From the Stands: World Cup in Brazil hosts Portland Timbers fans
Though the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Brazil, it's an event that spans the globe, and the soccer-crazed fans in Portland are certainly no strangers to its reach. While Timbers supporters pack pubs around the metro area to cheer on their favorite squads, some have made it down to where the action is to see international play live and up close. Father-son tandem Jamie and Emilio Rodgers, two avid Timbers fans, are in Brazil for more than two weeks.
"It's a dream come true for the both of us," said Jamie, "I've been working two jobs to get to experience 17 days together with my son."
The Rogers have been fans of the Timbers for more than four years going back to even before the team joined MLS. Jamie says his involvement with soccer was minimal before son Emilio took to playing the sport when he was younger. Since then, the two have been hooked.
Emilio's Facebook page is covered with photos from around Providence Park, Timbers scarves wrapped around his neck as he poses with players and friends. Embracing both victory and defeat, the Rogers have been with the Timbers through thick and thin. Their love for the game has strengthened their bond as father and son, with one moment in particular standing above the others.
"That game against Seattle last year, when we kicked them out of the playoffs," said Jamie. "That was defining."
With football fever in full effect between the two, a decision was made to head down south, as Brazil's hosting of the World Cup was just too much to pass up. While there, they ran into Timbers staff member Pat Rice (above) and they ended up talking, not suprisingly, about the Timbers.
"It's amazing. Everbody wants to be here," said Emilio. "Being part of a World Cup in Brazil is a dream."
Their passion has, perhaps, cosmically paid out upon their arrival in South America. The Rogers purchased tickets to the Ecuador-Honduras match on June 20 without knowing exactly where their tickets were inside the Arena da Baixada.
When they entered the stadium, they showed their tickets to an usher, who walked them around the concourse and down into an endzone behind the stands. Stepping closer and closer to the spot every soccer fan dreams of, the Rogers' excitement grew with every row. Finally, the usher pointed toward the end rail, where Jamie and Emilio found themselves sitting front row, right behind the goal.
"We cried in happiness together," said Jamie. "It was the best moment, that was why we came."
Ecuador would go on to win the match, 2-1, as the Rogers celebrated their good fortune. An experience of a lifetime, the Rogers say they aren't the only ones wearing green and white in Brazil.
"We've seen fans Timbers fans throughout the stadiums," said Emilio.
Pat Rice contributed to this article.
Some other Timbers sightings from Brazil:
Matthew Conser posted this on the Timbers Facebook page:
While Michael Seo has run into a number of Timbers fans:
— Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) June 28, 2014
— Amber Lee (@butteredfries) June 30, 2014