The streets of Portland have been proudly marked as Timbers territory with the likes of Eugénie Frerichs, Katie Dober and Abram Goldman-Armstrong standing tall, but the realm of cyberspace is no stranger to Timbers green either. Pashington Obeng’s face has been seen popping up at Oregonlive.com and elsewhere throughout the internet.
A native Ghanaian who grew up as a crazy soccer fan in the United States, Obeng is a media planner at an ad agency. Now a proud Portland transplant, he has heartily embraced the Timbers and cannot wait for the 2011 season to begin.
Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.
What’s your background?
Pashington Obeng: I was born in Accra, Ghana, but we left when I was two. I grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts—a small suburb outside of Boston. I work in advertising as a media planner.
How’d you get into soccer? Did you play growing up?
PO: I grew up playing soccer from kindergarten to college. My dad was a big soccer player and encouraged me at a young age. We both share a love for the sport. I played on multiple teams throughout elementary, middle and the start of high school.
I did play on my college team, but a back injury took me out of soccer halfway through my freshman year. It took many years till I could play again. It was the longest stretch of not playing soccer in my whole life. Now I play in leagues around Portland.
Born in Ghana but growing up here, who did you root for in the World Cup with USA v. Ghana?
PO: Though I was born in Ghana, I grew up in the States. That being said, I'm a Black Star, case closed. I follow the team and rooted for them for the whole World Cup. I'm still getting over the Uruguay game. I rooted for Ghana against the U.S. with no problem, but I also love the U.S. team and thought their game against Algeria was the most exciting soccer game I had ever seen.
Did you know we have a Ghanaian player—Kalif Alhassan—who once played with Accra’s Liberty Professionals?
I heard about the Ghanaian on the team. I welcome him to Portland.
Have you lived in Portland long? What is it about this city that makes it work for soccer?
PO: I have lived in Portland for over five years and think it is a great soccer city. I think the city as a whole is pretty progressive and acknowledges the significance of the world's true sport. Plus with this climate you can play year-round.
How long have you been a fan of the Timbers? What are you most looking forward to for next year?
PO: The second I discovered the city had a team, I was a fan. I have enjoyed watching the Timbers for as long as I have been in Portland. The fact that we have an MLS team is wonderful; I'm excited for the city. I can't wait for the top MLS talent to come through Portland. The Timbers and our Timbers Army will be ready.
How would you describe yourself as a soccer fan to other people?
PO: I'm an out-of-control soccer fan. My excessive cheering, yelling and roaring is a direct manifestation of how much I love the sport. Soccer at the top level is a beautiful thing to watch. I love to win and think losing is unacceptable. Losing happens, but shouldn't happen often.
The soccer player is capable of things beyond imagination. It doesn't get more exciting than that.