A Soccer Fan's Guide to Portland
The soccer community of any given city doesn’t just exist within the walls of their club’s stadium. As we visit cities around the United States, KICK plans to profile the entire experience of a soccer fan within a given community.
For the third installment, KICK profiles the beautiful city of Portland and its beloved Timbers. Grab a coffee, check out some European footy, and get some greek food before taking in the stellar Providence Park.
For 41 years, in a modestly sized Pacific Northwest city, a curious process has been taking place. What started at a soccer team has slowly become something much bigger. During the process, franchises folded and leagues collapsed. The backdrop has changed over the years, but the constant variable remains the same. The fans have always been here. The story never stopped. A passion that has been passed down from previous generations and has now woven itself seamlessly into fabric of civic identity. The Portland Timbers can be found in every aspect of their city’s culture.
On the West Coast you have to get up early if you want to watch any live overseas action. 442 was up bright and early at 6 am in hopes of watching Leicester clinch the title on their own terms. Any game, anywhere this spot has you covered.
The Mad Greek Deli has been a part of Timbers culture since day one. Come early to grab a seat and a Mad Greek Sandwich or you’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder. DO NOT call them French fries…Greek fries.
In Portland you’ll have no issues with finding a place to watch the game. Watching a game on the silver screen is (almost) as good as having tickets. The Aladdin Theater and Crystal Ballroom are a great all ages options for a great game day experience.
Portland brewery Hopworks recently collaborated with Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury on the Lucky 13 Championship IPA. Other breweries in the past have worked with the Timbers as well. Widmer Brothers also produced Big Hearts and Brass Balls, A Caleb Porter & the Green and Gold Kölsch.
Portland is one of the few teams in MLS that has had the luxury of a centrally located stadium. While a great location, parking and traffic can be problematic. Public transport and bike is not only more convenient, but fun way to pregame. Free bike parking right at the gate.
Built in 1893, Providence Park has played host to Elvis Presley, President Warren Harding, greyhound races, cricket matches, and Pelé’s last official game.
The experience itself within the stadium can’t be beat.
If you want to be a part of the Timbers Army, you already are.
Photos and story by Kurt Ehnle