So Brad Evans thinks Portland TImbers fans are a bunch of drunk 30 somethings that get wild and yell at games. Doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me. It sounds like a fun place to play a game.
My guess is Brad wouldn’t mind playing for fans like this rowdy bunch. A loud, passionate, young audience that cares deeply about the team and its success sounds pretty good to most players. And thankfully I was lucky enough to have had the privilege of playing on this team and for these wild and boisterous fans.
Playing in front of the Timbers Army is an exciting and emotional experience. Stepping on the pitch at Jeld-WEN is like seeing your favorite band in concert at an intimate and raucous venue, smoke and sound system included.
There isn’t another stadium atmosphere like this in the world. I’ve asked many of my former team mates and friends around MLS and they almost unanimously agree that it is the hardest and most fun place to play. So keep it up you wild Timbers fans. You are getting the approval of a large majority of MLS players.
But Brad might be right about you all being drunk. He should know that by living in the Pacific Northwest after a few craft brews many fans probably are a little more inebriated than your average Budweiser drinking stadium goer. And where is the harm in that? Portland people are some of the kindest, most accepting and yet passionate people I’ve ever come across. A city that welcomes teams in, roots passionately against them but still takes them out for a beer afterward.
Portland embraces diversity and non-conformity. Be who you want to be and own it. Be weird. And let me tell you most of us professional soccer players aren’t your typical conformists. We are people that swim against the current and succeed against all odds. A seemingly perfect fit for almost any professional soccer player looking for a home.
And after playing and living in Portland last year I only now fully realize what I was privileged to be a part of. I played pro soccer in Soccer City USA. Talk about a dream come true. When you think of the best places to play in MLS and worldwide you have to be thinking about Portland. The downtown stadium, wild fans, and unique city that lives and breathes soccer.
This is the place every player should want to play, Europe and South America included. If you can’t get excited about playing and living in Portland, soccer probably just isn’t for you. So here’s to Portland and its fans. Keep rooting, and save me a beer for my next visit.