Portland Timbers

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Portland Timbers
Nickname(s) The Timbers
Founded 2009[nb 1]
Stadium Providence Park
Portland, Oregon
Ground Capacity 21,144
Owner Peregrine Sports
President Merritt Paulson
Head Coach Caleb Porter
League Major League Soccer
2014 Western Conference: 6th
Overall: 11th
Playoffs: DNQ
Website Club home page
Primary colors
Secondary colors
Current season

The Portland Timbers are an American professional soccer club based in Portland, Oregon, that competes in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer. The Timbers are the 18th club of Major League Soccer, and the fourth franchise based in Portland to share the legacy of the Timbers name, which originated in the North American Soccer League in 1975. The Timbers have achieved early MLS success, finishing first in the Western Conference during the 2013 regular season and clinching their first-ever playoff appearance in franchise history.


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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[1] 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: Philip Anschutz, Lamar Hunt, and Robert Kraft).[1]

Timbers thank their fans after a home victory

Though supporting the acquisition of an MLS franchise raised numerous issues for Mayor Sam Adams and the Portland City Council,[4] the Timbers were announced as Major League Soccer's eighteenth team on March 20, 2009 by Commissioner Don Garber.[5] The announcement occurred during the first and second round games of the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament being held in Portland the same week.[6] The announcement noted that the team would retain the Portland Timbers name.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Inaugural season and John Spencer era: 2011–2012[edit]

The Timbers played their first MLS game on March 19, 2011, against reigning MLS champions Colorado Rapids, but lost 3–1. The first goal in the Timbers' MLS era was scored by Kenny Cooper.[12] In their first season, Portland Timbers were in 6th place in the Western Conference and 12th place overall.

On July 9, 2012, John Spencer was fired after a 0-3 loss to Real Salt Lake.[13][14] He was replaced by Caleb Porter who was previously head coach of the United States U-23 team, and the University of Akron men's team from 2006 to 2012. Gavin Wilkinson took over on an interim basis for the rest season.[15] The Timbers finished 2012 with the 3rd worst record in the league and was 8th out of 9th in the Western Conference.[16]

Caleb Porter era: 2013–present[edit]

Under new head coach Caleb Porter, the Portland Timbers achieved success in the 2013 MLS regular season. They were first place in the Western Conference and third place overall. The main player has been Diego Valeri, whom the Timbers had acquired from CA Lanus on loan with an option to purchase (which they exercised later in the season). In the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament, the club reached the semifinals, where they were eliminated by Real Salt Lake. The Timbers also earned their first MLS playoff appearance in franchise history. They knocked off their archrival Seattle Sounders FC in the conference semifinals 5-3 on aggregate. The Timbers were knocked out in the conference finals, again losing to Real Salt Lake in a home-and-home series (5-2 aggregate). Due to a change by the United States Soccer Federation of how American-based MLS teams can qualify in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Portland Timbers qualified for the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League, which was their first international tournament they would later take part in.[17]

In the 2014 MLS season, the Timbers could not replicate the success they had in the previous season. They struggled defensively in the beginning of the season with a 1-3-6 (W-L-D) record over the first ten games. They were able to mount a comeback late in the season, still having a chance on the final weekend to appear once again in the MLS playoffs but ultimately failing to qualify.[18] The Timbers finished the season in 6th place in the Western Conference, 11th place overall. For the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League, the Timbers were drawn with Club Deportivo Olimpia and Alpha United in the group stage of the tournament. They were eliminated in the group stage on away goals.[19] During the offseason, Portland's main focus was to avoid a slow start as they did in the 2014 season, made more difficult with Diego Valeri and Will Johnson being unavailable for the first several weeks due to injuries suffered in the final games of the 2014 season. New acquisitions included Nat Borchers from Real Salt Lake, and Ghanaian keeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey.[20][21]


The 2015 season marks the franchise's 5th anniversary as an MLS franchise and the 40th anniversary of the Timbers' legacy that traces back to the original North American Soccer League, which has been recognized by the team.

In 2015, the Timbers began their campaign without Diego Valeri and Will Johnson, who were still recovering from their injuries they obtained in the previous season. They would eventually return later in the season. The 2015 US Open Cup pitted Portland against arch-rival Seattle in the fourth round of the tournament, where they would eliminate the Sounders 3-1 in overtime, Seattle finished the match with only seven men after three players (including Clint Dempsey) were given red cards, and Obafemi Martins leaving due to a groin injury. Portland would fall to Real Salt Lake in the fifth round. On July 17, 2015, Portland acquired Argentine forward Lucas Melano from first-division side Club Atlético Lanús.[22]

Colors and badge[edit]

The 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 pays homage to the Pacific Northwest's logging industry, as 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.[23]


Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2011–current Adidas Alaska Airlines

It was announced in September 2010 that the Portland Timbers' jerseys would be sponsored by Alaska Airlines.[24] On Thursday December 9 the jersey was revealed at a runway show at Portland International Airport. The home jersey was a two-tone halved green shirt[25] while the alternate jersey was red, in honor of Portland being known as the Rose City.[26] However, before the start of the 2015 season it was announced that the club's kits had changed. The home jersey now features a yellow-green chevron displayed on the front. There also is a badge commemorating the 2015 season being the Timbers 5th MLS year and 40th existing year on the side of the sleeve.

Kit evolution[edit]

Home, away, and alternative Kits.

  • Home
  • Away
  • Alternative


Jeld-Wen Field 2013 season opener

The Timbers play at Providence Park, 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 2010–11 made it unsuitable for baseball, and former tenant the Portland Beavers moved to Tucson, Arizona, after failing to find a new venue.[27]

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.[28] The capacity of the renovated stadium was expected to be between 22,000 and 23,000.[29] Operational capacity was limited to 18,627 for the 2011 MLS season and expanded to 20,323 for the 2012 season.

On February 10, 2014, the Timbers signed a long-term stadium naming rights sponsorship with Providence Health & Services, a non-profit health care provider. The stadium will be known as Providence Park until at least 2028.[30]

Club culture[edit]

Portland Timbers fans


Main article: Timbers Army

The Timbers have sold out every home game to date, with over 65 consecutive sellouts as of October 2014.[31][32] The Timbers cap season-ticket sales at 15,300, and have a wait list of 10,000 season tickets; this is the largest in MLS, and larger than almost every college football team.[32][33]

Timbers Army Smoke Bombs

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.[34][35] The Timbers Army was founded in 2001 as the Cascade Rangers,[36] 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.[37] By 2012, the Timbers Army numbers more than 4,000 people in the north-end on game day.[citation needed]


The Timbers Army celebrates with smoke bombs after a Portland goal

The Portland Timbers continue a long-running rivalry with Seattle Sounders FC since the original North American Soccer League.[38] Reborn after Portland entered MLS as an expansion team, the Seattle-Portland rivalry rose to higher levels when they faced each other in the 2013 MLS playoffs in their two-game series where the Timbers eliminated their arch-rivals in their first-ever MLS postseason matchup.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the other Cascadian USSF Division 2 Professional League team, was replaced by an MLS franchise in 2011. It competes along with Portland and Seattle in the Cascadia Cup. The three teams' historic rivalry dates back to the original North American Soccer League.[38]


Timber Joey Cutting the First Goal Slice of the 2013 season

During the NASL and USL years the team's mascot was a grizzled lumberjack named Timber Jim.[39] 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.[40]

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,[41] a game the Timbers won 1–0,[42] 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 Fox Sports 1, 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.[43] FOX 12 Oregon also airs a weekly highlight show called Timbers in 30 on Friday 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.[44]


For details on former players, see All-time Portland Timbers roster.

Current roster[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of May 8, 2015.[45]

No. Position Player Nation
2 Defender Powell, AlvasAlvas Powell      Jamaica
4 Midfielder Johnson, WillWill Johnson      Canada
5 Midfielder Fochive, GeorgeGeorge Fochive      United States
6 Midfielder Nagbe, DarlingtonDarlington Nagbe      Liberia
7 Defender Borchers, NatNat Borchers      United States
8 Midfielder Valeri, DiegoDiego Valeri (DP)     Argentina
9 Forward Adi, FanendoFanendo Adi      Nigeria
11 Forward Asprilla, DaironDairon Asprilla      Colombia
12 Goalkeeper Kwarasey, Adam LarsenAdam Larsen Kwarasey      Ghana
13 Midfielder Jewsbury, JackJack Jewsbury      United States
14 Midfielder Zemanski, BenBen Zemanski      United States
15 Defender Jeanderson, Jeanderson      Brazil
17 Midfielder Nanchoff, MichaelMichael Nanchoff      United States
19 Defender Villafaña, JorgeJorge Villafaña      United States
20 Defender Peay, TaylorTaylor Peay      United States
21 Midfielder Chará, DiegoDiego Chará      Colombia
22 Forward Wallace, RodneyRodney Wallace      Costa Rica
23 Defender Paparatto, NorbertoNorberto Paparatto      Argentina
24 Defender Ridgewell, LiamLiam Ridgewell (DP)     England
26 Forward Melano, LucasLucas Melano (DP)     Argentina
27 Midfielder Besler, NickNick Besler      United States
28 Midfielder Thoma, AndyAndy Thoma      United States
31 Forward Seaton, MichaelMichael Seaton      Jamaica
33 Goalkeeper Weber, AndrewAndrew Weber      United States
35 Defender Manning, AnthonyAnthony Manning      United States
37 Forward Urruti, MaximilianoMaximiliano Urruti      Argentina
90 Goalkeeper Gleeson, JakeJake Gleeson      New Zealand

Portland Timbers Ring of Honor[edit]

Northeast Corner Showing Ring of Honor Boards in Top Right

Given to those involved with the Portland Timbers deserving of special honors. Currently there are only five members of this exclusive group:

Inductee Date of Induction
Clive Charles August 29, 2003
Timber Jim April 17, 2008
John Bain March 19, 2011
Jimmy Conway March 19, 2011
Mick Hoban March 8, 2014

Those inducted have their names displayed in the upper northeast corner of what is now Providence Park.[46] Clive Charles' number was retired in a halftime ceremony on August 29, 2003, just three days after his death.[47] Timber Jim's number was retired in a halftime ceremony on April 17, 2008.[48] Timber Jim is currently the only non-player to be inducted to the Ring of Honor.[49] Both John Bain and Jimmy Conway were unveiled as new members at halftime of the club's first ever MLS home game on March 19, 2011.[46] Mark Hoban was inducted on during a halftime ceremony on March 8, 2014. [50][51]


Executive staff[edit]

Position Staff
Majority owner and president Merritt Paulson
Chief operating officer Mike Golub
General manager / technical director Gavin Wilkinson

Last updated: February 26, 2015
Source: Portland Timbers

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Caleb Porter
Assistant coach Sean McAuley
Assistant coach Cameron Knowles
Assistant coach Jay Vidovich
Goalkeeping coach Adin Brown
Director of sports medicine Nik Wald
Assistant athletic trainer Alex Margarito
Assistant athletic trainer Taichi Kitagawa
Director of sports science Nick Milonas

Last updated: February 26, 2015
Source: Portland Timbers

Head coach history[edit]

Name Nat Tenure
John Spencer  Scotland December 1, 2010 – July 9, 2012
Gavin Wilkinson  New Zealand July 9, 2012 – October 28, 2012 (interim)
Caleb Porter  United States January 8, 2013 – present


Portland Timbers 2 (T2)[edit]

Main article: Portland Timbers 2

Portland Timbers 2 (T2) is the farm club of the Portland Timbers. On October 2014, Merritt Paulson announced the creation of their USL Pro team, Portland Timbers 2 (T2). T2 began play in the 2015 USL pro season, having Merlo Field as their stadium to play for their home games. The purpose of T2 is to bridge a gap between the academies and the first level team, while having a better way to observe the players' progress and development as well.[54]



Year MLS Regular season Position MLS Cup
Open Cup
Top Scorer
P W L D GF GA Pts Conf. Overall Player Goals
2011 34 11 14 9 40 48 42 6th 12th DNQ N/A Q DNQ United States Kenny Cooper 8
2012 34 8 16 10 34 56 34 8th 17th DNQ Cascadia Cup R3 DNQ Scotland Kris Boyd 7
2013 34 14 5 15 54 33 57 1st 3rd Conference Finals N/A SF DNQ Argentina Diego Valeri 10
2014 34 12 9 13 61 52 49 6th 11th DNQ N/A QF Group stage Argentina Diego Valeri 11
2015 25 11 8 6 26 28 39 4th 5th TBD TBD R5 DNQ Nigeria Fanendo Adi 10

DNQ = Did not qualify

CONCACAF Champions League[edit]

Portland has qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League one time, the first in the 2014-2015 edition of the tournament.[55]

Scores and results list Portland's goal tally first.
Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League Group stage Guyana Alpha United 6–0[56] 4–1[57] 10–1
Honduras C.D. Olimpia 4–2[58] 1–3[59] 5–5

Player statistics[edit]


# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS USOC Playoffs CCL Total
1 Forward Nagbe, DarlingtonDarlington Nagbe  Liberia 2011– 157 7 4 2 170
2 Midfielder Chara, DiegoDiego Chara  Colombia 2011– 141 4 4 - 149
3 Midfielder Jewsbury, JackJack Jewsbury  United States 2011– 130 8 4 3 145
4 Forward Wallace, RodneyRodney Wallace  Costa Rica 2011– 117 6 4 4 131
5 Midfielder Alhassan, KalifKalif Alhassan  Ghana 2011–2014 93 6 4 3 106
6 Midfielder Valeri, DiegoDiego Valeri  Argentina 2013– 80 6 4 1 91
7 Goalkeeper Ricketts, DonovanDonovan Ricketts  Jamaica 2012–2014 73 3 4 - 80
8 Midfielder Johnson, WillWill Johnson  Canada 2013– 67 5 4 1 77
9 Defender (soccer)Michael Harrington  United States 2013–2014 58 6 4 3 71
10 Defender , Futty DansoFutty Danso  Gambia 2011–2014 60 2 4 - 66
As of October 3, 2015

USOC = U.S. Open Cup; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Portland Timbers roster.


# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS USOC Playoffs CCL Total
1 Midfielder Valeri, DiegoDiego Valeri  Argentina 2013– 23 3 1 - 27
2 Forward Nagbe, DarlingtonDarlington Nagbe  Liberia 2011– 20 2 1 - 23
Forward Adi, FanendoFanendo Adi  Nigeria 2014– 21 - - 2 23
4 Midfielder , Will JohnsonWill Johnson  Canada 2013– 16 1 2 - 19
5 Forward Urruti, MaximilianoMaximiliano Urruti  Argentina 2013– 14 1 - 3 18
6 Forward Wallace, RodneyRodney Wallace  Costa Rica 2011– 16 1 - - 17
7 Midfielder Jewsbury, JackJack Jewsbury  United States 2011– 13 1 - 1 15
8 Forward Fernandez, GastonGaston Fernandez  Argentina 2014–2015 9 4 - 1 14
9 Forward Johnson, RyanRyan Johnson  Jamaica 2013 9 - 1 - 10
10 Forward Cooper, KennyKenny Cooper  United States 2011 8 - - - 8
As of September 27, 2015

USOC = U.S. Open Cup; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Portland Timbers roster.


# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS USOC Playoffs CCL Total
1 Midfielder Valeri, DiegoDiego Valeri  Argentina 2013– 34 - - - 34
2 Forward Nagbe, DarlingtonDarlington Nagbe  Liberia 2011– 19 1 - - 20
3 Forward Wallace, RodneyRodney Wallace  Costa Rica 2011- 15 1 2 1 19
4 Midfielder Jewsbury, JackJack Jewsbury  United States 2011– 14 - 2 - 16
Midfielder Alhassan, KalifKalif Alhassan  Ghana 2011–2014 12 1 1 2 16
6 Midfielder Chara, DiegoDiego Chara  Colombia 2011- 13 - 1 - 14
7 Midfielder Johnson, WillWill Johnson  Canada 2013– 7 3 1 2 13
8 Midfielder Zizzo, SalSal Zizzo  United States 2011–2013 7 - - - 7
Forward Urruti, MaximilianoMaximiliano Urruti  Argentina 2013- 4 2 - 1 7
10 Midfielder Alexander, EricEric Alexander  United States 2011-2012 6 - - - 6
Forward Adi, FanendoFanendo Adi  Nigeria 2014- 6 - - - 6
As of September 27, 2015

USOC = U.S. Open Cup; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Portland Timbers roster.


  1. ^ Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise formed in 2009 but did not begin MLS play until 2011. Three previous incarnations of the club competed in the North American Soccer League (1975–1982), the Western Soccer League (1985–1990) and the USL First Division (2001–2010).


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External links[edit]

Media related to Portland Timbers at Wikimedia Commons