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  • 04/14/2013 5:18 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Two minutes and seventeen seconds after the ball was put into play in the inaugural game of the National Women’s Soccer League, the players for FC Kansas city celebrated together just outside the 18 yard box. Two minutes and seventeen seconds into their first game and the Portland Thorns nose was bloodied.

    Coming into the first game of the year many pundits declared the Thorns championship contenders, but all it took was a ball played into a dangerous area, Rachel Buehler making a mistake and suddenly Renae Cuellar slotted the ball past Karina Leblanc for the first goal in NWSL history.

    Suddenly all the prognostications, ideals and guesses went out the window and the Portland Thorns reached that point of realization that they were indeed playing competitive soccer against a very good team and they indeed had to work at this. However, the reality is that this is a team (right now) in name only.

    This Thorns 2013 season will be a work in progress as evidenced by the issues with passing, connection and positioning on the field. During the first half, possession was squandered repeatedly with long hopeful balls up the field as the Thorns seemingly intended to bypass their midfield and get the ball into the feet of their two most dangerous players, Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair.

    When they did have the ball in the midfield, several times Allie Long and Angie Kerr had problems linking up and finding the ability to switch the field to open up the play.

    Certainly one must give credit to FC Kansas city as they pressed through the midfield with the wind of a opening game, a sold out crowd, and the intent of disrupting the time that the Thorns had on the ball. The tactic worked as frequently the Thorns were turned back at connecting through the midfield or launched hopeless balls up-field  Seemingly the Thorns were trying to “get up” at FC Kansas City quickly through the air, but the back two pairing for Kansas City were able to blanket and neutralize Sinclair and Morgan leaving them isolated up top.

    However, at the start of the second half, the Thorns started showing their qualities with better link up play and better pressing. While still missing that complete telepathic connection necessary to really be able to play with trust, the Thorns started connecting passes through the midfield a bit more than they had in the first half.

    The introduction of Danielle Foxhoven at the 64th minute and the small shift of the Thorns to a quasi 4-3-2-1 with Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair (at times) settling in behind Foxhoven seemed to provide a better attacking formation that allowed the Thorns to begin testing the FC Kansas City back line. Foxhoven became the tip of the spear and the move paid off almost immediately as Foxhoven was bundled over by Lauren Sesselmann in the box and the Thorns were awarded a penalty kick. Now this wasn’t the most stonewall penalty that you are going to see, but the intent of Foxhoven and the pass from Allie Long forced Kari Seitz to make a call and make a call she did. Thorns captain Christine Sinclair stepped up to the ball and dispatched the very first goal in Thorns NWSL history.

    There were times in both the second and first half where the brilliance would shine, the Thorns would keep position, they would pass, move, connect and threaten, but this style was few and far between and the ability of FC Kansas City to press, recover and hit on the counter attack disrupted the flow of the Thorns. Truth be told, the play was very scrappy at times for both teams as they looked like two groups that were still feeling out how to play with their new teammates. Given the high number of international players on both teams, the plain fact is that many of the players (like Morgan, Sinclair, Leblanc, Cuellar, Cheney) were playing with their National Teams these past few weeks rather than solely working on the bond with their new club teammates. I would posit that the real shape of both Portland and Kansas City will not be known until much farther along in the season.

    Going forward into the home opener against that fishing village to the north, the Thorns will hopefully be able to use the next week to work on the communication, spacing and positioning issues with the back four and the midfield. Given that the full team only had roughly two full games together in the pre-season (minus of course the absent-til-summer Tobin Heath), it makes sense that the Thorns would look choppy. Fans can look forward to the gelling of the starting 11 and a better representation of the Thorns playing style in the future. Next week at Jeld Wen Field I expect a raucous crowd of (potentially) over 15,000 pushing the Thorns on to a great performance.

  • 04/12/2013 5:14 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Good day, gentle people of Portland, I greet you from a new location (the By Any Other Name Blog) roughly 24 hours from the very first kick of the National Women’s Soccer League.

    I’ll be writing recaps of games and general analysis here, and I do hope that you will join me after the games to talk Thorns.

    Having said that… what do we talk about right now?

    We talk about Portland and the Portland Thorns.

    Now there has been hubub about everything in regards to the Thorns, the NWSL, the league structure, players (Oh HAI Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan), supporters group names, scarves and even what t-shirt that the common supporter should wear to the game.

    What can be lost in all this drama is the reason we support.

    The Portland Thorns are new, yes. However the history of women’s soccer that exists in Portland is long and its legacy great. In my mind, the reason to support the Thorns has very little to do with simply “needing to support the NWSL” but rather everything to do with Team and Town. Now, you may notice that in the equation we don’t have the “RCR”. That’s because the foundation of that organization in every form is being built NOW. Right now,  the plans are being laid in place for the shape of the support for the Thorns.  If you have ever wanted to paint new flags, create new traditions, sing new songs that show your love of town and team, now is your opportunity. The slate for the Thorns is clean, but backed up by the experience and wealth of knowledge brought to a bubble by the 100+ year history of the game in Portland, and (for many) the years of experience within the construct of the Timbers Army.  The demand for and love of soccer in this city is such that fans can’t wait for even the first kick to show their love of this city and the women that play for it.

    And that brings us to the crux of this matter:

    This city and the women that play for it. There is history here with this squad. This isn’t just some loose organization of player with no tie to the area. Rather there are players here who truly love this special place.

    They (the NWSL) asked for four cities and my four cities were Portland, Portland, Portland, and Portland” – Christine Sinclair – Extra Time Radio Interview

    Christine Sinclair arrived for college in Portland in 2001. She did just about everything possible that could be done on a collegiate level for the Portland Pilots. She was Freshman of the Year, won two national championships,  won the Hermann Trophy (top women’s soccer player of the year in college)  TWICE, won the award for college woman athlete of the year, and set the all time division 1 goal scoring record. For some she is the best player in the world (although many could point to the OTHER forward for the Thorns, Alex Morgan). The ties between Sinclair, the Portland Timbers, and local Portland soccer extend as the coach for Sinclair at the University of Portland was the irreplaceable Clive Charles. Charles passed away of prostate cancer the year after Sinclair and the Pilots women won the 2002 NCAA National Championship.

    This was no small incident of one man having a small impact on someones life though as Sinclair indicated in an interview on the Portland Thorns website.

    Being recruited by many schools, he was the only coach that seemed to care about you as a person first and an athlete, second or third. My parents used to rent a house from him up in Burnaby well before I was even born. It’s just a small world. I have known Clive for my whole life, not very well at first, but when he came up to recruit me, he wanted to go hang out with my grandparents. It’s just weird how it all happened.

    The first thing that crosses my mind always is winning Clive that National Championship. It being the last game he ever coached and just seeing him hugging the trophy after they presented it to our team, 

    Read the full interview here on the Portland Thorns website

    You can see the love that Sinclair has for Charles, and for Portland when she talks. To me, it isn’t just talk as she showed when she was back in Portland for training.

    Christine Sinclair visits Clive Charles grave

    This  is the continued legacy that we ask for,  the connection the Portland fans demand from the players: an understanding of the town, of the people who shaped soccer in the area, and a love of the things that make Portland a tremendous place to live.

    It isn’t just Sinclair but players like Danielle Foxhoven and Angie Kerr (both Portland alumni) who bring that connection of Town and Team. It is up to the fans to reinforce the triangle and bring the connection of all three ideals of supporting the Thorns, Portland and the Rose City Riveters to light as we all gather to watch the Thorns play their first few games.

    There will be bumps in the road, both in terms of team and support. However, the unifying tie of Portland, the love of the beautiful game, and the bonds of friendship that this close community will create are what bring us together in the stands.

    This isn’t just a women’s team, or a men’s team. This is a team that represents Portland. It may be new, but it is ours.

    New isn’t a dirty word, it isn’t a word indicative of something bad, it is a word that means “Not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time.”

    Whilst the Thorns may not yet be entrenched in your heart, that is because this is a first date. Some of us will fall in love at first sight, some of us will fall in love when we learn the personality and character of our date; and some of us might swoon at the play. To grow in love is to experience life together, to share in that common bond of highs, lows and to understand those items that not only are positive, but (as well) negative.

    As Joe Strummer once said “The Future is Unwritten.

    We are creating this future, one brick at a time, one email at a time, one player at a time and it is on the backs of the fans that this team will grow.

    Now, let us gather once more to root on Portland, to sing for our city and our team as we have before.

    Onward.

    ~

    John Nyen

  • 04/11/2013 5:13 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Hey, artsy types. We need your help.

    Now that we’ve settled on a name, we’re going to need a badge. We need something that represents us, that tells our story, that helps people understand all of the things we stand for.

    Here come those words again: dedication, strength, perseverance, loyalty, community.

    You can do this.

    Please send your designs to rosecityriveters@gmail.com by noon April 21st. We’ll pick the top four or five to present to the world and the winning design will eventually be used, well, EVERYWHERE. For your trouble, we’ll set you up with the new scarf when it comes out as well as copies of whatever items your crest appears on this season. In addition, you will receive FAME and GLORY. And, if you’re of age, someone somewhere will probably buy you a beer, though that’s not guaranteed.*

    Here’s the fine print: any and all submissions become the property of Rose City Riveters and may be reproduced in the future at the discretion of RCR.

    *Okay, if you win, I’ll buy you a beer. But I’ll need to see your ID first if you look like you might be under 30.


  • 04/04/2013 5:12 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    We united under the Thorns Alliance banner for one purpose: to support Portland Thorns FC.

    Forty-five of us gathered in a house in Northeast Portland on a cold January night. We laughed, we argued, we brainstormed ideas. How do we go about this whole thing? What needs to be done? Flags and tifo, chants and drums, a social media presence. What else?

    An identity.

    Dedication. Strength. Perseverance.

    Loyalty. Community.

    How do you convey all of this?

    Well, I think we’ve managed to do that with the name we’ve chosen.

    The poll went up four nights ago. Voting was close and, at the end of the day, the name chosen is Rose City Riveters.

    We’re all familiar with the image of Rosie the Riveter. She was a composite of many different “Rosies,” women who went to work in the defense industry in the ’40s. In Seattle, Rosies went to work for Boeing. In Detroit, they built automobiles. In Portland, they worked for the Kaiser shipyards. At one point in those war years, two-thirds of Portland’s workforce worked for Kaiser, many of them women who had never before worked outside the home.

    It was a time in our history when many people were called to serve their country in many ways. It was a time that required that everyone do their part.

    In Portland, it was a time of change. In addition to Portland’s Rosies, people came from across the country to work for Kaiser, many purely out of a sense of duty. When affordable housing was scarce, Kaiser lobbied the federal government to build Vanport. And when soldiers began returning from the war and required retraining to enter the workforce, the Vanport Extension Center was opened. After the Vanport Flood of 1948, VEC moved into downtown Portland and became what we now know as Portland State University.

    So, there’s your bit of Portland history. Now, about those rivets.

    In the simplest of terms, rivets are the things that hold stuff together.

    Recognizing that two professional women’s soccer leagues have failed in recent history, we believe that now more than ever, it is the responsibility of supporters and supporters groups to be the rivets that hold this new league together. Owners and players can only give so much. If we don’t show up to support – and show up en masse – the league will crumble as those that came before.

    And more than that, because of where we are, here in Soccer City, USA, the bar is set pretty high. We will set the standard for the support of women’s professional soccer in the United States.

    Get ready.

    Rose City Riveters

    By Any Other Name

  • 04/04/2013 5:11 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    A post went up on the Facebook page last night offering options for the renaming of what is now the Thorns Alliance and asking people to carefully consider and vote for the one that best represents this group.

    While we would love to be able to hold tight to the Thorns Alliance name, we would also like to avoid any sort of trademark issues like the ones the 107ist has been dealing with over the last year, most recently the dispute with MLS over the rights to the Cascadia Cup. The 107ist has been incredibly helpful to us and the last thing we want to do is add an undue burden to their already heavy workload.

    Thanks to all who have participated in the process thus far. The poll will be up until Sunday at 5 p.m.

  • 03/31/2013 5:10 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    If you were at the friendly at Merlo yesterday, or if you’ve been on the Facebook page, you’ve probably seen The Scarf.

    It’s pretty simple, a red and black bar scarf with red and green fringe. “Thorns Alliance” appears in white on one side and, on the other, the words “BY ANY OTHER NAME.” It’s a pretty sharp-looking piece and, suddenly, everyone wants one.

    But here’s the problem: they were done in a very limited run by an individual, not the group. If you’re lucky enough to have one in your possession, treasure it. It is unlikely that another run will be produced without some significant changes.

    We’re hopeful that, sometime in the future, we will grow to be a large enough group that a scarf run will be possible, but it will be different than the scarf that has already been produced.

    In the meantime, your best bet is joining the Facebook group and checking the discussion there to see if anyone has an extra they’d like to sell or trade.


  • 03/25/2013 5:08 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Q. I want to stand, chant, and wave flags during matches. Where in the stadium should I go?
    A. General Admission at Thorns matches is Sections 101-110. The supporters group will stand in Section 107 and will spread out to Sections 106-108 as 107 fills up. You should expect your views in the supporters section to be obscured with waving flags, and your ears to be filled with chants which may get salty. We also stand all game long. If you’re in the supporters section, you’re expected to participate! It is up to us to make all that joyous noise to propel our team to victory. If someone urges you to sing, don’t get mad, get LOUD.

    Q. What is everybody singing? I want to sing but I don’t know the words. 
    A. Look around for someone giving out red and yellow cards. No, no, not the ref. Someone in the stands. Those cards have the lyrics to the current group of chants on them.

    You may also see people who don’t seem to be watching the game. They are focused on singing. They face the crowd, not the game, and they mouth the words very carefully. These people are called capos* and are there to help you learn the words. They are also important in large crowds since they keep us all singing the same verse at the same time so songs don’t turn into rounds. Watch them closely and follow their lead.

    Q. Oh! I see the capos! They’re on that cool stage in front of 107! Can I go on it? Can I let my kids climb into the smaller capo nests? Can me and my buddies go up and hang out in the flag cage?
    A. No.

    Q. I want to spend the whole game sitting down quietly and looking at my phone/video game. Where should I go?
    A. I think you know the answer to that.

    Q. The flags are awesome. Where did they come from?
    A. The flags belong to the 107ist, a non-profit organization that you should join today.  Members of the supporters group decorated some of the flags—you can get involved doing this too!  If there’s a flag at your seat, you should wave it! Try to be considerate of the people around you and the flow of the game.

    THE FLAGS ARE NOT GIFTS.

    LEAVE THEM IN THE STADIUM AFTER THE MATCH.  

    If you see someone stealing a flag, alert someone official. The flag budget is limited, and the ones we have need to last all season.
    If you want to help out by rolling your flag back up after the game, gathering flags, or bringing them back up to the top of the stairs, you are warmly invited to do so and it will be very much appreciated.

    Q. How do you come up with chants?
    A. Different members of the supporters group suggest chants and we try them out. The best ones take off! To take part in our chant discussions, join the forums on this site and post your ideas!

    Q. What if I come up with a great chant idea at the game?
    A. Try it out! If there’s not another chant going on, just yell it out. Teach it to the people around you; chants have a better chance of catching on if a few people are singing them.

    Q. I have a great idea for a two-stick banner. What should I do?
    A. Make it! Here’s a very helpful forum post with instructions from our own JNyen. Here are some handy tips from the Timbers Army. There are a few conventions you’ll want to keep in mind when creating your own flags and banners.

    Q. What was that spectacular thing that happened right after the National Anthem?
    A. For some games, there are coordinated displays. They are called tifoSometimes a tifo display involves the participation of some or all of the supporters, so if you get to your seat and there are instructions there, please read them and be sure the people around you do the same and follow them carefully. The creation of larger tifo displays often requires a lot of people to help in the weeks and days before a match.

    Q. I totally want to get involved with creating tifo! I want to play drums! I want to be a capo! I want to help in some other way!
    A. Those aren’t questions, but your enthusiasm is admirable. Just join the forums on this site and participate in discussions in the Volunteer Opportunities forum. This is currently where we issue calls for help with tifo painting and setup. You can also ask around at games to find members of the game day crew.

    *Note to the writer of the linked article: Of course there are female capos out there, silly boy.

  • 03/25/2013 5:08 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Every passing day brings us a little closer to seeing our Thorns on the pitch at Jeld-Wen for the first time in competition in the NWSL.

    Tifo plans are underway, chants are being fine-tuned. We’re. Almost. There.

    Now’s the time to get involved. Now’s the time to get stuck in.

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