Jul 17

Tidbits from the weekend

By Kassandra
Portland fans can be pretty pleased with this week's local sporting events, but perhaps not so much with those on the international stage.

In order to come away with a feel-good vibe from this particular blog entry, perhaps we should touch on the latter of those events first, and leave the more pleasant for the end.

U.S. women's soccer team players Megan Rapinoe (15), Alex Morgan
(13) and Abby Wambach (20) celebrate Morgan's 69th minute goal.

In a match which struck me as opposite of it's unbelievable quarterfinal victory over Brazil, the U.S. women fell short to Japan in it's quest for the World Cup title. This was a peculiar game which featured no goals from either side in the first 69 minutes. Alex Morgan's charging goal (reminiscent of an NBA fast break) gave the U.S. ladies a 1-0 lead. About 12 minutes later, Japan would tie it, eventually sending the game into a 30-minute extra period. The U.S. would take a 2-1 lead on Abby Wambach's goal. Once again, Japan would show it's resiliance by tying the match at the 116 minute mark. The game -- and Cup -- was to be decided on penalty kicks. No problem; the U.S. had made all nine of it's World Cup competition (the fifth and final kick was not taken in the quarterfinal against Brazil because it was not necessary). Nine for nine is very good. Unfortunately, the trend was not to continue. The U.S. women missed their first three penalty kicks but converted the fourth. The misses created an insurmountable advantage for Japan, and they walked away with the Cup. I want to be as positive as I can and it was a great run for the U.S. women. They just came up short (can't even blame the refs, who called a very fair game; very "un-Stern-like NBA" refereeing job, according to one tweet). Perhaps it was fate that the Japanese were able to come back just when their country could use a morale boost.

Our own Portland Timbers snapped a seven-game winless skid on Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire in the windy city. Chicago became the first team to fall twice to the Timbers in MLS action. Portland put out the Fire in its Jeld-Wen Field opener on April 14. If you all haven't noticed, I like to come up with a little obscure note regarding the topic in my blogs, and that's it. The match's lone goal came courtesy of -- who else -- Jack Jewsbury. Portland's MLS all-star converted a penalty kick to give the Timbers the win. Captain Jack is turning out to be quite the reliable player for the Timbers. Portland plays an exhibition match at Jeld-Wen Wednesday night against english soccer club West Bromwich (8 p.m.) before returning to MLS action on July 20 at Columbus (5 p.m.).

Several of us watched, right here on TBtv, the finals of the Blazer Dancer auditions this very afternoon. Eleven returning dancers and another 25 first-time hopefuls went at it in group and solo auditions before a panel of judges in an effort to comprise the 2011-12 Blazer Dancers team. Those returning were not guaranteed a spot, but were given a bye through the first rounds of auditions, as well as an opportunity to utilize the experience they've gained as previous members of the team. there were, in all, five rounds of competition. It was very interesting learning of the process and seeing how much preparation and obvious rehearsal these ladies undertake. I went into watching this (which I only found out about via a tweet from RipCitySarah directly following the World Cup final match) with a couple favorites. I'll tell you right now that both of them were extremely strong. Additionally, of the 36 ladies auditioning, I'm confident that any one of them would represent the Blazer Dancers, the Blazers and the city of Portland exceptionally.

I'm also going to make mention here of the other lockout. From all reports over the past week, the NFL and its players seem to be making some major progress. I'm given the understanding there are a number of details which are being ironed out over the next week or so, and we should be back to some professional football business as usual.

~ Kassandra

In Kassandra's Words will feature regular blogs throughout the off-season. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end, but our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @Kassandra227


  1. What a game! So close, but haven't been so nervous in a long time. I enjoyed the whole WC event. I think it would be great if Portland could get a women's professional soccer team.

    by JeffnOregon on 7/17/2011 7:54 PM
  2. we most definitely saw some great soccer this weekend! the usa game was one of the best soccer games in recent memory. it was disappointing they did not convert those pks and i think with hope solo being hurt did not help. but they sure gave it a good run. and yes it was a blessing for japan for something to cheer about after all they have been through. and it was great to see the timbers win if they had not beaten the worst team in mls i would have been worried. that is about the equiv of losing to the cavs in the nba. anyhow i did not see the auditions im choosing to boycott right now broadcasting shows. nuff said. anyhow great blog as normal!

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 7/17/2011 7:55 PM
  3. Sounds like some cool goings on up in P-Town. I watched the second half of the World Cup match and I really thought our team was going to come away with it. Sorry I missed the dancer auditions.

    by author004 on 7/18/2011 11:07 AM
  4. I kind of checked in on the women's soccer game. I understand it got a little exciting at the end. Too bad our country didn't win but like you said, maybe it was fate for Japan. Glad the Timbers got back to their winning ways. I wish I had seen the Blazer Dancers auditions though. It would have been pretty neat to see them from start to finish over the season.

    by julianne on 7/18/2011 2:21 PM
  5. To bad for the U.S. Women's Soccer team.

    by mbmurr1 on 7/18/2011 2:32 PM
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