The MLS to Portland plans have dominated local media writing and bloggage about the Timbers this year, and much of that coverage has been negative. But now that the stadium renovation and funding plan is mostly settled, much of the anti-soccer and generic anti-government whingeing on the topic by various local critics is diminishing, and that which continues is largely irrelevant.
Meanwhile on the field the Timbers have been putting together a season for the ages. The defeat of the Whitecaps last Thursday earned the Timbers their first Cascadia Cup ever, and the team climbed into a first place tie with Carolina by beating the Battery. The Timbers have set and continue to extend the USL division 1 undefeated streak record (now at 20), and the Timbers are on pace this season to average around 10000 fans per game.
And there have been a few bright spots in Timbers coverage this year that bear mentioning.
- The Timbers Blog at Oregonlive has returned to life this year under the capable guidance of Kip Kesgard.
- At The Timber Mill Allison Andrews continues to do a fantastic and thorough job of herding statistics and recapping every match, and of course hosting and maintaining the invaluable Soccer City USA message board.
- A new blog, Dropping Timber posts highlight, previews, and statistics with regularity.
- The Portland Timbers USL Blog at The Offside has been excellent as usual (but no new posts in a month!?)
- And Mark Evans continues his sporadic, but excellent PTFC2K9 Timbers coverage from China at the otherwise soccer-hating Blogtown.
- And lastly, a must-read article at Pitch Invasion comparing Portland’s do-it-yourself soccer culture to the sudden emergence of Seattle’s heavily marketed product: DIY or Prefab? Portland, Seattle and Success in American Soccer Culture