“I grew up going to Chelsea games and I thought that was the pinnacle. Then I came here and sampled the matchday experience. When I returned to Chelsea afterwards, it felt less special. I became a snob. I thought the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge was horrendous in comparison.”
Those are the words of Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons talking with Steve Brenner in The Guardian. Fresh from the Portland Timbers' match the night before in the grand re-opening of the expanded Providence Park, Brenner asks the question: Are the Portland Thorns the ideal template for a women's football club?
Over 19,000 took in the Thorns' home opener – a 3-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars – and Brenner dives into what makes Portland such a unique soccer mecca.
“It’s a complete unit, which has to support each other to become successful; it’s not just one particular team and that’s it,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese believes. “We want the women, the youth teams, and everyone to be a success. We have to work with each other, to become a family. That is what a club should be. Portland has a very clear identity.”