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

  • 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. 


    Mo’s final design looked like this:


    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: 

    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.

  • 10/31/2021 10:21 AM | Gabby Rosas (Administrator)

    A message from the Rose City Riveters.

    Every year the Rose City Riveters honor one Thorns FC player who possesses and displays traits that transcend all other acknowledgements of fame, or character, or talent.

    Looking back at the past eight awards, this year’s choice continues our distinguishing of greatness. Rooted in a tradition to respect what the supporters and the recipient’s teammates clearly identify in her: Unyielding dedication, unlimited selflessness, and a stalwart heart, to play every match of the beautiful game without restraint and for the Portland Thorns Football Club.

    That is why Angela Salem has been chosen to be recognized in 2021.

    She has played in this league since its inception, and desire to succeed is timeless.

    She is a leader who displays fervor and empathy with aplomb to her opponents and teammates alike.

    When Angela gets knocked down, she doesn’t just get back up again, she becomes stronger from it and brings everyone up with her.

    It is our honor to present to her this trophy, our recognition, and our gratitude.

    Thank you, Angela Salem: The Rose City Riveters’ Supporters Player of the Year.

    - By Any Other Name #BAONPDX

    Masked players on the mainstage surrounding Salem receiving her award and cheering. Capo is next to Salem handing award over.

    Angela Salem in a match on June 20, 2021, running toward the camera.

    Trophy is a large circular gear with a plaque in the center with the Rose City Riveters crest reading 2021 Riveters' Player of the Year. Angela Salem's name is at the top. There is a metal rose attached that runs across the crest.

  • 10/13/2021 1:45 PM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    (From your Rose City Riveters Steering Committee:)

    Since the Athletic article came out, the Rose City Riveters Steering Committee have been working on responses to and staging protests against the abuses and failures of the Portland Thorns to protect their players. We have been asking for feedback from our community. We are actively collaborating with the Timbers Army Steering Committee members as well as they are a group of supporters that have volunteered to voice their ideas and help organize. Through all the discussion, player support is always at the front of what we do and we regularly reach out to the players to ensure our actions are in line with their wishes and goals. 

    Tonight, the Thorns are playing their rescheduled match against OL Reign. Our protest will not look much different from what we did last Wednesday. Here is what we ask and have planned:

    • Buy nothing from the PTFC organization. This includes concessions and merchandise. 

    • If you need a ticket, stop by the Fanladen to buy face value tickets that have been donated by other supporters. You can also buy supporter-made merchandise there from 5pm to 7pm today.  

    • Bring in two-sticks or signs showing your support of the players or displeasure with the current situation. We are aware that some signs with specific names have been confiscated. However, we have been told that as long as signs do not violate the PTFC code of conduct and do not have profanity or threats, they will be allowed in. Here’s a guide on how to make a two-stick.

    • Pick up a flyer or two from the 107ist membership table located on the concourse in the North End that gives more detail about what and why we are doing this. We continue to update this flyer as things change, which seems to be daily. 

    • Continue to spread the word via social media using the hashtags #NoMoreSilence and #ProtectThePlayers. The ongoing protests in the NWSL are having ripple effects throughout the country and creating impact down to the high school level. Things need to change and we will help lead that change.

    • Smoke at the 24th minute will continue. The 24th minute was chosen because Sinead Farrelly’s original number with the Thorns was 24 and 6 (2+4=6 ) was Mana Shim’s number.

    We are currently discussing protest escalation. We are also listening to the players and ensuring we always follow their requests. As of now, their request is for folks to continue to show up and vocally support. Continue to come out to the matches, make noise for them, and show them that we believe in them. After Wednesday, we still have one regular season match remaining. Things may change by then and so could our level of protest. We hear and see your ideas and will incorporate them into any escalation. This is an ever changing protest that must be able to be sustained until we meet our goals. 

    #baonpdx #NoMoreSilence #ProtectThePlayers

  • 09/30/2021 1:11 PM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    We are disgusted and angry about the actions and inaction reported on today in The AthleticThis is appalling and infuriating. We have supported the players of the Portland Thorns & the players in the NWSL since 2013 and will continue to but we, as supporters, are demanding more from the Portland Thorns Front Office and the NWSL. 

    We believe Sinead Farrelly, Mana Shim, Kaiya McCullough, and every other player who has been abused by NWSL owners, office staff, and coaches.

    The Portland Thorns are complicit in the NWSL’s failures, actively sweeping incidents and complaints under the rug and passing issues off to others.  We are furious that the harassment complaints were not investigated fully and that the club did not publicize the investigation or Riley’s violation of club policies, which resulted in his contract not being renewed. We are furious that Mana Shim was instructed to keep quiet about off-field concerns and that the Thorns’ comment in the article was not just a denial but also a categorization of Mana’s identity as "political or personal views."

    We expect a professional, top tier club to have the resources to:

    • Check in on the health and safety of its players

    • Thoroughly investigate player complaints or allegations 

    • Provide resources and tools for employees to know their rights and the club policies

    We want to support the best club in the world. Today’s reporting brings to light that there is a long way to go before we can make that claim. 

    The Rose City Riveters stand by the NWSL Players Associations’ 3 demands

    • That the NWSL start a new, independent investigation into the allegations against Riley.

    • That any league or club staff who are accused of conduct that violates the league's anti-harassment policy be suspended pending investigation, regardless of when the conduct in question occurred. This must occur immediately, and no later than Friday October 1, 2021.

    • That the NWSL disclose how Paul Riley was re-hired within the league after the Thorns' initial investigation in 2015.

    The players know their rights and are fighting for their rights. We support them in taking their power back, and are with them in this fight.

  • 08/18/2021 8:59 AM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    (the following is a guest post by sato)

    Today, the Women’s International Champions Cup (WICC) kicks off in Portland. If you haven’t already heard, two amazing international teams & another NWSL championship team will be here for two amazing days of soccer. But this tournament is a little different. Yes, we are the hosts, but we earned our right to be here by winning a little thing called the Challenge Cup. Why does this matter? Because this is not our tournament and we will not be the only supporters in the North End. If you already bought your GA tickets, you will have noticed two different designations: lower Riveters bowl and upper bowl. This means we will have other teams supporters in the North End. Hopefully, most bought tickets for the upper bowl. If not, and you find yourself standing next to someone wearing an opposing kit, don’t be an asshole and instead make a new friend! You are both there for the same reason, watching some kick-ass soccer. 

    Another change to our usual North End neighborhood is the lack of drums. Due to health & safety concerns, our Drums and Trumpets team will be absent until the Thorns play on August 25th. This is where your loudness comes in. We need you to make some noise and not just with your voices. Bring a pickle bucket, cymbals, even dust off those kazoos! But NO vuvuzelas, whistles or air horns! Those are never okay. We will still have capos to lead you and one lone drummer, in the front row, to set the beat.

    As a health & safety precaution, the first 10 rows of section 107 will be blocked off. Please respect this area and do not enter it. And please keep yourself and those around you safe by masking up all through the stadium. We want you to keep coming back and we do not want this to be a super spreader event.

    Let’s get loud. Let’s have fun. Let’s remind them why Portland is Soccer City USA.

  • 07/23/2021 6:55 PM | Wendy Broussard (Administrator)

    As we continue to plan all the Rose City Riveters Away Travel now that stadiums are back to 100% capacity, we are faced with other concerns that can affect our supporters & people who just want to play. Similar to the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that was passed in Tennessee, we are now seeing anti-trans sports ban legislation that has been passed in Florida & is being taken up on ballots in other states across the country. 

    On June 1, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Florida Senate Bill 1028 — an education bill that was amended to ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports at the secondary and post-secondary level consistent with their gender identity. After signing the anti-trans sports bill into action, the governor also slashed funding to LGBTQ+ organizations, which included funding and support for homeless youth through the Zebra Coalition organization.

    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, challenging this law: “Kids just want to play sports, and are confused about why their state’s leaders, who are elected to represent them, are so determined to hurt them. There is no way to be more clear: transgender children are children; transgender girls are girls; transgender boys are boys; and our community deserves respect, dignity and equal protection under the law.”

    The Rose City Riveters feel sports should be inclusive, a safe space where everyone can play & be seen as equal individuals, without fear. Given the rampant anti-trans activism in many states, this is definitely going to be a continuing issue as we navigate the official position of Riveters away travel. It may be that for some supporters in Florida this might be the only opportunity to see the team play.

    Therefore we have the ticketing information here for you to use for the upcoming match on August 14th, but we will not be officially organizing Orlando Away this year & we encourage all traveling supporters to stay home. 

    The Rose City Riveters recognize our trans community and allies in Florida and stand with them in their ability to access sport as a participant and/or as a supporter. As such, the Riveters organization has donated $107 to the Zebra Coalition. We encourage all Riveters & Thorns supporters to make your voice heard via donation and support to these organizations by whatever means you may have. Protect Trans Kids & LET THEM PLAY!

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