On a crisp fall afternoon at JELD-WEN Field, the Portland Timbers front office hosted their friends, partners and crosstown-soccer rivals from adidas North America for a special friendly in the 2nd Annual Stumptown Derby. Other than bragging rights, the stakes were simple: each goal conceded by a side required a donation of $300 to Operation Pitch Invasion's Bless Field project with the losing team having to contribute an extra $3,000.
With that in mind, Portland owner Merritt Paulson was part of a squad that included Timbers assistant coaches Amos Magee, Sean McAuley, and Cameron Knowles, general manager Gavin Wilkinson along with a group of other club staff. The second half secret weapon included a surprise substitution as team head coach Caleb Porter laced up his boots for a special appearance.
In the end, adidas North America scored a late go-ahead goal to pull out a 5-4 victory. The biggest winner? Bless Field who will receive a total donation of $5,700--$4,500 from the Timbers, $1,200 from adidas--on top of an already donated sum of $35,000 from Portland's Stand Together Community Fund.
Perhaps most entertaingly, however, was Paulson, who agreed to be mic'd up throughout the match for an inside look into the flow of the game, strategy, and an explanation of his own play on the field.