silentrex

Jan 312017
 

(Cross-posted from timbersarmy.org)

“To support soccer from the grassroots to the highest professional level”

Chances are that if you’re at all familiar with the 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107IST), you recognize that as our mission. Those words have been the guiding force behind everything we’ve done as organization since we were formed in 2009.

The 107IST was born out of the Timbers Army with the purpose of doing the heavy lifting on behalf of a vibrant supporters’ culture that was in the midst of a transition to MLS and the associated stadium renovations. The establishment of the non-profit organization was necessary to provide a stable point of contact to the Front Office on all issues facing supporters, be accountable for the management of all finances, house the intellectual and physical assets, as well as build on our already established record in the community.

The 107IST was founded to be the engine that drives the Timbers Army.

In the early days there really was little distinction between the Timbers Army and the 107IST. The 107IST Board of Directors supported the operations of the Timbers Army, and the two entities were viewed by most people as being synonymous.

However, in 2012, a change occurred with the announcement of the National Women’s Soccer League and the news Portland would have a team. When the Portland Thorns FC announcement was made official, supporters were already working to come together, organize, and plan for showing their dedication to the new team. The Rose City Riveters supporters group was born out of passion, anticipation, and civic pride, and quickly joined the 107ist community. From the beginning, in accordance with our mission and the wishes of the 107IST members, there has been a close relationship between the 107IST and the Rose City Riveters. This has included everything from knowledge sharing, to organizational support, to sharing the 107IST infrastructure. The Riveters have supported the Thorns from day one, and have set the standard on a global scale for what it means to support a women’s soccer team. Their tifo is second to none, they travel across the country to support their club, and they share this knowledge freely with other burgeoning SGs.

To be sure, there have been growing pains over the past few years, but there has also been much work done to identify problems and work through them.

Even though this relationship is now entering its fifth year, we still see a lot of confusion amongst members of the Portland soccer community. We thought that as we head into the 2017 seasons for both teams, it would be a good time to put out a succinct statement that clarifies the relationship between the 107IST, Rose City Riveters, and Timbers Army.

The 107IST is the umbrella under which both supporters groups live. It supports both groups as equal peers. Today the 107IST Board is still the de facto board for the Timbers Army, while the Rose City Riveters have their own steering committee. Lexi Stern sits on the steering committee as a 107IST Board member, and the rest of those positions are filled by core Rose City Riveters volunteers who oversee Riveters subcommittees.

As our work has evolved, we have incorporated both Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army work on the 107IST Community Outreach committee. We are looking to continue to evolve this cooperative participation at the 107IST committee level in several other areas, such as in travel and membership.

Over time we expect this “cross-pollination” to grow. We also expect that certain committees will work closely together, but remain separate as it makes the most sense. Game day is a good example here: we use the collective buying power of the 107IST to the benefit of both groups, but the actual day-to-day management of stadium operations are handled by two distinct teams.

Additionally, as time goes on, you’ll see the 107IST and the Timbers Army becoming more distinct from each other when appropriate. This started with the 107IST newsletter (which has always included both Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters news) as well as with Green Weekend (where both SGs have participated for the past few years).  As we continue to grow and evolve, you’ll likely see some messages come from 107IST, some from Timbers Army, some from Rose City Riveters, and some from combinations of the three, as appropriate.

In the end, the best summary of all of this is with an updated tagline that we’ve actually been using for a while:

The 107 Independent Supporters Trust: The engine behind the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters.

Respectfully Signed,
The 107IST Board of Directors and Rose City Riveters Steering Committee

Mar 262016
 

—by Jolene Thomson

 

We all know what friendlies are—or at least, what they’re supposed to be, in theory. A match not so intensely competitive; one that played for little more than its own sake. (MLS pre-season matches we’ve seen this year might make such a definition questionable at best.)

If there’s one friendly the Thorns play in the pre-season that we can hope will remain neighborly, let’s hope it is the match played with our collegiate neighbors to the south.

Oregon State University Beavers will play Portland Thorns on March 30th. OSU already has a meaningful connection to the Portland Thorns—2015 forward Jodie Taylor was an Oregon State standout 2004-2008. Also, those who look today may see a distinctly Portlandesque imprint on portions of the Corvallis squad.

Goalkeeper Lizzy Coryell played several years for the Westside Timbers, winning a state championship in 2013. Forward Maddie Misi also played several years with Westside Timbers in varying positions, and had two years on the Westside Timbers WPSL team. Former Jesuit goalkeeper Lindsay Lamont helped Crossfire Oregon to state championships in 2012 and 2013. Midfielder Annie Govig played with FC Portland in addition to captaining Sherwood High School’s team.

Slated to join the team this Fall, incoming freshman forward Jada Krening was the 2015 Oregon Live Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She spent the last two seasons with the Portland Thorns Academy, and was the first Parkrose student to accept a Pac-12 scholarship. As Team Captain, Krening set the Parkrose High School record with 81 goals in her four seasons (while maintaining a 4.0—not too shabby!). Another new recruit, midfielder Diana Santiago, played for FC Portland as well as the Westside Metros.

There are other connections to Portland with the Oregon State squad. For the many who closely follow University of Portland soccer, Beavs Assistant Coach Michelle Voiland was starting goalkeeper and was a four-time All-Conference First Team selection at UP in the early to mid-nineties. She went on to play, and later coach, for FC Saarbruecken in the Bundesliga.

While the local connections are endearing, the talent on the OSU squad certainly isn’t limited to Oregonians. Defender Greta Espinoza is just returning from her most recent effort as part of the Mexican National Team, with whom she has 13 caps. Helene Haavik, a forward from Norway, Played for the U16, U17, and U19 Norwegian National Team and went to the European Championships all three years.

Certainly, we will be there to cheer for our Thorns as our priority. But if your schedule and collegiate allegiances allow, you may want to take time to cheer for those Beavs as well.

Sunday, March 27 – Houston Dash vs. Oregon State at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 2 – Seattle Reign FC vs. Oregon State at 2:30 p.m.

Mar 072016
 

– by Nissa Drake

I had a miserable time yesterday.  MISERABLE!  I sat at home and watched our Portland boys give it a go with that cranky team from the Midwest.  I hacked, I wheezed, I may have gotten a little misty when ESPN ran some clips from the moments following what was a historic moment for the Timbers.  An MLS cup.  Ours.  A star.  Ours.

I was all set up in my chair with some tissues to my right and a glass of water to my left, cold medicine within easy reach, and animals settled in on my lap and in the chair next to me, content to snooze until I cursed at the screen in frustration or screamed in celebration.

There was the inevitable build-up to the unveiling of the banner.  Talk of how long it had been.  1975.  That’s a loooong time.  Being in the North End for most matches for the past 5 years made me feel small.  When you’re looking down the barrel of 1975, when I was 2…yeah, go ahead and do the math if you must…5 years looks small.  And you know, there hasn’t been a championship in the Rose City since those ’77 Blazers.  Whoa.  That’s a loooong time, too, rig…wait.

There’s a little red sign.

It’s actually not so little.  Actually, it’s quite large.  Must have been as big of a pain in the ass to hang as that nifty Timbers banner that was unveiled yesterday.  Perhaps you’ve glanced up now and then to look at it while searching the for the signs of great retired Timbers players and, of course, of our beloved Timber Jim.

It says NWSL Champions…2013.

Huh.  Maybe we should talk about this.  There must have been a mistake somewhere, because the announcers said that there hasn’t been a championship in Portland since ’77.  Caleb Porter himself, of the laser blue eyes and confident smirk, said that there hasn’t been a championship in Portland since the Blazers won in ’77.  It’s almost like the Thorns accomplishment is…invisible.

I’m a reasonable person.  I understand that sports have been a bastion of testosterone for…well…ever.  This is one piece, though, that I’m willing to have a say about.  The USWNT won the World Cup last summer.  Let that sink in for a second.  They won.  The.  World.  Cup.  They didn’t just win it, either…they DEMOLISHED Japan in the final.  It was impressive.  It was inspiring. It was…historic.  We have, at this point, 4 USWNT players who will be on the pitch for the Thorns this season.  We also have national team players from Canada, Denmark, England, and Iceland.  I know, I know, “club over country.”  Ok.  Well, I don’t really have a stance on that, to be honest.  But if you’re going to complain about it, then shut your mouth about Nagbe being called up to the USMNT, and we’ll call it good.

Back to that pesky little red sign, though.

It’s there.  I checked.  And every time it’s not acknowledged in our proud “Soccer City USA” heritage, it’s a silent permission slip to pay some of our best female players $6,000 a season…or bring in unpaid players to round out the roster during the Olympics or the World Cup…to not make kits that can be worn by men…to write angry emails about swearing and finger-flipping at Thorns matches when the same damn things are done each week from the main stage and capo nests for the Timbers.  The more times we let it go by and say nothing, the more we are saying it’s quite alright that a derby match between Seattle and Portland be bumped for “Behind the Scenes at NASCAR.”

I will be the first to say that that first Thorns season was full of just plain weirdness.  There were stories about CPC and her lack of plan or control, how the players had taken things into their own hands, Morgan’s attitude, Heath’s apathy, etc.  Doesn’t matter.  The little red sign persists.  As a matter of fact, let’s relive a goal that pertains to that sign:

Yeah.  Not so much with the apathy there.

I think that it’s time that Soccer City USA prove its mettle and make a goddamn ruckus when ANYone forgets that before the Timbers put a star on it after 40 years, the Thorns did it…in one.

The Pull of Portland

 Posted by on March 4, 2016  Editorial  1 Response »
Mar 042016
 

– by Briana McColgan

I realized something last night, watching Mark Parsons talk about the Thorns and their fans. See, I’ve been trying to put my finger on it for a while now, why I like supporting the Thorns so much. There’s a lot there. First, I like soccer. All soccer. Any soccer.  And the Thorns play some excellent soccer.

Then there’s an added benefit with the Thorns. With most sports, I can acknowledge to myself that I’m being sort of ridiculous – that in the grand scheme of things that matter in this world, whether or not my Red Sox win shouldn’t really rate on that list. Of course, it does. I have very clear memories of absolute heartbreak, and much foggier memories of raucous celebrations and the hangovers that follow. But I know very well I’m just watching grown men play a game. There’s no larger social movement behind it. Supporting women’s sports, on the other hand, is also about equality. Title IX did a lot of good. It increased female participation in sports by 990% in high school, and by 560% in college. But the job’s not done yet, and opportunities to play professionally are still lacking. Even today, even with our beloved Thorns, the minimum salary is less than $7,000. Last year, during the World Cup, there were women playing for professional soccer teams without any pay at all. There are still miles to go in the fight for gender equality, and supporting women’s sports is one way to aid in that battle.

But mostly, when you go to a Thorns game, you aren’t thinking about that. You’re just thinking about the soccer and the atmosphere and the fun. And that isn’t just down to the soccer being played. It’s also the fans. We have excellent fans. We have a supporters section that sings the entire time, not to mention tifo displays to rival men’s sides. We have – quite literally – the best fans in the world. That’s a point of pride for me, and I suspect for a lot of people. But it’s also useful. Thorns fans have more direct influence on their team than any group I’ve ever seen. It’s not just the immediate impact on a game that you might have (or hope to have) anytime you’re in the stands. Honestly, with the Thorns, I think sometimes that backfires. Players from other teams come in ready to play. They want to play in front of a serious, loud, knowledgeable fan base, even if they are, as Meghan Klingenberg described us, “hostile” (which I took as a ringing endorsement). I’ve heard players say that coming to Providence Park was the first time they felt like a professional athlete.

That’s what I realized last night, when Mark Parsons was talking about an as yet unnamed player they were hoping to sign.* He said she was very excited about the idea of playing for the Thorns, that he didn’t think she would be coming here if it weren’t for us. He talked about this being a nice place to live, both Portland as a city and Oregon as a state. But mostly he talked about the fans.

When you follow sports, you see a lot of people go somewhere for the money or for the chance of winning a championship. Occasionally you see someone stay where they started out, and you applaud their loyalty. But coming to the NWSL from Europe means leaving home for less money. In Portland, it also means playing in front of the best fans in the world. It means those fans won’t just know the national team stars, but everyone, right down to the bench players. It means they take you seriously as a professional athlete, game in and game out. That’s one hell of a selling point. And that’s the impact that we, as fans, have on this team. How cool is that?

 

[*And allegedly just did. -Ed.]

Mar 012016
 



New season, new ambitious plans by our Art Department—so for a limited time, we’re offering special cloisonné pins as a thank-you gift to Riveters who donate at least $10 to our tifo fund!

We expect to be able to send them out or otherwise distribute them by month’s end. Some of the tifo folks will also have these available to hand out at events in exchange for in-person donations while this promotion lasts. Keep an eye on our newsletter, our Facebook page, and/or our Twitter account for details.

Donations are not tax-deductible.

Feb 022016
 

On Thursday, February 11, we’re holding the first of at least two preseason Rose City Riveters meetups and info sessions for prospective volunteers. This one will be at Bazi Bierbrasserie on SE 32nd and Hawthorne from 6:30-8:30pm. If you’re interested in chatting directly with subcommittee leads about the positions where we need help, come on down! In either case, come down to catch up with fellow supporters and meet new people.

We have signup forms online for open volunteer slots. Whether or not you can make it to one of the in-person events, we encourage you to fill out the online form for any position in which you’re interested:

Hope to see you there!

Jan 312016
 

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend today’s 107ist Annual General Meeting. For a more complete recap of the event and lots of 8×10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows, go here. To cut to the chase, though: we need you! Here are the Riveters volunteer signup forms for this year:

As always, if you’re interested in painting tifo, the call will go out for help with individual displays when the time comes.

Feel free to email us with any questions you might have. Our committee leads expect to get back to all applicants within the coming weeks.

Jan 252016
 

Greetings and welcome to an unprecedented Year 4 from your 2016 Communications Critter and 107ist Board Liaison!

Along with the ascension of MarPar to the throne, the team looks to have been gifted with a MASSIVE infusion of fresh talent and energy this off-season. We’ve got at least a preseason schedule now, and we can’t wait to be doing more than following along with the domestic and overseas adventures of our Girls in Red, wildly speculating over Twitter, and thinking up fun banner ideas as we sort paint out in the garage.

Watch this space, Facebook, and Twitter for updates in the very near future. In the meantime, a couple of things I’d love from you:

  • If you’re interested in receiving emails from us from time to time, sign up using the form on the right side of this page. We’ll send info on Riveters-centric events, volunteer opportunities, and other things you might want to know about as the year progresses.
  • Send me an email with feedback about what you’d like to do as a Riveter and what you’d like to see the Riveters do this year. What’s working for you? What’s missing? What are you interested in but not sure how to do? How can you help, and how can we? If it’s not in my wheelhouse (which at this point chiefly consists of our social media presence and the website), I’ll make sure your feedback/question/suggestion gets to the folks in charge of your area of interest: info@rosecityriveters.org

Let’s make this the best year yet!

-Lexi

Aug 132014
 

 

vero_faceThe results are in and the people have spoken! With 59% of the vote out of almost 500 people voting, the undisputed winner this year is Vero Boquete. ¡¡Felicidades Vero!! We’ll be honoring you at the match this weekend.

Honorable mention goes to runners-up Jess McDonald, Nadine Angerer, and Christine Sinclair. Click here to view full poll results.

Apr 212014
 

So this past week we’ve all been discussing this piece from Juliet Macur in the New York Times and ranting about how badly the author missed the mark. Our type of supporters had been ignored, deemed irrelevant, as if nothing we’d done since the league started to promote our passionate supporter culture had made any impression. Shortly after the NYT piece came out, Texas supporter Dana Crane posted an op-ed piece on The Soccer Desk site, and we nodded our heads furiously, seeing her take on Macur’s assertions one by one and dismantle them with real-life positive counterexamples. Among those examples were us, the Rose City Riveters.

The same Riveters who, in my opinion, just failed to bring it in New Jersey against Sky Blue, despite overwhelming numbers in the stands supporting Portland Thorns FC and not the home team.

So what the hell happened there and what can we learn from it?

This was the local hype leading up to our trip to support the Thorns against Sky Blue in New Jersey. H and I traveled from Portland and brought a couple of local fans in with us. A boatload of other Thorns supporters— some players’ friends and families, but also Paul Riley’s youth soccer club from Long Island—promised “the potential for a loud away crowd.” Families of Thorns players from around the area tailgated in the parking lot and invited us over for food and drinks. Allie Long’s boyfriend grilled burgers. Amber Brooks’s awesome mom fed us sandwiches and beers and cookies and fruit salad. Courtney Niemiec’s people gathered around another vehicle with their own coolers. There weren’t very many Sky Blue fans around. It seemed like maybe we were collectively going to rock the place. Our house, in the middle of Jersey.

Inside, though, that illusion blew apart quickly. Inspirational girl pop played over the PA. The kids of the soccer club had been instructed by email to wear their own club’s jerseys, “does not matter what color or type”; though some of them were in tune enough with the Thorns to have chosen red and white, many hadn’t bothered. Alongside the club kids, the stands were packed from end to end with other young girls and their mostly uninterested parents. At one point before the match, Alex Morgan toured the pitch smiling and waving like a pageant winner. The trio of preteens in the bleachers above ours gushed and fawned when she went by, and I commented how funny it was that they’d brought her here to just walk around even though she won’t be playing probably for months. They looked at me like I had three heads.

Since we weren’t allowed to have poles in the venue, we hung our flags up front. We had a Riveters crest travel banner, Portland city flags, a rainbow Cascadia. Nobody stopped us, but security did come over and make us re-hang them lower on the rails so kids could see over them at autograph time. Nobody asked us what any of it signified. Apart from some of the players, I’m pretty sure no one knew.

ipads2We had a travel drum, a cowbell, some claves. Our section and the adjacent one were both full of away fans, so we stood toward the front where we could lead chants and have both the team and people in the bleachers hear us. Bleacher seats were technically assigned, and a whiny mother complained until we moved and made way for her and her kids. Everyone around us sat. The announcer advertised the local Olive Garden.

We sang and raised our scarves during the anthem. People looked at us. We drummed and chanted. People moved away. We looked up pleadingly at our two locals, one of them an old-school Timbers fan, and begged them to make noise and sing with us. They gave us a pained, helpless look and put the claves back in the drum bag. We decided to try just singing without the drum. We sang Onward. No one joined in. Our locals moved into the next section and sat where they could see the game better. We stopped playing and singing and started agonizing about how we were letting the team down, how terribly we were failing the rest of our group watching the live stream. I started live-tweeting miserably. It all seemed wrong. This was *our* crowd. Except it wasn’t.

Rampone scored for Sky Blue. We held our scarves up and sang Rose City Til I Die. A celebratory siren recording played over the PA.

bleachers1croppedWhen Long was near us, we sang to her:

Allie Long, I know this game is killing you
 Oh, Allie Long, your aim is true

Some guy down below us said, “You haven’t used that drum very much.” Yeah, dude, why, you want to chant? “Oh, no, I only know UVA songs.” OK, you teach us yours and we’ll teach you ours. No? Okay, then. So we sang:

We schlepped this drum 3000 miles, we’ll schlep this drum 3000 more
Just to be the ones who schlepped this drum 3000 miles and hope they score

At the half I wandered over to Section 9 to find someone to chat with in Cloud9, Sky Blue’s new supporters group. Not many were there and the contact we’d been chatting with online was out of town, but a thirties-ish guy in a Red Bulls jersey recognized the Riveters scarf and shook my hand. We hadn’t heard any drums or singing way over on our end, but John was in fact their drummer, and he’d come over from the Empire Supporters Club to help the new SG. This match, Sky Blue’s home opener, was Cloud9’s first as an official entity. He said what Cloud9 is really hoping for is a double-header in Harrison. Yurcak Field is too far out of the way, too hard to get to by transit, plus ESC has the history and experience supporting a team for the full 90, and C9 could use some of that.

Long converted a PK in the 75th to equalize. She’s been a beast so far this season. We drummed and sang We Root for the Thorns. Others around us barely seemed to have registered that the team scored a goal.

A boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old, came up to us. “Hey, I’ve got one. I Believe!”

Nah, we told him, that’s for the national team. He shrugged and walked away. We wondered whether maybe we should have humored him and just done it. When in Rome and all that. It’d have at least been something.

A group of little girls up above us started doing “Let’s Go Portland, Let’s Go”. Then “De-fense! De-fense!” The announcer called out the winner of some prize, an autographed boot or something like that. A six-year-old girl. The announcer was sure she was very happy.

At 80’ we sang Keep On Lovin’ You. Around 85’, people in our own sections started leaving.

We can see you, we can see you, we can see you sneaking out!

rails1The match ended 1-1. Girls rushed the rails for autographs. Some miniature Fran Drescher sound-alike near us whined for Alex Maaaw-gan. The team came over for a very short time to sign items. H scarfed our fancy new keeper, who didn’t understand at first that the scarf was a gift for her, so now Angerer has a BAON scarf signed by Angerer.

One-T is their assistant coach now. H scarfed him too. I went over afterward and assured him how much better it’s going to be next week. “We’ll take the point,” he said. No, I clarified, you guys were great; I mean *us*.

We cut down our banners and packed up our souvenir Rutgers football soda cup. A few more players walked by including Sinc. We waved and yelled after them: “Next week!” Sinc called back: “We can’t wait! Looking forward to the tifo! There’s tifo… right?”

A little later we were listening to the crowd on the RSL vs. Timbers match stream. Even with the classless YSA and Puto chants, I was jealous. So jealous, and not a little depressed.

Are we doing something that’s worth doing? I wondered. Within the context of this particular league, is this just stupid? Complete overkill?

I thought about moving that paragraph above about Sinc to here and just stopping. It would have been a way for me to conclude that no, it’s not stupid and no way in hell should we do that—we support the team and the team notices. But the larger situation is more nuanced than that. It’s easy for us to look at what we’ve accomplished in the past and say everyone should do it the way Portland does. By that I don’t mean necessarily the scale, but certainly the passion. If Portland has ten people at an away game, men’s or women’s, and they sing the whole time and they’ve painted a banner and they know the players’ names and who on the opposing team to heckle by name, that all very much counts. The Riveters have brought it at other away games and we always do the job on our home ground. But as our whole experience this weekend made clear, hundreds or even thousands of warm bodies stuck in seats without any history, passion, or context just leads to massive total suck. That won’t inspire teams or keep anybody coming back. But I can’t imagine how hard it must be to turn things around if you’re a supporter in a home location where that’s your starting point.

So yeah, Cloud9 has their work cut out for them. The cross-pollination with ESC is likely a good thing, but they’re going to need not only local folks who can make it out to the venue, but WoSo-savvy charismatic leaders or at least self-starters and a bunch of very loud regulars who can get everyone used to having visible and vocal soccer supporters of all ages at these games. And those people need to relentlessly *be* vocal and visible, even if others around really don’t approve or care. There’s no other way to make their presence part of the team’s culture, encourage rival SGs to do better, and attract more supporters who want women’s soccer support to be more like that and are willing to do the hard work required.

In Portland we’re lucky to be building on an established tradition of fanatical and organized soccer support. if it were us in Cloud9’s shoes, surrounded by annoyed non-supporters and doing our thing in a venue that treated matches as children’s events week after week, I think I get now how draining it would be at times to keep doing it. The soul-suckingness of it got to us really hard, being abandoned like that even by our own team’s fans. Maybe they were led by the press to expect a spectacle, instead of understanding they would need to *be* that spectacle.  More likely they just didn’t care, or even know it was an option to care.

So since then I’ve been rereading Crane and letting her words reassure me that we’re not completely alone and not completely crazy, and when we get home I’ll be able to summon the energy to help make our home opener something the players will remember for a long time. But I’m also rereading Macur, and I think I understand much better now why she came at it the way she did, although I’m not happy about it. Though I strongly disagree with her proposals for stabilizing the league, I think what she saw in Maryland was in some ways unfortunately spot on. The new coach and players considered this outing a success, but we know from our own experience what success can be like and this wasn’t in any way related. In Portland, the Thorns are a Portland team; we recognize them as professionals without hesitation and we are fiercely proud of them. Elsewhere, they are a women’s soccer team, with all the cultural baggage that carries. And it’s got me looking beyond our own city and wondering where WoSo supporters in this country collectively go from here, and how.