|Head Coach||Caleb Porter|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|2013||Western Conference: 1st
Playoffs: WCF (ongoing)
|Website||Club home page|
The Portland Timbers are an American professional soccer club based in Portland, Oregon that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS). The Timbers are the 18th club of Major League Soccer, and replace the USL First Division's team of the same name, while retaining the same ownership. The MLS club is the fourth Portland team to share the legacy of the Timbers name, which first originated in the old North American Soccer League in 1975.
The announcement of the Timbers' entry into MLS was the culmination of a nearly two-year-long process for Merritt Paulson, dating back at least to May 2007, when Paulson led a group that bought the Portland Beavers and the USL Timbers. The group included former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (Meritt Paulson's father) who holds a 20% stake. The biggest issue for the city of Portland was that due to league concerns about seating configuration, field surface, and scheduling, obtaining an MLS club would require a new stadium.
In October 2007, Paulson was told PGE Park could be upgraded for about $20 million, and a new baseball stadium (with 8,000 to 9,000 seats) would cost about $30 million. By November 2008, Paulson told The New York Times he expected Portland taxpayers would spend $85 million to "build a new baseball stadium for his Beavers and renovate PGE Park—just remodeled in 2001 at a cost to taxpayers of $38.5 million—for soccer", and that in exchange, he would spend $40 million for the franchise fee to bring a new Major League Soccer team to Portland. MLS was in support of the proposal, wanting to continue to expand the number of owners in the league (for a while, all of its teams were owned by three men: Phil Anschutz, Lamar Hunt, and Robert Kraft).
Though supporting the acquisition of an MLS franchise raised numerous issues for Mayor Sam Adams and the Portland City Council, the Timbers were announced as Major League Soccer's eighteenth team on March 20, 2009 by Commissioner Don Garber. The announcement occurred in the middle of the first and second round games of the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament being held in Portland the same week. The announcement noted that the team would retain the Portland Timbers name.
The team owner is Peregrine Sports, LLC, a group led by Merritt Paulson. Paulson was also the head of Shortstop, LLC which owned the USL-1 Timbers as well as the Pacific Coast League's Portland Beavers.
Former MLS forward and assistant coach John Spencer was named the first head coach of the MLS-era Timbers on August 10, 2010. It was also announced that Gavin Wilkinson, head coach of the USL-1/USSF D-2 Timbers, would stay on as the general manager/technical director of the MLS side.
The Timbers signed five players before the MLS Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010. Three were part of the Timbers D-2 Pro League squad in 2010 (Steve Cronin, Bright Dike, and Ryan Pore), one was signed from D-2 Pro League team Austin Aztex (forward Eddie Johnson) and one was acquired via trade with New York Red Bulls (midfielder Jeremy Hall). On November 24, 2010, the Timbers, along with the other 2011 expansion team, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, participated in an MLS Expansion Draft, each selecting 10 players from existing teams. Immediately after the Expansion Draft, the Timbers announced the trade of their first pick (midfielder Dax McCarty), from FC Dallas to DC United for defender Rodney Wallace. The Timbers and Whitecaps also participated in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13, 2011 with the Whitecaps having the first pick, and the Timbers having the second pick. Vancouver surprised some by selecting youngster Omar Salgado and Portland swiftly selected Akron midfielder/forward Darlington Nagbe.
Colors and badge
Portland Timbers' MLS logo incorporates elements of the former USL design. The primary reference to the original crest is the circular shape that represents unity, wholeness, and the pursuit of perfection. The axe alludes to the Pacific Northwest's logging industry since loggers traditionally used axes to cut down trees. There are three chevrons organized to resemble a pine tree that refer to the Timbers' membership in three separate leagues: the original North American Soccer League, the United Soccer Leagues, and Major League Soccer. The team's colors, ponderosa green and moss green, represent the state of Oregon's forests.
It was announced in September 2010 that the Portland Timbers' jerseys would be sponsored by Alaska Airlines. On Thursday December 9 the jersey was revealed at a runway show at Portland International Airport. The home jersey is a two-tone halved green shirt while the alternate jersey is red, in honor of Portland being known as the Rose City.
- Jeld-Wen Field; Portland, Oregon (2011–present)
- Merlo Field; Portland, Oregon (2011) 1 game in US Open Cup qualifying
Portland plays at Jeld-Wen Field, which they share with the Portland State Vikings football team and, since 2013, Portland Thorns FC, a team in the National Women's Soccer League also owned by Peregrine Sports. The stadium's renovation in 2010–2011 made it unsuitable for baseball, and former tenant the Portland Beavers moved to Tucson, Arizona after failing to find a new venue.
Initially, city funding for renovation of the stadium (then known as PGE Park) was tied to simultaneous construction of a new baseball ballpark; Timbers owner Merritt Paulson was the owner of the Beavers at the time. Due to delays caused by public criticism of potential ballpark sites and an impending deadline to begin stadium renovation, the funding for the two projects was separated. The capacity of the renovated Jeld-Wen Field was expected to be between 22,000 and 23,000. Operational capacity was limited to 18,627 for the 2011 MLS season and expanded to 20,323 for the 2012 season.
The main supporters group of the Portland Timbers is the Timbers Army. Its members are known for their loud, enthusiastic support and the raucous atmosphere they create at Timbers games. The Timbers Army was founded in 2001 as the Cascade Rangers, a reference to the Cascade Range of mountains in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The group began congregating in section 107 ("The Woodshed") of PGE Park ("The Piggy") to create a European-style rooting section for the club, complete with drumming, flags, scarves, smoke bombs and constant chanting and cheering. By 2002, the group had changed its name to the Timbers Army in order to lose any perception of partiality toward Scottish football club Rangers and because the Timbers uniforms at the time resembled those of Rangers rival Celtic. By 2012, the Timbers Army numbers more than 4,000 people in the north-end on game day.
- Portland Timbers continue a long-running Seattle–Portland rivalry with Seattle Sounders FC.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the other Cascadian USSF Division 2 Professional League, team was replaced by an MLS franchise in 2011, which competes along with Portland and Seattle in the Cascadia Cup.
During the NASL and USL years the team's mascot was a grizzled lumberjack named Timber Jim. On January 24, 2008, Jim announced his retirement. His final farewell was a game played against Puerto Rico Islanders on April 17, 2008, which was won 1–0.
Having served as the unofficial mascot from then on, Timber Joey was inaugurated as the new official mascot at an exhibition game vs Juventus Primavera on June 14, 2008, a game the Timbers won 1–0, and has served in that capacity ever since. Joey continues Jim's trademark of cutting a round from a large log with a chainsaw every time the Timbers score a goal. This round is presented to the goal-scoring player after the game. If the team achieves a shutout ("clean sheet"), the goalkeeper also receives a round. Timber Joey has his own custom jersey with Portland-based outdoor tool manufacturer Leatherman as the shirt sponsor.
All Portland Timbers regular-season games are televised. Roughly a third of the schedule is broadcast nationally in English by NBC, NBC Sports Network, ESPN or ESPN2 and nationally in Spanish by Univision Deportes. The rest of the games are televised regionally in English by Root Sports Northwest (formerly FSN Northwest), locally in English by FOX 12 Oregon or PDX TV and locally in Spanish by Estrella TV. Beginning in 2012 the Portland Timbers Broadcast Network was launched and provides coverage of over the air games to additional markets. Partners of the network include NTVZ/KTVZ 21.2 in Bend, OR, KEVU 23 in Eugene, OR, and KFBI 48.1 in Medford, OR. FOX 12 Oregon also airs a weekly highlight show called Timbers in 30 on Sunday evenings.
On the radio, all Timbers games are broadcast in English on 750 AM "The Game" and are simulcast in Spanish on both La Pantera 940 AM and Recuerdo 95.1 FM. 750 AM also features Talk Timbers, a weekly radio show dedicated to the team and soccer.
Players and staff
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of May 28, 2013.
- Executive staff
|Majority Owner & President||Merritt Paulson|
|Chief Operating Officer||Mike Golub|
|General Manager / Technical Director||Gavin Wilkinson|
Last updated: January 23, 2012
Source: Portland Timbers
- Coaching staff
|Head Coach||Caleb Porter|
|Assistant Coach||Sean McAuley|
|Assistant Coach||Amos Magee|
|Assistant Coach||Cameron Knowles|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Mike Toshack|
|Head Athletic Trainer||Nik Wald|
|Assistant Athletic Trainer||Jun Morishita|
|Director of Sport Science||Dr. John Cone|
Last updated: January 26, 2012
Source: Portland Timbers
Notable former players
This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.
- Jorge Perlaza (2011–12)
- Steve Purdy (2011–12)
- James Marcelin (2011–12)
- Lovel Palmer (2011–12)
- Kris Boyd (2012)
- Brian Umony (2011)
- Kenny Cooper (2011)
- Troy Perkins (2011–12)
- John Spencer (1 Dec 2010–9 July 12)
- Gavin Wilkinson (interim) (9 July 2012–Jan 13)
- Caleb Porter (17 Dec 2012–)
- MLS Western Conference
- Winners (Regular Season) (1): 2013
- Minor honors
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- Paulson, MLS Seeking National Ink With Friday Announcement, a March 18, 2009 article in Willamette Week
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- Rapids too strong, spoil expansion debut for Timbers[dead link]
- The Associated Press (July 9, 2012). "MLS Timbers fire coach John Spencer". Cbc.ca. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "AP source: Timbers fire coach John Spencer - - SI.com". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. July 9, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "New Crest Story". Portland Timbers. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
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- "2011 Portland Timbers Jersey". Football Shirts News. December 9, 2010.
- "Timbers Unveil 2011 Jerseys". December 9, 2010.
- Leventhal, Josh (October 14, 2010). "Portland Beavers Plan Move To Tucson". Baseball America. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- Larabee, Mark (June 24, 2009). "Major League Soccer plan still alive as Portland council endorses latest plan". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- Haberman, Margaret. "Vision for PGE Park: A place that says 'soccer'". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Conover, Dan (July 18, 2008). "The Fun Five: Things to do and where to do them". The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- Dure, Beau (August 25, 2009). "Portland Timbers show bark, bite as they prepare to join MLS". USA Today (McLean, VA). Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- "Community Connection: Cascade Rangers". OregonLive.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2001. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- "History". Timbers Army. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- Wahl, Grant (May 23, 2011). "A Pacific Passion Play: Big-time clubs left Portland, Seattle and Vancouver 30 years ago, but their fans never did. Now the teams are back in MLS, and their reborn rivalries are turning the region into a hotbed of the sport". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- Andrews, Allison. "Who is Timber Jim?". SoccerCityUSA. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- "Timbers long-time icon, 'Timber Jim,' retires". Portlandtimbers.com. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- "Timbers introduce Joe Webber as new mascot". Portlandtimbers.com. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- "Latest News". Portland Timbers. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- "Broadcast Partners". Portland Timbers. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "Timbers announce 2012 MLS schedule". Portland Timbers. January 5, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Players (active)". Portland Timbers. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Portland Timbers. "RECAP: Jewsbury, Timbers Stun Whitecaps to Take Cascadia Cup". portlandtimbers.com. Retrieved November 5, 2012.