OPI volunteers hit posts in nine Portland parks

On Saturday, before it got too hot, 30-odd volunteers joined OPI and Portland Parks in sprucing up the soccer fields at nine parks all over the city. Meeting at Delta Park, the group was divided into small teams that were assigned to work at Ed Benedict, Bloomington, Clinton, Delta, Fernhill, Gabriel, Pier, Powell and Westmoreland Parks. At each park, goal frames were given a fresh coat of paint, top-to-bottom.

Before

After

 

After finishing, the teams reconvened at Delta Park for a barbecue lunch put on for us by the Parks folks. Thanks to Steve Pixley and Shawn Lindsey of Portland Parks. And thanks, of course, to all our volunteers. Projects like this are the foundation of Operation Pitch Invasion, the sort of thing that started us, and the sort of thing we will always do.

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Our next field day is August 23, at Rigler School in NE Portland, where we will do a complete refurbish of the field itself.

Details and sign-up form can be found here: http://ow.ly/zF9J6

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Bless Field officially open

Bless Field—a long-time Operation Pitch Invasion dream—is now open for play. On June 14, OPI was joined by young footballers from the New Columbia neighborhood and our biggest donors and fans to officially open Bless Field.

Among many other highlights, Portland Timbers President of Business Operations Mike Golub and 107 Independent Supporters Trust president Scott Swearingen announced their committment to help OPI realize similar projects in coming years, along with restated commitments for future support by Providence Health and Services and the Portland Development Commission.

Learn more about the event in the following articles and videos:

Timbers, Timbers Army help fund new children's soccer field in North Portland (Oregonian)

A New Place To Kick It (Portland Mercury)

New field is a blessing in North Portland (Portland Tribune)

Timbers and Operation Pitch Invasion open Bless Field (Portland Timbers – video)

Bless Field Ribbon Cutting Recap (Timbers Army)

Bless Field opens in North Portland (Providence)

 

None of this could have been possible without the financial and community support of the following:

107ist

Portland Timbers Football Club

Providence Health & Services

Widmer Bros.

Portland Development Commission

FieldTurf

Adidas

LifeWise

Daimler

Factory North

Oregon Premier League

TripWire

Knowledge Universe

105 Howitzers

The Duane Graf Family

Underdog Sports

Eleventy Ones

Pitch Invasion

And all the other many generous donors like you!

Our shared vision of spreading the love of the beautiful game across the Portland Metro area is now firmly in action. To help us keep the momentum going, volunteer, donate or help spread the word.

  • Sign Up. If you aren't already on our mailing list, please sign up. We won’t spam you and you can unsubscribe at any time, but we will keep you informed of our progress, volunteer opportunities and ideas on how you can help on this and other OPI projects.
  • Share. Love soccer? Want to support Portland’s youth? Then grab the link to this page and email your friends, post on Facebook, share on Twitter…whatever works for you. Help us get the word out to people about this and other OPI projects.
  • Follow. Give us a follow on Twitter @OPIPDX and keep an eye on our blog to stay up on OPI news.
  • Donate. Bless Field may be complete, but we have more projects in the hopper, as well as ongoing fundraising needs. The most direct way you can help is to send a few bucks our way. Every little bit makes a difference. Head on over to our donation form or contact us directly to make a donation.

YOU'RE INVITED: OFFICIAL BLESS FIELD RIBBON-CUTTING & DEDICATION

140521bless02Operation Pitch Invasion is proud to invite you to the dedication and ribbon-cutting for Bless Field, a celebration of Portland, soccer, and community, and the dawn of a new field of dreams in Oregon's most diverse neighborhood.

  • WHERE: Bless Field, at the intersection of N. Trenton St. and N. Woolsey Ave. in the New Columbia community of North Portland
  • WHEN: Saturday, June 14, 10 am (arrival/coffee/schmoozing from 9:30 am)
  • WHAT: Dedication and ribbon-cutting: Speakers to include representatives of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, Portland City Council, Portland Timbers, Home Forward, and Providence Health & Services. (Approximately 1 hour total) Followed by a kick-around for the kids for whom the field was built.
  • NOTE: Parking is on-street only; carpooling and public transit encouraged.

Bless Field is a 9000-square foot turf field built adjacent to the Regence Boys and Girls Club and Rosa Parks Elementary. Named for pioneering Timbers Army icon Hartmut Bless, it is designed, optimally, for teams of 10-year-olds and younger, and it will be used by several youth soccer programs currently operating in the community (it will be available to others during non-reserved hours). Bless Field will be a place where the international language of soccer and the Timbers Army's unique brand of spirit and energy will combine to welcome newcomers to the community and offer recreation and life opportunities to boys and girls who could even -- maybe someday -- play for the Timbers and Thorns at Providence Park.

The project has received support from the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, the Portland Development Commission, the Portland Timbers, Providence Health & Services, Adidas, Widmer Bros., LifeWise Health Plans of Oregon, Oregon Premiere Leagues, and other Portland-area organizations and individuals.

Bless Field is a project of Operation Pitch Invasion, a local, grass-roots charity formed to build, revitalize and maintain soccer fields throughout the Portland Metro area so that players of all ages and skill levels have high quality and safe playing surfaces to enjoy the beautiful game. Founded in 2011, OPI has done maintenance and repair work on more than one dozen Portland-area parks and schools. Bless Field is its first capital construction project. It is an Oregon public benefit nonmember, nonprofit corporation exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, visit www.pitch-invasion.org or contact board@pitch-invasion.org.

Bless Field Officially Under Construction

We’re fully funded, permitted, and already breaking ground: Bless Field is officially transitioning from a fundraising project into a construction project. Work is underway with final touches expected early summer. Bless Field construction 3

This vision couldn’t have gotten underway without our many donors and supporters who have given time, money, and attention. We’d especially like to thank:

107ist Portland Timbers Football Club Providence Health & Services Widmer Bros. Portland Development Commission FieldTurf Adidas LifeWise Daimler Factory North Oregon Premier League TripWire Knowledge Universe 105 Howitzers The Duane Graf Family Underdog Sports Eleventy Ones Pitch Invasion And all the other many generous donors like you!

Stay tuned for more announcements and our plans to officially open Bless Field.

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OPI Awarded PDC Grant Benefitting Bless Field

BLESS FIELD AWARDED COMMUNITY LIVABILITY GRANT FROM PORTLAND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION Operation Pitch Invasion is delighted to share the news that its Bless Field project has received a significant boost from the Portland Development Commission in the form of a Community Livability Grant for $40,000.

Bless Field, an all-weather turf soccer field being built in the New Columbia community of North Portland, qualified for the grant as part of the PDC's program to award funding "to projects that involve physical improvements to community facilities, open spaces or historic/cultural preservation...(and)...improve livability for residents and enhance the unique nature of Portland neighborhoods."

PDC joins the Portland Timbers, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, and Adidas as major supporters of Bless Field, bringing the project to more than 80% of full funding. Efforts to bring the project to completion continue, with several potential sponsors in talks to contribute significantly to realization of the final goal by year's end. OPI is confident that the involvement of PDC will be a factor in bringing other partners aboard.

OPI, a project of the 107ist, is a local, grass-roots charity formed to build, revitalize and maintain soccer fields throughout the Portland Metro area so that players of all ages and skill levels have high quality and safe playing surfaces to enjoy the beautiful game. OPI is an Oregon public benefit nonmember, nonprofit corporation exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Ticket Raffle Benefitting OPI & Bless Field

Bid the regular season goodbye with a couple more friends (well, a couple more than usual, that is) and help build Bless Field. As we near the end of a spectacular run through the MLS schedule, there's only one more sure chance to see the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field: Saturday, October 19 v Real Salt Lake.

(Yes, of course there will be playoffs, but bear with us here.)

The match is, of course, long sold out. But through the generous offices of several members of the Timbers Army, Operation Pitch Invasion has two pairs of TA General Admission tickets up for raffle. These don't include wristbands, free donuts or the chance to watch Sigi Schmid waddle up and down the sideline. But they DO include the chance to be part of the annual final-match tifo (always special), to see the Timbers lock up a playoff berth, to watch the boys in green put space between themselves and another western conference rival, and to jump and clap and sing for victory among the greatest football supporters the world has ever seen.

A donation of $5.00 gets you one entry in the raffle and a donation of $20 gets you 5 entries. Two winners will be selected and each winner receives a pair of TAGA tickets to the match. You can only purchase chances by making a donation to Operation Pitch Invasion via PayPal. The deadline to enter is Saturday October 19 at 12:00 noon. Winners will be notified by email shortly after the drawing. Include your Twitter handle in your PayPal order and we'll give you a congratulatory shout-out there too. 100% of proceeds go toward the support of Operation Pitch Invasion and the building of Bless Field.

Don't miss out on the chance to bring some old or new friends to what promises to be yet another magical night in Soccer City USA.

Thanks for your support!

Bless Field Update

We are overdue for an update about our Bless Field project. So let’s get to it.

  • Beating Seattle. Our kickoff event, Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field was a huge success. Close to 250 supporters came out to the Hollywood Theater to relive some classic Timbers moments from the past and hear from the players that lived that history including Willie Anderson, Bernie Fagan, Roger Goldingay, Mick Hoban, Bill Irwin and Jimmy Kelly. Beating Seattle raised over $3,500 and much more in awareness for the Bless Field project.

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  • Art Takeover. You all remember the amazing Factory North event Art Takeover poster project last year benefitting Harper’s Playground? Well Art Takeover is back for 2013 and its looking to be bigger and better than ever. This year’s event is scheduled for August 10 and will feature limited-run felt pennants featuring designs inspired by Timbers Army songs, past and present. In addition, a number of large-scale, Portland inspired flags will be sold by auction. Sponsorship and support from the 107 Independent Supporter’s Trust, Coava Coffee, Salt & Straw, Widmer, Actual Industries, Seizure Palace and many more promise to make for an awesome way to support Bless Field.

  • Construction Update. Even though fundraising is far from complete, we’ve already begun investing your donation into Bless Field. Before construction can begin, we had to complete a survey of the site as well as a geotechnical soil analysis. The results of these two efforts will be used by our architecture firm, Group Mackenzie, to develop detailed construction designs that the contractor will use to build the field. Both these steps are complete and details construction drawings are underway. If you’ve been by the field in the last few weeks you may have noticed some work happening on the East side of the lot. This work relates to the bike hub and training paths operated by the Community Cycling Center and should not affect Bless Field.

  • BlessBook

  • Bless Book. To assist help get the word out about Bless Field, OPI developed a interactive iBook packed with photos, videos and information about the project. If you have an iPad, you can download it for free from the Apple iBookstore. If you don’t have an iPad, you can get all the same information (without the fun videos, pictures and interactive features) in this PDF. Feel free to share this link with your friends and co-workers who are interested in learning more about Bless Field: http://bit.ly/BlessBook.

  • Park Project Update. Unrelated to Bless Field, we’ve completed two park repair events so far this summer in Willamette Park and Lents Park. We’ve also supported field and grounds restoration work by the Timbers Army Football Club at Marshall High School and Franklin High School. We’ve even acquired some line-painting equipment to get those newly refinished pitches looking sharp prior to match day. While we had to drop our planned June park event due to City budget constraints, we are still hoping for another event late in the summer.

Expect to hear more in coming weeks about Art Takeover. Thanks for all your support. As usual, you can keep up with us on Twitter @opipdx or by keeping an eye on our blog.

OPI Work Day - Operation Franklin High

OPI Work Day - Franklin High School

Friends

In cooperation with the Timbers Army and Portland Public Schools, OPI supporting repair efforts at two local high schools. These events are a little different than our usual park fix-ups, so be sure and check out the details below.

  • Who is this for? This event is initially reserved for members of the Timbers Army Football Club to help them satisfy their volunteer service requirements. Franklin High School is being repaired by members of OGFC.
  • When is it? Saturday, June 8 from 12:00 to 3:00 (immediately after the OGFC Gold match).
  • How long will it take? Plan on about 3 hours.
  • Where is it? Franklin High School is at 5405 SE Woodward St (map)
  • How do I participate? Please sign up on this Eventbrite page (free). By volunteering, you also agree to OPI’s liability waiver.
  • What should I bring? In addition to dressing properly for the weather and bringing your own water bottle, we’ll need some people to bring some equipment. We’ll be trimming back some overgrown vines and bushes so if you have some hand branch trimmers/clippers, please bring them. Ideally, we’d also like to have one or two gas powered or cordless edge trimmers as well.

Thanks so much for your help. If you can’t help out with this event, keep an eye on our blog for information about other volunteer opportunities.

OPI Work Day - Operation Marshall High

Friends

In cooperation with the Timbers Army and Portland Public Schools, OPI supporting repair efforts at two local high schools. These events are a little different than our usual park fix-ups, so be sure and check out the details below.

  • Who is this for? This event is initially reserved for members of the Timbers Army Football Club to help them satisfy their volunteer service requirements.
  • When is it? Sunday, June 2 from 9:00 to noon.
  • How long will it take? Plan on about 3 hours.
  • Where is it? Marshall High School is at 3905 SE 91st Ave (map)
  • How do I participate? Please sign up on this Eventbrite page (free). By volunteering, you also agree to OPI’s liability waiver.
  • What should I bring? In addition to dressing properly for the weather and bringing your own water bottle, we’ll need some people to bring some equipment. We’ll be trimming back some overgrown vines and bushes so if you have some hand branch trimmers/clippers, please bring them. Ideally, we’d also like to have one or two gas powered or cordless edge trimmers as well. We’ll also be prepping and painting the steel goals on site. We’ll be supplying paint and related supplies, but having one or two cordless orbital sanders to take some of the rust off before painting would make a big difference. If you can bring any of these heavier pieces of equipment, please email Scott Swearingen or your team manager and let them know what you can bring. We don’t want to end up with dozens of gas powered weed eaters.

Thanks so much for your help. If you can’t help out with this event, you might be able to help out with a similar event on June 8 at Franklin High School. Check here for details.

OPI Work Day - Operation Willamette Park - May 11

Friends!

OPI is back for our second event of the season with repairs at Willamette Park. As in the past, PPR staff will be directing operations and lending a hand as we improve 2 pitches. We kick off promptly at 8:30 a.m. We'd love to have you out!

  • When is it? Saturday, May 11. Work begins at 8:30 a.m. Arriving on time is especially important so we can make sure everyone gets the orientation provided by PPR.
  • Where is it? We’ll be at Willamette Park which is located at about 7100 SW Macadam. You can access Willamette Park off Macadam from Nebraska, Nevada, Miles Place, and Beaver Ave.
  • How do I participate? You must register on this Eventbrite page (free). We need 50 volunteers for this event. As usual, you'll be asked to sign the City's liability waiver when you arrive. By volunteering, you also agree to OPI's liability waiver.
  • What kind of work will we be doing? If you have been to one of our park events before, expect more of the same. We'll do stuff like spread fresh soil to level out the ruts in the pitch, lay seed, paint goal equipment, restore goal mouths and repair sprinklers. 
  • What should I bring? Work clothes, proper footwear (you may spend some time on the business end of a shovel) and some work gloves will be all you need. Wear layers if it looks to be cool - sunscreen if the sun is baking. All other supplies and equipment will be provided by PPR.
  • How long will it take? Our experience with these events tells us that we should be done in 3 - 4 hours. This is a big park, but many hands make light work.

If you can't make this event, keep an eye out for our other events this season which we hope to have June 22 and August 31. Thanks for volunteering!

Register now on Eventbrite

OPI Work Day: Operation Lents Park - April 20

Friends of OPI!

We are back for our first event of the season with field work at Lents Park. As in the past, PPR staff will be directing operations and lending a hand as we improve 3 pitches. We kick off promptly at 8:30 a.m. We'd love to have you out for our first event of 2013.

  • When is it? Saturday, April 20. Work begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • Where is it? We’ll be at Lents Park which is located at SE 92nd Ave and Holgate Blvd.
  • How do I participate? You must register on this Eventbrite page (free). We need 50 volunteers for this event. As usual, you'll be asked to sign the City's liability waiver when you arrive. By volunteering, you also agree to OPI's liability waiver.
  • What kind of work will we be doing? If you have been to one of our park events before, expect more of the same. We'll do stuff like spread fresh soil to level out the ruts in the pitch, lay seed, paint goal equipment, restore goal mouths and repair sprinklers. 
  • What should I bring? Work clothes, proper footwear and some work gloves will be all you need. Wear layers if it looks to be cool - sunscreen if the sun is baking. All other supplies and equipment will be provided by PPR.
  • How long will it take? Our experience with these events tells us that we should be done in approximately 4 hours. This is a big park, but many hands make light work.

If you can't make this event, keep an eye out for our other events this season on May 11, June 22 and August 31.

Beating Seattle Gets Better: More Ways to Benefit Bless Field

Beating Seattle Never Gets Old, our April 4 fundraiser at the Hollywood Theatre for Bless Field, just got better. In addition to a great night celebrating the matches and men of Timbers history, we’ll be raffling four center-pitch Key Club seats to the April 6 Timbers-Dynamo matchup. Tickets are still available for Beating Seattle and more information about the raffle is below. But first a recap of an amazing couple weeks.

While we knew Portland would be excited about our Bless Field project, we’ve been humbled and thrilled by the receiption the project has recently enjoyed. It all started a couple weeks ago when our partner organization, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, was invited to City Council to present to Portland’s City Council about the 107ist and its community projects, including Bless Field. You can watch that presentation and hear more about 107ist and Bless Field on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqdIYwefHW8

Not long after, Ryan Gates over at Stumptown Footy interviewed OPI director Shawn Levy where he talked about the Bless Field project, OPI’s prior work and golden triangle that is Team-Town-Timbers Army. Casey Parks at the Oregonian reported on Bless Field as did Kip Kesgard, the Timbers Army embedded blogging reporter for OregonLive. Just a couple days ago, Brian Costello of the Portland Timbers talked about Beating Seattle at portlandtimbers.com and recently, KOIN talked to Shawn about Bless Field and the Beating Seattle fundraiser:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GRKKK_sotY

We’ve made our Beating Seattle event even better by adding a raffle for four center-pitch Key Club seats to the Timbers - Dyanmo match on April 6. Chances are $5.00 each and can either be purchased at the Beating Seattle event or by making a donation on our Eventbrite page. You need not be present at Beating Seattle to win, but it sure would be fun if you were! If you’ve already made a donation through our Eventbrite page, we’ll set aside a raffle ticket for every $5.00 you’ve donated. No limit on the number of raffle tickets you can buy! Our thanks to Dr. Dennis Crawford, Director of Sports Medicine at OHSU for providing the raffle prize.

Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field is Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hollywood Theatre. Tickets are still available - $12.00 in advance, $15.00 at the door. We hope to see you there.

Bless Field Featured in Front of Portland City Council

Last week the 107 Independent Supporters Trust was invited to present before the Portland City Council. Its amazing to see all the good work the 107ist brings to Portland. As part of that discussion, OPI's Board Member Shawn Levy profiled OPI and the Bless Field project for our City's Commissioners. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqdIYwefHW8

What a great honor to have the Bless Field featured in front of our City's Council. Thanks to 107ist for making OPI a part of this presentation!

Benefit for Bless Field: The Players

Hopefully you are planning to join us on April 4 at the Hollywood Theatre at 7:00 for our kickoff benefit for Bless Field: Beating Seattle Never Gets Old. We'll be screening some historic Timbers highlights with commentary throughout the evening from the players who were there: NASL Logo Willie Anderson is one of the longest-tenured players in Timbers history, making some 200 appearances for the club in three distinct stints between 1975 and 1982. A speedy winger who learned the game in his native Liverpool, he played at Manchester United, Aston Villa and Cardiff City before arriving in Portland and is among the Timbers’ all-time leaders in goals and assists.

For many Timbers fans and Portland-area soccer players, Bernie Fagan’s name is among the first they ever knew in association with the game. A longtime college coach, currently in that position at Warner Pacific College, Bernie came to the Timbers as a defender in 1980 after spells at Northampton Town, Scarborough and, ahem, Seattle, among other clubs. (To atone for this error, he had the good taste to be born in Sunderland.)

He’s here to talk Timbers, but Roger Goldingay could also talk about another of Portland’s quirky civic passions: food carts. He operates the Mississippi Marketplace and Cartopia pods. But he first made his way here in 1975 as a forward from Leicester, England, via, AHEM, Seattle. A man who wears many hats, he is surely the only ex-Timber to have published a novel about following the Grateful Dead on tour.

Mick Hoban was literally the first Timber, brought to Portland by Aston Villa manager Vic Crowe for the club’s inaugural season. Hoban had been in Aston Villa’s youth scheme and then its senior squad before coming to the US in 1971 to play for the Atlanta Chiefs (and, incidentally, earning a cap playing for his adopted country). When he left the Timbers after the 1978 season, it was to become the first employee fully dedicated to soccer operations at a little local outfit called Nike.

A great figure in Portland soccer history, Bill Irwin tended goal for the Timbers for but one season in a career that took him from Bangor in his native Northern Ireland to Cardiff in Wales, the Washington Diplomats and a handful of other clubs. But during a quarter-century as a coach at the University of Portland, he had helped make the school into a perennial men’s and women’s powerhouse, with many great players, including several former Timbers, passing on to professional careers. He has also coached the US Women’s International U-23 squad.

He was named Seamus Kelly when he was born in Northern Ireland, but winger Jimmy Kelly was rechristened Magic Feet when he played for the Timbers in their inaugural 1975 season. On loan to Portland from Wolverhampton, he became a cult hero here because of his small stature, his fiery mettle, his footballing wizardry (Sports Illustrated called him a “magician”), and his pop idol looks. Signs declaring “Jimmy Kelly for Mayor” were seen at matches throughout that amazing year.

Check out our prior post where we featured the historic matches to be screened.

Tickets are $12.00 in advance through Eventbrite, $15.00 at the door. Look forward to seeing you there!

A Benefit for Bless Field: The Matches

Hopefully you are planning to join us on April 4 at the Hollywood Theatre at 7:00 for our kickoff benefit for Bless Field: Beating Seattle Never Gets Old. We'll be screening some historic Timbers highlights with commentary throughout the evening from the players who were there. You'll see highlights from these classic matches: NASL LogoAugust 12, 1975: playoff semifinal, Seattle at Portland The Timbers began their history in May, 1975, with a loss at home to the Sounders before something like 7,500 fans. But when the teams met again, in July, there were 27,000 Portlanders watching the Timbers get their revenge. A third match in Seattle went the Sounders’ way, setting up the two teams on a collision course for this playoff semi-final, played before a then-record NASL crowd of 31,000. One of the great matches in the history of this storied rivalry.

June 12, 1976: Cosmos at Portland Led by Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia, the 1976 Cosmos scored a lot of goals, and the Timbers weren’t nearly as successful in their second season as in their debut year. So this wasn’t much of a game from a sporting standpoint. But it’s amazing to watch some of the game’s greatest names compete on the same ground where today’s Timbers play.

April 17, 1982: Timbers at Chicago In what would be the Timbers’ last season of any sort for a full seven years, the team played a springtime match against defending the NASL champion Chicago Sting on the hallowed grounds of Wrigley Field. It turned out to be a much more hotly contested encounter than it might have appeared it would be, with both teams showing the effects of a winter spent playing in NASL’s indoor league.

In an upcoming post, we'll feature the players from these historic matches who will be joining us.

Tickets are $12.00 in advance through Eventbrite, $15.00 at the door. Look forward to seeing you there!

Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field

NewColumbiaWe've told you about Bless Field, the micro-pitch OPI is building for the kids in the New Columbia neighborhood. You'll be hearing a lot more about this project throughout 2013 starting with an amazing fundraiser that you won't want to miss. Thursday April 4; 7:00 pm Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd $12 in advance through Eventbrite; $15 at the door

Join Operation Pitch Invasion, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust and "5 Minutes to Kickoff" for an evening celebrating Soccer City USA's past and creating Soccer City USA's future.   To help build Bless Field in the New Columbia community, a field on which a future Timbers or Thorns (!) star will be born, we'll look back at the roots of major league soccer in Portland with some of the legends who played here, men who filled the stadium with fans and stayed on to help turn those fans into a true community of soccer players and supporters.  

Come see highlights of the Timbers playing against Pele and his Cosmos in Portland in 1976; the Timbers playing the Chicago Sting at Wrigley Field in 1982; and, in an extended cut, the Timbers playing the Seattle Sounders in a playoff semifinal before a record crowd in Portland in 1975.     Commenting throughout the evening will be the players on the screen themselves, among them Willie Anderson, Bernie Fagan, Roger Goldingay, Mick Hoban, Bill Irwin, and Jimmy Kelly, along with “5MTKO” hosts Bob Kellett and Steven Lenhart.     Thanks to the Hollywood Theatre's generosity, every cent of admission goes directly toward building Bless Field at New Columbia.     Bless Field, scheduled to open later this year, will be an all-weather turf field serving kids from 22 countries who speak 11 languages -- plus, of course, the international language of soccer.     With the organizational support of the Regence Boys and Girls Club (immediately adjacent to the field) and instructional guidance from the Timbers Academy, 107ist volunteer coaches and mentors will institute a program of instruction and organized play on Bless Field (named for the late Timbers Army stalwart General Timber Howie Bless). The field will also support programming by AC Portland in concert with Rosa Parks Elementary School (also adjacent).   And someday -- not far long from now, either -- one of those kids who learns to play the game at Bless Field will score a meaningful goal for the Timbers or Thorns (!) at JELD-WEN Field, and the connection of Team-Town-Timbers Army will be complete.   Efforts are now underway to raise the approximately $200,000 needed to see the project through, and this event marks the launch of that fundraising drive. The Portland Timbers and 107ist are already committed to significant contributions to the campaign, but you can take part, too, by attending this evening.    “Beating Seattle Never Gets Old” promises to be one of those epic Soccer City USA events that you’ll brag about attending years from now. Only 350 tickets are available, so get yours now.