As the Portland Timbers head to Texas for the first leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal against the Houston Dynamo on Monday (6:30pm PT, FS1), they'll have some familiar support. The Lone Star Brigade–the Timbers Army’s regional supporters group in Texas–will be there to cheer on their Timbers. With the Houston Astros hosting the LA Dodgers in Major League Baseball's World Series this weekend at Minute Maid Park and the Timbers battling the Dynamo on Monday, there's a distinct buzz in the air.
Including Timbers supporters from across the state, the Lone Star Brigade has been known to show up in force in Portland road matches in both Houston and Dallas. We reached out to Timbers supporter Wiley Post of the Lone Star Brigade to get a feel for an insider’s guide for visiting Timbers fans in Houston.
First, tell me a little bit about the Lone Star Brigade. It’s a big state, but you are always out in force when the Timbers come to town. What is unique about your group?
"The Lone Star Brigade presence in Houston is relatively small, but members travel from across the state and region whenever the Timbers are in town. It's a great mix of supporters like myself who have moved to Houston from Portland and soccer fans who've found the Timbers and fallen in love without ever visiting the Rose City. It's the Timbers Army's passion that's inspired them to become fans and it's that same passion which we bring with us to support the team when they come here on the road. I'd never really understood rooting for the Timbers like that until I met some of my LSB friends and it's a beautiful thing to see someone who's only ever supported the team from afar seeing the boys in person."
For new fans visiting Houston, where do you suggest visiting? Good eats you recommend?
Torchy's Tacos is great... but for folks looking to eat well here there's a lot more to go on. Texas BBQ is fantastic and Houston has several good options. The Pit Room is one of Texas Monthly's Top 50 BBQs in Texas and it's about 10 minutes from downtown in the Museum District. You can also find great TexMex at spots like El Real and The Original Ninfa's on Navigation. For vegan or vegetarian Timbers fans, there is a great small chain called Local Foods which has scratch made meals for everyone, with 100% vegan options. Houston is also home a huge variety of Asian dining options, both in the city center and further afield on the city's west side if you're looking to get adventurous.
For beer lovers, Houston has a burgeoning craft beer scene, with a few spots worth visiting. 8th Wonder Brewing has a big space and is dedicated to all things Houston sports. As an added bonus, it's waking distance to BBVA Compass Stadium. You can also check out St. Arnold's Brewing, the oldest craft brewery in Texas, located just outside of downtown."
Any popular Lone Star Brigade pubs?
"We don't have a set home pub but the LSB generally hosts a pregame meetup at Lucky's Pub right outside BBVA where we'll catch up with old friends before marching into the match.
[Ed. Note: The LSB are meeting at Lucky's on their porch/patio starting at 4:30pm CT. There will be a march into the match from outside the southeast corner of the stadium at 6:50pm PT.]
What are you most looking forward to on Monday when you head to BBVA Compass Stadium for the match?
"It's that chance to reconnect with friends from Portland traveling to support and with new Texas friends I've met over the past year here which I'm most looking forward to. Any chance to see the team in person is incredible but the opportunity to help propel them deeper into the playoffs from our small–but loud–corner of the stadium is really exciting."