Desire. Belief. Courage. We are the Portland Timbers.
At the core of the club’s long-term commitment to winning and top-to-bottom success, this short but meaningful phrase spans all four locker room walls at the new, state-of-the-art adidas Timbers Training Center in Beaverton and brings to life the amount of energy, ideas and manpower devoted to helping build the Timbers into the class of Major League Soccer.
“These are words we think every Portland Timbers players should believe in and understand,” Timbers General Manager Gavin Wilkinson said of the motivational phrasing. “I think when you start to look at the Timbers Army, the fan base and what they put in game-in, game-out, it is what we believe our players should be giving.”
A tour of the new facility with GM Gavin Wilkinson
Planned and constructed as part of a 10-year partnership with the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD), the sparkling $6 million adidas Timbers Training Center will serve as the primary on-field training facility for the club, complementing the already top-notch training, gym and fitness facilities at JELD-WEN Field.
And if the encouragement adorning the locker room isn’t enough, the last thing that Timbers players will see before stepping out onto the natural grass training field is an immense image of the Phillip F. Anschutz MLS Cup trophy plastered on the double-doors.
“It’s the last thing you see as you go onto the training field. It’s a reminder that everything we sacrifice, how hard we work, it all has a purpose and a reason,” Wilkinson said. “We expect every player to work and bring Portland what it deserves.”
Outside, the Timbers will train on an immaculate natural grass field, a combination of 75 percent perennial ryegrass and 25 percent Kentucky bluegrass that is specially suited for cooler climates and provides dense and uniform cover, stability and durability. ProGrass, a locally owned and operated full-service horticultural firm serving much of the Northwest, will maintain the field.
The field, which was planted in mid-January from one-year-old sod, was installed using over 4,600 tons of specialty sand blend and will drain up to 12 inches of precipitation an hour – especially useful in the unpredictable Oregon weather.
Running parallel to the ProGrass natural grass field is a FieldTurf synthetic field which is expected to be fully installed by May. Both fields are flanked by lights, allowing for night play, and are 110x70 feet – the same dimensions as JELD-WEN Field.
“Pure and simple, we cannot be a first-class soccer organization without a first-class training facility,” Timbers President Merritt Paulson said. “For us to attract great players, great soccer events, including U.S. National Team games, and maintain a standard of excellence with all training activities – it’s a must.”
Back inside the 6,000-square-foot facility, further features are offices for the coaching staff, a work area for the media, as well as fully equipped fitness and training rooms for the players, a separate locker room for the Timbers developmental teams and a spacious players’ lounge with a relaxing feel.
“It’s a place where they can feel at home and make their own,” Wilkinson said of the players’ lounge.
“As MLS continues its rapid growth trajectory, more and more teams are investing in top-shelf training facilities,” Paulson said. “I expect a high-quality training facility controlled by the team and separate from its stadium to be the norm and not the exception in MLS in the next several years.”
As part of the public/private partnership with THPRD, the Timbers will make an annual donation to the Tualatin Hills Park Foundation and will conduct a series of annual youth soccer camps and coaches’ clinics at the training facility.
“Our ability to build a state-of-the-art training center 10 minutes from JELD-WEN Field and to be able to complete the project as quickly as we did would not have been possible without Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District,” Timbers Chief Operating Officer Mike Golub said. “THPRD is one of the largest and most accomplished recreation districts in the country. With our combined resources and expertise we were able to craft a unique partnership that will have immediate and long-term benefits to both the Timbers and the thousands of soccer players who THPRD serves.”
The Timbers will train at the new center for the first time Thursday morning.
“This is a product of a lot of hard work,” Wilkinson said. “You’ve got adidas as a main sponsor and big supporter of this project, along with ProGrass and Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District. Those partners, along with Merritt Paulson, have made this possible.”