[From the editor: Before we begin, do you need Tucson tix? If so, contact Xavier Vasquez, from FC Tucson's FO. He is offering us tickets for nearly half price: $11.64 each.]
— by John Holden
Perhaps it’s the light drizzle of snow. Perhaps it’s the need for sun. Perhaps you’re tired of watching Liverpool slowly blow it and want to watch some real friendly football. But whatever the case, you went ahead and booked this season’s best away day: Tucson, Arizona.
Scoff if you must. Tucson is one of the most underrated, forgotten cities in the country. They tried to lure the Oakland Raiders to Arizona Stadium for next season, which made several national sportswriters look at Tucson and say, “Tucson? Oh, right.” When I moved to Portland, I loved it because I thought it was a slightly more walkable Tucson with better weather. (How times have changed.)
If you’re going, you’re visiting the United States’ first and only UNESCO culinary heritage city, a city surrounded on both sides by national parks, and a city known for its bicycle routes. Here’re some tips from a former Tucsonian (who worked his remaining Tucson network to make sure you’re getting the best info).
(Scroll down if you want food instead of a quick backstory.) Tucson was home to Major League Baseball spring training until 2010. Phoenix had a county fund to build new spring training ballparks after almost losing baseball entirely to Florida in the early 1990s, but Tucson lacked a similar county fund. After the Diamondbacks and Rockies left, the county turned the old White Sox practice fields into soccer pitches. The soccer stadium isn’t much — it has only one fixed stand — but the Timbers are playing there, dammit.
You’re probably AirBnBing, but there are several nice golf resorts scattered around town. If you’re hoteling, though, pick the Arizona Inn. It opened in 1930, a project of Arizona’s first congresswoman, and is upscale, centrally located, and quaintly historical.
Let’s start at the top: Sonoran food. El Charro Café is the old legend; it’s the oldest family-operated Mexican restaurant in the U.S., and you absolutely cannot go wrong with the sun-dried beef. You also have Mi Nidito, which hosted Bill Clinton. You’ve got Cafe Poca Cosa, where the menu gets switched up twice a day. But you’ve also got holes-in-the-wall, like Anita Street Market, only open for lunch in a hard-to-find location, and which makes fantastic beef burritos.
You’ve got restaurants dedicated to raspados, the snow cone of the Southwest. (I don’t have a favorite spot here, but be on the lookout.) Tamales from Tucson Tamale Company. Sonoran hot dogs from El Güero Canelo. If you’re looking for something garlicky that hasn’t been on the food network, Ruiz Hot-Dogs. And Boca Tacos just generally.
Tucson cuisine isn’t limited to Mexican food, though. If you need a quick sandwich, eegee’s is known for their eponymous fruit slushes. Baggin’s is a local chain that gives you a cookie with each sandwich, and Beyond Bread is a bakery with a number of fresh options. Blue Willow has a delicious and healthy menu. It’s also the only city outside New Mexico not named El Paso with a Blake’s Lotaburger location. Obon Sushi also comes highly recommended.
If you’re not going the raspados route, The Screamery puts Salt and Straw to shame (even though it since opened a Phoenix location. Bastards.).
You’re reading a Timbers Army blog, so you probably also want to drink. Ten 55 Brewing comes recommended. Club Congress is a cool downtown hotel bar, and La Cocina has a nice patio if the weather’s cooperating.
You also have Fourth Avenue if you want to party with college students. Hub restaurant is downtown and has a bar with outdoor patio and ice cream. Hardcore Mariners fans will want to genuflect to The Hut, where former relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen tended bar before becoming a major league pitcher.
Also note: There’s not much to drink around the stadium itself. There is, sources say, a new In ‘n Out location, but — as noted above — you can do better than that.
For a recent list of amazing restaurants and breweries, check out this comprehensive article. You won’t be disappointed.
There’s Saguaro National Park West and Saguaro National Park East. The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is at the West Park and contains a ton of information about the desert habitat. East Park has a smaller visitor center but contains a loop road called “Cactus Forest Drive.” I recommend either. You will see a ton of saguaro cacti. Sabino Canyon is in the Catalinas north of town and contains a tram-bus thing up the canyon. There’s lots of good hiking in both of these spots.
The Presidio San Augstín del Tucson Museum recreates the Tucson Presidio as it would have appeared in 1775. (That’s not a typo on the date.)
Old Tucson Studios is where many Western movies have been filmed, including Little House on the Prairie.
Bookmans is the local Powell’s. It doesn’t have a four-story building downtown, but is still worth a stop if you’re into used books.
You can probably get University of Arizona basketball tickets relatively cheaply now that the team is under federal investigation. As a college town, there’s also a decent music scene, so I recommend checking local listings.
The newly barbed wire border fence is an hour south.
In the event you’re heading down to Tucson, I hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy the preseason!
Get Stuck In
informal -- to start doing something enthusiastically
-- Cambridge Dictionary
Thank you, Devlyn.
Had it not been for your enthusiastic conversations about the Timbers, I wouldn't have found a team I'm passionate about, or a community I care about so much.
I wouldn't be stuck in.
We all have a story of how we got stuck in. I’ll tell you mine. I was doing a few podcasts on a local internet radio station -- one about dating and one about knitting. One of my co-hosts would always come in and talk about the Timbers, about the games and about the players. And it would always end with, “I think you should come with me sometime.”
One day, I gave in and went. I remember the crowd, I remember the people ... I absolutely do not remember the game. I spent the rest of the season in section 107, row N. I got to be there for the Sunflower Goal. I met Bright Dike in front of the apartment complex we recorded our podcasts from. But I didn't quite realize what I had gotten myself into.
The first time I went to Seattle for an away game on a bus ... We hiked up those awful ramps. We sang our hearts out for the full 90. And I had never had someone yell such awful things at me from outside our section.
It was terrible and amazing. That's when I realized I was stuck in.
A little over a year ago, I tweeted something about thanking whoever brought you here. The response was amazing. Everyone had a story for why they’re here, how *they* got stuck in. So I decided I wanted to try to document that.
Interested in coming out? Fill out this form here and I will be in touch.
Here's the breakdown of votes:
Here's the breakdown of how many eligible members voted this year compared with years past:
Sincere thanks to all who ran. Also, thanks once again to the entire election committee for organizing.
For more information about the 107IST elections, see our elections page.
—by John Nyen
Soundtrack:  (first 1:16); 
I have a story to tell you.
The beat to this story is a steady drum, the noise of which rolls and swells and grows with every struck note. It explodes from nothing, a sine wave disappearing into the ether and cresting again as it lodges itself against your ear drums before settling into another deep trough. This beat is the PT-FC. It is your heart. It is your feet against pavement. This beat is the sound of clapping and the vibrations that move through you every time we gather together at our church on Morrison Street. This beat is 20,000 fans and millions across the nation feeling the staccato rhythms at the root of their soul.
This beat comes from us and feeds the drums which resonate together so much that they stretch and move and undulate with the force.
When we live as children we find all these things in the now, in the future, in the longing efforts towards adult life. As adults, we lose that that feeling of being in the moment, the flow state as you can call it. We look towards that bright, distant future by comparing it against our past and longing for those long-lost moments.
We sit there with our friends or by ourselves with our expectations steadily shrinking towards ambivalent detachment as the clock ticks ever closer towards the end of our season. We deal with our own preoccupation about the mortality of our team in the playoffs as our beat, our own internal drum, becomes as fast as the heart races.
20’ – Dániel Sallói – goal.
Watching this game between fingers. Heads in hands as fans in the stadium are yelling, screaming, and willing everything into every play.
Fifty-one minutes of apprehension in the Western Conference Finals where we worried about the result. Fifty-one minutes where we made deals with our devils and where we slowly slipped into acceptance.
We watched all the plays in this game that reminded us of past losses from bad moments. We tried to find those moments that reminded us of past victories.
Suddenly, in a precious moment, the world changed.
A ball struck true and hard hangs in the air flying ever closer to the net. We are living in the moment right now and the beat rages, collapses, and builds again as breath itself hangs in your throat. Time slows and expands unfolding all possibilities before us. The net ripples.
We are alive. We are in harmony with our fellow fans with no thought of division. We are in the resonance. We are in the flow state, my friends.
Everything we can dream, as fans, becomes possible, in that moment.
“I just kick” – Sebastian Blanco
In this moment lives the true feeling of sympathetic oscillation with each other. Not just with the fellow fan, but with the player as well. These moments make us cast aside the modern idea of “rooting for laundry,” because we feel something different that our logical brain tries to deny. We feel the resonance, the beat, the pull that makes all of us one.
My friends, I assuredly tell you that you will feel a lifetime during the next game. You will wonder about everything beforehand. Thoughts will creep into your head during work, during exercise, during lunch. You might even give into momentary daydreams of the events to unfold.
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies—
The Heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp
For fear to be a king—
These words tell us all. We must not let ourselves, our own predilections towards fear or shame or ridicule, stop us. We are the arbiters of our fate and the deciders of our destiny. We control what we do in the stands regardless of what happens on the field.
So often you are told that you do not matter. The league will tell you that. Atlanta United will tell you that. Friends will tell you that. They are liars. We manifest our intent by the act of singing, chanting and being there.
Let us, then, be great, for our boys on the field. Let us give them our beat, our passion, our shared resonance and love. Let us fill them up with bravado and hope. Let them feel the vibration of the drums and know our passion. Let them hear our songs and chants.
Fly the flag so that our intentions are known. Fly the flag so that they know we are there, massed in thousands but carrying the belief of millions across the country.
With this love and this passion and this faith we cannot be stopped.
This is how the world knows who we are.
PT – FC
Here's what you need to know regarding the TA at the December 8th MLS Cup match against Atlanta United, as well as events before and after the match. If you're going, please be sure to read this guide carefully and in full.
We do not have any information on any FO afterparties, so please do not ask.
Tailgate and Parking:
Tailgating and parking will be in the Yellow Lot (marked with red star below). The lot will open at 2:30PM. We are still working on some details, but beer and food cart (with meat and vegan options) will be available. You are more than welcome to supply your own alcohol. Specific tailgating policies can be found here: Tailgate Policy.pdf. It is suggested that you pre-purchase your parking passes ($12-68): http://parking.mercedesbenzstadium.com/.
Tickets will be distributed in person at the Tailgate starting at 3PM. It is strongly suggested that you be there in time to pick up your tickets at the tailgate. Registered/transferred names will need to match a photo ID for pickup. Portland supporter tickets purchased through the 107IST are for Sections 330, 331, 332, and 333 of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A wristband system will be in place **for these sections only** to assist in preventing overcrowding of our sections. Please do not suggest moving or invite supporters into the section that are not wearing a wristband provided by the 107IST. The Portland section will be treated as general admission, so you'll be able to stand and sing anywhere within that designated area. Concession stands and restrooms are nearby, and stadium security staff asks that we use the facilities within our area, nearest our section.
At 5:00PM we will be escorted to the stadium for entry from the tailgate area. Due to the number of supporters we have and the extra exempt items we will have with us, it is strongly suggested that you march with the group to the section. Please do not rush to the entry gate ahead of the leadership group. If ADA assistance is needed for the match, please let the Travel Team know ahead of time. Also, please follow their clear bag policy extremely closely. Clutch bags can be no larger than 4.5"x6.5".
[section edited to clarify policy 12/7] Due to clearance issues, we will not be permitted to allow any flags, banners, or two-sticks that have not been cleared in advance with Atlanta by the Travel Team. Don't show up with flags/banners/two-sticks that have not been pre-cleared; they will not be allowed in! With this in mind, we will have plenty of flags supplied for the group. **No banners or flags may be attached to any part of the stadium by any means!**
After the match, stadium staff will provide a group egress after a 15-20 minute hold following the conclusion of the match. Please remain in the TA section until this occurs, and follow the lead of security.
Drew Picard and the 107IST Travel Team are the primary points of contact and the Supporter Liaisons for this match. Please follow the Timbers Army on Twitter or Facebook if further updates are needed.
If immediate assistance is needed, please call or text the 107IST Travel Team @ (850) PDX.AWAY (850.739.2929)
For general questions, please email AwayTravel@107IST.org ASAP!
Dos and Don'ts:
Supporter groups are encouraged to chant, sing and support their team. We ask that supporter groups refrain from using profanity or language that is deemed offensive to others.
All approved items must be brought into the building in advance of all gates opening to the public. The items may be staged in the seating section.
Supporter group items brought after gates have opened will not be permitted to be brought into the facility.
Standing on, or hitting seats is not permitted at any time.
Fireworks, flares, or smoke devices of any kind are not permitted to be brought into the stadium or parking lot. Individuals in possession of or igniting fireworks or similar are subject to ejection and possible arrest.
It is requested that we use the restrooms and concessions nearest our Away sections.
Members of our supporter groups are requested to not enter into, provoke, or incite any other supporter groups. Also, parading around the facility is not permitted.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Policies
Have fun and support the boys in green!
-Your Timbers Army Travel Team
[Kansas City, KS, & Portland, OR; November 26th, 2018] While Sporting KC and the Portland Timbers prepare for the second leg of the Western conference final on Thursday, the Kansas City Cauldron and Timbers Army are forced to address the potential away supporters’ ticket allocation for MLS Cup.
Both of our organizations have been informed that there will be approx 1000 tickets available for away supporters in Red Bull Arena should they advance. That number is very close to the 5% away fan allocation that MLS supporters have been requesting for a number of years.
Our concern, and frankly outrage, lies in the preparation for a match at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. At this time we are being offered 900 tickets. That number is simply a slap in the face to all supporters that travel week in and week out to support their clubs. The capacity for the stadium is 72,000 which could be expanded for MLS Cup. 5% of that capacity would be 3,600 or more than 3 times what is being offered.
There are roughly 30-35k Atlanta United season ticket holders. That still leaves 40k single game tickets available in the stadium for a final.
First and most important, offering such a small number of supporter group tickets in a stadium with such a large capacity will create a major security concern. Away supporters will go to the secondary market when they are unable to secure tickets through the normal away ticket allocation process. Away fans will then be scattered throughout the stadium, putting both home and away fans in potentially dangerous situations for no reason.
We understand the advantage of being the host. That said, accommodating away fans when there is a non-neutral site must be a priority. Four of the most passionate fan bases in the league remain. The largest stadium in the league is most likely to host, and the two teams that will face off against them are being offered fewer tickets than the smaller of the two sites. This is simply unacceptable and does nothing to continue the growth of our clubs and league.
Kansas City has traveled with 1300 to Colorado for an away playoff game and over 1000 to Dallas for a regular season game. Portland's weekly traveling support is well documented around the league and demand for an MLS cup ticket will once again be incredibly high.
We request that the Away Supporter allotment in Atlanta be immediately raised to the generally recognized FIFA 5% for away fans. Passion exists throughout the league and we must support that passion, regardless of where a club comes from.
[The Kansas City Cauldron is an independent non-profit dedicated to the support soccer in Kansas City since 1996. The Cauldron works to create the best environment for supporters as well as advocate for all fans with the Sporting Kansas City’s ownership and staff. You can find more information at www.kccauldron.com]
[The mission of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107IST) is to support soccer in and around Portland, Oregon, from the grassroots to the highest professional level. The 107IST is a member-based non-profit organization open to anyone who loves soccer, the Timbers/Thorns, and Portland. http://www.timbersarmy.org]
107ist community outreach efforts were instrumental in helping get Portland’s chapter of Street Soccer USA off the ground, and we funded the local team to travel to the Homeless World Cup. Focusing on homeless, refugee, and at-risk youth in our community, the impact their work has done — and will do — really gets deep into the feels.
Continuing our support, our Timbers Army design team at No Pity Originals has collaborated with PDX Originals to create a unique studio sofa remade from retired Portland Airport furniture. With the reused tifo on the back, custom rose embossed fabric on the sides, and a durable leather alternative that matches the team's bench seats at the stadium, this one of a kind item also includes a beautifully finished log slab table from El Maestro’s MVP season. This studio sofa will be raffled off to donors of $25 or more with multiple entries allowed. If this isn't enough incentive, EVERY donor of $25 or more will receive our iconic No Pity scarf as a thank you gift for your support.
You can check out some pics on the PDX Originals site.
It really needs to be seen in person to appreciate the attention to detail. It will be moving around town to different locations over the fundraising period. Currently, it’s out at Rose City Futsal West if you want to check it out.
Please make your donations through Willamette Week's Give Guide portal and get in on this raffle.
It’s that time of year again! That’s right: It’s election season for our board of directors. Time to contemplate the future of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust and everyone’s individual involvement in it. The intent of this post is to summarize what we, as a board, both collectively and individually, feel we may need moving forward. If any of this speaks to you personally, or if you feel you have other skills that are applicable to accomplishing our mission, we invite you to run.
Two of three board members up for election are not running. Please join us in thanking both Mike and Lexi for their terms of service to the 107ist. Neither plans to disappear, by any means. They will both continue in different capacities that better align with where they are in their lives. As the board member in charge of TA tifo, Mike has done a great job of making sure there is a quality leadership team in place. As secretary, comms, and tech, Lexi’s current role is a different one to try to fill and likely won’t be the work of one person. Having someone with strong, applicable skills is important to the org. There is the possibility of separating the secretary position into an appointed one, similar to what we’ve done with the treasurer, but that’s a long-term discussion. Ultimately, the new board will work together to organize roles as best we can once we know who the new members are.
One question asked every year by Josh Barrett, long-time member and part of the 107IST Legal team, is whether we a working board or a strategic board. The answer has long been: We’re a bit of both, with a stronger emphasis on the working side. As a board, we feel this is at more of a tipping point than it has been in the past as we take on some broader goals and have matured more as an organization.
A ton’s been going on outside the stadium over this past year, too. For one, we have successfully negotiated the extension of our leases for the warehouse (five years) and the Fanladen (three years). While this gives us a little grace period to plan long-term facilities solutions, it’s not time to rest on our laurels by any means. We’re talking millions of dollars here, and we need to do this right. We have recently gone through the process of hiring professional bookkeeper services with a nonprofit focus that will take a bit of the the workload off the treasurer and provide further legitimacy as we pursue the capital campaign.
Over this past year especially, we’ve changed and grown organizationally. A good formula for success has long been to come out of a specific area of the organization to take on a leadership role in that area. In several key areas, there are now highly effective leaders that are not on the board. While there is still strong communication with the board on key issues, the board doesn’t need to provide direct oversight over minutiae. Of note, this in no way excludes any of the people in those areas from running to better perform that functional link.
We’ve been talking to a lot of members who’ve been thinking about running. As always, there’s a lot of hesitation from members who we, as a board, feel would be great contributors. Many know and respect the amount of work it is to be on the board, but are intimidated by the added workload and/or by the effort it takes to run. We all know, intimately, the process of running and can understand people’s reservations. Know this: No one knows everything about every facet of the organization. Go with what you know. Go with what you can bring to the table. That is what people want to see.
With the direction we’re growing, having someone with experience working with nonprofits — and strong bonus points for large capital campaigning experience — is a big need for us, as it’s starting to permeate many facets of our focus. Similarly, we could use someone with a solid project management background. If that’s you, really think about it.
As supporters culture is so close to who we are, we know many long-time members that have been taking more of a back seat for myriad reasons. Maybe family or work life took over; maybe other passions drew you in. Now maybe you’re in a better place to reassess your involvement. Could be the kids are finally out of the house. Maybe you’re settled into your job after finishing school or on an extended sabbatical. Maybe you’re retired and are getting bored with your bucket list and want to stay sharp on your game (you know about the studies). Our culture is a living breathing thing and it should be a struggle to keep it going. It’s a big part of what we do. Not saying it needs to be the old man at the end of the bar or someone who beat pickle buckets, but connections to our past as we move into the future will continually be valued.
One important role of the 107ist board are our deliberations. It can be tough sometimes, and friendships have been damaged over the years (temporarily, anyway). When called on to do so, the board has done a really good job of keeping the debate scholarly and putting the real work into finding the best solution. Some of the best qualities for this are the ability to be thoughtful, rational, and process-oriented. The board doesn’t deliberate in a vacuum, even if it may seem like that from some points of view. This is another area where someone with nonprofit experience could be valuable. Same with cultural experience.
Running for the board isn’t really about winning. It’s about willingness. It’s about being an active participant as we define who we are and what direction we should go. Think back on any of the other 107ist elections you can remember. How different were the priorities each year? It has a huge impact and carries directly into the Annual General Meeting. The more candidates we have, the better that dialogue can be. That said, if elected you will be expected to work, be responsive, and follow through.
Look, there’s no one perfect candidate (well, maybe there is but they’re not running … we asked). Any of you introspectively trying to tick all the boxes, just stop trying. The best way to halt a candidacy is to start making stuff up about stuff you don’t know. We all ask questions. None of us are alone in this. It’s the value of all our combined strengths as an org, well beyond the board, that makes us the force that we are. If you got what it takes, step on up and let’s do this.
The results are in, and Sebastián Blanco is the clear choice of Timbers supporters for 2018. With over 44% of all votes cast going to Portland's number 10, Sebastián Blanco is this year's winner of the Timbers Supporters' Player of the Year belt, receiving 465 votes out of 1051 votes cast in online polling.
Very few votes separated the second- and third-place finishers, with Diego Chara receiving 227 votes and Zarek Valentin receiving 224 votes. Jeff Attinella finished fourth with 35 votes, and Diego Valeri finished fifth with 26 votes. Together the top three finishers accounted for over 87% of all votes cast.
A 107IST member has generously donated a large group of tickets to the organization with wishes for them to go to youth in the community. The majority of invitees will be recipients of the Gisele Currier Scholarship Fund as well as other local youth. The Gisele Currier Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) under the 107IST umbrella.
As a means to raise dollars for the fund and raise awareness of the program, the final four tickets are available for a lucky winner via raffle! In honor of Gisele we'd really like to see this program continue to grow, and for the Portland soccer community to become familiar with it as a resource.
In 2017, the Gisele Currier Scholarship Fund awarded 49 soccer scholarships to youth in and around the Timbers and Thorns academy area for a total of $19,953. In April and May of this year (2018) the GCSF awarded 29 soccer scholarships for a total of $13,055. Scholarship recipients range in age from 8 to 18 years of age, and scholarship award amounts vary based on individual need.
Support GCSF and enter for your chance to win 4 tickets (over $200 value) to the RSL match in the Widmer Southern Front Hospitality Space at Providence Park this Sunday. The section is directly behind the south goal. Bring your friends or follow the spirit and invite some youth.
$10 per entry or 3 for $25
Enter the Raffle Here!
The Gisele Currier Scholarship Fund is recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS; and donations to the fund may be tax deductible (Federal EIN: 47-2324722). Donations of $75 or more will be acknowledged with a contribution receipt for use in tax filing.