and Evra.

    No Vidic but still that’s not too shabby of a defence.

  6. Thanks for the post, Avi. Everyone knows Ives is allergic to talking soccer about anywhere west of DC.

    (SBI-For the record, I’m the one who suggest Portland be the lead item for his post. We’re working on branching out West so chill out Dave. We’ll be covering the whole nation soon enough.)

  7. Zach, considering SJ outdraws a third of the league, you should be talking about re-locating a third of the league before them. And that’s with SJ having one of the worst teams in the league, fans are still coming out in numbers.

  8. Rory, try having MLS steal the best player in the league from you illegitimately and then steal your team and see what happens to your fan base. San Jose is doing damn fine in attendance all things considered.

  9. Nope, SJ isn’t in better shape than Kansas City – the Wizards don’t draw too poorly given their current stadium situation (the capacity is only 10,000), and since they’re building a new stadium I hope/expect KC to one day break their average seasonal attendance record of over 15,000. Plus they’re the only team in that city with a chance of making the playoffs…

  10. What I can’t figure out is why the English don’t use Man U. It’s simple and it’s clear. Why is it important to put “td” behind U to make it clear? I personally hate when people just call them “United” as there’s about 20 clubs with United in their name.

    Oh, and since an American owns them shouldn’t we get to pick what to call the club? 🙂 The English suck at nicknaming their teams… they overuse colors “The reds are playing today” “Really, which ‘Reds’ would that be, there’s about 100 clubs we call that.”

  11. Actually San Jose drew smaller crowds then Colorado when you don’t count their double-headers where fans of teams like Chivas (Mex) showed up at the very end of the SJ game to see their team play game two. That’s a nice gimick to boost the numbers but not really something showing hometown support for your team. But don’t worry, you’re in better shape then KC and FCD. If you consider how cold it was in Colorado until say, May then you’d really have to wonder why the fans in San Jose don’t show up significantly better then Colorado week in week out.

    here’s a link…

  12. Seattle doesn’t have fans, they have customers.

    Because PGE Park is sunk so far in the ground, it would way too expensive to have a watering system that would be able to keep up a top notch pitch. We’ve resigned ourselves to that fact we will have to play on plastic, but we will have natural grass brought in for large friendlies and international tourneys. The stadium will be awesome because of the location in Portland and will have a Downtown feel to it unlike parks that are built in the suburbs or warehouse districts.

  13. This is a small issue, but is there a chance you guys could have the embedded links in your posts re-direct to a new window/tab (instead of opening in the same window/tab)? Am I the only one who prefers a link to open in a new window/tab?

  14. Camera whore supporters are the worst. Supporters who get it right will be followed by the cameras, but those who need to go to the cameras aren’t in it for the right reasons.

  15. jay, my guess is the Quakes FO will soon announce these “3 Internationals”, but we’ll be lucky if we’ve heard of at least one of them. As for Ronnie, he’s playing for The Duke Of Edinburgh pub in the A division of our league (CA Int’l Soccer League). he’s put on a few lbs, but my guess is he’s still damn good- The Duke are in 2nd place and been #1 or #2 for years…

  16. What are you smoking? SJ gets more fans than K.C. and Colorado who has a stadium. If they gave us something to watch they would lead the league in attendance….well maybe not like Seattle. I LOVE the additions of Vancouver and Portland.

    Looking forward to some of those old NASL games being played again.

  17. If any MLS franchise were to be re-located, it would probably be San Jose because of their terrible attendance. Just my opinion.

    I know I’m nitpicking here but “Man U” is not the correct abbreviation for Manchester United. “Man Utd” or “Man United” or even “MUFC” would be better. I’m a Gunner, so idk why I care, but it bugs me. Look at English press, you’ll never see Man U, but it’s on this site all the time. Just my 2 cents.

  18. The North End isn’t very visible on television for a number of reasons. I think this will change with the renovation as it’ll be closer to the pitch.

    Timbers fans will in no way emulate S**ttle fans.

  19. quakes need seats before they worry about filling seats.
    portland looks like it going to be great, can’t wait until they enter the league. every year things are getting better

  20. Ne-Dub

    I know he is not going to make me come out to watch!

    Somebody please tell Lew that San Jose fans are not fools. Give us somebody to watch and you will get butts in your seats. C’mon Lew open up the checkbook!

  21. Agreed. I wonder if Yallop made his name on a coaching and recruitment style that the league has outgrown. These days it’s all about the international market and growing local youth, both of which yallop and doyle have an aversion to.

  22. Have you ever seen a game at BMO? That field is awful and makes most games at Toronto terrbile to watch. Europeans have a healthy disdain for “plastic pitches” and it is absolutely appropriate. Soccer on grass is the only way to go.

  23. Stadium looked amazing in 1997.

    Pardon me for saying “few supporters visible” as I know you guys are at or near the top of USL attendance, and most matchgoers are the standing/singing types, which is unique in the US as far as I can tell.

    As for my point about inventing the game, I’m talking about Seattle fans who think they’re doing the rest of us a favor by existing.

  24. This isn’t Houston, where the Dynamo aren’t primary tenants – the Timbers will be primary tenants in PGE and the stadium’s use will be maximized because of college football. They’ve played high school football at Home Depot Center… and we’d have turf even if Portland State didn’t have a USA-rules football team.

  25. The baseball team is getting kicked out because they’re building permanent stands along both sides of midfield. I can’t quite remember but I believe the ’97 game brought in temporary bleachers.

    We TA didn’t invent supporting a MLS team. We invented supporting the Timbers.

  26. The turf sucks! Balls played in the air do not bounce true, they check up on you. If you play on a hot day you can get like 6 degree burns on the soles of your feet!!!

    Play it on grass and soak it prior to the game. Then it is as fast if not faster than turf!

    And get rid of the US Football lines….I won’t even watch a game if I can see the “throwball” lines.

  27. Will the renovations to Portland’s stadium return the configuration back to the way it looked for the amazing World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica in 1997?

    The old Civic Stadium looked fantastic that day. If I’m not mistaken, USA supporters were asked to wear white because Costa Rica’s main color is red, and everyone (except Ticos and a few diehards in Sam’s Army) responded. The stands were aligned with the pitch in that configuration. Except for Nike’s annoying thunderstick giveaway, the atmosphere was among the best of any US game in the 1990s.

    Then they ripped the heart out of the stadium for baseball. I’m sure the Timbers Army was happy to have a team, and they have set the bar for USL1 support (shame on Seattle’s front running fans), but has it ever been painful to watch soccer at PGE on television, with that curving wall as the backdrop and few supporters visible.

    My hope is that the TA is humble enough to acknowledge that they didn’t invent supporting MLS teams, unlike Seattle. They won’t miss a beat when they join MLS. And if the stadium renovation restores the configuration of Civic Stadium, the atmosphere at Timbers games will be glorious.

  28. What is up with the Quakes? Doyle came out last week and said that they were close to signing 2 or 3 internationals????? This is what we get?

    Lew and John, if you want to fill the seats bring in a freakin player!!!!! Actually bring in 2. A real midfielder and someone who can score!!!!!

    Can we get Ronnie Eklund back in shape…he was magical and I bet if he played this year he’d be the best in a Quake uniform!

  29. yeah, i was just about to say the only bad thing is that the football team is staying so they’ll be using turf — except for special occasions


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