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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PTFC2K9: We Won the League!

Posted by Mark Evans on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 10:03 AM

DH9-17-09-16.jpg
  • Photo borrowed from the blog Jargon Scott
  • Nishimura is all smiles. Click for more amazing Timbers pictures

Hi Folks, your itinerant Timbers Blogger is reporting in from a remote jungle location. I had to bribe a monkey with cigarettes and a rickshaw driver with bananas to get to an internet cafe to post this, but such is my love of the Mighty Mighty Portland Timbers.

First of all, We Won The League! our first Commissioner's Cup since 2004, a fitting end to a record setting regular season.

Lastly, the Mighty Timbers face the Vancouver Whitecaps in a Home & Home quarterfinal playoff series starting on October 1st in Vancouver, and October 4th here in Portland.

Feel like you missed something in there? All the highlights from the season and the final regular season game, below the fold.

The 2009 season started with a city full of animosity—the fight over the Timbers MLS plans were acrimonious, at times, and people both for and against the stadium plans made asses of themselves in the comments here, in front of city council, and in the case of the naysayers, especially in the pages of the Oregonian.

Fans hoped for a stronger showing than the 2008 season, but a roster full of human question marks and untested youngsters left many, myself included, only cautiously optimistic, even with slickly produced season previews.

The Timbers lost their first game to the Vancouver Whitecaps, but started winning and playing like a team with a cohesiveness & competitive edge the likes of which we haven't seen around here in a long time. To be honest, you don't often see teams at this level play together as well as the Timbers have this season.

Teams need fans. To me, the Timbers are the essence of Portland, one which the city and the team converse like paramours: sometimes bitterly fighting (see: the Agnello era or bojack vs common sense), sometimes deeply in love. The Timbers sure love Portland this year, because they won a whole lot of games. The steamrolled the competition and were undefeated in 24 league games, beat a team from the English Premier League and ended the season with a +27 goals ratio. They Won the Cascadia Cup!

In due course, as lovers do, the Timbers Army sent love notes back, like this one from the Seattle game:

or this one, to commemorate Sco-T Thompson becoming the Timber with the most game appearances in modern franchise history:

The Timbers Army made other TIFO, and more & more Portlanders came to games. This year's regular season attendance beat last year, and the Timbers and Timbers fans feel pretty damn good about how this season so far, the short losing streak & Cameron Knowles terrible leg injury notwithstanding.

The last game of the season against the Cleveland City Stars was a beautiful moment, a money shot if you will, when Portland's love for their Timbers and the Team's love for their City and their Fans came together.

We Had Extraordinary Tifo, & an Extraordinary crowd:

And an extraordinary celebration, when the Timbers climbed into the stands and celebrated their victory, their Commissioner's Cup, and their Love of Portland with the fans.

Remember folks, October 4th the Timbers face the Vancouver Whitecaps at PGE Park in the second leg of their Quarterfinal series! Be there!

If you really missed everything this season, here are some highlights:

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