Cian McCann near Powells
Portland Timbers

We Are Timbers: Cian

Cian McCann: Soccer player. Timbers fanatic. 3rd Grader.

The Timbers fans featured on billboards across the city run the gamut, but few—regardless of age—can rival Cian’s commitment to the team. First introduced to the beautiful game from his Arsenal-rooting father, Ronan, the two have become stalwart regulars in the North End.

The holidays were good to Cian as he scored a new official team jersey customized with his name on it and a promise of a trip to visit New York City to watch the Timbers take on the Red Bulls. While that in and of itself is quite the gift, it was also a way to fuel an intra-family rivalry. It turns out that Cian has a cousin in the Big Apple, Isabella, and she is a diehard Red Bulls supporter. Her Christmas present, not surprisingly, is a promise of a trip to Portland to watch the Northwest leg of the season matchup.

Knowing how hard Cian will be yelling when New York comes to town, the Red Bulls will be in for a loud, hard match. I do not envy them.

Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.

Cian, where are you from? What grade are you in?
Cian McCann:  I was born in Portland and I am in 3rd grade. I‘ll just have turned 9 when we play our first home game.

How’d you get into soccer? Do you play?  
CM:  My Dad got me started as he follows Arsenal and we would watch lots of games. We kick around all the time too. He coaches my futsal and soccer teams.

Futsal and soccer? Wow. What position do you play?
CM:  In soccer I like to play center forward. I like playing up front, running at people and shooting outside the box.

Cian, what is your favorite thing about Portland?
CM:  I like that it feels like soccer is everywhere – my friends and I can play year round. I play futsal in winter and play for Laurelhurst Soccer Club the rest of the year. And now MLS is here too! And also, my school is one of the best things in Portland too! The Emerson School is the best school in Portland!

What’s it like being on a huge billboard? Do your friends from school recognize you?
CM:  It feels amazing. I am very proud because not many people get to be on a billboard. Lots of people at school have seen the ads in cinemas or on TV and we are getting lots of calls at home now as people see me up on billboards.

Where do you and your dad sit when you come to games? 
CM:  We always sit in section 206 to be close to the Army. I love the chants and the singing. I love feeling so tense during the games. We practice chants at home.

What do you like about the Timbers?  What are you most looking forward to for next year? 
CM:  I really like the Army and how it has a really great passion for the team. I am looking forward to seeing star players at the stadium. Seeing Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan will be awesome!

I hear you have a cousin, Isabella, who is a big Red Bulls fan. When the two teams play next year, who do you think will win?  Do you give her a hard time?
CM:  My cousin is a big time Red Bulls fan—she has a signed jersey and has even skipped school to watch them practice. The rivalry is only starting but we are going to be BIG rivals. We have been trading jibes on the phone and on email too. We are going to go to NY to see the game and she is going to come here to watch the return game.

Playing the Red Bulls will be a tough game—but I can’t wait to show them and my cousin that “there’s no pity in the Rose City.”

Do you have a favorite player?
CM:  My favorite player was Scot Thompson. With all the new players, I have lots to learn with the new roster! But I really like Ryan Pore and was happy to see him on the roster.

What is your favorite thing about soccer?
CM:  I like that every country has a league and it’s amazing that anywhere you go you’ll see someone playing soccer.