By Jake Peterfeso
Saturday Sept. 29 was LC Night at the Portland Timbers, an exciting opportunity for Lewis & Clark students to go and see one of the premier soccer teams in Major League Soccer. Jason Feiner, Director of Student Activities, said LC Night is an excellent way to experience a distinguished part of Portland’s culture for less of the cost.
“The tickets sell out every year. It’s such a great opportunity for students to engage in Portland, we’re referred to as Soccer City USA,” Feiner said. “The chance to participate is a great opportunity because tickets are so expensive, and the cost can be a barrier to some.”
The game was played at Providence Park, the Timbers’ home field located in downtown Portland, just a short drive from LC campus. The Timbers played the first place team in the MLS Western Conference, FC Dallas.
The first half of the game was mostly uneventful with each team having a few opportunities to score, but neither being able to capitalize. However, in the second half things picked up significantly with each team generating chance after chance to score.
As the game drew near to the end, with each team still yet to score, the excitement in the stadium increased dramatically. The prospect of victory was on the line. Every scoring chance brought the fans to their feet.
In the 75th and 80th minute, Portland had two great opportunities to score, but all of their attempts were turned away by the opposing team’s goalie. In the 90th minute during stoppage time, fans’ tempers flared when the Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell was given a red card for allegedly kicking a player on the opposing team.
When the game came to a close, loud booing filled the air as Timbers fans felt that the referees had cost them a chance at winning the game. The game ended in a 0-0 draw giving each team one point in the standings.
Win, lose or draw, attending a Portland Timbers game is one of the city’s more exciting and fun nights out. As one of only two professional sports teams in Portland, the Timbers attract a large following of loyal fans.
Tom Stratton ’20 commented on his experience attending the high-energy event.
“It’s nice to go to sporting events,” Stratton said. “Especially in Portland because you feel more connected to Portland and the whole big city experience.”
The atmosphere at the stadium was electric and nearly every seat was filled. Leading the excitement was the Timbers Army, a group of rowdy fans who stand and lead the rest of the crowd in chants throughout the game. The Timbers Army even includes a full band, which amplifies the enthusiasm felt throughout the stadium.
Additionally, the Timbers have several zany traditions that add to the fun of the game. After each game, one tradition is to chop a piece of wood off of a tree with a chainsaw for every goal scored. These traditions and the energy of the fans make Timbers games unique and exhilarating sporting events to attend.
“It’s awesome. I love going to Timbers games,” Stratton said. “The atmosphere is wild, like there’s a bunch of flags waving and smoke and chainsaws.”
For LC students interested in attending a Timbers game, Providence Park is just a 15 minute drive from campus or a one mile walk from the Pioneer Express stop at PSU’s Shattuck Hall in downtown. If you missed this opportunity, be sure to take advantage of the next LC Night at the Portland Trailblazers happening on Sunday, Apr. 7, 2019 at 6 p.m. at the Moda Center.