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This Week in PTFC: Welcoming Racing Lou; appreciating Yimmi Chara

These next few weeks are going to make April and May feel like a sprint. After 20 games between the Thorns and Timbers over the seasons' first two months, there are only six games on the schedules for this month - and only one over the next week. If you needed a break, this is it; plenty of chance to refuel before Saturday at Providence Park.

That's when the newest expansion team, Racing Louisville FC, make their Providence Park debut. Before that, here's your Week in PTFC:

This Week in Providence Park randomness

It’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years since one of the biggest days in Providence Park history; hard to believe because until this very moment, most of us didn’t how important June 1, 2005, was. That was the day one of the most influential acts in rock n’ roll history played Goose Hollow.

Now, when we talk biggest acts in rock history, sure, some you might go to The Beatles. That’s pop, but whatever. Perhaps some of you are thinking Led Zeppelin, to which I say, “Sure, but have you ever heard of this little band called ... Def Leppard?”

Can you even imagine it? The Def (as us true fans call them)! In the Goose! According to setlist.fm — a site I’ve been very familiar with for the last five minutes — D-Lep went with their classic comeback anthem, “Let’s Get Rocked,” second. Second! They could have just left the stage after that banger, but “Hysteria” was their fifth song; “Love Bites” was eighth (perfect playment); and, “Photograph" was 12th. Are you kidding me?

They saved “Pour Some Sugar on Me” for the encore, which meant that, for a split second, some people thought Joe Elliott would leave Portland without giving them “Pour.” Such scamps.

Bryan Adams opened that night, Joan Jett played the then-PGE Park six days later ... and I’m entirely unprepared to go back to soccer, now.

This Week In Thorns breakout performances

On June 2, we’ll celebrate the two-year anniversary of Simone Charley’s message to world soccer, and she didn’t even score a goal. But over the course of her 78 minutes against the Chicago Red Stars, the Thorns forward tied the Chicago Red Stars’ backline in knots, stretching the defense from sideline to sideline to create two goals within the first 32 minutes from her strike partner, Midge Purce.

Charley scored her first regular-season goal last week in Orlando, but her impact was felt long before.

This Week in Timbers constants

This isn’t an anniversary, but given the Timbers don’t play against until June 19 — and could have a number of players back when they do — it seems like a good time to note take note of Yimmi Chara. Coming off a season hampered by injuries, Chara has started every game across all competitions for the Timbers this season. In 11 appearances, he’s scored four times, doing so while playing four different positions.

His year began in his normal winger’s role, with time in the Timbers’ attacking midfield coming when the team rested Diego Valeri. But because of injuries elsewhere, Chara has also had to play striker, when the team’s moved to a two-forward look, and in central midfield as numbers thinned in the middle of the park.

Including Champions League, Chara has played 852 minutes. He’s also posted a Champions League hat trick and, in MLS, completed 88.3 percent of his passes, so far.


This Week in Thorns matchups

After a string of two- and three-game weeks, PTFC fans only get one kickoff this week: Saturday’s visit from Racing Louisville. It will be the first time the NWSL’s newest team will face Thorns FC, and with the league taking a break for the coming FIFA international window, it will be Portland’s last game until Kansas City visits Providence Park on June 20.

More PTFC news:

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