As I did last pre-season, I find myself in the Rose City for the most of the pre-season tournament after a stressful 24hrs leading up to my departure, with 2 track obstructions on the Amtrak line south of Everett. What it all meant, is that I could still take the Cascades train down to Everett, a transfer to coach transportation to Amtrak Seattle. From there, it was catching BoltBus from Seattle to Portland. In the end, given the apparent fluidity of the situation, I thought it was handled well by the Amtrak staff, not only on the train, but on the ground in Everett getting everybody and their baggage onto the coaches and on the road in a timely fashion.
I wanted to come down for the entire event, but it was squashed by things beyond my control. However, unlike last year, I purchased a ticket in the Timbers Army GA section for the Caps/RSL and Timbers/Minnesota game and a regular reserved seat for Wednesday’s RSL/Minnesota and Caps/Timbers finale. Staying on the cautious side, I decided to rep Curva Collective, thinking security would not know the reference to the Caps as apparently Providence Park hosting/security were on the look out for away supporters. I’m saving the full kit for Wednesday, when I won’t be anywhere near the Army.
I had pretty much decided that I would be in 106, as most of the people I know stand there. When I got into the stadium, I went to scope out a seat, and happened to see a couple people that I knew and decided to stand with them. Admittedly, I didn’t watch a lot of the Caps game as I was too busy discussing my travel story and the Southsiders decision to not travel story. I did notice a lot of missed shots in the first half as RSL was attacking the north end, only because they smashed against the advertising behind the nets. There were a lot more people than I expected for the first game, with the crowd seemingly favouring the Caps.
As the Caps match progressed, more and more people filed in as expected. As people knew roughly where I would be, they’d come to see me and I got that warm fuzzy feeling you get from people who are legitimately thrilled to see you.
As for the 2nd game, for whatever reason, there were no capos. Supposedly, there were supposed to be try-outs but for whatever reason, that didn’t happen. There were periods of silence, which from my experience, is pretty rare. It was a fun experience, something that I would proudly do again.
Both games ended with draws (1-1 Caps/RSL, 2-2 Mn Utd/Timbers), so I didn’t get to experience the Tetris chant, however, being able to spend an afternoon/early evening with people who enjoy supporting as much as I do.
For the record, I did not partake in any of their chants, even though I know some of them. I did have a Meteor FC (scarf berthed by yours truly and designed by a friend) around my neck TA Northern Scouts 2 French version, Thunderpig and a Sorting Scarf 103 looped around my belt.
As for my scarf trading, I’ve documented that on my Instagram page, but a quick rundown.
1 x 4 Star Cascadia
1 x GI Joe Timbers
1 x red/white/blue fringe No Pity
1 x Fear the Beard 2016
1 x Caps/Timbers playoff scarf
2 x Curva Collective (summer scarf)
1 x Southsiders on Tour (scarfed someone)
1 x Sorting Scarf 103
1 x RCB (Rogue Cavaliers Brigade) We’ve Come For Your Wives
1 x X-Files I Believe the Goals are Out There
1 x Portland Thorns Christine Sinclair SOTM (scarf of the month)
1 x ECS You Can Count of Me
1 x LA Riot Squad 15 Years
Most of these happened on Saturday, either upon arrival with my hosts for the week, or at the party we went to that night. At this party, 4 different west coast teams were represented. Timbers, Galaxy, Sounders and Whitecaps. It was pretty epic.
As an aside, I was chatting with one the young ladies that was at party the night before, between the games on the concourse, and a Providence Park employee approached me and asked me if I recognized him. I didn’t and then he told me that he normally works the Away Supporters section when we come down. Not that I’ve ever done anything that came close to approaching the line, but I’m not sure that it’s a good thing that these employee recognized me.
I must also say that my friendbase down here is growing at a rate that makes me believe that you’d almost have to go out of your way to not interact with anyone there.
That’s all for now, from a sun drenched Starbucks on the South Waterfront of the Willamette River with the Tilikum and Ross Island crossings in plain sight....