Portland Timbers advance to Major League Soccer’s Western Conference finals
After coming off a disappointing sophomore season in the MLS, the Portland Timbers delighted fans by routing their northwest rival Seattle Sounders in the 2013 MLS playoffs before falling to Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference finals. One factor in the pivotal turnaround was the addition of Coach Caleb Porter, who was named 2013 MLS coach of the year. But it was the Timbers talent on the pitch that carried the team to within a nose of the MLS Cup. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was named MLS Goalkeeper of the year, while Diego Valeri won Newcomer of the Year and joined Timbers’ captain Will Johnson as part of the 2013 MLS Best XI.
Portland Thorns win National Women’s Soccer League championship
After the U.S. women’s soccer team won gold in the 2012 London Olympics, the public was hungry for more action: enter the National Women’s Soccer League. The much-anticipated inaugural season saw women’s soccer superstars Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan and Christine Rampone battle it out in a 5-month competition. After the dust settled, the Portland Thorns emerged victorious, beating the Western New York Flash 2-0 in the first-ever NWSL championship.
Portland Winterhawks win the Western Hockey League title
The Portland Winterhawks punched their ticket to the 2013 Memorial Cup with a stunning season that took them all the way to the Western Hockey League championships. Their 5-1 routing of the Edmonton Oil Kings in Game 6 of the series gave the squad their third WHL title in franchise history. Ty Rattie had a hat trick in the game, breaking the WHL record for career playoff goals, and earning him MVP honors. Standout defenseman Seth Jones was promptly snatched up by the NHL’s Nashville Predators, going 4th in the 2013 draft.
Chip Kelly leaves Ducks to coach Philadelphia Eagles in NFL
After a stellar 46-7 record at Oregon as head coach, and wins in the 2011 Rose Bowl and 2012 Fiesta Bowl, coach Chip Kelly had NFL teams foaming at the mouth. Kelly was reportedly approached by the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills, but it was ultimately the Philadelphia Eagles who won the coveted coach’s hand. The decision came as a bit of a disappointment to die-hard Ducks fans who ultimately bid Kelly good luck in his first coaching job in the NFL.
Ducks disappointing end to the 2013 season
After an explosive start to the 2013 season, the indefatigable Ducks looked like little could stand in their way on the road to the National Championship. A disheartening performance against the Stanford Cardinal, where the Ducks failed to score in the first half and ultimately lost 26-20, dealt the Ducks a crushing blow from which they never fully recovered. It was the game against Arizona, which the Ducks lost 42-16 along with all hope for a BCS bowl game, where the bloom was off the rose. The Ducks, however, salvaged some in-state bragging rights by edging out the Beavers 36-35 in the Civil War, and earned a trip to the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
Blazers off to a red-hot start to the 2013-2014 season
After making some key trades in the off season, Portland fans knew the Trail Blazers were going to improve. But few could imagine the Blazers would at one point be the top team in the NBA. Blazer All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge was named NBA Player of the Week three weeks in a row, and less than half way into the season, the Blazers had already surpassed their total number of road wins from last season. The Blazers haven’t had a start to the season this hot since the 1991 glory days of Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter.
Complete coverage: Portland Trail Blazers
Oregon to host track and field championships through 2021
While Portland works to live up to the “Soccer City USA” moniker, Eugene has more than earned its title as “Track Town USA.” The iconic Hayward Field, home of track legends Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar, and Coach Bill Bowerman will host the outdoor track and field championships through 2021, the NCAA announced in 2013. In other big Oregon track-related news, former Oregon Duck Ashton Eaton won the 2013 decathlon world championship in Moscow, adding to his 2012 Olympic gold medal and maintaining his dominance in track-and-field’s most grueling event.
Howie Long’s son, ex-duck, faces brother in NFL
While Oregon doesn’t have an NFL team, the state’s college teams continue to crank out talent for America’s highest grossing professional sports league. After Oregon Duck’s guard Kyle Long (son of NFL and broadcasting legend Howie Long) was picked by Chicago in April of 2013, all eyes were on the Nov. 24 Bears-Rams matchup where he would face his older brother, defensive end Chris Long. KGW was surprised to see how many people were eager to read about the impending matchup. The Long brothers clashed along the line of scrimmage in what ended as a frustrating 42-21 loss for the Bears. At one point, the elder Long reportedly had to pull his brother from a scuffle on the Rams sideline, which Kyle later apologized for on Twitter.
Surging Seahawks clinch NFC West, have eyes on Super Bowl
For many Portland NFL fans, Seattle is their de facto home turf. The Seattle Seahawks clinched a playoff berth in the NFC West in 2013 and now the versatile, aggressive and smart squad has its eyes on a Super Bowl. The success former USC coach Pete Carroll brought the team in 2010 paid off with three trips to the postseason so far. The Seahawks looked brilliant in 2012 with a 11-5 regular-season record. The Seahawks eventually fell to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC division playoffs. Fans hope 2013 will be a chance for postseason redemption.
Ducks sport pink uniforms against WSU
The Oregon Ducks have gotten nearly as much attention for their snazzy uniforms as they have for their exciting high-powered offense. In their 2013 game against the Washington State Cougars, the Ducks sported pink cleats, socks, gloves and helmets to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. The University auctioned a limited number of the helmets signed by coach Mark Helfrich, Nike co-founder Phil Knight, and other big-name ex-Duck stars. All the proceeds went to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Nike helps Beavers give Benny a makeover
Not to be outdone by their always-fashion-forward Oregon rivals, the Oregon State Beavers got a flashy makeover in 2013. The previously stale looking Benny got a fierce renovation that had Beaver fans gushing and announcers impressed. The new Nike-designed look helped the Beavers court new talent and kept them in the national football fashion conversation.