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  • 03/21/2011 8:26 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Chris Rifer

    Two virtually identical matches took place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday. In both matches one group looked like the class of the MLS while the other looked game, but overmatched.

    The Rapids beat the Timbers 3-1 in the First Kick affair that marked Portland’s entry into the MLS. The Rapids did their damage behind a 20-minute first half onslaught. The three goals came largely as a result of three relatively discrete breakdowns by the Timbers defense and midfield. Colorado really only had four quality chances in the first half, but to their credit they converted three. The Timbers offense, while not being totally stifled in the midfield, could not convert some reasonable possession into appreciable scoring chances.

    In the second half, the Timbers showed a bit more moxie in controlling most of the play with the assistance of Colorado’s new-found offensive conservatism. Nonetheless, when the Rapids did pressure in the second half, the Timbers defense looked substantially more composed in keeping Colorado from further lighting up the scoreboard. Finally, the Army was rewarded for their efforts in the 80th minute when Kenny Cooper drove home a free kick from 30 yards to tally the first Timbers goal in MLS history. It was clear at the end of the match, however, that the Timbers didn’t have the quality to compete with the Rapids, who look to be legitimate contenders in defense of their title.

    Rapids supporters weren’t without their class, either. In organizing an event the night before and a pregame tailgate, the Rapids supporters showed they were passionate, educated, and organized. The Rapids’ supporters are broken into three comparatively small subgroups, The Pid Army, Bulldog Supporters, and Class VI. The contrast between the Timbers Army and the Rapids’ supporters underscored the importance of having unified supporters, an urban stadium, and a front office that cares. 3-0, Timbers Army.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is the antithesis of Jeld-Wen/PGE/Civic/Multnomah. It is smaller, much newer, and extremely exurban. The Park is located in the ironically-named Commerce City, surrounded by a large parking lot, soccer fields, and a wildlife refuge. No downtown, MAX, or Bitter End in sight.

    Even starker was the contrast in the respective front offices attitudes toward their supporter groups. The Timbers have given the Army the entire North End to do with as we please. The result is the likelihood of an Army of 3,500 for every home match. The Rapids supporters groups are split into two small sets of bleachers behind the north goal. The bleachers are only about five or six deep, and are supplemented by terraces with a few standing tables. Basically, it’s like if the Timbers relegated the Army to the South Deck.

    The Rapids supporters were equally neglected during the pregame ceremonies, when the Rapids celebrated their 2010 MLS Cup victory. The trophy was brought in right by the supporters’ terraces, but was conspicuously never paraded in front of or presented to the supporters, instead taking a direct route to midfield and back to the car.

    In the end, while the Rapids beat the Timbers on the pitch, it is clear that Colorado has a lot to learn from Portland in developing a healthy supporters atmosphere. While the individual supporters showed tremendous class, the Rapids organization has neglected Pid Army, Bulldog Supporters, and Class VI to the point of allowing the Timbers Army to travel more than 1,200 miles and drown out the Rapids’ victory and championship celebration.

    Game Observations

    • The left side of Portland’s defense was downright awful. After a pretty good preseason, Kevin Goldthwaite looked miserable, getting pulled at halftime for the substantially more effective David Horst. Even worse, though, was Rodney Wallace. It is unclear whether it is poor fitness or a lack of confidence coming off a season lost to injury, but he looks like a shadow of the player he was as a rookie. The right side of Purdy and Brunner, while not giving the same stellar effort that they gave against Seattle, was still passable.
    • Compounding the poor defensive effort was the absence of Troy Perkins. Adin Brown filled in ably, but, as anybody who attended the Cascadia Summit knows, Perkins is a save-your-bacon quality keeper. The third goal was a brilliant strike set up by some indifferent Timbers defense in the midfield. But both the first and second goals came off rebounds from Brown’s hands. Brown did well to deflect the initial balls, but it is hard not to think that Perkins doesn’t keep hit mitts on at least one of those. What a different game it is if he does.
    • Jorge Perlaza and Kenny Cooper have the potential to be a fantastic strikeforce. Their chemistry is understandably a little bit lacking right now, and Perlaza is going to take a few months to adjust to the physicality of the MLS, but look for this duo to be lethal late in the season.
    • John Canzano, in his column on the game, unfavorably compared the Timbers’ first ever major match to those of the Blazers, University of Oregon football, and Oregon State football. The Blazers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-112 at Memorial Coliseum. The Cavs, at the time also an expansion team, finished 15-67 that year. The Ducks and Beavers beat Albany College 44-2 and 62-0, respectively, in their openers. At the time they played the Ducks and Beavers, Albany College was located on a seven-acre campus in Albany, Oregon. Albany College has since grown substantially and moved to Portland, changing its name to Lewis & Clark College. The Timbers lost an away match 3-1 to the Colorado Rapids, the defending MLS Cup Champions.

  • 03/20/2011 8:28 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Andrew Brawley

    After much debate and fence-hopping, I decided to stay home for last night's Timbers debut vs. Colorado. While I had every intention of going out somewhere (anywhere) to witness history with my fellow TA faithful, I think my need to thoroughly observe the entire TV presentation undisturbed took over. I blame it on my nerdy marketing background and past involvement with TV (30+ years of watching it, plus many years of working within the medium).

    I watched the Fox Sports Northwest (soon to be known as Root Sports) feed in HD, and I can say with full conviction that the entire supporters scene within MLS was officially put on notice. Between the constant soundtrack of chants over the broadcast, the enthusiasm (despite to 3-1 COL result), and the excellent shots of the TA during lulls in the gameplay, the TA did a fantastic job of showing American supporters groups at their finest. If you were at the game, give yourself a pat on the back. (And if you're 107ist Board Member Joanne Couchman, get yourself an agent because you may qualify for some kind of union membership with the amount of face time you got last night.)

    How good did we look? The sports section in this morning's Oregonian featured our presence at last night's match as the top story, whereas the story on the actual match itself was placed below it. (Obviously the TA has a few strong opinions on the O's recent coverage of all things Timbers, but that's for another blog entry.)

    Granted, this was our MLS debut in a city that wasn't too far away for us. The next couple matches are pretty far from Portland, and nobody expects over 400 TA in the stands at each one of those, but those watching last night's match got the perfect teaser of what the TA brings to MLS. Expectations for the home opener on April 14th are very high, just as they are for nearby away games along the west coast this season.

    I'm not expecting the TA to suddenly employ media trainers and a makeup-and-hair team to maintain our positive appearance streak. But I hope that those lucky TA who suddenly find themselves with a TV camera in their face remember that as soon as the red light turns on, enthusiastic index fingers represent us much better than enthusiastic middle fingers.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS - the broadcast team of John Strong and Robbie Earle is a winning combo. Strong has the chops, and the addition of Earle, a non-homer, provides excellent balance. Looking forward to many games with those two.

  • 03/19/2011 8:31 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Garrett Dittfurth

    Like many of you I've been scratching my head for a good response to John Canzano's uninformed antagonistic piece about the Timbers Army. Case in point this quote, "Paulson said of a 2005 complaint." Uh know Merritt didn't buy the team until 2007 right?

    First I want to direct you to some must see reading from Robert Wagner [article no longer available].

    Second I have a message for you John. Your column about the Timbers Army is laughable and that's the only response to it I have. I congratulate you on your ability to troll an entire city. You should really get involved with message boards. I think you would be good at it.

    Anyone else notice something very important today?


  • 03/16/2011 8:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    — Garrett Dittfurth

    Word is out that Sporting KC is allowing Chad Ochocinco in on a trial. I know Sporting KC doesn't exactly have the greatest history with pulling in big crowds, but with their new stadium and slick Europhile name rebrand marketing tactics they would have finally made some noise in the MLS scene. This sort of publicity stunt is something I would have expected out of a MLS team 10 years ago.

    It's really nice Ochocinco likes soccer and played it before focusing on making a career out of the NFL. I just wish he'd stick to Tweeting about going to Camp Nou instead of pretending to be on a legitimate trial at KC. Even more pathetic is Sporting KC's willingness to get in on the joke that Ochocinco could actually make their team. He's a gifted athlete to be sure and a physical specimen, but his talents lie elsewhere. Mostly in nearly being decapitated by people like Ray Lewis. Explain to me how doing this for the last decade translates into being a talented soccer player?


  • 03/15/2011 8:43 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    —by Garrett Dittfurth

    Landon Cakes

    Tonight the 2011 Major League Soccer season begins, when LA Galaxy, featuring such glamorous international stars as David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Mike Magee, face some team from up north. Kickoff is at 6:30pm (ESPN), which should leave you plenty of time to get out of work (for example) and head to one of Portland's many fine watering holes to watch the game.

    Not sure where to watch? Here are a few options that might interest you:

    Bitter End Pub [since closed] (1981 West Burnside) - The TA's game-day pub is also a great place to watch a match on TV, whether it's Timbers away, CONCACAF Champions League or MLS. Tuesday nights also feature trivia at Bitter End, so you can get your nerd on while watching Frankie Hejduk go cleats up into nomeansno's face (for example).

    Beulahland (118 NE 28th) - You really can't go wrong with Beulahland. For me this is the best place to watch soccer on the east side; they've got a good selection of taps, cheap tallboys and random sody pops, to go along with a nice food menu and a laid back environment for watching Timbers, MLS, EPL, etc. Well hello there, sardine sandwich and pounder of Old German...

    4-4-2 (1739 SE Hawthorne) - The new kid on the scene used to be a Bosnian grocery and deli before they turned it into what I'm told is a fantastic soccer pub, with great food (still Bosnian) and a big selection of taps and bottles. What we do, we drink?

    Those are just for starters. Portland, as you know, is full of great neighborhood bars, plenty of spots where people gather with their friends to knock back a few and watch a match. Marathon Taverna has always got soccer on the TVs and I loved watching World Cup games there last summer; Triple Nickel Pub has been an east side outpost for TA MLS viewing for a couple years now; both Blitz locations are amenable to soccer; Brooklyn Park Pub is a super cozy little bar in SE; and Slim's and Leisure Pub have been doing duty as North PDX soccer spots. A wealth of options, we has one.

    Check out the full list of Official partners and DaveKnows' Portland Soccer Bars site for more ideas, and feel free to let us know in the comments where you'll be watching First Kick tonight.

  • 03/15/2011 8:41 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Enjoy this!

  • 03/15/2011 8:39 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)



    Mission Accomplished: Timbers Army Season Tickets Sold Out

    PORTLAND -- With a month to go before the Portland Timbers’ first home game in Major League Soccer, the Timbers Army has already reached one significant milestone.

    On Monday, the Timbers reported that Timbers Army Season Tickets had sold out for the 2011 season. That means there’ll be no place to sit in eight full sections of the North End at PGE Park – not that the Army ever sits during a Timbers match anyway. The eight sections, which will spill over into upper-level sections as well, have room for roughly 3,600 fans. About 500 tickets are being set-aside for day-of-game purchase.

    The Timbers partnered with the Army through the 107ist, the team’s independent supporters trust that serves as the business engine of the Timbers Army. A 107ist marketing committee used a combination of special events, social media and videos produced by Army members to promote the tickets and link fans to the club. As is customary with ticket-sales campaigns done by youth teams and non-profit organizations, the team provided a small commission to the 107ist.

    "Three-thousand tickets seemed like a steep hill to climb when we took this on," said 107ist President Dave Hoyt. "That we’ve sold out a month before the first home game just shows how ready this city and our fans are for MLS." Figures provided by the club indicate that the team has sold 2,900 full-season Timbers Army tickets, and 200 half-season tickets.

    Tickets throughout the stadium have been selling briskly, with the team having already raised the initial cutoff point of 12,000 season-ticket sales.

    The Timbers open their season Saturday against defending MLS champion Colorado in Denver. Their first home game will be April 14 against the Chicago Fire.

    107ist funds its activities through membership dues and merchandise sales. To learn more, go here 107ist.

  • 03/13/2011 8:53 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    &masdh;by Lucas Grzybowski

    I had a good time at the 107ist stadium tour this afternoon. As some of you know I've been blogging about the renovation on my personal blog, and I was just at the Park two days ago so I didn't see anything new. But a lot of other people got their first glimpse of the new digs, and had the chance to grill the construction foreman to boot.

    It was a nice afternoon at the new/old ball park, which as soon as tomorrow may have a different name, and which one month from tomorrow will host its first ever MLS game. It's almost here!

    Thanks again to the Timbers, 107ist and Papa Murphy's for today's tour. Here's a panorama I took on my phone, compared with roughly the same shot from the first stadium tour, in November (click both for big versions):

  • 03/11/2011 7:57 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    If you attended a Portland Timbers match in 2010, the chances are pretty good that you saw a table set up in the concourse with a couple volunteers chatting up strangers about the game, handing out chant sheets, and maybe even signing up a few new 107ist members.

    We're looking for 107ist volunteers this season to help cover an expanded presence in the stadium to show off what our organization has accomplished and help bring new fans into our group. There are no requirements for how long you've been a fan or whether or not you have an official title. If you want to talk to other Timbers fans about why you're excited to be part of this, that's absolutely what we're looking for.

    Things will start moving quickly after Colorado away. We'll start putting up some sign up sheets for shifts in individual home matches, figure out exactly where our tables will be placed (West Stand 107ists are strongly encouraged to volunteer), and maybe even have a volunteer-only meet and greet a week or so before the Chicago home opener to answer your questions and make sure you feel comfortable representing us in the park.

    Thanks everyone. RCTID.

  • 03/10/2011 7:58 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    US Men's National Team and D.C. United striker Charlie Davies on his recovery and future. It's worth a watch if you have some time.

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