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

  • 04/26/2020 12:10 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Rose Haven is an important organization in our community, serving women, children, and gender non-conforming folks experiencing the trauma of abuse, loss of home, and other disruptive life challenges. They have continually adapted their service model during this time, and have continued to provide vital direct support to individuals in the Portland area. Below are their most urgent needs, including an opportunity to support local business Next Adventure by purchasing and donating supplies to Rose Haven. We know that many women find themselves in dangerous situations during this time. If you are able, consider supporting Rose Haven in their ongoing work.

    Purchase outdoor supplies from Next Adventure for donation to Rose Haven. Support a local business, and get 50% off the retail price of items to be donated. They will be shipped directly to Rose Haven. Needed items are available for as little as $0.80 up to $110. Anything helps! Click here to shop.

    Sponsor a meal for someone at Rose Haven via Feed it Forward PDX ($5 and up) by clicking here

    There is also an amazon wish list for items needed by Rose Haven, available by clicking here

    Dollar donations are also badly needed to continue providing direct services to women in the Portland area who are experiencing houselessness, hunger, or abuse. Please consider a financial donation if possible.

  • 04/12/2020 12:09 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    As we end the third week of the stay-at-home orders from Oregon’s Governor, many grassroots activities have started up to help our community during these challenging times. Be it an attempt to get additional resources for the Oregon Food Bank or Meals on Wheels, or schools and businesses raiding their own N95 face mask and glove supplies for frontline healthcare workers, Oregonians have come together to help each other prepare and respond to this pandemic as best we can.

    There has also been an increasing need for face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Professional-grade equipment is required for healthcare workers and first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. This equipment is professionally made to a certain medical standard. This is the equipment — such as N95 masks, face shields, and other equipment — you see hospital workers using. 

    We should also be wearing our own face masks when in public. The CDC has recommended cotton face coverings and social distancing whenever someone is out and about — be it exercising or getting essentials at the market. There are many ways to make your own face mask, and the CDC has compiled a list of ways to make different masks.

    There are also groups that are organizing mask-makers to help meet the growing demand from various organizations for these face masks. One group, Make Masks, was featured in our latest member newsletter. To date, they have coordinated the creation of more 16,000 masks. If you can get involved with them (can sew or can make a donation), please see their website.

    In an effort to help the supply chain for personal cotton masks, and to support the efforts to get more cotton personal face masks to our community, the 107ist board has purchased one thousand, 100 percent cotton face masks, which we plan to donate to local organizations that need these items. One of our scarf producers, Euroscarves, has recently adjusted their operation to make cotton face masks, and we are proud to purchase from them. 

    The 107ist is asking our membership to fund this donation through a buy one, give one model. In addition to the one thousand masks for the community, we have also ordered an additional thousand for our members to be able to purchase for personal use. While buying face masks for yourself and household, you will be paying forward the donation to our local organizations.

    We are offering this through a few different options: You can buy 5 facemasks and donate 5, buy 2 and donate 8, or just donate 5. If you have the means to support this effort, please see the event on our website below for more information and to register. 

    Important notes:

    • 100 percent cotton face masks will not protect you from the COVID-19 virus. These masks are intended to help you protect others by covering your nose and mouth at all times while in public. The CDC, as well as Oregon’s Health Authority, continue to advocate for social distancing when in public, in addition to wearing personal face masks.
    • Please do not consider these face masks a solution for social distancing. These are not medical-grade masks. 
    • While these are not single-use masks, it is recommended that you wash the mask after each use. Please wash with soap and water and let air dry before you use the mask again.

  • 03/12/2020 12:09 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    As supporters of teams in the National Women’s Soccer League, all of which have players who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, we strongly condemn the misogynistic mindset of the US Soccer Federation as reflected in the rhetoric of their recent court filing on March 9, 2020. It is clear to us that the USSF has chosen a path of explicit discrimination on the basis of sex.

    As dedicated supporters of women’s soccer in America, we caution U.S. Soccer that we expect the federation to adequately and equitably support the women whose athletic achievements and larger cultural impact have drawn us to this sport. U.S. Soccer now finds itself on the wrong side of history. We urge sponsors and potential sponsors of U.S. Soccer to join us in condemning the federation for their argument that women do not perform equal work because they are less skilled and have less responsibilities than their male counterparts.

    U.S. Soccer has taken a paternalistic approach to women’s soccer, asking the players and supporters to be grateful for what they have given us — including the National Women’s Soccer League. Instead, we urge U.S. Soccer to change course to avoid further alienation of their fans and to protect their ability to have a productive and positive impact on our culture as a sport and as a nation.

    Signed 3/12/2020

    Bayou City Republic (@BayouCityRep, Houston Dash)

    Black Swans Drinking Club (@BlackSwansDC, Orlando Pride)

    Chicago Local 134 (@Chicagolocal134, Chicago Red Stars, ISC member)

    Cloud 9 (Sky Blue FC, ISC member)

    The Court (CourtofRoyals, Utah Royals)

    Order of the Reign (@OrderOfTheReign, OL Reign)

    Pride’s Crown (@PridesCrown, Orlando Pride, ISC member)

    Rose City Riveters (@PDXRivetersSG, Portland Thorns, ISC member)

    Royal Guard (@RoyalGuard_SG, OL Reign)

    Spirit Squadron (@SpiritSquadron, Washington Spirit, ISC member)

    The Uproar (@UproarNC, North Carolina Courage, ISC member)

  • 02/19/2020 12:08 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest post by Megan Drake (@drummerlib) and Tina Ettlin (@tinalope_)

    I’ve always felt that there’s a sense of mystery surrounding how people get to be a Riveters capo or members of the DnT crew, which isn’t the best. In an ideal world, everyone knows how to join us so that no one feels intimidated or unsure about volunteering to join us. So, now I’m writing my first ever blog post so that everyone DOES know how it all works.

    I can’t count the number of times that people have come up to me at a Thorns match and said something along the lines of, “I’m a drummer/trumpeter/horn player! I’d love to join you guys!” My response is usually something along the lines of, “That’s great! Sign up for the e-mail list and keep an eye out for the call for volunteers that we send in the off season!” I do that for a reason. There’s so much going on during a match that I know I won’t remember any one person that expressed interest to me and I’d never want anyone to feel left out or excluded. Having everyone come through a single place makes it so much easier for us to manage and greatly reduces the likelihood of anyone being accidentally excluded.

    That said – having the volunteer form only come out during the off-season creates a barrier to volunteering. So, we’ve decided to make a change. Now, the volunteer form will be available year-round. The link will be printed on the chant sheets and linked from the Riveters website. Anyone can express interest in joining the Riveters Capos or DnT at any time.

    Yes, the link is here too:

    That’s the first step to joining our crew – expressing interest. Now comes the fun part.


    We currently hold at least one try-out session per season, during the preseason tournament. We are toying around with the idea of holding a second set of tryouts mid-season, but a lot of that depends on our needs as the season goes along.

    Here’s how tryouts work for DnT:

    Anyone that is trying out on a horn is given the sheet music in advance. Yes, the Riveters have sheet music for all of the chants that include horns. Yes, you can still improvise within reason. We’ve just found that people tend to find it easier to join when they have music to use for practicing before tryouts. There’s no sheet music for the drums, though. The beats aren’t hard and you’ve been hearing the chants for a while. We’ve never had anyone struggle too hard with picking it up.

    When tryout day comes, anyone interested in drumming is put on a drum. We’ve got spare mallets so there’s no need to bring a pair, but you probably want gloves so your hands aren’t destroyed. There’s at least one (if not more) experienced DnT drummers also on drums so there’s someone doing the beats that you can follow. The match starts and the capo calling chants gets us rolling. Your job as a person trying out is to do your best to keep up with the drumming / horn playing. We know you won’t be perfect. All of us still make mistakes at matches on the regular. All we want is for you to hit the drum hard and keep within tempo. (DON’T RUSH K THX) If we see someone having a bit of a hard time picking up a particular beat (some of the chants have a lot of syncopation), one of us will be very overt with how the beats go so that it’s easier to follow. This is also why some chants go longer than expected on tryout day. We want to give the people trying out a good shot at learning the complicated beat.

    This means – If you’re in the crowd, please don’t yell at me if Onward goes for 10 minutes on tryout day. It’s happening for a reason and it’s preseason. Chill TF out.

    Once the match is over, all DnT members at the match get together and decide as a group what the results are. Some people are full members right away. Some people are subs for a while before they become full members. Some people stay as subs. It all depends on what we need within DnT, how you fit in the crew, and how you did during your tryout. We let you know that day if you’re still around in the stadium. Otherwise, you’ll get an email from me. It’s pretty rare for someone to not be at least a sub, so try not to stress too much.

    For capos, the tryout looks like this:

    We will find a spot for you during the match – either in a bucket, on the mainstage or at the top of 107. Depending on the amount of people we have trying out, we may switch people out or change your spot during the half. I highly recommend bringing cough drops or lozenges to help protect your throat.

    The biggest (and maybe the most obvious) thing we will look for? Know. Our. Chants. It’s the biggest part of what we do. We know you may not get the hand signals right off the bat but we have a key to give you to help you learn.

    Another part of our job as capos is getting our sections back on track after something happens on the pitch because yelling at the refs is evergreen and our people are incredible at it. Stay engaged with your sections and keep the energy up. The people around you feed off the energy you give to keep the North End the powerful presence everyone loves.

    Just like with DnT, we will get together after all the tryouts finish and discuss the results. We do like to keep a solid list of subs because sometimes one of our full time capos needs a match off. We’re all human! Our hope is to one day get the lower bowl fully involved so more permanent capos are needed.

    That’s pretty much it! We know that we all have lives and we are all volunteers, but we do ask that you sign a code of conduct when you join. The gist of it is basically:

    • If you’re a full member, you need to be a season ticket holder
    • Be professional during matches.
    • Be reliable – if you commit to being at a match, be there.
    • Be sober during matches. A little bit o’ the sauce is fine but you’ve got a job to do.
    • Pay attention. Again, you’ve got a job to do. No being distracted by your phone or even the match.


    Oh, and if you decide to fill out that handy-dandy volunteer form and come try out? WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!

    See you in March!

  • 02/04/2020 12:07 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    By our capo, Sunday White

    So, I was standing there, in the cold and wet, waiting in line to have my Axe photos taken the other day, and an odd thing occurred.

    A number of people that I have not met before, and who I do not usually see on match day, said to me some variation of “Capos have to wait in line, too?” or “Why are you waiting in line?”. I bet they would say the same thing to the Game Day Ops folks, any of the past or present board members, or the flag/rigging/tifo crews IF they knew them by face. In fact, I’ve since confirmed that this phenomenon has happened to my buddies in the DnT (Drums & Trumpets) who are, of course, visible, and usually pop up on video of a match when the mainstream media is showing “stadium atmosphere.”

    It was odd. And really, I guess it was odd when it happened before, at random moments, across years of being involved with the 107IST as a capo with the TA and RCR, both at the stadium on match day and when I’m around town at work or running errands. This time it made me realize that what we do and how we do it is probably not understood by the newer fans or those that usually watch the match from outside of the GA section.

    This may be due to some 107IST members’ modesty or a close-working network. On a larger, more common scale, though, I think it may be the non-supporter-group observers’ assumptions.

    I really want to bash those assumptions out of the proverbial park.

    All the people you see doing things on match day that are not wearing a stadium uniform, or official team or park company attire of some sort, are volunteers.

    We are fans.

    We buy our own tickets.

    We buy our own 107IST memberships.

    We are not staff.

    We are not given perks.

    We are not given payment.

    We are not provided with benefits by the Front Office.

    We (the capos, in particular) turn our backs on the pitch out of love for our clubs.

    This is the same with the DnT. The tifo crew. The merchandise design team and the sales crew. The people passing out chant sheets at the concourse table. The people that arrive early to run all the stairs to put out flags and wall banners — and after jumping and singing for victory for 90+ minutes, they do it again after the match to clean up those flags. The folks that never get in early because they are collecting and reselling tickets at the Fanladen. The rigging crew that is there nights before, running roping so the tifo crew (there just after rigging does their magic so they can test the pulls) can get that amazing (and, again, volunteer-created) display up in the air. Then those same rigging badasses lose sight of the first 20 min (or more) of the match taking all those ropes back down. The 107IST board who all lose large portions of time and sleep trying to work together to make this amazing thing even better for the supporters. There are people dedicated to providing accurate website data, managing all our histories, managing social media accounts, being photographers and videographers, planning away day travel, communicating what the supporters groups are doing, providing ways to improve our communities, representing us at the ISC (Independent Supporters Council) annually, planning our charitable efforts, tree-planting, Oregon Food Bank, CPR classes, book clubs, and so much more.

    ALL these things are done by volunteers. They do it by sacrificing free time, energy, sleep, money, bodies, and the ability to get pissed with friends while watching the match.

    We do not do it for fame or fortune. We do not do it for TV ratings. We do not do this to make the FO happy.

    We do this out of love for our clubs.

    Take the time to see all the facets of this amazing organization that is being driven by the love of soccer and the love of our communities. Acknowledge all that these dedicated supporters do to make our united experience and our united show of love to the players on match day — for both of our Portland clubs — possible.



    (I’m the crazy capo with the ’hawk)

    PS: Now that you know a little bit more about us, you can see how varied our organization is and how much work we have to do. Give a thought about what you may be able to do to help. We are always looking for more volunteers.

  • 02/02/2020 12:07 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Anyone engaging in behavior that breaches this code of conduct may receive a warning or have a travel ban imposed upon them by the 107IST.  Warnings and bans may be given for Timbers, Thorns, or both away trips.

    The Portland Timbers/Thorns Front Office may also issue punishment that could involve home match bans.  The 107IST may deem it necessary to include a warning and/or travel ban in accordance with ANY punishments handed down by the Portland Timbers/Thorns Front Office that result in home stadium removal and/or bans.  Depending on the severity of the punishable actions, this could result in a longer ban than what is handed down from the Portland Timbers/Thorns Front Office.

    1.     The 107IST reserves the right to refuse the sale of a travel ticket for any reason, especially in any case that violates our code of conduct or that could jeopardize the image of the organization at large according to our ethos.

    2.     Abuse of any 107IST Committee members will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Please remember we are unpaid volunteers; we may not get things right all the time, but we do our best on your behalf.

    3.     Violence is not tolerated under any circumstances during home or away matches.

    4.     You are expected to respect the rights of your fellow members and supporters by avoiding all forms of intimidation, sexual/physical/verbal harassment, or anything intended to cause a nuisance to others.

    5.     Any incidences of abusive behavior towards another member or supporter may result in you being requested to leave our home stadium or current away stadium.

    6.     It is your personal responsibility to arrive at the correct meeting time/place specified by the 107IST. Travel leaders/bus captains reserve the right to determine the fitness of any individual to enter the stadium using a ticket sold to them by the 107IST.

    7.     You are expected to respect our home and any away stadium at which you are in attendance. Please don’t leave litter or cause any manner of damage to any stadium you are visiting.

    8.     Please report any accidents, injuries, illness, or significant incidents to the travel leaders/bus captains immediately.  Reports should also be sent directly to

    9.     You are expected to comply with any reasonable directives given by the travel leaders/bus captains.

    10.   At any away venue, obey all the rules of the specific venue. Failure to do so may result in removal from the venue and/or future travel sanctions from the 107IST.

    11.   You are individually responsible for complying with the spirit, not just the letter, of all laws, regulations, and group standards.  This also includes holding any guests registered under your name to our codes of conduct.

    Bus Trip-Specific:

    In addition to the above…

    1.     Violence is not tolerated under any circumstances. You will not be allowed on the bus carrying a weapon or an item that may be used as a weapon.

    2.     Any bus captain reserves the right to determine the fitness of any individual to travel on a vehicle hired by the 107IST for the purpose of transporting members/supporters.

    3.     The travel leaders/bus captains reserve the right to determine the fitness of any individual to disembark the bus and enter the away stadium using a ticket sold to them by the 107IST.

    4.     Failure to adhere to our code of conduct may result in your removal from the bus at any point of the travel duration at your own expense.

    5.     You are requested to arrive back at the buses within a reasonable time of the conclusion of the match for prompt departure. Understand that it is your responsibility (NOT OURS) to arrive at the buses with ample time to board upon leaving Portland or any away city.

    6.     You are expected to respect the bus you travel on by not leaving litter or causing any damage to the bus.

    7.     There is to be no swapping or trading of bus spots unless prior arrangements have been made.

    How the 107IST Warning and Ban System Works

    Yellow Card = Travel Warning

    • Yellow Cards given during regular season play will stay in effect for the duration stated in the table below.  If a second Yellow Card is given during the first Yellow Card’s duration, it will be upgraded to a Red Card travel ban.
    • All Yellow Card durations include the current and following season’s Cascadia matches, even if they are scheduled to occur after the card’s effective duration.

    Rose City Riveters Yellow Card Effective Duration

    Matches 1-8

    Matches 9-16

    Matches 17-24

    Playoff Run

    Rest of current season and playoff run

    Rest of current season, playoff run, and first 12 matches of the following season

    Rest of current season, playoff run, and the entire following season

    Rest of current playoff run, and the entire following season and playoff run

    Red Card = Travel Ban

    • Red Cards given at any time will be in effect for the duration of the current season, current season’s playoff run, and the entire next season and playoff run.
  • 11/06/2019 12:06 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Courtesy Jennifer Ingraham

    This year, we will have candidates vying for one of four open positions on the board for a three-year term (2020­ through 2022). Here’s how the process works:

    Applications for candidates will be open from November 6 until 11:59 p.m. on November 15.
    We will post the list of candidates and their statements on the website on November 16.
    All current 107IST members will then be able to post questions to candidates on the member forums of the website.
    On November 24, from noon to 2, we will host a town hall session for all candidates. This session is moderated, and the questions are sent in from members.
    Ballots will be sent out on Monday, December 2 to all 107IST members who renewed their 2019 membership on or before October 31.
    Voting will take place from December 2 through 8, and we will announce the results immediately thereafter.
    You must have been a member of the 107IST as of October 31, 2019, to be eligible to run for the board and/or to vote.

    What are our needs?
    As always, we are looking for professional, committed people to join our board. Non-profit experience is a definite plus, but our greatest needs are people who a history of committed and reliable work with the 107IST and who can put in the time needed for the board. [The time commitment can vary depending on what members take on, but the average is somewhere between 6 to 10 hours a week.]

    We are always looking for technology and communications skills, as well as proven project management, leadership, and strategic thinking.

    As the board continues to evolve and grow, and we embark on a capital campaign for a permanent home, it would be great to have people with financial or real estate experience.

    If you are considering running, we highly encourage you to attend our board meeting on Wednesday, November 12, to get a sense of who we are and how we work.

    About the board
    Our board members help shape the organization and work to make the Timbers and Thorns supporter experience bigger and better, as well as contribute to initiatives in the Portland soccer community. You can find out more about the current board, the positions and committees they serve in, and the initiatives they manage here.

  • 09/27/2019 12:05 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    It’s that time of the season!

    Although we are all excitedly anticipating this weekend’s match vs Reign FC, we still take a moment to reflect upon the season thus so far, and how each player has contributed to Portland Thorns FC’s overall success.

    To that end, it’s time to poll all of you. Who is your “Player of the Year”?

    Click here to vote.

    The poll will close soon, so don’t delay.

    The player with the most votes will be honored at our last regular season home match. See you there!

  • 08/26/2019 12:04 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest blog by Sergio

    NWSL isn’t MLS.

    As we hear time and again from every white-bread armchair first-time Soccernomics reader, on every medium from 0-follower Twitter accounts to mainstream publications, our 7-year-old league doesn’t draw what 23-year-old MLS draws (until it does). Its TV viewership isn’t MLS’s (except when it is), its teams haven’t been around as long (except for the teams who’ve spanned league after league after league). NWSL teams aren’t profitable (except for the ones that are), unlike MLS teams (except for the ones that aren’t).*

    And as US Soccer— contracted by the NWSL to help manage the league— is happy to establish, NWSL isn’t MLS when it comes to deserving the same quality of referees. USSF officially dumped the NWSL into a lower tier meant to use the NWSL as a development ground for future MLS officials in a new policy quietly released during the Women’s World Cup. USSF and MLS co-founded the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) that trains and manages officials in the US, and USSF funds it.

    NWSL isn’t MLS, and MLS-owned Soccer United Marketing this, so they only show up once a cycle to take credit for the NWSL landing one sponsor (like Budweiser), one which they’ve already managed for years with the USWNT, and USMNT, and MLS—while also leaving the NWSL out of the $720 million TV package deal that SUM negotiated for USSF and MLS, which includes the USWNT, every member of which plays in the NWSL.

    Did I mention that every member of the BACK-TO-BACK WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP-WINNING US WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM plays in the 9-team NWSL? That’s because the NWSL isn’t MLS, a league where no player from the reigning Men’s World Cup championship squad plays in its 24 teams. MLS is a league where good players go to get paid; the NWSL is a league where great players take a pay cut to get better. A player added a clause to bail out of her contract whenever she got an offer from our NWSL club. The winners of 10 of the last 13 FIFA world’s player of the year awards, and 3 of the last 4 World Cup Golden Ball winners, either currently play or coach in the NWSL.

    The NWSL is a league where players force their way onto World Cup rosters by grabbing it and ripping it apart in unprecedented ways, then go on to be invaluable pieces of an unprecedented World Cup performance. MLS, which isn’t the NWSL, is a league where it’s arguably better for the World Cup non-qualifying USMNT if its players don’t play in it.

    NWSL isn’t MLS, said international sponsors like Ikea and Mini Cooper, who didn’t want to sponsor the Timbers because that audience isn’t as valuable to them as the Thorns audience. Nevermind that you’ll see sponsorship activations across Portland for the Timbers even when you don’t look for them, whether it’s full-store takeovers at Safeway or massive billboards for Comcast. Nevermind that the front office took six and a half years to put more than zero “Portland Thorns FC” wraps alongside the many Timbers wraps on the TV-facing walls around the pitch and called that macaroni equality. Nevermind that the sides of multiple buildings promote a Timbers team that sells out every match with a season-ticket waitlist thousands deep.

    The NWSL isn’t MLS. On a night in December 2012 where the USWNT drew 10,092 to a midweek friendly, Merritt Paulson never expected the Thorns to draw 20,400, much less 25,413. He thought Christine Sinclair would love to play at 5,000-capacity Merlo Field because she’s a Pilot alumna. Now she plays in front of a crowd that averages almost four times that number—a crowd that shows up despite less marketing support from the front office than the MLS team gets.

    The Thorns would go on to draw more than that USWNT match in all but two regular-season and playoff matches over the next seven years—all while never seeing the USWNT in our stadium again. The last time the Thorns drew fewer than 13,000 to an NWSL match, the USWNT’s crest still had two stars on it.

    Our FO loves to take credit. It flies people around the world telling everyone how they built the support that turns out every match. And they do a lot of hard work, which we hear about endlessly from anyone who interviews Merritt Paulson about how he—the MLS owner—invented successful women’s soccer.

    But it’s not a photo of Merritt Paulson or Gavin Wilkinson or Mike Golub that hangs in the NWSL league office. They don’t show up in a Budweiser commercial to demonstrate what NWSL success looks like. Their faces aren’t in stories from here to France about the atmosphere, culture, and success of the Thorns. It’s photos of the Rose City Riveters, the NWSL supporters group that has less than 33% crossover with the MLS supporters group under the same 107ist umbrella. It’s a group that came about from fans, by fans, bootstrapped with the help of 107ist and TA but now the largest and most active supporters group for a women’s pro soccer club on Earth.

    But hey, the NWSL isn’t MLS, right? You can be Merritt Paulson and get away with budgeting an expectation that only 2,000 to 5,000 people would show up per match in 2013 (The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer, Caitlin Murray, 2019) and then take credit when more than that number sign up for season tickets and 13,320 ends up the season average—all without needing the city-wide campaign of billboards and advertisements that the Timbers got when they entered MLS.

    The NWSL isn’t MLS, because in the NWSL you can be US Soccer, sit on a nine-figure cash surplus, and get away with investing $10 million total in the NWSL operations across six seasons (Murray), and almost as much per year into MLS’s three-year run-up—in MLS’s case not to build a sustainable league, but to save the 1994 Men’s World Cup bid.

    Sure, maybe the NWSL is declining toward the standards of MLS. Four of its nine teams today have MLS owners as majority owners. Another just received minority investment this season from an MLS owner in Seattle— which is just an MLS city now, not an NWSL city, after that same MLS team wouldn’t let the Reign play in its venue. A sixth is owned by someone for whom MLS— not the NWSL— has been the ultimate goal of his years-long campaign. With expansion coming in the next two years (thanks for the tip, Merritt) that balance will likely shift to MLS owners’ favor sooner than later.

    In some markets the investment has paid off. In others, we’re still waiting for them to get their shit together.

    And it’s telling that independent Sky Blue—the lowest-attended team in the NWSL— drew as many or more people to a match this year in an MLS venue than any MLS-run Dash or Pride match. Or that the independent Chicago Red Stars drew more in the MLS Fire’s home venue than any Fire match this season. Or that the independent Spirit just drew more than any MLS-owned NWSL team outside of Portland to Audi Field— and outdrew us this weekend in a smaller venue.

    But the NWSL isn’t MLS. It’s a chance—an opportunity—to be better than MLS, to learn from the many mistakes MLS made and build something that isn’t just good enough but truly great. Just like any 7-year-old league it hasn’t been easy or smooth; FURT is in our vocabulary for many, many reasons. But other teams are taking that chance, they’re going out of their way to sign sponsors and local TV deals, to fill bigger and better stadiums, to sell advertising and take action toward actual equity in treatment with men’s soccer teams, to stand up for the rights of fans and players, and to say publicly and frankly that being anti-fascist is not controversial while not having anything to do with MLS’s fan-hostile policies.

    To paraphrase women’s soccer writer Charles Olney, team owners have the opportunity to make the NWSL the Premier League of women’s soccer. But applying boneheaded MLS policies to the NWSL—policies that don’t exist at the NWSL level, and aren’t enforced elsewhere in the league, including at MLS venues in New Jersey and Chicago— is the first and biggest step into turning the NWSL into the MLS of women’s soccer.

    Do we really want to regress that far from where the NWSL is now? Do we want to be like MLS—do we want to be WMLS—instead of a world leader in this sport?

    * I don’t expect everyone to click on every link and read every story here, but I’ll celebrate any chance I get to link to one story noting that Utah Royals FC turned a profit in year 1, in the same sentence as another story where MLS commissioner Don Garber says that Real Salt Lake would be profitable without the Royals.

  • 08/24/2019 12:03 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest blog by Kyle Jones

    As was witnessed last night, the Timbers Army, Rose City Riveters, 107ist and even ECS and Gorilla FC, take very seriously the issue of an arbitrary “political” imagery ban in our stadiums. We are clearly willing to put ourselves out there to show the Front Office and the league how important this is. Timbers and Thorns ownership has an opportunity to move toward a resolution, even in the next day.

    Merritt Paulson and Mike Golub have both stated that the organization they lead is unequivocally antifascist. Removing the non-NWSL instituted ban on the Iron Front symbol at Thorns games would go a long way to prove to us, the supporters, that they, the Timbers and Thorns organization, are genuinely on the right side of this societal issue.

    On a business operations level, it would show their employees that management believes in the people who put on a Providence Park jacket and polo each match day to do their jobs. If they are able to distinguish the difference between a GA ticket and a reserved one from six feet away (which they are), they are more than capable of discerning a Timbers match from a Thorns one. Park staff have the ability to not enforce a non-league instituted ban for one of those teams. “Staff confusion” is not a valid reason.

    The ban being enforced at Thorns matches is solely being imposed by Thorns ownership. Period. Merritt and Mike can change that.

    Fewer than 18 hours from now, fans will be lining up to enter Providence Park to cheer on the Thorns. And this isn’t just some Yahoo! livestream. The game will be broadcast on ESPNews. This is a tremendous opportunity for the club to extend an olive branch to its most ardent supporters; for them to show us their mettle.

    Mistakes can be forgiven. Amends can be made. But both require action. As a supporter and season ticket holder for both clubs, I ask them to please, take action.

    I will continue to boycott concessions and club merchandise until the ban is overturned. And if I find myself standing silently in a stadium for another 33 minutes, so be it. I’m confident that we, as supporters, can deal with an eerily quiet stadium far longer than they can.

Member, Independent Supporters Council

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