Portland Timbers Primer (2011)

The Portland Timbers start the 2011 season on the road this Saturday, March 19th, when they face the defending Major League Soccer champion, Colorado Rapids. Watch the match on ROOT, Fox Soccer Channel, or listen to the play by play on KXL 750. Better yet, join the Timbers Army (minus the 300 or so members who traveled to Colorado) at the Bagdad Theater (3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd) for a live, free, all-ages screening of this historic match. Doors open at 4:30, kickoff is at 6pm.

TEAM AND LEAGUE

TimbersThe first Portland Timbers team played in the NASL from 1975 through 1982. The team name was selected in a contest held in early 1975 (other entries included Pioneers, RainDrops, Steelheaders, Trappers, and Volcanos).

In the last decade (2001-2010) the Portland Timbers were one of the best supported teams in the United Soccer Leagues (USL).

Timbers 2011In 2011 they enter their first year in Major League Soccer, the top soccer league in the United States and Canada.

The 2011 schedule stretches from Saturday, March 19 all the way to October 22nd, with playoffs (of course!) to follow. The home opener, against the Chicago Fire, takes place on Thursday, April 14 2011 at 8pm.

Recommended Reading:

THE STADIUM

The Timbers play their home matches at Portland’s venerable (but newly christened) Jeld-Wen Field (SW 18th and Morrison). Nicknames include the House of Pane (or just HOP) and Defenestration Field [okay, I made up that last one]. The stadium has been known previously as PGE Park (aka The Piggie), Civic Stadium, and Multnomah Stadium (and Multnomah Field before that).

Recommended Reading:

TIMBERS ARMY

Timbers ArmyBy American standards, the Portland Timbers football club has a long and storied history, and sport one of the most boisterous, and best known, supporters groups in the country – The Timbers Army. The Timbers Army is a veritable grass roots organization consisting of fans of all ages, professions, and political persuasions. The group receives no official imprimatur by the team, has no official leadership or structure [the 107ist organization not withstanding – see below], and primarily serves to have a hell of a time in the North End at Timbers matches.

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How do you join the Timbers Army? Come to a match, buy a General Admission ticket, and follow the noise and scarves and green. The entire North End of PGE Park is unassigned seating. At the beginning of the USL years the Army filled only the first few rows of section 107, but since about the mid-oughts the passion has spread throughout the entire North End. Come on down! If you’re shy sit or stand on the periphery of these sections for a game or two learning the chants and songs and observing the ruckus. Unless you’re soulless, you will be drawn in.

Required Reading:

107 INDEPENDENT SUPPORTERS’ TRUST

107istIn 2010 a large contingent of long time Timbers Army veterans established the 107 Independent Supporters’ Trust (107ist). The Timbers Army is still simply a grass roots, organization consisting of fans, but the 107ist organization, made up of Timbers Army members, is involved in planning tifo, organizing bus trips to away matches, and more:

The 107 Independent Supporters’ Trust is the machinery behind the Timbers Army. It supports soccer in and around Portland, Oregon, from the grass roots to the highest professional level. It fuels the Army and supports soccer charities and soccer events in Soccer City USA.

Required Reading:

TIMBERS DISCUSSION

The Soccer City USA Message Board, aka Talk Timbers has traditionally been the information headquarters for the Timbers Army (and really all things soccer in Portland, Oregon). Sign up for an account and contribute to the discussion. Keep up with the latest news, learn about and contribute to the latest chant or tifo efforts, and get to know your fellow Timbers Army members virtually. Many of the folks you’ll meet in the stands are better known amongst the group by their message board moniker than their real names.

The Timbers Army website is becoming a great resource as well. Look to it for events, tifo announcements, merchandise information, chants, and game day preparations.

MORE RESOURCES

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