I’m watching MLS commissioner Don Garber, who just made the announcment that Portland is the 18th team to join MLS.
Nice crowd behind Garber, and vocal. The Timbers Army chanted his name. They just held up a jersey, dark green with “Portland 2011” on it.
Garber talked about the game in Seattle and as soon as the words left his mouth there was a round of boos.
So in two years, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver will be in Major League Soccer.
“How could you have a city named “Soccer City USA” and not have a pro team in that city?” Garber said.
Portland will have a soccer-specific stadium in PGE Park, a place where I have spent a lot of days and nights having grown up in the Rose City, albeit mostly watching baseball. I must say I’m thrilled for my hometown and can’t wait to see a match there. So PGE has to be remodeled but now the city has time to do it.
“Portland has the most passionate soccer fans in the country,” said Merritt Paulson, the team’s prinicipal owner, who just took the podium. “I can assure you we will be a model franchise for the league. And in case there are any doubts, our Major League Soccer will be called…..Portland Timbers.”
And this: “Seattle Sounders, we’re coming back after you in 2011!”