We united under the Thorns Alliance banner for one purpose: to support Portland Thorns FC.
Forty-five of us gathered in a house in Northeast Portland on a cold January night. We laughed, we argued, we brainstormed ideas. How do we go about this whole thing? What needs to be done? Flags and tifo, chants and drums, a social media presence. What else?
Dedication. Strength. Perseverance.
How do you convey all of this?
Well, I think we’ve managed to do that with the name we’ve chosen.
The poll went up four nights ago. Voting was close and, at the end of the day, the name chosen is Rose City Riveters.
We’re all familiar with the image of Rosie the Riveter. She was a composite of many different “Rosies,” women who went to work in the defense industry in the ’40s. In Seattle, Rosies went to work for Boeing. In Detroit, they built automobiles. In Portland, they worked for the Kaiser shipyards. At one point in those war years, two-thirds of Portland’s workforce worked for Kaiser, many of them women who had never before worked outside the home.
It was a time in our history when many people were called to serve their country in many ways. It was a time that required that everyone do their part.
In Portland, it was a time of change. In addition to Portland’s Rosies, people came from across the country to work for Kaiser, many purely out of a sense of duty. When affordable housing was scarce, Kaiser lobbied the federal government to build Vanport. And when soldiers began returning from the war and required retraining to enter the workforce, the Vanport Extension Center was opened. After the Vanport Flood of 1948, VEC moved into downtown Portland and became what we now know as Portland State University.
So, there’s your bit of Portland history. Now, about those rivets.
In the simplest of terms, rivets are the things that hold stuff together.
Recognizing that two professional women’s soccer leagues have failed in recent history, we believe that now more than ever, it is the responsibility of supporters and supporters groups to be the rivets that hold this new league together. Owners and players can only give so much. If we don’t show up to support – and show up en masse – the league will crumble as those that came before.
And more than that, because of where we are, here in Soccer City, USA, the bar is set pretty high. We will set the standard for the support of women’s professional soccer in the United States.
Rose City Riveters
By Any Other Name