PORTLAND, Ore. – This Saturday will be a day of soccer in Oregon the likes of which have never quite been seen before. Beginning at high noon at Providence Park, Portland Thorns FC will kick off their 2017 NWSL regular-season in a nationally televised game on Lifetime against the Orlando Pride (TICKETS).
Seven-and-a-half hours later, the Portland Timbers will look to continue their hot start to the 2017 MLS season when they host Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park. (7:30pm PT, KPDX).
Two big games. One special day.
It’s a unique event that has the respective coaches of both teams looking forward to the day.
“It’s the highlight of the week, or the month, or the day if I get to go to a Thorns game and watch this team and be a part of this team competing,” said Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons whose Thorns FC side start things off first on the day. “And then the other day that I look forward to is the Timbers’ game day. They’re both unbelievable. They’re both wild and enjoyable.
“To have both on the same day is really special.”
- NWSL PREVIEW: Thorns host Pride
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter is equally excited about taking on the night cap portion of the day. His squad will be wearing their Rose City Red kits in honor of the Thorns' opener
“It’s going to be a great day of soccer, a great day for our club,” he said.
While the Thorns will just be beginning their season, for Porter and the Timbers, they’ll be taking their league-leading 4-1-1 record and best-in-MLS 16 goals scored against an undefeated Kansas City (2-0-3) who’ve only allowed two goals all year.
“There’s a reason that [Kansas City is] always in the conversation every single year and in the playoffs year in and year out,” he said. “They have an experienced team, they get behind the ball and make it difficult for you to break them down and they wait for you to make a mistake. It’s going to be a tough game.”
- MLS PREVIEW: Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City
Timbers and Thorns have a combined season ticket base of over 26,000 fans—many of which overlap both teams. With many fans already posting on social media about aiming to attend both matches, the Providence Park staff is planning accordingly. They expect to serve approximately 13,500 hot entrees on the day which breaks out to around 750 pounds of hotdogs, 500 soft pretzels and near 800 gallons of soda and water to wash it all down.
“It’s going to be a long day for the fans. I hope everybody stays fresh, ready, eager and keeps their energy up,” said Porter.
For a community that prides itself on being known as Soccer City, USA, Parsons also believes that fans will most certainly rally for the full day of soccer.
“The city is going to come together for both teams and I can’t wait to see it and witness it and feel it,” said Parsons. “It’s a unique opportunity and I know that everyone’s going to make the most out of it and give both teams the extra buzz and lift they need.”
Added Porter, “Hopefully, it’s a great day in terms of results with both teams getting three points.”
Editor’s Note: While both the Timbers and Thorns will be in action on a packed Saturday, we know many of you will be out and about playing your own games of soccer across the city and state be it youth games, adult leagues or pick-up matches. We want to hear from you! Tag your social media posts from your matches with the hashtag #SoccerDayInOregon and be part of the great soccer event!