Thursday, June 8, 2017

As a followup to my earlier post about Marco Farfan  there’s been a long tradition of soccer players coming out of Portland's eastside.   While  East Portland (folding in Gresham and Troutdale and Fairview)  has only a quarter of the city's population, homegrown players joining the Timbers' ranks have often come from this economically challenged part of our community.   
In addition to Farfan,  at least two other soccer notables have come out of Centennial High School.  The school, opened in Oregon's centennial celebration of Statehood,  has been the alma mater of notables in other competitive arenas.  U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, for example, is an Eagle. 
Going back to soccer though, Scott Benedetti is a great example. Playing at University of Portland in the 80s,  Benedetti made his mark coming out of FCPortland, an organizational attempt to build a sustainable soccer organization in our region which continues to this day. He played for the reincarnated Portland Timbers of the late 80s and closed his career with the team at the beginning of the 21st Century.    
Another soccer notable who came from the same East Portland background was Josh Cameron who graduated from Centennial High School and played for the Portland Timbers.
Other local players pulled on a Portland Timbers jersey from other parts of the metropolitan area over the years, but this cluster of Centennial High School standouts is a reminder that the oft-neglected East County has much to contribute to Portland Pride and RCTID.