PORTLAND, Ore. – The rain-soaked celebrations continued into the night Tuesday for the MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers with an impassioned rally at Providence Park.
Players, head coach Caleb Porter, owner Merritt Paulson and mayor Charlie Hales thanked fans for their loyal support, drawing on the team’s history from its NASL berth in 1975 to present day – with Sunday’s MLS Cup triumph over Columbus Crew SC the club’s first major championship – in a raucous display that included everything from the team ascending the capo stand to lead chants to impromptu karaoke sessions.
“Life is about memories and moments,” Porter said to the crowd. “And it’s about every once in awhile a little bit of magic. And in 2015 the magic was real. And nobody can take it away from us.”
Porter prompted the team onto the capo stand from which the team’s famous Timbers Army supporters section at the stadium’s north end take their direction to lead the crowd in the “We Salute You” chant, which he called his favorite.
“This time we salute you,” Porter yelled.
Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe – three of the five originals from the team’s inaugural MLS season in 2011 – addressed the crowd, in addition to Nat Borchers and Diego Valeri, thanking them for the support over the team’s years in MLS and dedicating the league title to them after earlier in the day being honored in a downtown parade – all taking place under a steady rain. Mascot Timber Joey sawed a slice off the team’s iconic victory log for one of the Timbers’ two goals, scored by Valeri and Wallace, in Sunday’s title game before passing off the chainsaw to original mascot Timber Jim for the second.
Proceedings turned a little wild as the celebration progressed with assistant coach Sean McAuley leading a sing-along of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” as he has throughout the team’s MLS Cup Playoffs run, concluding the festivities that have taken place since the team returned to the Rose City on Monday afternoon.