Three Questions with Timbers reporter Jamie Goldberg

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We imagine that the celebrations from Portland’s MLS Cup win have rolled right into the holidays. For a temperature check on the football-mad Rose City, we turn The Oregonian’s Timbers and Thorns beat reporterJamie Goldberg. In this issue’s Three Questions, we ask her what it was like to live and breathe all things Timbers as they marched to their first MLS Cup, how other cities can replicate the Thorns’ fan experience, and where to eat in PDX.

MiB: Take us back less than two weeks ago. How excited was the great city of Portland when the Timbers secured the MLS Cup. Paint us a picture. Was there one moment of ebullience that surprised even someone like you, who covers the team and understands its unique relationship with its fans?

Goldberg: There are fans that have been following the Timbers since their inaugural season as a North American Soccer League team in 1975 and have been waiting 40 years for a championship. There also haven’t been too many championships to celebrate in Portland over the years. The Blazers won the NBA Championship in 1977 and the Portland Thorns won the inaugural NWSL championship in 2013, but in terms of professional sports, that’s about it. So, there was a ton of excitement.

I wasn’t too surprised by the reaction of the fans, but it was amazing to see thousands of supporters show up at the Portland International Airport to greet the team, even though it was pouring rain and the club’s flight was delayed. Thousands of fans then turned out for a downtown parade and a rally the next day, despite more rain. I think there were two moments that really stood out to me. The first came at the parade. The police had told fans to stay on the sidewalk, but after the club passed in a giant truck, the fans took to the streets and the police allowed thousands and thousands of Timbers supporters to march eight blocks behind the team. They serenaded the club the entire way. Later that night, the club held a rally at  Providence Park. More than 9,000 fans showed up for the event. The rally was supposed to last just half an hour, but when Timbers broadcaster Jake Zivin tried to bring the event to a close, the team stopped him. For the next thirty minutes, the team continued to hang around and celebrate with the crowd, singing off-key renditions of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “We are the Champions.” It was really cool to see professional athletes wanting to keep the celebration going with their fans as long as possible.

MiB: Talk about the struggle to maintain objectivity as a beat writer. You travel with the team. And, by the nature of your work, get to know them as people. In the game’s dying embers, with the Timbers winning 2 – 1, what were your emotions?

Goldberg: At times, I think it is really hard to stay totally objective. I do get to know the players and coaching staff and when players sustain injuries or get traded, I sometimes have an emotional reaction. Still, this is my job and I think on a day-to-day basis it is pretty easy for me to take a step back and cover the team from an objective standpoint. My emotions definitely aren’t tied to the results like they would be if I were a fan and I think that allows me to stay more impartial in my coverage. That said, it is a unique experience to cover a playoff race and I couldn’t help but feel excited late in the game when it seemed clear that the Timbers were going to win the MLS Cup. It’s a lot of fun to cover a championship and to be in the locker room during the celebration. I got to see a very different side of the players and coaching staff than I usually see after games. My postgame interview with Liam Ridgewell turned into a Justin Bieber dance party. From a journalistic perspective, I couldn’t have asked for a better playoff run to cover. There were so many ups and downs during the season, but the team came together at the right time to go on a magical playoff run.

MiB: How is covering soccer in Portland different than covering it in other MLS cities?

Goldberg: Portland has only two professional sports teams in the Portland Trail Blazers and the Timbers and the Timbers obviously have a large and dedicated fan base. So, I am definitely writing for a large community of readers that will quickly respond and react to anything I publish. I think it just drives me to want to put out the best content that I can. While I do plenty of game coverage, my favorite stories to write are features on the players or fan base and stories that explore issues around the league.

MiB: Which MLS/NWSL stadium has the best food for media?

Goldberg: Portland has pretty great food in the press box. It’s definitely one of the best options for food in the league, but at the risk of upsetting some Timbers fans, I have to go with Seattle. They have a Starbucks barista and build-your-own salad bar at every game. That’s tough to beat.

MiB: The Thorns have built an incredibly special fan culture. During home games, Providence Park is cauldron that many Premier League teams would be proud of. What lessons can other NWSL teams learn from Portland?

Goldberg: The Thorns are unique in women’s soccer worldwide. The fans in Portland come to games to watch good soccer and support their team and they’ll come out whether they are going to see Alex Morgan or a lineup of lesser known players. The fan base is made up of people of all ages, not just young girls and their families. The fan base in Portland in unique and this isn’t something that other markets can easily replicate, but if women’s clubs want to build their fan bases, they need to find a way to market to both men and women and fans of all ages.

MiB: Best restaurant in Portland. What are we ordering to eat and drink?

Goldberg: This is hard question because the Portland food scene is incredible. I have a long list of favorite restaurants and am always discovering new places. If I had to pick one restaurant, I would have to go with Pok Pok, which as many people know is one of Portland’s most popular restaurants. It serves Thai street food. I would recommend going in a big group and ordering a bunch of dishes to share. The fish sauce wings are amazing, though I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried on their menu. They have a long list of great cocktails or for a non-alcoholic option, the drinking vinegars are worth a taste.

Newcastle thumps 10-man Fulham behind Almiron, Willock

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Newcastle United took an early VAR-awarded Fulham red card for all it’s worth, blowing away Fulham 4-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The Magpies got a break when Nathaniel Chalobah’s sliding studs-up tackle on Sean Longstaff was turned into a red card after video review, making life without its two most dangerous attackers — Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin — a lot easier.

WATCH FULHAM vs NEWCASTLE FULL MATCH REPLAY

Miguel Almiron scored twice to join Longstaff and Callum Wilson on the score sheet, as Newcastle got its second win to go with five draws and a loss this season. The Magpies’ 11 points are good for … on the table

The Cottagers also have 11 points, as Bobby De Cordova-Reid scored off a delightful Neeskens Kebano cross in the 88th minute to ruin Nick Pope’s clean sheet. Fulham’s fast start to the season loses a bit of steam after the international break.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Fulham vs Newcastle.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


What we learned from Fulham vs Newcastle

Newcastle prepared to punish: It wasn’t that long ago that a Newcastle team going up a man after eight minutes would not necessarily mean a Magpies win. In fact, the 2020-21 Magpies only drew Fulham — who would be relegated — after a 62nd-minute red card to the Cottagers only saw a goal from the resulting penalty. On this day, however, Newcastle rolled past Fulham despite the absences of Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak, and all of their goal scorers were on board before last season’s big ownership change. Eddie Howe’s Black and White Army, y’all. And 2020-21 loan star Joe Willock had two assists (though big January buy Bruno Guimares had an assist and starred).

Mitrovic-led limitations on display through red card: Newcastle fans who missed the game and the opening paragraphs would’ve thought this subheading meant Fulham hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic’s once-everpresent temper flared up again, but no: But Mitrovic was already set to deal with two giant center backs in Sven Botman and Dan Burn, and now had to hope his disadvantaged side could get him service. That was a huge ask even if the Magpies hadn’t found their ruthless streak in front of goal.


Tactical focus

Newcastle showed a strong understanding of what Eddie Howe wants in the final third and this could’ve been an even uglier score line for Fulham: Bernd Leno made six saves.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Stars of the show

Bruno Guimares: A perfect game, right down to Newcastle’s healthy cushion allowing for the recently banged-up midfielder to leave before the hour mark.

Miguel Almiron: The knock on Almiron has never been hustle and energy, but finish. That was not an issue, as the ex-Atlanta United star was an offside away from a hat trick.

Bernd Leno: Not that Arsenal’s worried about Aaron Ramsdale, but Leno is proving himself as rich a talent as when the Gunners won his signature and a move from the Bundesliga years ago.


What’s next?

Newcastle and Brentford have a tasty 10am ET Saturday match-up at St. James’ Park, while Fulham goes to West Ham at 9am ET Oct. 9.


Fulham vs Newcastle score

Fulham: 1 (De Cordova-Reid, 88′) — Chalobah red card, 8′

Newcastle: 4 (Wilson 11′, Almiron 33′, Longstaff 43′, Almiron 57′)


Callum Wilson goal video: Magpies take lead on 10-man Fulham

Miguel Almiron goal video: Paraguayan doubles Newcastle lead

Miguel Almiron goal video: Stunner increases the lead

Sean Longstaff goal video: Any doubt laid to rest


How to watch Fulham vs Newcastle live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Somewhere in the multiverse, Mitrovic’s tied for the Golden Boot lead because Erling Haaland is an actual superhero. The Fulham man has six goals to tie Harry Kane five behind Man City’s prolific Norwegian hitman. Kenny Tete’s assisted three of those goals, and Tete’s also top six in tackles. Teammate Joao Palhinha is first.

Newcastle, meanwhile, is dealing with a ridiculous amount of injuries to key players, as Bruno Guimares, Chris Wood, and Alexander Isak were both hurt on international break to join Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin as walking wounded attackers.


Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Palhinha (suspended), Manor Soloman (knee), Harry Wilson (knee), Antonee Robinson (ankle)

Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh), Alexander Isak (other), Emil Krafth (ACL).

West Ham vs Wolves live: Score, how to watch, stream link, TV, lineups

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West Ham vs Wolves: Two sides straddling either side of the relegation zone will be desperate for a victory (or even just a goal) when they meet at London Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 12:30 pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com). 

STREAM LIVE WEST HAM vs WOLVES

It’s been a mostly miserable start to the 2022-23 Premier League season for both the Hammers and Wolves. West Ham have just one win on the season (1W-1D-5L) as David Moyes and Co., sit 18th heading into matchweek 8. Wolves also have just one win (1W-3D-3L) while scoring the same number of goals as West Ham (3) in seven games. Misery loves company.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of West Ham vs Wolves

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch West Ham vs Wolves live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12:30 pm ET, Saturday
TV channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines & star players

For both sides, the goal-scoring woes are a result of not only a failure to convert scoring chances, but also their inability to create them. West Ham and Wolves both rank in the bottom five of the Premier League in expected goals with identical paltry 0.9 xG averages (per 90 minutes). No other side in the Premier League is anywhere close to underperforming their expected numbers by more than 50 percent.

Goals have come much more easily for West Ham in the Europa Conference League, where they have scored three goals in all four games thus far — six in two games against Danish side Viborg, and three apiece against Romanian runners-up FCSB and another Danish side in Silkeborg.

Wolves made the effort to be a better attacking side this season, as they spent $18 million on Sasa Kalajdzic, but the Austrian international striker tore his ACL on his debut for the club. Raul Jimenez, meanwhile, has played just 211 minutes in three Premier League appearances (none since Aug. 31) and has just one goal, in the League Cup. The Mexican international is now in a race against time to be healthy and fit for the 2022 World Cup eight weeks from now.


West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle), Benjamin Johnson (hamstring)

Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Raul Jimenez (groin), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Nathan Collins (suspension), Chiquinho (knee)

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Liverpool vs Brighton, live: Score, updates, stream link, team news

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Liverpool plays its first Premier League match in 25 days when high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion debut a new manager as visitors at Anfield on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET online via Peacock Premium).

Roberto De Zerbi takes the wheel for the Seagulls following Graham Potter’s move to Chelsea, and Brighton will be staging its first match since a 5-2 demolition of Leicester City on Sept. 4.

STREAM LIVE LIVERPOOL vs BRIGHTON

That was one day after Liverpool drew Everton 0-0 at Goodison Park in a Merseyside derby that came on the heels of back-to-back wins for Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Liverpool’s currently four points back of fourth-place Brighton; Both clubs have played six matches, one fewer than 14 other Premier League sides.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Liverpool vs Brighton.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Liverpool vs Brighton score

Liverpool: 2 (Firmino 33′, 54′)

Brighton: 2 (Trossard 4′, 17′)


Leandro Trossard goal video(s): Belgian gives De Zerbi dream start

Roberto Firmino goal video: Liverpool pulls one back


How to watch Liverpool vs Brighton live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Is Liverpool ready to turn chances into goals at a more familiar rate? The Reds’ expected goal total for this season is close to leaders Manchester City and Arsenal but its actual goal production is fifth and somewhat-inflated by their nine-goal beatdown of Bournemouth previously this season.

Brighton, meanwhile, has to show that it’s getting a handle on life after Graham Potter, as De Zerbi’s credentials say things might not look too different. The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss craves possession in his teams and delivers chances as a boss in the manner you’d expect from a former attacking midfielder.


Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Calvin Ramsay (lower back), Curtis Jones (tibia), Ibrahima Konate (knee), Naby Keita (thigh), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (thigh), Andrew Robertson (knee), Caoimhin Kelleher (groin), Ibrahima Konate (knee),

Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (lower leg), Enock Mwepu (illness).

Arsenal ease past bitter rivals Tottenham, stay top of the Premier League

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LONDON — Arsenal surged past bitter rivals Tottenham to remain top of the Premier League table as they also took the bragging rights in north London.

[ MORE: Player ratings out of 10 ]

Thomas Partey curled home a beauty to put Arsenal ahead but Harry Kane equalized from the penalty spot in the first half.

The Gunners stepped on the accelerator in the second half as Gabriel Jesus put them ahead and Granit Xhaka slotted home a third just after Emerson Royal had been sent off.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

With the victory, their seventh from their opening eight games, Arsenal move on to 21 point for the season and are now four points ahead of Tottenham who suffered their first defeat of the campaign.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


What we learned from Arsenal vs Tottenham

Partey, Zinchenko underline importance: After missing the last few games through injury, this display summed up how important Partey and Zinchenko are to Arsenal. Partey broke up play masterfully and never allowed Spurs to dictate the tempo of the game. Zinchenko’s runs into midfield from left back bamboozled Spurs and his tactical flexibility and calmness on the ball is a joy to watch. Their leadership flows through every part of this team and when everyone is fit, this is a very balanced, young, exciting squad.

Statement win sums up steady progress: There is something special brewing at Arsenal. This run of wins to start the season should surprise nobody. After spending wisely on quality players this summer, this finally feels like Mikel Arteta’s side and it has felt that way since day one of preseason. Even after the disappointment of just missing out on Champions League qualification to Tottenham at the end of last season, Arsenal were heading in the right direction. They have been for some time and this start to the season will give them the confidence and belief they can fight for trophies and maybe, just maybe, have an outside chance of challenging for the title.

Clunky, unbalanced Spurs still yet to hit their stride: Even though Spurs went into this game as one of only two unbeaten teams in the Premier League so far this season, they haven’t played that well. They are clunky in possession, lack creativity in the final third and have relied on Kane, Son and Richarlison to finish off chances on the counter. That tactics clicked in a few times but with that trio starting together from the off, the balance just wasn’t right and Conte’s side couldn’t keep the ball well enough or link together in the final third. The good news is Spurs have still had a decent start to the season without hitting their stride at all. Emerson Royal’s sending off was a little harsh but Spurs deserved nothing from this game as Conte is still trying to get the balance right.


Granit Xhaka reaction: “From the first second we were the better team”

“We didn’t have a lot of weeks to prepare because of the international break, but we saw yesterday in training that we were ready,” Xhaka told BT Sport. “From the first second I think we were the better team. After we conceded we were struggling a little bit, but in the second half we were much better and I am so happy to score and help the team to win. My first derby goal in England. I’m more than happy to help the team. The team is the most important thing.”

Mikel Arteta reaction

The smile was wide on Arteta’s face as he lauded the togetherness of his players, coaching staff and fans. He isn’t getting carried away or looking at the table, yet. But he did say being top of the table will do wonders for the confidence of this young team.

Antonio Conte reaction

Conte would not be drawn on Emerson Royal’s red card (probably to save himself a few thousand dollars in fines) and was very disappointment with the final pass from his side.


Tactical focus

This game perfectly summed up the playing style of both of these teams. Arteta’s Arsenal kept the ball well, rotated through midfield and Zinchenko slotted inside to give them a one-man advantage in the engine room and they dominated most of this game. Spurs were dangerous on the counter, as always, but starting Son, Kane and Richarlison together impacted the balance of Conte’s side and they were overrun in midfield by Xhaka and Partey.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Stars of the show

Oleksandr Zinchenko: Fired up from the very start and he’s so good on the ball and his movements into midfield helped Arsenal stay on top for large periods.

Bukayo Saka: Brilliant run and shot to set up the second goal and went close on a few other occasions. He gave Clement Lenglet a tough time.

Granit Xhaka: Scored the third goal and alongside Partey, they won the ball back so many times. What a resurgence he’s having.


What’s next?

Arsenal host Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday before welcoming Liverpool to the Emirates for a huge clash next Sunday, Oct. 9. Tottenham are away at Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and then travel to Brighton on Saturday, Oct. 8.


How to watch Arsenal vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Arsenal vs Tottenham live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright at the Emirates Stadium

FULL TIME: Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham. Dominant win for Mikel Arteta’s side.

It’s all Arsenal now. Spurs are in damage limitation mode.

GOALLL! Granit Xhaka slots home. ‘We are top of the league!’ sing the Arsenal fans. The Emirates has gone absolutely bonkers. What an atmosphere here!

RED CARD! Emerson Royal catches Gabriel Martinelli high on the ankle and gets a straight red card. Cue a melee between the players as Arsenal’s fans are delighted. That was a late challenge and it was high. But that probably falls into the orange card category.

Spurs looking a threat on the counter again now as Kane, Son and Richarlison are getting on the ball.

MISS! Gabriel Jesus nods wide. That is a big chance for Arsenal to extend their lead. Tottenham being pinned back just like the start to the first half.

GOALLLL! That pressure told. Bukayo Saka cuts inside and his low shot is parried by Hugo Lloris and Cristian Romero can’t clear as Gabriel Jesus bundles home. Cue pandemonium at the Emirates. Arsenal retake the lead! What a start to the second half.

We are off and running in the second. It’s all Arsenal early on. Spurs remaining solid.

HALF TIME: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham – Very good game, this. Tactically intriguing and Spurs have battled back into this well after Arsenal dominated most of the first half.

Arsenal are very nervous at the back now. Buoyed by that equalizer, Spurs look very sharp on the counter.

GOALLL! After one long ball finds Son who finds Richarlison after hesitation from Gabriel, Arsenal get themselves into a heck of a mess as Gabriel brings down Richarlison for a clear penalty kick. Harry Kane (Mr. North London Derby) slams home the penalty to score his 14th goal in 18 appearances against Arsenal to extend his own record as the leading scorer in the history of this magnificent fixture. Just like that, Spurs are level. They don’t deserve it but Conte won’t care and neither do the Spurs fans in the away end. Absolute limbs.

Wave after wave of Arsenal attack on the Tottenham goal now. Spurs cannot hold the Gunners back.

GOALLLL! Wow. Thomas Partey curls home a stunner from outside the box. What a goal. The Emirates goes wild. How did he have that much space there!? “1-0 to the Arsenalllll!” is the chant from the home fans. And it should be more. They totally deserve this lead.

SAVE! Aaron Ramsdale denies Richarlison from close range when he looked certain to score. Was Ben White playing everyone onside? Lovely clipped free kick from Son towards Dier but Richarlison couldn’t get proper contact on it.

CHANCE! What a clearance from Lenglet as a long throw is flicked on and drops inside the six-yard box with Jesus lurking. What a start that nearly was for Arsenal. Moments later Martinelli clips the outside of the post.

KICK OFF: We are underway. It is LOUDDDDDD in here.

My thoughts on this massive clash. I can hardly hear myself here!

It is go time here! Wow. What a noise.

Both teams are out warming up and there is a real zip as they go through their paces. The sun is out and first host third in the Premier League in a derby. Does it get much better than this!?

The team news is out and here are the lineups hot (I’d probably go with lukewarm) off the press. Partey and Zinchenko are back in central midfield and left back respectively, which is a huge boost for Arsenal. Kulusevski is out for Spurs so Son comes back into the lineup as he starts in attack with Kane and Richarlison in a very attacking lineup from Antonio Conte. Intriguing.

Hello and welcome to a beautiful morning here in north London! There is a huge buzz of anticipation and excitement in the early autumn air. The Premier League is back and what better way to restart things with a bitter rivalry clash between Arsenal and Tottenham?


Key storylines

Arteta’s Arsenal have been absolutely superb so far this season and they could easily be perfect as they lost at Manchester United but dominated the majority of the only game where they’ve dropped points. There is a great balance to the Gunners with young attacking players flying all over the place — led by the incredible Jesus who has slotted in seamlessly — and a solid defense with Partey and Xhaka very important in the holding midfield roles. Arteta knows that a big win against Spurs will give his young side further confidence as they aim for a top four finish, and maybe more, this season.

Conte’s Spurs have been workmanlike so far and Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Richarlison are all among the goals and are popping up at key moments when they’re needed. Defensively Spurs look solid in their 3-4-3 formation and you always fancy them to grab at least a few goals. Tottenham are seen as many as title contenders this season and a win at their bitter rivals will see that feeling grow.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Gabriel Jesus continues to lead the line superbly for Arsenal and he is bringing their entire attacking unit to life. Granit Xhaka has also been incredibly important and was excellent away at Brentford before the international break as he wore the captain’s armband once again and Arsenal’s fans were full of praise for the Swiss international midfielder.

Son has finally found his scoring boots and bagged a hat trick off the bench in Spurs’ demolition of Leicester City and he looked very good for South Korea over the international break. Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg have barely put a foot wrong and are a big reason why Spurs remain unbeaten this season and look so robust. Harry Kane loves a north London derby and he always seems to take his game to a new level when this game rolls around.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

Emile Smith Rowe is out until December after undergoing surgery on a groin injury, while Reiss Nelson and Mohamed Elneny remain out. Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Cedric Soares and Oleksandr Zinchenko are all battling to be fit to feature. If Partey is out, Albert Sambi Lokonga is likely to come in and partner Granit Xhaka in central midfield or perhaps Odegaard could slot back into a deeper role and Fabio Vieira may play in the No. 10 role after his fine goal at Brentford?


Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options

The main injury concern for Spurs is Dejan Kulusevski after he suffered an injury while on international duty with Sweden. Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies have had thigh and knee injuries respectively and will be battling to be fit, while Lucas Moura is definitely out as he continues to work his way back from a calf injury.