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AP: Portland Timbers celebrate MLS Cup victory


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Soccer City USA finally has a championship trophy.

The Portland Timbers and their fans celebrated the team’s first MLS Cup title on Tuesday with a parade through downtown Portland and a raucous rally at Providence Park.

Kids blew vuvuzelas, the Timbers Army supporters’ group sang, mascot Timber Joey brought his chain saw and star forward Diego Valeri filmed the festivities with a camera strapped to his head as thousands partied in a steady rain.

“This is massive! This is unbelievable,” striker Fanendo Adi said during the parade. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

[ MORE: Mourinho not worried about sacking ]

The Timbers defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Sunday in Ohio. Valeri scored 27 seconds into the match for the fastest goal in MLS Cup history. Rodney Wallace added a quick second goal just seven minutes in and the Timbers held on for their first championship since joining Major League Soccer in 2011.

Back in October, there were fears that the Timbers might not make the playoffs let alone make it all the way to the title match. But Portland surged, going 6-0-3 in its last nine games in the regular season and playoffs.

Coach Caleb Porter and owner Merritt Paulson joined the players on a covered flatbed truck that navigated the crowd lining the street for the parade. When a reporter shouted questions to Porter about his thoughts, the coach put his hand over his heart. Porter came to the Timbers in 2012 after leading the University of Akron to an NCAA title in 2010.

The Timbers have been around since 1975 when they joined the NASL. Portland went to the Soccer Bowl championship match that year and despite falling to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the city’s enthusiasm for the team earned it the Soccer City USA nickname.

“You were the pioneers, you paved the way,” Porter said of those fans that had been following the team since the start 40 years ago. “And without you we would not have a team in Major League Soccer.”

Said Portland Major Charlie Hales: “Good things grow in the Oregon rain.”

[ RELATED: Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor roundup ]

The Timbers tapped into Portland’s fierce civic pride, a hallmark of the Portland Trail Blazers’ fan base since the team won the NBA championship in 1977. Today, the Timbers have a sellout streak that has stretched to 90 straight homes games, and thousands remain on the waiting list for season tickets.

“This is you team! This is your team!” Paulson yelled at the fans who braved the rain for the rally.

The final victory of the year was not without controversy.

Just before Wallace scored, Crew midfielder Tony Tchani and several teammates stopped playing when the ball rolled several feet over the right boundary. Instead of a stoppage for a throw-in, Portland’s Darlington Nagbe kept going with the ball and sent a pass wide to Lucas Melano, who found Wallace for the diving header.

Kei Kamara, the Crew star who tied for the MLS regular-season lead in goals with 22, made it 2-1 in the 18th minute.

Another controversy? Timber Joey wasn’t able to bring his chain saw or the Timbers’ Victory Log into Mapfre Stadium.

Portland’s mascot cuts a slice off the log for every Portland goal scored at home, and the slice is presented to the player who scored. And while Joey and the log both made the trip to Columbus, the Crew hastily changed the stadium rules to ban both chain saws and “logs of any wooden variety.”

So on Tuesday, Timber Joey (Webber) cut the slices for Valeri and Wallace with the help of his beloved predecessor, Timber Jim (Serrill).

While the Timbers celebrated the win in Portland, on the other side of the country Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer wore a Timbers scarf on the House floor.

“Mr. Speaker, let me conclude by reminding all of America – and several places in Canada – that in case you didn’t get the hint with Timber Joey and his chain saw, there is no pity in the Rose City!” he said.

Watch Live: Watford v. Arsenal

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Mesut Ozil makes his first start of the season as Arsenal visits Watford and new/old manager Quique Sanchez Flores on Sunday at Vicarage Road (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

Ozil has two goals and four assists in nine appearances against Watford.

Dani Ceballos is also starting for the Gunners, who will be without Alexandre Lacazette for the next few weeks.


Gerard Deulofeu heads into the Starting XI for the Hornets, who will have in-form Will Hughes on the other side of the field.




World record-holding manager Gutendorf dies at 93

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The world record holder for most teams managed has died at the age of 93.

Rudi Gutendorf, who managed in the United States with the NASL’s St. Louis Stars (1968), last managed in 2003 when he led the Samoa national team.

[ MORE: Maguire shining for Man Utd ]

Those are two of 55 teams he led onto the pitch, 22 of which were national teams. He led teams from CONCACAF (Trinidad and Tobago), CAF (Ghana), CONMEBOL (Chile), OFC (Fiji), and AFC (Australia).

The German-born Gutendorf did a lot of his club work in Europe, leading clubs as big as Hamburg, Schalke, Real Valladolid, and Hertha Berlin.

Gutendorf managed Rwanda in the wake of the country’s dark civil war. From

“Such hate, you cannot believe. I was able to unite these two tribes to play football, and good football,” he said in a 2013 interview of the mixed Rwandan team of Hutu and Tutsi players.

What a fascinating career Gutendorf had, and the stories he’s told.

Man Utd’s Maguire “showed what a man he is” versus Leicester

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Manchester United is still working to find its form as a team, but center back Harry Maguire continued his run of fine performances when the Red Devils beat his former team on Saturday.

United beat Leicester City 1-0 on the day, a Marcus Rashford penalty the difference, but Maguire and fellow new back Aaron Wan-Bissaka were again exceptional.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-0 Leicester City ]

Ashley Young has been through a few iterations of Manchester United, and the long-time club offered up lofty words to credit Maguire’s contributions to the team.

“Again he showed today what a man he is,” Young said. “You know, I think the manager’s said about him, he talks non-stop, he’s a real leader and he can play as well.”

Maguire won five aerial battles and two tackles while completing 83 percent of his passes and managing two shots against his former side (WhoScored). On the season, only Anthony Martial has consistently been more important to the team.

He also did not record a loss of possession, and seemingly was unbothered by plenty of criticism from the traveling fans. From The Manchester Evening News:

“I don’t think it bothers (Maguire) whatsoever,” said Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “You’ve got to be that way and when you play, when you coach, when you manage, we don’t get carried away when we win a game that we maybe didn’t deserve to win, but we don’t get in the dumps when we don’t win.”

Solskjaer also loved Maguire and Victor Lindelof for their performance against pesky Leicester star Jamie Vardy.

“I’ve got loads of admiration for Vardy,” Solskjaer said. “I think he’s my type of centre forward, runs in in behind, harasses and you’ve got to be spot on with the decision-making, when to stay up, when to drop off, and both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well.”

Maguire didn’t love being on the other side of Vardy, either.

“It was tough playing against Jamie,” he said. “I’ve played with him for two years and he is a top player who can terrorize defenses when he is on his game. … We knew it was important to get the win, especially after the international break. We have to build on a solid base and we want to keep clean sheets, especially at Old Trafford. We are always going to score goals with the attacking talent we have.”

United hosts Kazakhstan’s Astana on Thursday in the Europa League before visiting West Ham United on Sept. 22.

Watch Live: Bournemouth v. Everton

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets the start up top as Everton looks to take down hosts Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Richarlison join Calvert-Lewin in attack for the Toffees, who can go fourth with a win.


Bournemouth enters the day in 16th, a point ahead of the bottom three, but can rise into the top half with a win. Early season vibes.


Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, Ake, Cook, Stacey, Solanke, Billing, L. S. Cook, Wilson, King, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Surman, Lerma, Ibe, Fraser, Simpson, Mepham.

Everton: Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Delph, Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Walcott, Sidibe, Bernard, Davies, Kean.