Thursday, October 17, 2013

Portland Timbers

Who would have said back in April that the MLS Western Division would web so tightly clustered that a sneeze from a particular player could put a team in or out of the playoffs. Who would have guessed back in April that the Portland Timbers, rebuilding after a disastrous campaign in 2012, would be aspiring against the Red Bulls to take the Supporters' Shield,  would have the fewest losses in the MLS, would be standing, albeit with precarious footing, atop the MLS West?   This has been a landmark season,  almost miraculous considering the odds.  Portland has been blessed with a visionary coach and a cadre of hard core believers,  guys young and old, who think that the system they are playing in makes sense and that they can be champions if they play together.

I am watching, week by week, with great happiness for them, with great pleasure for the ecstatic flow of play, and with great hope that for the first time since 1975,  the Portland Timbers, the boys in green, will be competing at the highest level in domestic soccer.  Their success this year will set a standard and raise expectations.   "Soccer City USA" should never be hollow shout with no resonance in the present.  

This year is a tribute to the past of the club.   More importantly, though, it's a shout about the future, where we're headed.   I'm looking forward to that journey.