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

  • 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!

  • 06/19/2021 9:24 AM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    A guest post from Sato

    After a season and half, capos will be returning to the North End this Sunday. Once again, they will lead supporters in chanting and singing our Thorns in black on to victory. Due to social distancing and the threat of the plague, your capos did not gather to create and bring you any new chants. For 90+ minutes we will sing all your old favourites. A 30 minute rendition of Onward is on standby.

    Even though we could not meet, we all agreed on one thing; the gendered verbiage of our chants must go. The old gendered language was not inclusive to our players, supporters, or our opponents. Beginning this Sunday, the following chants have been updated to be gender neutral and inclusive:

    • Bon, bon, bon: The Thorns in red will lead us…
    • Girls/Thorns in red: Root for the Thorns in red…
    • Red bandana: They wore a red bandana…
      They wore it in the summer…
      Oh why they wore that color…
      They said it’s for the Thorns…

    Updated chant sheets are available on our website and some will be available on the concourse before the match. If you hear people using the gendered language, gently inform them about these changes. And if there are other areas that we have missed, please let us know. The Rose City Riveters stand for inclusivity.


    Your gender fluid, gender queer, kilt wearing, capo in 106

  • 05/14/2021 12:06 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest blog from Sato, Rose City Riveters Steering Committee & Capo

    The message below was read at the Rose City Riveters Townhall meeting in April.

    During this time of covid, I have been thinking about how we make this supporters group better and more inclusive. Where do we start? How about the beginning and a little history of how Women’s soccer came to be so big in Portland.

    10 years ago, Portland announced the forming of the NWSL and that they were one of the cities joining the league. The original plan was to play matches at the University of Portland’s Merlo Field. This plan was quickly changed because within two days the season ticket waitlist exceeded the capacity at Merlo Field. Portland was ready for Women’s Professional soccer.

    What made Portland so special that on opening day 13,000+ would watch women play soccer live? The answer lies within Merlo Field itself. Way back in the spring of 1990, I had the privilege and honor of interviewing with Clive Charles. I wanted to play soccer at UP. After asking about my credentials and qualifications, it was clear that I was not the caliber player that he was looking for. But the conversation did not end there. He told me of his dream and vision for women’s soccer, in Portland. Even though I was not qualified to play for him, he still took the time, nearly an hour, to share with me his passion. That fall I started at UP and got to witness his vision slowly come true. This was also the inaugural season of Merlo Field. That year, UP barely missed making the College Cup.

    The following year would be different. As a preseason opener, UP would host the North Carolina Tar Heels. Seating sold out within 15 minutes. Over the next few weeks we tried to find ways to add additional seating. Demand was huge. It was North Carolina after all. I don’t remember the outcome. But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is the legacy that Clive Charles had on women’s soccer in Portland.

    Why did I want to fill you in on this back story? Portland tends to forget its roots and ignore the silver spoon that makes up Portland and what brought about Thorns soccer. This is the history of Portland in general. Investigate the history of Oregon’s Black exclusion laws, which began in the early pioneer territorial era, and rather than corrected, were actually reinforced in Oregon’s subsequent statehood and constitution. Why are the Portland police so racist? They were literally formed by the KKK. What does this have to do with Portland soccer? Once again, Portland has ignored its roots and taken credit for all the hard work others have done to make women’s soccer what it is in Portland. For those who do not know, Clive Charles was a Black man.

    Portland supporters/fans also gloss over the built in volunteer workforce that helps create the rambunctious game day atmosphere. Chants, drums, flags, tifo and all the other things we see on game day didn’t just happen because we are the best fans in the world. Portland had the infrastructure to make all this happen. Most SGs started from ground zero.

    Why does this matter? The Riveters have consistently held the arrogant attitude that we are the best fans in the world just by the sheer volume of fans in the stadium. While averaging 20k+ fans for home matches is nothing to ignore, we belittle other markets that struggle. Did those same markets have the same 30+ year infrastructure ready to go? No, they did not. They suffer the same reality all other women’s teams suffer, lack of funding, media and support.

    The past year has been a rude awakening for many people. Reconciling with systemic out right racism within themselves and their community. People are finally recognizing those outside of their bubble and norms.

    While the world has a long way to go, we can start at home and within ourselves. What does a reformed Riveters SG look like? What do we want to be remembered for? I don’t expect us to be at full capacity until next season, but we can start now to think of what a more inclusive community looks like. Yes, we can still be soccer hooligans for 90 minutes, but what do we look like the rest of the time? Remember, one man had a vision for women’s soccer. Let us not tarnish that vision.

  • 04/16/2021 3:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Like many of you, I had a hard time getting as excited as I wanted to be about a Thorns game yesterday. Thorns vs. Chicago is always a good game, and it was probably my most anticipated Challenge Cup game. Last Friday night, when I saw the entire team- the entire bench and coaching staff- kneel on the field for the anthem, I felt emotional and hopeful for what this league can stand for. I was proud, last year, of the Thorns players who spoke up about the work being done within the club, the visibility of warm-up shirts with clear messaging that Black Lives Matter, the unified anthem protests. Then came the post-game post on Friday night, and the weekend that followed, and all the days leading up to Tuesday when the Thorns front office finally decided to remove Friday’s tweet. I am so excited to watch this Thorns team – so excited to support them this year. But I am embarrassed and angry that our front office is taking steps backward in the commitment to social justice. 

    I’ve learned a lot in the past year and I have a long way to go. One thing that I’ve learned, or reinforced, is to listen when someone- particularly someone who belongs to a group that has been marginalized- does the work of letting us know that our actions have harmed them. I used to believe that intention mattered as much as impact. It turns out I was wrong. When it comes to public statements and actions, impact matters more. Black players and their supporters, from around the league, have put themselves out there to let our front office know that their language was racially loaded and perpetuates a harmful narrative, and – until Tuesday – our front office and its employees just doubled down. 

    Black people should not have to do this work, but they are. They have taken a remarkably heavy weight on their shoulders by standing up and saying what is wrong. As a white person, I need to back them up and take this on as well. I will never be one to spew personal abuse at anyone. I can’t know anyone’s personal journey or beliefs from behind a screen. But I can look at actions through an anti-racist lens and I can say: The Portland Thorns and their social media team got this wrong and the harm they caused far outweighs any intention or any action they now take regarding this incident.

    There is no erasing the harm of the last week. Apologies are important, especially when they demonstrate that real understanding has dawned and growth is happening, but they will not fix this. The trust that has been lost with Black fans, and many other fans as well, doesn’t just come back. This isn’t the first time this has happened with our front office, and it won’t be the last.

    So how do we move forward? This incident may already be receding for some, but our response doesn’t need to. The only way the front office can make this better is to make significant changes. Chicago didn’t play the anthem at their game this week. We could do that. OL Reign put Black Futures Coop Fund on the front of their jerseys and supports player-led initiatives that are making the world better and less racist and transphobic. That is innovative and awesome. Where is Portland in all of this? Oh yeah, we’re over here barely back-pedaling on a really terrible tweet (and supporting the Portland Business Alliance while they’re at it). I’m upset and I’m embarrassed that this is my club. I call on our front office to do better. I’m mad that I can’t be shouting joyfully from the rooftops that we won our first two games even with a barely full roster, and I love this team. And I’m even more angry that this club is causing such hurt and exhaustion to Black people through their racist action and, even more, inaction. What would make it better? Get ahead of this and do things better next time, and the time after that, and every other time, way into the future.

    Nothing changes without action by the supporters. The Riveters are nothing without the hundreds or thousands who make up this supporters group. The volunteers, the fans, everyone who stands in the North End or elsewhere and wants this club to be better. Please contact your ticket rep and tell them that the tweet got it wrong, and you don’t want the anthem, and you want to know what they will do to rebuild the trust that has been lost. Don’t let them write us off as a vocal few— show them that we are many and we want change. If you, like me, are not quite sure who your rep is at the moment, you can use Take those fingers and write an email to the club. And when you do, please cc the 107IST board at The Riveters also want to do better, and that is also driven by you. You are the Riveters. Come to a meeting, write a blog post, or get in touch if you have ideas and want to work to make them happen. One place to start for that is

    Black Lives Matter.

  • 03/19/2021 12:23 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Dear Christine, 
    We are fortunate to watch the greatest goal scorer of all time, play in our town and on our pitches. You have helped create thousands of soccer fans from your time leading the Portland Pilots to 2 NCAA Championships to your upcoming 9th season with the Portland Thorns. When I ask my friends who their favorite Thorn is, by far, the top answers are Sinc, Sincy, and the GOAT. Many fans have struggled over the past year with the challenges that the pandemic has created. The personal impacts have been substantial for many of us. You and the Thorns have been a bright spot and an escape in these trying times.  
    While we have not been able to cheer for you in person, we have had the opportunity to meet virtually to watch the Challenge Cup, Fall Series, and even just to play bingo. It has been incredible to meet new friends, who are not just here in the PNW, but all over the US. We even have had supporters join the watch parties from Chile, Thailand, and Australia. None of this would have happened without you and the Thorns. As we look forward to the future the hope is beginning to emerge again. 

    We are looking forward to safely returning to Providence Park.
    We are looking forward to cheering for you.
    We are looking forward to seeing the red smoke rise in the North End when you score a goal.
    We are looking forward to celebrating the team, win, lose, or draw.
    Most importantly…
    We are looking forward to being together as supporters, as friends, and as family in our favorite home away from home. 
    Thank you for all that you do for this town and embracing Portland as your home.  
    One Goal Beyond! 

    A Rose City Riveter

  • 03/10/2021 12:22 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Dear Becky,

    Hello. Thanks for the introduction, though you do not need one. We have been waiting for you with open arms. 

    For the past 7 years, we have been in awe of you and you’ve broken our hearts more than once. We still remember the 2014 playoffs, after all. 

    When news broke last year that you were coming to Portland, we were elated. This was right before the pandemic changed everything. Since then, we’ve been watching from afar and have been subtle in our displays of affection, but since you wrote us we thought it only appropriate that we respond. 

    We look forward to the day where we get to root for you in person. We look forward to backing you up when there are challenging calls made, when emotions overflow, and when you inevitably net your first in the north end. In a normal year, we would have had a dance party after your first match. We missed that opportunity last year so we are working on our moves for when we’re back together.

    We have been watching you on your national team duty, too. We are proud of the leadership you provide every day and we are proud to have 2 national team captains wearing our colors. 

    We know the stadium is quiet now. And we suspect it will remain quiet for a while longer. And as we slowly start returning to the stadium, know that we will not be in full voice until it is safe for everyone. We have many in our community who cannot take the risk or do not want to be a risk for others, so we are being very cautious. This does not mean that we do not care, but rather that we care so much about the community we’ve built. We all return to Providence Park, to create the party we’re familiar with, but we also know we cannot do that alone. We’ll be back when we can all be together. 

    Until then, know we’re supporting you and the rest of the squad from our living rooms and backyards. And as much as we love roses, we are also big fans of hardware. We’ll need something on the line for our inevitable dance off. 

    Your supporters,

    The Rose City Riveters

  • 12/30/2020 12:22 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    In 2019, many of us spent time with Chris Henderson. Chris was working on his thesis for his PhD in Philosophy in American Studies (Sports Studies) at the University of Iowa, and met with many of you, both in the North End and at Fanladen. Chris’s thesis has now been made public- “Pleasurable labors: activist fandom, sport communities, and the performance of place”- and you can read it here.

    Thank you to those of you who took time to meet with Chris, and warm thanks to Chris for representing Rose City Riveters and all that we collectively strive for so well. 

  • 12/18/2020 12:21 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Quarantining for another holiday sucks! Start the day with your fellow Riveters and join Sato in a mobility workout to get those tired and sore joints & muscles moving!

    This will be an informal group exercise together. It will be a low impact, movement workout meant to get your joints limber & to move with greater range of motion.

    Join us!  Either in your PJ’s or workout clothes and with your favorite beverage…it doesn’t matter! No equipment necessary.

    (Use the REGISTER button at this link – the meeting link will be emailed to you on 12/24)

  • 12/14/2020 12:21 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Our relationship with the players is unique. It’s something that I cherish about being part of the Riveters community.

    COVID-19 has changed that this year. The North End was silent. No home games. No interactions with the players or staff.

    Let’s send a card or short note to our Thorns to let them know that we are thinking of them.

    An anonymous donor has offered to cover the cost of cards and/or postage for those in need. Contact Rose City Riveters for assistance;

    Cards are to be mailed to Fanladen where they will be sent to the players with the Front Office assistance.

    Have cards mailed by Jan 8, 2021.

    Please address the cards in this format:

    Player’s name
    ℅ Riveters
    1633 SW Alder St.
    Portland, OR 97205

Member, Independent Supporters Council

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