If you’re a Timbers fan, you probably know Fernando Machicado — or Nando as he’s called by almost everyone.
Perhaps you’ve seen him managing the crew at the 107ist merchandise van, or running charitable events for 107ist and Operation Pitch Invasion, or helping to manage Timbers Army game day operations inside JELDWEN Field, or maybe you remember his image from one of those epic Rose City Till I Die billboards: his sat right across the street from Powell’s and then, blown up to 747-size, on the parking garage on Broadway near Burnside.
Wherever the Timbers Army is, especially when it’s involved with charitable works, Nando is at the forefront — or, more often, behind the scenes, working in advance with community partners, sponsors, donors, and Timbers Army volunteers to make stuff happen. In addition to being the president of Operation Pitch Invasion, he sits on the board of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, where he chairs the Game Day Operations and Merchandise Committees and co-chairs the Community Outreach Committee.
As part of his 107ist commitments, Nando has been the spearhead of a program to bring soccer gear and mentorship to 4-15 year olds at the Tamarak Apartments, a public housing complex with a history of losing kids to gangs, and he has been 107ist’s principal liaison to the Portland Public Schools, providing an avenue for the Timbers Army to donate equipment and sweat-equity hours to soccer programs at four local high schools.
With Operation Pitch Invasion, he has helped rehabilitate the soccer fields at several Portland parks, helped put a turf field where a blacktop once sat in a North Portland schoolyard, is negotiating the funding and installation of an artificial turf soccer field at New Columbia (another public housing project in an economically disadvantaged community), and helping to assemble a program of volunteer coaches and instructors for a soccer program at the new field.
It’s safe to say that Nando’s commitment to the game of soccer, the local community, and the Timbers Army and its various organizational and charitable bodies makes him a living embodiment of the phrase Rose City Till I Die. He exemplifies the Eternal Golden Triangle of Team/Town/Timbers Army.
Nando has been nominated by the Timbers front office as their candidate as MLS W.O.R.K.S. 2012 Community MVP, which involves a $10,000 award which he intends to donate to Operation Pitch Invasion, and you can help him win. The prize is being awarded on the basis of votes cast on the web, and (and this is the genius part) you can vote as many times as you care to (and we hope you’ll care to a lot). Simply visit http://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsworks/community-mvp/vote, click on Nando’s name (Fernando Machicado), and cast your ballot.
For all subsequent votes, do the same as above and then enter the captcha codes you’ll see on the screen. Do this often enough and you can actually see Nando rise in the standings before your eyes! Voting ends at 2 pm Pacific on Friday, July 13, and we’d like to see Nando’s name on top of that column at 2:01.
Maybe you’ve wanted to get involved in the charity works of 107ist and Operation Pitch Invasion but haven’t quite been able to find the time. But throughout this week, if you take a few minutes once or twice a day and bang on that voting booth a couple of times, you could be the person who puts Nando over the top and brings OPI $10,000 closer to a signature project that will add immeasurably to the legacy of Soccer City USA. You know you’ve got the time to spare. Go on and vote!