Portland 4-2 Chicago: Timbers Find Victory In First MLS Home Game

It was a magical night in the Pacific Northwest as another member of the triangle finally opened up their home end of their scheduled at the refurbished and the re-named Jeld-Wen Field (formerly PGE Park) as the Portland Timbers finally came home to their fans in league play and had a fantastic home opener. It was a rain soaked season opener and there was plenty of excitement all around the former minor league baseball stadium.

The Timbers originally had a goal taken away as the corner was delivered on the near side, it looked to be bending over the end line and returned in play as Kenny Cooper thought he scored the first home tally for the club in the 11th minute, but in the 29th minute history would finally be made. Jorge Perlaza got a great ball from the midfield and attacked the net. He held up to catch Sean Johnson running off his line and converted. His second of the match came at the start of the second half, as the pouring rain came down all night long. Wallace along the near side would cross a strong ball that was spilled by Johnson and Perlaza came out of nowhere to stuff it home.

Rodney Wallace who suffered an injury plagued year with DC United in 2010 made his impact for the Timbers in 2011. In the 38th minute Jack Jewsbury sent a free kick from the near side that was cleared halfway by the Chicago defense. Wallace made a run on the long rebound and with a hard shot got a deflection and buried it into the back of the net. But the Fire decided to make an attempt to ruin the party as Marco Pappa tried to come back with some success. He forced Eric Brunner to get an own goal in the 66th. And then in the 81st he bent a high curling ball that Jake Gleeson tried to parry over the crossbar, but it still found the back of the net.

But the fourth goal came for the Timbers in the 84th minute as Dasan Robinson accidently knocked the whole ball completely over the goal line. Some replays showed that it should’ve been whistled down against Portland’s Kenny Cooper for a hand ball, but Ricardo Salazar was late to the scrum at the net and the referee’s assistant was on the far side.

The atmosphere was electric and had that European feel to it; I compare this crowd in Portland to the many German Bundesliga games I watched on GOLTV. The flags were always waving; the crowd was always singing and did a good job with the National Anthem. Timber Joey was a pleasure to watch every time there was a Timbers goal; he flashed the chainsaw and sliced off a piece of that giant log.

This former minor league baseball stadium has been truly transformed into a soccer stadium that can be compared to some of the top stadiums in the world and can rival Red Bull Arena. The location is perfect, the supporters are hungry and honestly this will be one of the toughest clubs in Major League Soccer that will challenge any side for years to come. The Northwest rivalry is definitely here to stay.

22 thoughts on “Portland 4-2 Chicago: Timbers Find Victory In First MLS Home Game”

  1. This game looked awesome on TV…good atmosphere, aggressive play, chainsaws, cheering fans in the pouring rain, lots of scoring, etc. I hope the ratings were good.

  2. Good atmosphere but I am annoyed that another club is bringing this bullsh*t turf. It needs to be only grass now, its pathetic we subject players to that sh*t

    1. I assume you’ve never been to Portland in the spring. There would be no more grass left after last night’s match.

    2. I’m so thankful we can turn around in 3 days and play another game on this pitch. We’ve had above average rain for months. It rained an inch prior to the game. If that was real grass we’d see nothing but mud up until June. There is such a thing as too much rain.

  3. Great place to watch a soccer game, even before the renovation. I imagine it is that much better now.

    The TRIVALRY will be awesome even in year 1.

    Exciting times for MLS. Lets hope that it keeps rolling as fast as that ball on fake turf !

    MLS Hater Trolls are annoyed and that means things must being going great !

  4. Man what a great game yesterday night, too bad my fire lost but the atomosphere was awsome!! it did feel like you were watching a Eroupean match. how about the supporters singing the national anthem that was bad ass!!. i hope non soccer fans were watching the tv last night so they can see how real fans support their team, and how a great soccer atmosphere can happen here in MLS.

    1. And if people did not see the game last night, hopefully they will another time. I hope Portland gets more nationally televised games.

    2. Well, ESPN certainly didn’t give it any run on sportscenter last night…there seems to be a disconnect between the top people at ESPN, who clearly are investing pretty heavily in soccer, and the fratboys at sportscenter, who think soccer should only be shone for 10 seconds at a time followed by a bad joke about how weird it is

  5. Felt like an EPL game to me. Fast, hard play in soaking wet conditions. HUGE fan support.

    Timbers are getting better, for sure. Their set pieces are quite good, and they have finishers. What they’re lacking is a solid holding midfielder who can control the pace and make plays through the midfield. I’d also like to see Kenny Cooper improve his touch.

    Fun game to watch, though.

  6. What a game! What exitement even for a rainy day. I was happy to see how the Timbers fans put an European feel to it. I am also happy to see no pro/rel, single table talk here yet. This is our league. We do it our way.

  7. Watched the first half before going to bed and it was awesome to watch, but why did they put in a plastic pitch?

  8. THANK GOD THIS WAS ON ESPN!!!! This is the type of game (high scoring and physical), with the type of atmosphere (Timbers Army=Best Supporters Group?) that will catch the attention of the casual fan. Granted there was some poor quality, but if you are a casual fan you are probably not looking for EPL, La Liga quality yet. Great job Portland.

  9. Why the plastic pitch?

    I would take it that you haven’t been to Portland? Jeld-Wen is not a soccer only stadium. The Timbers share it with a college football team come September. Given the soggy nature of the weather and the use of the field from April to December, as there are no suitable practice fields near either stadium using entity, a grass field would be a disaster in playability and upkeep. Even the baseball diamond at the University of Oregon, down the freeway a stretch is outdoors and yet synthetic, save for cleverly integrated dirt sliding pits.

    Actual turf would always be green here, but it wouldn’t long be playable. It actually rained here every day in March.

    1. What college football team is sharing Jeld-Wen Field? U of Portland? Don’t they have their own stadium or something? No offense, but that’s a bit bogus in my mind.

      1. Soccer fans are a very bizzarre bunch. Why is that bogus ?

        I would rather the Sounders and Seahawks share the same stadium. why would they have two stadiums with almost identical sized fields ( when you take into account the large NFL sidelines ) ?

        That makes no sense. Obviously we want the Seahawks AND Sounders here. And we want them where the stadiums are now. So we are going to build 3 ( Mariners too ) $500+ million stadiums ?


  10. Great television last night, both teams made some chilidish errors but the seasons still young.

    I hope ESPN picks up some more matches at PGE- *ahem* Geeelllleeed-Whhhhennnn Park. It’s not huge, but the atmosphere is practically unmatched in our chunk of the globe. It’s a football park reminescent of mid-century, maybe even turn-of-the-century parks in the old world, even though the pitch is plastic (a nesescity surely), and is shared with a differnt sort of football team.

    Also, I could barely hear commentators over the drone of the timber’s army, credit due to these folks if for no other reason than being VERY LOUD, and also for some clever tifo.

  11. I was there, it blew my mind. So proud to be from the great state of Oregon. We are a proud people.

    When I root I root for the Timbers! #RCTID

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