#ThrowbackThursday | Looking back at the first hat trick in Portland Timbers history

Heading into the final day of the 1978 season, the Portland Timbers knew that they needed a victory over the Caribous of Colorado or a loss by the Washington Diplomats to the New York Cosmos for Portland to secure a home playoff match. The Timbers took care of business on their end winning 3-1 over the Caribous.

But the story coming out Portland’s victory over Colorado was the performance of Future Timber Ring of Honor member John Bain.

Bain’s first season with the Timbers had been quiet with the Scotland native scoring just three goals in the club’s first 29 matches of the season. Hampered by a knee injury during the middle part of the campaign, Bain hadn’t scored in any of Portland’s previous 16 matches. On this night, however, Bain stole show, notching the first hat trick in club history.

The first tally occurred in the 29th minute when Bain beat Colorado goalkeeper Arnie Mausser to give Portland a 1-0 lead that they carried into halftime. Despite learning of Washington’s defeat at the half thus clinching a homefield playoff spot, the Timbers continued to pester the Colorado goalmouth.

After a Caribou goal early in the second half, Bain answered with a penalty kick goal four minutes after Colorado had tied it. He then capped his night in the 77th minute when he turned a deflected cross into the net for the first hat trick in club history.

Despite his up-and-down first season, Bain went onto become the most prolific attacking player in club history, becoming  the Timbers NASL career leader in goals (45) and assists (55). Since Bain’s hat trick, seven other Timbers have tallied three or more goals in a league match.  

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