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Portland

Light Rain

Humidity: 87%

Wind: 12 mph

  • 30 Oct 2014

    Showers 61°F 52°F

  • 31 Oct 2014

    AM Rain 56°F 44°F


Status Report

Pro

Timbers: Portland gave up a penalty kick in last week’s 4-4 draw with Seattle at Providence Park. That is four PKs allowed in the five matches; the Timbers gave up five all last season.

Coach Caleb Porter says it’s “maybe some questionable calls” and “maybe it’s why we are in that situation and why we aren’t stopping guys and moving our feet instead of diving in and putting the ref in a position to make a call.”

n Midfielder Diego Chara can be a phenomenal player from box to box. A scorer? Not so much. At least not in his first three years with the Timbers. Chara scored two goals in 2011 and none in 2012 or 2013.

“He gets forward quite a bit,” Porter says. “He’s missed some chances over his career.”

Saturday, though, Chara scored twice on solid shots.

“That’s part of my game that I wanted to work on,” he says. “I want to take the opportunity to go forward at times, but also keep the right balance of getting back.”

• Kenny Cooper, the Timbers’ leading scorer in 2011, found himself on the other side of the bitter Cascadia Cup rivalry Saturday.

“It gives me a unique perspective. I feel very privileged to be a part of it. The atmosphere that fans create on both sides is amazing,” said Cooper, who scored in the third minute for Seattle.

Although he now is an enemy of Timbers fans and was welcomed by an onslaught of boos, Cooper had nothing but positive things to say about the Timbers organization and supporters.

“I look back with such great memories,” he said. “I am very grateful and appreciative of the way they treated me when I was here.”

When Cooper was on the team, the Timbers finished sixth in the Western Conference and failed to make the playoffs. Two years later, the team made it to the conference finals.

“I’m not surprised,” Cooper said. “They have a lot of guys who were here when I was here, guys with good character, good work ethic. And, with the fan base that they have behind them, they’re a tough team. They seem to have come a long way from when I was here.”

Thunder: Portland’s Arena Football League team has a new receiver, Alvance Robinson, 5-9 and 175 pounds. He played for coach Matthew Sauk in 2011 and 2012 with the AFL Utah Blaze. Robinson is joining the team this week after being acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Power.

“He’s a small, quick wideout with good hands,” Sauk says. “He knows my offense and understands what I expect. He’s a fifth wide receiver for us. He’s going to come in and do well.”

• Sauk liked his defense in last week’s 44-34 road loss to the Los Angeles KISS, a fellow AFL expansion team. Portland came up with six sacks and allowed 37 points, a low number by AFL standards (one KISS touchdown came on an interception return).

“I feel like, if you give up 52, you should be winning,” Sauk says. “We’re giving up 49 but unfortunately scoring only 35. Two drives, is the way I look at it. If we can score on two drives in the first quarter, we’re basically about even.”

• Sauk had concerns about his team’s ability to concentrate last week as the KISS, owned partly by rock stars Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, celebrated the team’s first home game. But focus wasn’t a problem for the Thunder.

“Our guys did great,” Sauk said. “There were a ton of distractions, and we were forced to go out (for warm-ups) a half-hour earlier than usual, then sit an hour before we were allowed back on the field.”

Sauk said the new turf field at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., was good, “and they had a good crowd (12,000). They’re based more toward adults than kids. I think you’ll see more families and young people at our home games.”

The most puzzling thing, he said, was that “they didn’t have us out for the national anthem. To me, that was disrespectful to us and the country.”