Monday, January 26, 2009

Timbers Schedule is Out!!

It was a huge red letter day on Friday when the 2009 Timbers schedule finally was posted, and members of the Timbers Army (myself included) can now plan our summer accordingly.

The schedule has every team playing 30 games total, and facing each team 3 times with everyone playing at each other's park at least once. So you get to travel once or twice to each team's home, depending on the schedule.

Immediate Observations from myself on the schedule:
  • We only play up in Vancouver once to start the season. Swangard hasn't been very friendly to us in the past.
  • We play in Austin twice, which could be good or bad. The team is new, so we don't know much about them, but the Texas summers can be brutal, and we play there in July and September.
  • We play Miami FC and Puerto Rico twice on the road back to back, which is new for us. It does save travel costs by having to go there only once, but it does mean that you hope the guys can get one of two there.
  • We host Carolina and Cleveland City (another new team) twice in a row at home, with a day between each home game. Again, a new thing for the league, probably to save travel costs. It could work well if you get the first game and put pressure on the other guy.
  • We don't play any back to back games at all, as we have at least one day between games all year. That is a first that I can recall.
  • We get 3 Fox Soccer Channel games, two at home, one on the road, and a total of 5 games on Fox Sports Northwest. Not bad for coverage, to be honest. The status of USL Live, the site that you could watch all USL games is up in the air, so we don't know if there will be a way to watch away games or not.
At least we know have dates. The schedule for the new Under 23 Timbers PDL team is due out this week as well. They play a May - June schedule of 16 games, and will be playing at various places about town. It's a great move for us to have a development team, where guys can get coaching and play against top quality talent to potentially further their dream of playing professional soccer one day. While the U-23 guys aren't being paid, they can keep their amateur status so that they have their future options open. The one thing that the Timbers have struggled with is developing young talent, and they hired Amos McGee to coach this team, and he knows soccer. It will be interesting to see what happens, and how much we gain from having a development team, but it does mean more soccer to watch this summer!!

No comments: