A game of Association Football, a.k.a. soccer, was played on Portland’s Multnomah Field on October 21, 1893 (The Morning Oregonian, 21 October 1893).
The third game between the Astoria and Portland football association teams will be played on Multnomah field this afternoon, commencing at 3 o’clock. There is a marked difference between association and university or Rugby football. The latter is the more commonly played in the country, though in the former science is brought into play more than actual strength, the foot being used to carry the ball, instead of the hand. The only exception to this rule is the goal-keeper, who is permitted to handle the ball.
That the author felt it necessary to explain the differences between association and university or Rugby football suggests that readers may have been unfamiliar with the game. (You’ll find the whole article attached to this post). But the fact that Astoria and Portland both boasted football association teams in 1893 suggests that at least some of the populace of the area did know the game. In any case though this was almost certainly not the first soccer match played in Portland, it may well have been the first ever played on Multnomah Field.
Multnomah Field eventually became Multnomah Civic Stadium, then Civic Stadium, then PGE Park, and now JELD-WEN Field.
The following day’s Sunday Oregonian revealed that the Portland team beat Astoria 5 to 0, and that attendance was very good, and a great deal of interest was expressed, especially by the crowd of Astorians who came up to back their team.
Leave a Reply