From Georgia to Oregon
Local sports news and notes for Thursday, Jan. 11, while counting the days until the Oregon-Oregon State women's basketball rivalry games (Jan. 19 at OSU, Jan. 21 at UO) …
NEW DUCKS COACH
Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal has been talking almost endlessly about how he wants to emulate Alabama and the other big boys and how the Ducks need to get stronger and tougher.
Now Cristobal has his man for the job — and he's from Georgia, which made it to the national championship game this season before bowing in overtime to the strength (and freshman quarterback) of the Crimson Tide.
Aaron Feld, Georgia assistant strength and conditioning coach, has been named head strength and conditioning coach.
He replaces Irele Oderinde, who went with Willie Taggart to Florida State.
AND, IN CORVALLIS
Oregon State football coach Jonathan Smith has hired Marco Candido as associate head strength and conditioning coach and Bryan Klobucar as associate strength and conditioning coach.
Candido spent the past two seasons with Illinois football. Klobucar served the past three years as Arizona's assistant football strength and conditioning coach.
A LONG GOODBYE
Allie Long, an original member of the Portland Thorns who has earned a regular spot with the U.S. women's national team, has been traded by Portland to the rival Seattle Reign.
The Thorns acquired the rights to Australian women's national team forward Caitlin Foord.
One of the most popular Thorns players, Long saw her role diminished during the second half of the 2017 season. She played only as a late-game substitute in both the semifinals and the National Women's Soccer League championship match.
Foord, 23, played three seasons in the NWSL with Sky Blue. She most recently played in Japan and is currently playing in Austrailia's W-League.
Foord has appeared for Australia's national team 57 times, scoring 10 international goals. She participated in the 2011 and 2015 Women's World Cups, and at age 16 in 2011 was the youngest player ever to appear in the tournament.
Thorns coach Mark Parsons, in the club's announcement, described Foord as one of the most explosive players in the world.
Long, 30, is a versatile player who appeared mostly as a midfielder — both attacking and defensive — in her time with the Thorns. In 100 matches with the Thorns, Long had 30 goals and 13 assists. Her 30 goals rank sixth on the NWSL career list.
On Thursday, Thorns owner Merritt Paulson on Twitter indicated the club will soon announce another trade to acquire a NWSL central midfielder. With Long traded and with Amandine Henry back in France, Lindsey Horan is the only starting central midfielder on the Thorns roster.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that former Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich is expected to be the next offensive coordinator of the NFL Chicago Bears.
SEAHAWKS ACROSS THE POND
The Seattle Seahawks are set to play the Oakland Raiders at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London during Week 6 of the 2018 NFL season.
University of Portland senior central defender Kris Reaves has signed with MLS FC Dallas as a Homegrown player.
Reaves was all-West Coast Conference as a junior and second-team all-WCC as a senior.
From Duluth, Georgia, he joined Dallas' youth academy in 2012 and has played reserve soccer for the organization.
Hearty congrats to Brent Crouch, who has been hired as volleyball coach at USC after turning around the program at the University of Portland.
The West Coast Conference plays good volleyball, but Crouch's hiring might have caught many by surprise.
USC made a bold move also by letting go Mick Haley, who led the Trojans to 17 consecutive NCAA playoff appearances (in 17 years as head coach) and was 435-119 overall. USC got to the regional finals in 2017 before falling in five sets to Florida. Oh, and under Haley the Trojans won NCAA titles in 2002 and 2003.
The cupboard isn't bare at all for Crouch, though. The Trojans figure to return four starters, including dynamic 6-2 outside hitter in Khalia Lanier, the daughter of Basketball Hall of Fame member Bob Lanier.
NBA STANDINGS WATCH
The Trail Blazers, 1-1 on a four-game trip, have Thursday off.
Despite a loss at Houston on Wednesday, they are still fifth in the NBA Western Conference, but they are four games behind fourth-place Minnesota (27-16).
The Blazers (22-19) are a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City (22-20), one game ahead of Denver (21-20) and 1 1/2 games ahead of No. 8 New Orleans. The Los Angeles Clippers knocked off Golden State on Wednesday and are ninth at 19-21, one game behind New Orleans.
Oregon State will send two of its baseball prospects to the Portland Pickles for the 2018 West Coast League season: catcher Jordan Mambaje and first baseman Zach Busalacchi.
Mambaje, 5-9 and 210 pounds, graduated from Clackamas High in 2017. Busalacchi, 6-4 and 235, is from Yorba Linda, California.
• The Trail Blazers figure to be in a feisty, competitive mood when they face New Orleans at 5 p.m. PT — given how close they came Wednesday at Houston and how upset Damian Lillard and others apparently were after Rockets guard Chris Paul took an uncontested layup on the game's final play.
• The Portland Winterhawks will be at Tri-City in another of several key Western Hockey League U.S. Division matchups. Face-off is 7 p.m.
• No. 8 Oregon plays host to Arizona in an 8 p.m. women's basketball game, while No. 22 Oregon State is at home against 18th-ranked Arizona State at 6 p.m.
• Lewis & Clark has a home hoops doubleheader with Linfield — the women tipping off at 6 p.m., the men at 8 p.m.
In the Northwest Conference men's standings, Linfield is third at 3-1, while L&C is 0-4. Whitman, ranked No. 1 in the nation, is 5-0 (14-0 overall).
Lewis & Clark and Linfield are 2-2 in women's NWC play. The Pioneers are 7-6 overall; the Wildcats are 6-7. George Fox is 4-0 in the NWC, one game ahead of 3-1 Willamette.