Log in

This is the Timbers Army blog, where members can submit blog posts. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 03/18/2024 9:11 AM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    by Bruce Eaton and Shawn Levy

    The U.S. Open Cup is a vital piece of soccer’s history in this country. It’s been around since 1913, when it debuted as the National Challenge Cup, and it is the oldest ongoing national title in American soccer — the nearest thing we have to the FA Cup, the Copa del Rey, the Coppa Italia, and other such venerated championships. 

    The Open Cup is a true open cup — every team, from a Sunday league 11 to the highest professional squad, is eligible to play in it. Because of that small-d democratic nature, it has long been a way for small soccer communities to make their presence known on a national stage. When there was no nationwide soccer league in this country, the Cup kept the game alive. When immigrants from places with long soccer histories came to America, the Cup was their doorway into meaningful competition in the world’s game. The ragtag history of American soccer and the American story is deeply ingrained in the Cup. How can you not love a championship that’s been won by the likes of Macabee Los Angeles, Brooklyn Hispano, Philadelphia Ukrainians, San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, and Shawsheen Indians, not to mention Bethlehem Steel?

    Since the mid-’90s, the Cup has been won almost always by an MLS side (the old NASL never took part in the tournament — and look what happened to it!). And since 2001, a summertime cup run has been a part of being a Portland Timbers fan — and often provided the most memorable highlights of some dismal seasons.

    Until now, that is.

    The poobahs of MLS have decided to put only eight of the league’s teams in the tournament. The Portland Timbers are not included. 

    That sucks. 

    And here’s why.

    WE were once one of those little teams for which an Open Cup run was a (potential) ticket to the big time. WE were the minnows. And, quite often, a Cup run was our only chance to win anything in the long hot summer of a minor league season.

    During the Timbers’ USL/A-League era, the U.S Open Cup matches were a highlight of the year’s escapades at PGE Park. 

    In 2004, a growing, boisterous, and artistic Timbers Army mocked Landon Donovan as his San Jose Earthquakes dominated the Timbers 3-0 in front of a crowd of 10,000-plus. Timbers centerback Gavin Wilkinson, in familiar form, received a red card in the seventeenth minute. (GW Out indeed! Rumor has it that he stole a pint from a table in the old beer garden on his way to the dressing room: Typical.) Nevertheless, the match was a very early indication to the soccer world that Portland fans were wildly dedicated to the boys in green. Despite the beating, the north end noise never dwindled, even impressing Donovan, who said afterward, “I don’t know many teams that, when you go down two or three nothing, the fans are still cheering like that.” From that point on, people knew that something special was going on in Portland.

    A few years later, Portland fans had a taste of infamy, when a semipro USASA team, Hollywood United, upset the Timbers 3-2. It was kind of sickening to see a pretty good USL team lose at home to such a low-level opponent, regardless of the number of ex-pros on their roster and Hollywood B-list stars in their ownership ranks. But such embarrassment is part of the appeal of Cup: You can never take a minnow for granted.

    That lesson was etched permanently into Timbers history in 2012 with the infamous 1-0 loss in extra time to Eric Wynalda’s Cal FC, another amateur roster of former MLS and USL players put together solely to make a run at the Cup. They did, at our expense. A missed Kris Boyd penalty kick that knocked over beers in section 108. A bloodied captain Jack Jewsbury. Curses from the capo stand (Ah, Pong!). And, after the fact, added drama with Wynalda accusing Merritt Paulson of failing to fulfill a promised revenue share with his team, the first spark of a social media feud that still burns today. (Ah, Olde Twitter!)

    These stories illustrate the wonderful concept of the underdog in the Open Cup. It’s what elimination tournaments thrive on: The opportunity. The chance to show what you’ve got, who you are, and who’s with you for the ride.

    We had some glorious moments in the Cup, too. An Open Cup match against Seattle in 2009 inspired our first big tifo — Timber Jim cutting town the Space Needle. And there was the unforgettable Red Card Wedding in 2015: The epic meltdown when Seattle ended the match defeated 3-1, with seven men on the pitch, no head coach on the bench, a humiliated and disgraced Clint Dempsey, and a bill for the referee’s shredded notebook.

    These stories illustrate why the tournament resonates. It’s all right there, in front of you, as it happens. There’s only another game if you get through this one. It creates moments. It creates memories. It is filled with traps for big teams and David-vs.-Goliath chances for little ones. The regular season of MLS doesn’t have that. The league is built to favor brand-name stars in big cities, not to grow the game at the grassroots. And MLS prefers its own jury-rigged tournaments to the one that can truly show the rest of the world that American soccer is and always has been for real.

    Here’s the thing: MLS doesn’t run the the Open Cup; U. S. Soccer does. If MLS ran the cup, they’d turn it into another aspect of their quest for dollars and easy fame. (Remember when they tried to grab the Cascadia Cup and slap a brand on it?) They’d only be interested in the Cup if they could monetize it, without regard for its history of keeping soccer alive and spreading it around the USA. What they’re building is top-heavy: a reality show starring old faces from bigger leagues with no personal connection to the communities they play in or interest in growing the game at the lower levels. The unpredictable Open Cup looks like a nuisance to folks with that mentality.

    Given MLS’s convoluted salary machinations, Ponzi-scheme expansion, and partnership with Apple in a broadcast monopoly, it’s no wonder the league wants out of a tournament that they can’t control. It’s just not in their DNA to be a good, cooperative partner, even though it’s obvious that U. S. soccer would benefit greatly from a mature, enlightened top league and a Cup that gives underdogs a puncher’s chance against the big boys. 

    This year is pretty much over as far as seeing the Timbers in the Cup. So what can we people who recognize the value and history of the Cup do? 

    We can continue to support our boys, if not our first team: T2 is in the Cup this year, and you should watch its matches when and where you can. You can contact the Timbers’ front office and MLS and demand that they expand their participation in the Cup. And you can send a tweet to Eric Wynalda, to let him know that you understand what a broken promise feels like.

  • 02/23/2024 9:30 AM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    With contributions from Shawn Levy.

    You may not know Benson Drapiza’s name, and you may not know his face (though if you saw it, it’s likely you’d remember). But if you’ve attended Timbers matches in the past 15 or so years, going back to the minor league days, then you’ve danced and sung and celebrated and commiserated to Benson’s beat.

    Benson was a senior member of the TA’s Drums-N-Trumpets corp, the pilot of El Diablo, one of the two big drums that rock the stadium from the top of section 106. And we lost him, suddenly and surprisingly, in January. On Saturday night, after the match, we will mark his passing – and, even more, his longtime presence among us – with a ceremony in the North End.

    The North End is family, a family of choice, a family we count ourselves among for many and varied reasons. These connections transcend merely being sports fans — at weddings, births, baptisms, and in times of trouble, we show up for one another and truly embody the Trinity of Team, Town, and Timbers Army.

    So when we lose a member of our family, there is an unfillable hole in the tapestry of The North End. Nowhere is that void more dark and raw today than in the heartbeat of the Timbers Army, the DnT, the family-within-a-family that Benson chose and loved and loved him back hugely in return.

    It wasn’t only at Timbers matches that Benson kept the heartbeat pounding. You knew his beats as he spun tracks at the Holiday Party and other TA events. He was a huge personality who seemingly knew everyone forever, even those he’d just met.  

    At matches, he was the life of the party, which is saying something – wearing sunglasses and a trucker hat, making goofy faces, punctuating chant verses with a hearty “WOOOOOO!”, driving the tempo faster and faster, and no doubt talking shit without missing a beat. For Benson, sleeves were always optional, and when the Timbers came from behind in some sort of incredible comeback, so was his shirt. Maybe his shorts, too. You never knew what would come next with that guy. 

    And his merrymaking went on outside the park. He was a DJ and a festival follower. He was a snowboarder and river rat. He was famed for a massive wardrobe of sneakers and astounding outfits – onesies, capes, track suits, sports jerseys. He was an LED artist. He sported a billboard of tattoos. He got around town on a onewheel. He was as big a Blazers fan as he was a Timbers fan (if there were a Blazers DnT, he would’ve been right in the middle of it). He was born on July 4, which he celebrated every year as Bendependence Day with a massive party. He came from Tennessee, called Oregon his home, had a day job involving (and this may be the most remarkable thing about him) financial analysis, and leaves behind many, many, many broken hearts: A celebration of his life earlier this month was literally standing room only.

    Benson’s contributions to Our Thing were massive and can’t be replicated, merely honored, and his legacy serves as a reminder of how special The North End and the Timbers Army are.

    Saturday, after the final whistle and the log ceremony, please stay and join the DnT, Benson’s family, and the Timbers in honoring his memory. Below you can find the video that played on February 24 after the match.

    You can watch the memorial video here.

    Many have inquired as to how they might contribute to defray the costs associated with Benson's passing. If you are willing and able, you can donate to the GoFundMe here.

  • 11/22/2023 5:11 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    On Thursday, November 9, the Front Office hosted members of the Timbers Army Steering Committee, Game Day Operations and the 107IST board in a neutral setting to meet with Heather Davis, CEO of the Portland Timbers and Thorns, Ned Grabavoy, GM of the Portland Timbers, and Phil Neville, the newly named Timbers head coach. This meeting was an opportunity to meet Phil, and ask questions to Heather and Ned. The format was Q&A, and after Phil departed early (to catch a flight), there was time to have more-personal conversations in smaller groups.

    The Q&A was respectful but pointed: We made plain that the hire was tone-deaf, pressed on changes within the Front Office and asked about plans to re-engage supporters who’ve walked away from the clubs. We wanted Heather, Ned and Phil to hear from us that we want the club to show up for supporters, the city, and the broader community. We questioned Phil on his intentions to work with T2 and the Academy, what “engaging with supporters” looks like, and how he and Ned plan to build up a scouting team to recruit quality players as more clubs and high-profile players join the league. 

    We’ve been down this road before with the Front Office, and we know there will be continued challenges before things get better. We are approaching our conversations with them with transparency, respect and direct communication because, at the end of the day, we are RCTID, and we will be here long after they have moved on.

  • 10/21/2023 8:00 PM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    The votes are in! With 20.10% of the votes, your 2023 Timbers Army Supporters’ Player of the Year is Cristhian Paredes!

    Finishing second in this year’s voting was Zac McGraw, with 15.05% of the votes. Also receiving votes were Diego Chara, Dario Zuparic, Felipe Mora, Evander, Dairon Asprilla, Santiago Moreno, Claudio Bravo, David Bingham, and Sebastián Blanco.

    About the Timbers Army Supporters’ Player of the Year Award

    Awarded annually since 2011, the Timbers Army Supporters' Player of the Year award is a one-of-a-kind wrestling-style championship belt given to the Timbers player receiving the most votes in a poll during the last weeks of the regular season. To be eligible, players must be on the roster during the regular season. The belt is presented to the winner after the last home match of the season.

    Previous Winners

    2022: Aljaz Ivacic
    2021: Dairon Asprilla
    2020: Jeremy Ebobisse
    2019: Steve Clark
    2018: Sebastián Blanco
    2017: Diego Valeri
    2016: Diego Valeri
    2015: Diego Chara
    2014: Diego Valeri
    2013: Will Johnson
    2012: Diego Chara
    2011: Troy Perkins 

  • 06/13/2023 12:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    The following is a post by Nash Drake.

    I was floored by the tifo on Pride night. I looked at the display and the rail banner and thought to myself, “Perfect. No notes. 12/10.”

    The trans community is in crisis. We’re there for a number of reasons, and none of them have to do with anything we have done. We aren’t groomers, pedos, or rapists. We aren’t imps, devils, or monsters. We are actually a community of people who just want to live their lives with some dignity, respect, and access to all of the same things as everyone else, such as medical care and public restrooms.

    In 2023 alone (that’s only six months, folks), more than 300 pieces of legislation that specifically target the trans community have been introduced. We are the number one wedge issue, and our lives have been relentlessly picked apart and scrutinized by mainstream media, legislators, and the general public. The rhetoric surrounding us is increasingly suggesting that we are a menace to society and must be eradicated. (Yes, the word "eradicate" has been used.)

    This is happening right now — today — while you are reading this, and one of the biggest issues is that we aren’t getting coverage of it in mainstream media. If this tifo spurs the conversation about what is happening: excellent. We need folks to wake up and listen to what we’ve been trying to tell everyone for years: They are trying to eliminate us. It’s real. It’s happening.

    Major companies and organizations are abandoning us, as was predictable, when they get pushback from the far right. Over and over again we have been let down by people we thought were our allies or had hoped would show up when the time came. That time is now and the majority have simply walked away.

    Enter the TA with this tifo. Lord have mercy, there are an awful lot of cisgendered people with some OPINIONS. I’ve also seen some trans folks’ opinions, and while I disagree on some points, I have nothing to say to y’all about your feelings other than I am deeply sorry you are hurting. I wish this could be perfect for everyone. I really do.

    That tifo was, in my trans opinion, a multi-faceted work of resistance and allyship. It took a direct quote from one of the most high-profile and prolific transphobes on the planet and threw it right back in her face. The crest included both the trans flag and the non-binary flag. That’s an important distinction because non-binary folks are so often lost in the discourse by cis and trans people alike and need to be focused on. Then there was the addition of Tetris and the sunflower. Both of those symbols carry their own connotations, but Tetris is for closers, yes? And the sunflower for Jim and his call for spreading the love. That crest represents the TA and their trans members in unity to me. I feel it is clearly supportive of trans and NB people and will translate well to a world-wide stage. It is recognizable to the masses while also speaking directly to the trans and NB TA population. Perfect.

    When taken with the rail banner — which is even more clear in saying that transphobes are not welcome in the stadium — it takes on another dimension. That banner was in every panned shot on the broadcast. Very large letters with a simple message that also let terfs know that they are known and not welcome. The exposure is priceless and the message is very clear. Front and center.

    The head boss transphobe is very much online and so are her followers. She is supported endlessly by the UK media, and her messages of hate have emboldened transphobia in the US to a shocking degree. The TA, in my opinion, didn’t do this to just have a fun dunk on her. They were saying, “We don’t care who you are. We don’t tolerate that kind of crap here and fuck you. If you come here, you will get the fight of your life. And we don’t care who knows it.” They painted a gigantic target on their backs. That a group of mainly cisgender folks decided to put themselves in the way of what is surely going to be a constant stream of harassment to stand up for trans people is not something I am upset about — it’s something that I am grateful for.

    I would offer up this observation on the rush of criticism coming from cisgendered people who don’t have a stake in this:

    It seems to me that a lot of people are “uncomfortable.” What is causing that discomfort? Do you honestly think that the TA was platforming her? Or have you not yet dealt with your feelings about having a beloved childhood author turn out to be a terrible human being? Because what I’m seeing is quite a few people who have a lot of feelings about something that has nothing to do with the trans people that it was made for. And folks who really think that they are allies to the trans community are saying not a thing about what is happening to trans people, not asking how trans people feel about the display, and ending their thoughts with things like, “not saying it’s a bad message, but it doesn’t hit the mark for me.”

    It wasn’t made for you. Trans people don’t need to care about your feelings about it. In fact, we would all like it if you would please care about what is happening to trans people as much as you care about complaining about this tifo, because for a not small amount of you, it’s the first and only thing you’ve publicly said about it … ever.

    To the TA — and particularly the trans woman who designed the entire thing: Thank you. You did a fantastic job of welcoming the trans community, standing up to a famous bigot, and hopefully making a ton of cisgendered people stop and think about what they are actually doing in this fight. I fight with you and for you.

  • 05/07/2023 5:02 PM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    On behalf of the Timbers Army Steering Committee, thank you to everyone who entered the raffle of Aljaz Ivačič’s kit and gloves. $1405 was raised in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the match between Atticus and the Green Machine! A generous anonymous donation brings the grand total to $1500, all of which will be donated to Make-A-Wish Oregon. Congratulations to our winners!

    Miss out on the raffle but still want to contribute? You can donate to Make-A-Wish Oregon here.

  • 02/24/2023 2:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Out of an abundance of caution, the Timbers Army Tifo Committee is moving the home opener tifo to March 11 for the Portland Timbers home match against St. Louis City SC.

    As announced by Major League Soccer, the Timbers home opener match, originally scheduled against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, February 25, was rescheduled for Monday, February 27.

    Our all-volunteer rigging and tifo teams are often able to pivot with short notice, but based on the current weather predictions and availability for Monday, February 27, we are pushing out the deployment of the tifo that was intended to displayed at the home opener to what is scheduled to be the second home match of the season.

    We haven’t had a “normal” year in a while, so let’s keep it weird and do things a little differently this year, too.

    The weekly 107IST email to members asked people to bring streamers in different shades of blue and white to throw during the unveiling of the tifo. We kindly ask that you bring those to the match against St. Louis on March 11.

    We are still collecting socks for our Match Day Drive on Monday! Donate some socks, and be entered to win a Tetris scarf! Read more here!

  • 12/26/2022 11:20 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

     Emerald City Supporters  Timbers Army Vancouver Southsiders

    [Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; and Vancouver, BC; December 27, 2022] 

    The supporters groups from the three Cascadia MLS clubs have agreed on rules for the Cascadia Cup after MLS announced an unbalanced schedule in 2023.

    The Emerald City Supporters, Vancouver Southsiders and Timbers Army have agreed that all matches will count towards the Cascadia Cup, even though the new unbalanced MLS schedule means each team will play a different number of home games against their Cascadia rivals this season.

    “We all agreed that we are going to count every match. This format will be one that all supporters will find easiest to follow,” says Fernando Machicado, Timbers Army spokesperson.

    Portland Timbers will host both Vancouver Whitecaps twice and Seattle Sounders once, Vancouver will see Portland once and Seattle twice at home, and Seattle will host Portland twice and Vancouver once. Despite the imbalance, the three supporters groups agreed to count all matches equally in order to keep the 2023 Cascadia Cup format simple.

    “Ultimately, the Cascadia Cup is by the supporters, for the supporters, and we realized this was the best decision for the 2023 season,” says Tom Biro, co-president, Emerald City Supporters. “While we can appreciate MLS needing to make different scheduling decisions due to expansion, it’s pretty obvious the league recognizes where to generate the most attention each season.”

    The Cascadia Cup will be awarded to the team with the most points after all matches have been played or when there is a clear winner. In the event of a tie, the Cup will be awarded to the team with the best goal difference. Should the MLS schedule remain unbalanced in 2024, the Emerald City Supporters, Vancouver Southsiders and Timbers Army insist that it should allow for a balanced distribution of the home and away matches amongst the Cascadia clubs.

    “Scheduling all Cascadia Cup matches to be played on a Saturday is a positive adjustment” says Peter Czimmermann, president of the Vancouver Southsiders. “It is imperative that traveling to rivalry games is as accessible as possible for all supporters”


    The Cascadia Cup was created in 2004 by supporters groups of the three Cascadia teams, and is awarded annually to the best team in the Cascadia region. Seattle  has won it seven times, and Vancouver has won it six times, and current Cascadia Cup holder Portland has won it five times.

    2023 Cascadia Cup schedule:

    With the unbalanced 2023 MLS schedule, each team has 3 home and 3 away matches, two home games and one away against one Cascadia Cup rival and one home/two away against the other:

    • April 8: Vancouver Whitecaps v. Portland Timbers

    • April 15: Portland Timbers v. Seattle Sounders

    • May 13: Portland Timbers v. Vancouver Whitecaps

    • May 20: Vancouver Whitecaps v. Seattle Sounders

    • June 3: Seattle Sounders v. Portland Timbers

    • July 8: Vancouver Whitecaps v. Seattle Sounders

    • August 26: Portland Timbers v. Vancouver Whitecaps

    • September 2: Seattle Sounders v. Portland Timbers

    • October 7: Seattle Sounders v. Vancouver Whitecaps

    (Home team is listed first)

    Full Cascadia Cup criteria:

    1. Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned

    2. Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned

    3. Greater number of goals scored in matches between the teams concerned

    4. Reapply first three criteria if two or more teams are still tied

    5. Greater goal difference in all cup matches

    6. Greater number of goals scored in all cup matches

    7. Smaller number of disciplinary points in all cup matches (yellow = 1 point, red = 2 points)

    About the Cascadia Cup Council
    The Cascadia Cup Council is a recognized not-for-profit entrusted with the management of the Cascadia Cup. The Council is made up of one representative from each of the three founding Cascadia Cup supporters groups, the Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army, and Vancouver Southsiders.
  • 10/02/2022 2:23 PM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    The votes are in! With 30% of the votes, your 2022 Timbers Army Supporters’ Player of the Year is Aljaz Ivacic!

    Finishing second in this year’s voting was Bill Tuiloma, with 23% of the votes. Also receiving votes were Santiago Moreno, Dairon Asprilla, Claudio Bravo, Diego Chará, Eryk Williamson, Sebastián Blanco, Zac McGraw, Yimmi Chará, Dario Zuparic, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Julian Bravo, George Fochive, Victor Griffith, Larrys Mabiala, Felipe Mora, Juan David Mosquera, Hunter Sulte, and Josecarlos Van Rankin.

    About the Timbers Army Supporters’ Player of the Year Award

    Awarded annually since 2011, the Timbers Army Supporters' Player of the Year award is a one-of-a-kind wrestling-style championship belt given to the Timbers player receiving the most votes in a poll during the last weeks of the regular season. To be eligible, players must be on the roster during the regular season. The belt is presented to the winner after the last home match of the season.

    Previous Winners

    2021: Dairon Asprilla
    2020: Jeremy Ebobisse
    2019: Steve Clark
    2018: Sebastián Blanco
    2017: Diego Valeri
    2016: Diego Valeri
    2015: Diego Chara
    2014: Diego Valeri
    2013: Will Johnson
    2012: Diego Chara
    2011: Troy Perkins

  • 09/13/2022 6:00 AM | Darren Lloyd (Administrator)

    Hard to believe, but we're already at the point of the season where it's time to place your votes for the 2022 TA SPOTY! Voting runs through Wednesday, September 28 and the winner will be presented with their championship belt after the last regular-season home match on October 2. Vote now! To see past winners, visit this page.

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

Member, Independent Supporters Council

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software