first kick

[me & Bethany and our our Timbers-y earrings]
[Jordan so excited he can’t stand still for a picture]
Just before sunset: cold, raining, windy, loud, EXCITED.
After 6 months of MLS off season, there is enough pent-up soccer energy in Portland to power a small town. Or maybe a brewery. Or at least a few of those insanely bright stadium lights. Some of my friends have been waiting in line since NOON. My husband and a few others since 2:30pm. Last year this worked in our favor. But the rules change and this year we got the short end of the stick and ended up in the upper levels. Our disappointment was soon overpowered by a growing relief of staying DRY, and consequently warm. It also gave me a new appreciation for the 200 levels and their dedication to the army. It wasn’t the same. It wasn’t as loud. It was harder to catch on to things as they happened. But it always came eventually! And we got a somewhat decent view of the tifo from our angle!
As for watching the actual match there were some pros and cons. Pro: easier to see the run of play, fouls, off sides (which there weren’t many!), general bits of the game. Con: not seeing the players expressions after they scored a goal or at the end when they recieved their log slices (one of my favorite parts).
But 3-1 is a good score not matter where you are - new players rookie Jean-Baptist and DP Chris Boyd got to make a smashing debut, and our own Alhassan has confidence under his belt now with his first officla MLS goal! It was an awesome night and I am more pumped than ever for 2012 season!

[fireworks while the players head out onto the field]
[what I turned around and saw - cheers!]
[Bethany after the national anthem, holding her part of the tifo]
[Josh under tifo!]
[someone’s friend that I don’t remember his name, and Nate - excited and loud]
[my view of the Timber’s Army sections of tifo: sunburst!]
[Bethany snagged a sweet flag]
[green smoke bombs this year! way cool!]
[good game with lots of scoring = lots of smoke bombs & lots of nasty, throat choking smells]
[blurry because I had to zoom in- the boys coming over toward the TA!]
[the boys getting their log slices!]
[as one commentator likes to say, “Pandimonium in Portland!” pretty much sums it up]