This is the Rose City Riveters blog, where members can submit blog posts. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 10/28/2022 2:28 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    The following is a blog post submitted by Rachel Greenough.

    It generally takes me a long time to find my people. People who know me well laugh when I say I’m not outgoing, because I do talk a whole lot and I love people, but it takes me a while to get there. At first, I talk because I’m just so nervous. 

    This is to say that it’s sometimes hard to find my place. But when I do, I’m all in. I got involved with the Riveters because I got to know one or two people enough to bug them until they offered me a role. It has been the greatest honor of my life to find myself among friends and at home in this culture.

    When that place and that community are threatened, it is devastating… I am so mad about the things that happened to Mana Shim, Sinead Farrelly, Kaiya McCullough, Erin Simon, and so many others in this league, but I am also mad about what has happened to my own friends, the people I work and cheer alongside every week to build this community, make things happen, and dream of what more we can be. I'm mad about their pain and trauma. I’m mad about the splintering of our community, the challenge to our joy, the hit to our ability to come out in droves and make a difference in and out of soccer.

    But here we are, heading to a final. Whether we are in DC, at a watch party in Portland or around the world, at home on our couches, we are here for the players, but we are also here for ourselves, each other, and our community. As Bill Oram so eloquently expressed in his column last weekend, this is so much bigger than who owns the club. As we own our space, find new space, and support one another, we render the team owner irrelevant. As we find pathways to support the players, ensure their safety and good treatment, ensure that their voices are heard and respected if they wish to speak up, honor their wishes if they do not… as we look to one another and smile, laugh, cheer… these are the ways that we will heal and find joy.

    I will continue to say it until we all feel it, until the joy comes easier: our joy is our resistance. We have worked to get here, as have the players. We will not give up, we will not back down. In the meantime, we have to take the wins where we find them. We need to feel that catharsis of a DUNN BANGER IN THE 90+3! We need to feel the joy of running into friendly faces at the airport, talking to strangers about the joy of women’s sports. 

    My mom is a big supporter of the team, and a big supporter of supporter culture. She wasn’t in the stadium last weekend but she told me she was surprised to find herself standing in her room in front of the TV, yelling, crying (and scaring the dog) when Crystal Dunn scored her goal. In the stadium, I yelled. Just tipped my head back and yelled at the top of my lungs. I felt like I should have rainbows and roses shooting out of my seams as I ripped apart. But I also felt like I was being stitched back together, I felt whole again in that stadium, claiming OUR HOME, sending immaculate vibes to our team, woven deeply into a web of 22,000+ supporters who were there and countless more who were startling dogs or taking over bars or screaming from afar.

    Catharsis is beautiful, joy is necessary, community is power, love is strength, and we need all the strength to keep this up. I am filled with gratitude for each of you, everywhere. Let’s do this thing.

    Views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of the 107IST, the Timbers Army, or the Rose City Riveters. 


  • 10/15/2022 5:14 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    At the end of every season for 10 years, the Rose City Riveters have given the Thorns players and coaches a gift. From two-stick works of art to flip-books to bonfire s'mores kits, every year is unique. 

    This season, our gift is a cheers to 10 years:

    • Stainless steel pint glasses x2, referencing the 10 year tin/aluminum traditional gift, engraved with a version of the art found on our anniversary tee.
    • Tie-dye Pride bandana in red and black
    • Tifo in a bottle: 1 piece of a 7x2 foot tifo that spells out By Any Other Name, each individually in a cork topped bottle

    Here's to 10... and the next 10.

  • 10/11/2022 7:18 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    On Monday, we posted an open letter to the Players of the Portland Thorns to express our support. We would like to offer the opportunity for you to write your own messages of support for the players that we will then bundle and deliver to them ahead of the semi-final match. These can be physical letters or postcards, small works of art and drawings, or they can be comments on this blog post or emails sent to rsc@rosecityriveters.org. Please ensure your message arrives by October 20th.

    We ask that these be messages of support to the entire team, as we are unable to get them into specific player’s hands. The goal is to spread love and support to the players, and cheer them on with energy for the semifinal game. We strongly urge that you do not reach out to players directly.

    Physical messages can be mailed to or dropped in the mailslot at Fanladen (1633 SW Alder St., Portland OR 97205). Please note on the envelope “attn: Letters to Thorns Players.”

    (Please note that we will be opening any envelopes to ensure that everything is safe and appropriate.)

  • 10/10/2022 5:15 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    The following is a blog post submitted by K Staller. 

    This past week and the preceding year have been hard. It has been a struggle to comprehend the abuses that transpired at the place that has brought us all so much joy over the years. Even more so it has been hard to comprehend how only some of those in power are only just now being held somewhat accountable for their actions despite all of the reporting and stories coming to light.

    I know I am finding it incredibly difficult to process as things evolve almost daily. I have been struggling with the demons of my own trauma for 10 years now. I have learnt a lot about myself in those 10 years and as terrifying and horrible as the trauma itself was, I survived with only the deep emotional scars now remaining all this time later.

    In the weeks following my trauma I returned to the place it happened, a place that, like the stadium, had given me so many happy and great memories. I did it with a heavy heart full of fear and trepidation, but I also did it to support my friend and fellow survivor and to help support myself and to show ourselves that despite what happened to us, we were stronger than we knew and because nobody should have to return to the place of their trauma without support.

    Not everyone can return to the place of their trauma and not everyone has the choice. For the players of our team, this is the unfortunate reality of their situation, they will return to the stadium and they will play despite everything that has happened to their and will people in power still are yet to face the consequences of theirs actions.

    My hope is that we who are able, show our team that we will always love and support them, even in the most trying of times by being inside that stadium with them and letting the whole world know are with them through all the good and especially the bad.

    Because This Club Belongs To Us.

    Views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of the 107IST, the Timbers Army, or the Rose City Riveters. 

  • 10/10/2022 12:04 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    The following is an open letter from the Rose City Riveters steering committee.

    Dear Players of the Portland Thorns,

    A year and a half ago, as we prepared for a partial return to in-person games, we sent an open letter to Providence Park, wishing for the day when we would be back in full voice, filling the stadium to the rafters with cheers and chants, waving flags and popping smoke. We all awaited the day when we would once again raise our voices in collective joy as we cheered you on to victory.

    Your game brings us together – it creates community from the pitch to the stands to the city that surrounds us. When the ball hits the back of the net, when a defender pulls off a perfect tackle, when the passing connects and we watch you play this beautiful game – through all of that, we lose ourselves in watching you, singing for you, sending you every ounce of energy and joy we can muster from the stands. Then we take that collective power and we spread it to the community, working to connect the dots of Team, Town, and Riveters. This spark comes from you and spreads into a bonfire that burns so bright.

    At times, over the last year, our experience in the stands has been more solemn. 

    When we watched you come together with your opponents during the 6th minute, on October 6, 2021, we were overcome by the power and strength you showed. We have watched you step up as leaders on and off the pitch– from first-year rookies to the most experienced veteran players, you have truly blown us away. As we have navigated, personally and collectively, the tricky questions of how best to show our support for you– current players, past players, future players– we eventually found ways to reclaim some of that joy. Our joy is, truly, an act of resistance and community.

    We are amazed by what you have accomplished this year. In the midst of such turmoil, you pulled together and poured your hearts into this game and each other, ultimately earning a semifinal at home. We wish that we could fill the stands with a sea of red, rise to our feet throughout the stadium, and sing with one collective voice to cheer you on. 

    Once again, we stand at a decision point. Our members and dedicated volunteers must make some tough personal decisions. Some folks simply are not comfortable in the stadium right now. Some do not feel that they can give their money to the owner. And some will purchase tickets and be there, ready to cheer with all their hearts. These are all decisions that we understand and support.

    But we want you to know. Whether we are in the stadium or outside of it, in the street or at home, we support the players of the Portland Thorns. We support you. You have been through enough, and we will be here no matter what happens next.

    Always,

    The Rose City Riveters

  • 09/25/2022 3:10 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    Every season, each Riveter is faced with the difficult task of choosing a favorite amongst a slew of deserving players. This year’s squad made the decision as tough as ever, but after the voting smoke cleared, there was a clear winner and there was no surprise who it was.

    Sophia Smith is your Rose City Riveters’ Player of the Year.


    Her stats speak for themselves: 


    At Stanford, she netted 24 goals in 33 appearances, and helped her team win the national title.


    With the USWNT U20 squad, she scored 21 goals in her 25 appearances. 


    In 2020, she was the Thorns #1 draft pick. Since then, she’s made 38 regular season appearances for the club, scoring 19 times so far.


    At the senior national team level, she’s currently at 10 goals and 23 appearances with more surely to come.


    Everybody who watches her play can see that she’s more than just those stats though. What she brings to each team is also the intangible, but noticeable, blend of joy and fierce competitiveness. Her final touch is smooth and right on target; she’s a nightmare for any defense we’re facing.


    It’s a privilege to have her wear our club’s badge, and it’s an honor to present her this award.


    - By Any Other Name #BAONPDX



  • 09/11/2022 1:50 PM | Chris Spalding (Administrator)

    It's hard to believe it's already that time again, but it is! We need you to help vote for the 2022 Riveters Supporters' Player of the Year! See past winners and read about SPOTY here.

    This year we are changing it up. Between now & September 18 cast your votes for your favorite players. Because we know it's too hard to choose just one, we've implemented ranked voting!

    The SPOTY award will be presented after the last regular season home match September 25.

    Please rank your top five choices for SPOTY here.

  • 01/26/2022 11:02 AM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    (The following is a blog by Rachel Greenough, a member of the Riveters Steering Committee. Individual opinions may not be reflective of the whole group.)

    I joined the Rose City Riveters to support the players of the Portland Thorns, and I also joined because I love what the Riveters stand for and what we do in our broader community. I imagine I speak for more than myself when I say that Monday’s statement from the players raised a lot of mixed emotions for me. First, I am genuinely glad if the current Thorns players feel that they are being treated with respect and supported by the club. I respect their individual agency, and that they are professionals who may make an informed judgment of their professional environment and their treatment there. I believe that we, as supporters, also have a distinct perspective. I want to support a front office that is transparently sharing information. I have to look at what I know in the context of what has come before and may come after the present time. The actions of the front office are still opaque, and they have not shared any communication with supporters or the 107IST that allows me to regain trust and rebuild my support for the club. 

    I would always prefer to be cheering in the stands. Many of us would prefer that to just about any other activity in our daily lives. It has been heartbreaking to spend our time and energy protesting abuse and lack of transparency. We know the players want the Portland Thorns to be the best club in the world. So do we. But that is not the reality at this time. 

    I would like to hear directly from the front office regarding what has taken place since the Paul Riley allegations came to light on September 30. I would like our front office to directly address how a player could leave a meeting believing she had been told to hide parts of her identity in public, and how they will ensure that never happens again. My trust is broken. I respect and support the players – past, present, and future – but the supporter perspective is different, and my wishes are different. I want direct action and transparency from the front office of the Portland Thorns. It is telling that in the midst of such serious allegations the only statement we have heard from our front office (since Merritt’s letter of October 4th) is one condemning the actions of the supporters who are fighting for better conditions. 

    To the front office:  We shouldn’t have to hear from the players about what is or is not being done. That does not satisfy our desire for transparency from you. I am not satisfied by what I have heard, and I call on you, the leadership of PTFC, to communicate transparently about the scope of the inquiry that has taken place and why Gavin Wilkinson has been reinstated in a leadership role with the Thorns. We, the supporters, have been here telling you what will bring us back, joyfully, into your stadium, and you have not provided any of it – or at least have not shared it publicly. I do understand that there are limits to what can be shared at any given time, but you have cut off high-level communications and have not responded to the concerns we have raised. You have not engaged in any discussion or public actions that would convince us that you acknowledge the need for accountability and change within the club. You have not told us why we should trust you again. I look forward to learning the results of the NWSL/NWSLPA investigation – which I hope will be a truly independent and thorough investigation into abuse in this league, including within PTFC – but I continue to call on you to be proactive and do better. Again, I am glad players’ demands are being met to their satisfaction. I am glad if these players feel safe and happy. However, this does not erase the harm of the past, nor ensure that it will not happen again in the future. One concrete action that will ensure player safety on a league level is the passage of a CBA that supports all players in the league. I hope that our club leadership on the NWSL Board of Governors has been meaningfully and supportively involved in that process, but I cannot, with the information publicly available, assume this to be true.

    To my fellow supporters: I absolutely respect the individual decisions that supporters are making at this time, and understand that people will be making different decisions regarding tickets, support, and collective action. It’s really hard, and I’m going through it too. I recognize that these decisions are deeply personal and rooted in your own experiences. The Riveters are here to support you, too, and to represent your collective point of view the best we can. I encourage you to continue engaging with us, as you are able. I want you to know that our fight is not over to build a better club and a safer club for everyone who comes here in the future: players and supporters alike.

  • 01/18/2022 3:01 PM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    (The following is is a guest blog by Luke Fritz)

    What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet (Romeo and Juliet, 2.2)

    On January 18th, 2013, what would eventually become known as Rose City Riveters formally met for the first time. Today marks nine years since that day and the 2022 season marks ten years of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The two previous highest tier women’s professional leagues in the United States, the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA), and Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), each suspended operations after three seasons. When the NWSL was announced in 2012, Portland was among the franchises awarded, after not being a part of either WUSA or WPS.

    In the years that have followed, the 107IST and Rose City Riveters have strived to set the standard for the support of women's professional soccer in the United States and beyond. Books have been written. Articles have been produced with regularity. And many supporters and players have moved to Portland because of this support.

    But it did not have to be this way. It does not have to be this way now or in the future, either.

    To continue with the Shakespearean motif that #BAONPDX references, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” (Hamlet, 1.4).

    The current state of affairs between Portland’s front office and supporters of the teams here is a reminder that it takes years and years of work to build something that can be undone in a matter of minutes, or, days of silence that turn into weeks, months, and years. So, for a moment, let us reflect on where we came from.

    In December of 2012, Mo Atkinson, who was 14 years old at the time, doodled a scarf design on the back of their high school math quiz, daydreaming about the newly announced NWSL franchise, Portland Thorns FC. 

    IMG_2839.JPG

    Mo’s final design looked like this:

    MoGraphicScarf.jpg

    As Mo wrote at the time: “I wanted this to resemble the iconic No Pity scarf, but I chose red and black because it's kind of fierce. Also those colors are part of the Thorns crest, and easy to distinguish from the Army scarf. I wanted to draw a TA parallel similar to the PTFC parallel, and after some brainstorming the Thorns Alliance name was my favorite.

    By Any Other Name symbolizes that the TA will support the PTFC whether it's the Timbers Army supporting the Portland Timbers Football Club or the Thorns Alliance supporting the Portland Thorns FC. Of course it originally comes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, referring to a rose like the one pictured (with prominent thorns) on the scarf.”

    After the original scarf run of 300 sold out in the days after Mo’s design went public, it seemed clear that more organizing would need to be done around supporting the new team (which at the time had 7 allocated players, including current team captain Christine Sinclair and current general manager Karina LeBlanc). Thus, on January 18th, 2013, around 40 people met at the Atkinson house in NE Portland, and attempted to flesh out what would become Rose City Riveters.

    At the time, most in attendance did not think much of this, but the event was livestreamed (with 100+ people watching) and recorded by Jeremiah M. Braebeck (who granted permission along with Mo’s dad, Paul Atkinson, for the video to be shared again today). Here it is, in all of its two hour plus glory: the first ever planning meeting for what would become Rose City Riveters:

    https://youtu.be/OR7UsgMVCec 

    As Paul Atkinson (Mo’s dad) says around minute 8, the group began by talking about why it was important for us to support women’s soccer in Portland. Groups were formed to take on various aspects of running a SG. One of the groups was tasked with creating a name. The names at the time that came out of the meeting were:

    * Rose City Rebellion
    * Rose Corps
    * Rose Guardians
    * SubRosa
    * Red Tide


    This is all to say: nobody knew what they were doing. It took a lot of time, effort, conversations, and behind the scenes dedication to even begin Rose City Riveters (again: “what’s in a name?”), and no one person knows the full extent of it. 

    Today, on the 9th birthday of the supporters group meeting for the first time, it is important to reflect on that investment. Watch minutes 8-32 in the video, if possible. That is the reason we are here. Why we will continue to be here. And in the recent words of John Nyen, why what we have built can never be broken. It is our community. Remembering where we came from means remembering why we invest so much time and effort into supporting the players on the Thorns. 

    Happy Birthday, Rose City Riveters. Here is to many more.

    This above all: to thine own self be true,

    And it must follow, as the night the day,

    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    (Hamlet, 1.3)

    Mo Atkinson holding up a two stick on April 21, 2013, at the franchise home opener for Portland Thorns FC.


  • 11/01/2021 3:26 PM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    A message from the Rose City Riveters Steering Committee:

    The Rose City Riveters Steering Committee welcomes and celebrates Karina LeBlanc as the new General Manager of Portland Thorns FC. We expect that LeBlanc will be given the autonomy to be able to draft, hire, and manage the club as she sees fit. Her experience with the Club in 2013, her long career as a player, and her recent work as the Head of Women’s Football for CONCACAF give her a unique perspective and we are excited to have a dedicated GM for the Thorns. 

    We are pleased with the positive progress indicated by LeBlanc’s appointment as the Thorns GM, especially that she will be involved in "helping to create, cultivate and manage the culture of Thorns FC."  However, the supporters’ demands of the club remain. We shared 8 demands a month ago and to date have received no direct communication from the club. We hope that LeBlanc’s appointment as GM represents an inclusive and far-reaching change, but without a view of what is happening at that table, we cannot say with confidence what progress this represents. We have asked for transparency, and our trust cannot be rebuilt without it. 

    LeBlanc’s appointment does not change our position that Wilkinson should be removed from his position within the PTFC organization for his treatment of Mana Shim in 2014, as reported in the Athletic on 9/30. The fact that a leader in the club would seek to silence an out player and encourage them to not be their true self is a fireable offense in itself, regardless of what the ongoing investigations find.

    We welcome and look forward to meeting with LeBlanc to discuss the club’s past and planning for the future.

    #baonpdx 
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 


Member, Independent Supporters Council

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software