TORONTO – Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers hit an important milestone during the team’s 1-0 loss to Toronto FC Saturday, playing in his 300th career MLS match. He becomes the second Timbers in the MLS era to reach the mark as midfielder/defender Jack Jewsbury appeared in his 300th career match last season. All told, Borchers becomes only the 29th player in league history to have played 300 games or more in Major League Soccer.
Borchers, who started 299 of his 300 career games, was disappointed about the result but still proud of the accomplishment.
“Well, I wish the circumstances were better,” said Borchers following the game. “Obviously, we’re going through a tough stretch right now. We’ve had a lot of road games and we haven’t gotten the results that we wanted so I think that from that standpoint, it’s disappointing. But definitely, individually, it does feel good to get here and I’m looking forward to getting some more games.”
The tall defender with a fiery red beard came to Portland in an offseason trade and has played every minute of the Timbers 2015 campaign scoring two goals in 12 games.
The Rose City fans have been quick to embrace the affable Borchers who has always made an effort to connect with fans everywhere he’s played.
“They’ve been incredible,” Borchers said of the Portland fans. “To be honest with you, they’ve been very supportive and they’ve welcomed me with open arms.
“I think the beard probably has a lot to do with it,” he added with a smile. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to play for them.”
Borchers began his career in his native Colorado, playing three seasons for the Rapids before playing seven years with Real Salt Lake with whom he won an MLS Cup in 2009.
He now joins a group that includes former teammates Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando as well as other well-known MLS names such as Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario and Cobi Jones.
“I’m honored, for sure, to play with and against some of those guys,” said Borchers. “To have a long career is something that you dream about as a kid. It’s definitely special for me.”