Friday, August 24, 2007


It didn't take a special exhibition match or a superstar player to shatter USL-era Timbers attendance records: a warm evening, cheap beer, and a general buzz around town about the team's success this season brought a crowd of 15,833 spectators to PGE Park last night for the final home game of the regular season. And following what has seemed like an endless string of 0-0 results and dodgily-disallowed goals, a win was in the air. Buoyed by a thunderous North End that stretched across at least four sections, the Timbers brought the most soporific reaches of the stadium to their feet. When yet another goal--S-C-O-T-with-one-T-Thompson late in the first half--was waved off, the lads didn't let it discourage them, and the drought finally ended in the 81st minute, thanks to Justin Thompson. The crowd went wild! The flag was unfurled again at last! Owner Merritt Paulson came racing down the steps between 106 and 107, and racing back up, high-fived fans all the way! Timbers-colored smoke rose into the air! I was baptized in someone's beer! And then at some point UP keeper/TA capo Dan went aloft, passed up through the crowd! An astonishing night in every way, and in a real show of sportmanlike class, Charleston Battery keeper Dusty Hudock turned and applauded the Army at the close of the match. This was absolutely one of my proudest nights ever as a Timbers fan. MLS investors, listen up: give us the Timbers name and a PGE Park converted for soccer, and we will give you the numbers you need, because this is indeed Soccer City USA.

Pics and match report here.

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