Sunday, November 12, 2017

Old Nicks Celebrate - November 5, 2017

Old Nicks gathered almost our entire team for a match against Rodders on a gray and blowy Sunday morning. The game went well for a change.  We almost never win on the Clackamas Community College field which is legendary for its 15 degree slope,  cow pasture grass,  and small size.  This day we were energized though and we won 2-0,  good goals both.  
Pinger and Bergenser have been running low level gambling operations related to the Timbers win totals, away win totals, and similar important reckonings and post-game had been designated as the moment to disclose the winners,  so all were primed to gather for bier and brats near the field.  

Front row-from the left. Robert Rivera,Geoffrey Pagen, John Mayfield, Mike Calder, Dr. Don Makande, Roy Thompson, John Russell, Jack Hevel, Pat McCormick, Tim Leslie.
Back Row-Mgr. Porter, Lyle McBride, Glenn Fithian-Barrett,Steve Pinger, Kim Bergenser, Jeff Heilman, Jim Hilliker, Al Gerritsen, Bruce Barclay, Kaiser Siddiqui, Rich Black, Jim Brinkman.
Sadly absent-Mark Vogel and Rock Courter.   Crew are wearing the new 40th Year kit.

Mgr Porter was tasked to bring a bbq which he did, transporting the propane tank in his child safety seat.  Bergenser was tasked with bringing the brats.  Others brought german style salads, chips, and garnishes.  The gathering place was on the Oregon City banks of the Clackamas River where the Trolley Trail passes on its way south.  Google maps calls the place Funkity Parking, and it was indeed fun.  Kim and Pinger ceremonially presented the 'caps'.  One, the wooden spoon cap was for getting spanked I think.  The contestant who fared the worst.   The other was the Cap Man cap which was won by Al Gerritsen who did not show for the ceremony and thereby the item was entrusted to the Mgr.  

 As with most social activities involving the Nicks (and some of their partners as well) there was cheerful conversation on many topics--our team has a wide-ranging interest and opinion in almost everything.  The discourse was fueled from the Bier Wagen with Glenn's famous five taps flowing profusely.  

Happily, the sun shone and the temperatures were warm for November.  Occasional runners and dog walkers passed by,  trying not to seem too curious about the gaggle of old men in funny hats.  Also fortuitously, we were not visited by the police or other official personages.  

The day unfolded just as everyone had hoped.  We were grateful to be there,  to share the company and to have played soccer.   Sometime later,  however,  we were all stunned and saddened to learn that Kim Bergenser's wife, Mary,  had passed away just about the time Kim was heading to visit her.  She was receiving treatment at OHSU and sudden complications took her unexpectedly.  The loss was a sharp reminder of our fragility as humans,  of how blessed we are to be part of this group who can share life,  however it unfolds.  

Dr. Makande closes out the ceremony with a Haka dance from his traveling road show. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Celebrating in our 40th year

On July 22, 2017, FC77 gathered at the Montessori Sun School field at SE 148th just south of Division,  a pitch that has been the closest thing our club has known as a 'home' in our years playing the game. We came together on the occasion of the annual Athletic Cup, an annual gathering of club players, their families, and various other friends and opponents and people who wandered by and were interested.   The potluck, with an 'all comers' pickup game for young and old along with somewhat regular raffle of entertaining soccer items, has drawn from 40 to 60 folks, particularly since Montessori Field became our home pitch. 

This year is the 40th year since the original players in the club first started out as a pickup team in the Portland Parks summer league of 1977 playing under the banner of SJO Irregulars.  A highlight of the event was the unveiling of the 40th year badge,  selected from club member designs.   The six teams of FC77 were all represented at the event-  Old Nicks, Newcastle, Hibernians, Rangers, Bollocks and PBR.   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The best, most passionate soccer happens in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup

In the round of sixteen, it's not unusual for MLS sides to face off against an occasional upstart from USL or even lower divisions.  The Lamar Hunt Open Cup is notable in encouraging hopeful teams in the wide universe of American soccer to take a run at glory.  In this 2017 campaign,  the FC Cincinnati vs Chicago Fire match in the round of 16 was a bright moment supporting that concept.  After defeating the Columbus Crew in an earlier round,  Cincinnati stepped onto the field against one of MLS's hottest sides.  Chicago Fire are running hot in the MLS table atop the Eastern division. And they met their match in the Cincinnati team led by keeper Mitch Hildebrandt.   The game went to PKs and the Cincinnati side came out the victors.   The win puts them up against the other Cinderella team, Miami FC.  And at least one non-MLS team will advance to the next round after.  

I think this is a great tradition.  Worthy of our staunch support.  Soccer like many other sports has been enriched by the successes of unheralded champions.  If that ever stops,  the game will suffer.

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.