Portland Timbers front office staff, alumni ambassadors and 70 selected season ticket holders and sponsors spent two hours Saturday at the club’s first Soccer 101 seminar on the adidas Village in north Portland.
Run by Timbers youth development director Mike Smith, Soccer 101 was designed to educate fans on the Timbers, their history and culture, and Major League Soccer.
The group listened to presentations by Smith, Timbers alumni ambassador and former NASL Timber Mick Hoban, Timbers Army President Dave Hoyt, and Timber Joey during the first hour of the tutorial.
Hoban educated the group on the history of the Timbers, including their days as an NASL franchise where the players would ritually greet fans outside the stadium and deliver roses to female fans.
Hoyt discussed the traditions and formation of the Timbers Army, the club’s supporters group over 850-strong, offering, “If you want to be Timbers Army, then you already are.”
Finally, Timber Joey wrapped up the classroom portion of the day by telling the legend of Timber Jim, and following that with his own anecdote of his selection as the heir to the chainsaw. Joey was admittedly tired, having spent the morning in coastal Seaside, Ore., where he and a handful of Timbers Army supporters selected a tree to become the Victory Log at Timbers games this season.
For the second half of the event, the group was divided into four groups of 15 or so and hit the wet turf soccer field on adidas’ campus. There, Smith, Hoban and fellow Timbers alumni ambassadors Bernie Fagan and John Bain taught the tactical sides of soccer to the class, with an interactive 45-minute lesson on dribbling, juggling and passing.
Two lucky fans won enormous adidas soccer balls by acing the quiz at the end of class, naming all 18 MLS teams.