You’re Simple™ the Best: Match Statement for The Mighty PTFC vs. Stabaek FC

Adi unleashed the smoke monster.


Gavin’s Back Office
Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement for PORvSTA Simple Invitational

Dear Mighty Timbers,

Here we are again on the brink of the unknown.

We’ve been here before, like so many of the precipices a relationship trundles upon in the slog towards blissful love, and my hand is always clammy as it squeezes harder every time.

It’s an odd relationship we share. An unbalanced confluence of needing and getting. Anthropomorphized it is an abusive marriage bound for divorce. I’d file domestic abuse charges. You’d file a restraining order. I mean, the sex is great, but sometimes I don’t cook dinner right or forget to take out the trash and you always go out on the road.

I work all week to just come and see you play or spend too much money at a bar when you leave. I get to just live a life where you are part of the fulfillment. You represent something that all humans need and some more than others. An outlet of unconditional love. A place to direct unabashed support and endearment. We’d defend you to depths of any failure and we have before.

And you take care of the dirty work of making this club exist and function and in so many ways reflect the faces and hearts of the ones that adore you.

Your risk is your failure.

Our risk is our hearts.

But the joy of a win and the sting of goal smoke are rewards that we carry into our memories and dreams as we clutch our lovers and drift into sleep. You sleep alone, lights turned off, thinking of mechanisms, the last lingering remnants of our love converted to currency and invested into the machine.

And even when you fail to earn the result we wanted, an expectation brewed from opinions and punditry gobble-de-gook, we still love you. Because we love football and you are its conduit and you’re so easy to love because you are just part of us.

We’re lucky to have you. You’re lucky to have us. It’s an unbalanced cycle of consumption and love that is at its heart football as a metaphor for life.

So the Simple Tournament can go fuck itself and the Vancouver Whitecaps too. Let’s invite teams like the Norse side who played the true football. Played hard and quick, dare I say simple and balanced.

Our depleted first team threw Asprilla on the wing, and he did dirty work of sending in balls his teammates didn’t know were quite possible and turning their left back around in his shoes. He’s gonna score some goals. Rodney was modest on the left-wing but played his game but not his best. There was a moment the wingers switched sides on attack and envisioned a horizontal pivot working the wings as our center pivot destroyed box-to-box.

Wouldn’t be this match though. Our pivot was Jewsbury, our Salty Dog, and trialist Gavin, who played respectfully but is just a sloppy Zemanski. Jack does what is asked with the skill of a journeyman. He’s the best he can be and that’s better than most. We are both lucky to have him.

Adi finally tapped in a sitter on a lovely ball from Villafaña that just begged for the net. He’s missed easier and made harder but this one counted as the game winner. Nagbe, dear lad, continued to suffer a lack of courage and foot yet also continued to create moments just by pace. He created moments for other’s chances. He needs more meat on his guile.

Borchers and Ridgy stayed strong and true and Powell was dynamic and scary as he flashed his maturing youth. Still the young vikings were able to get in lots of looks and five of them were saved by our new keeper who if I didn’t like before (I didn’t), I do now.

It was a good match of football. We were always going to win. You could feel it in the air. There was never really a moment, that we know so well, where an impending gloom settles on the eyelids.

The result didn’t mean much after a revelatory yet disappointing midweek draw with the Fire that let Vancouver take home a trophy or framed certificate.

But in a way it meant everything.

I think we are as ready as the wheels of time and fate have let us be. I know this season may be bumpy. It may be fucking absolutely amazing and beyond any conceivable expectations. It may be agonizingly hard and full of loss. It may not even start on time as our overlords debate how to fuck everyone over.

But no matter what, it will be football.

And you will be loved.

Am I squeezing your hand too tight?









Black Hole Sun{day}: Match Statement for The Mighty PTFC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Nagbe cuts past a defender before being fouled for the 20th time.

Nagbe cuts past a defender before being fouled for the 20th time.


The Back Office
Beneath Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement PORvVAN Simple Invitational

Dear Timbers,

Gawd, I’ve missed you.

I missed the sacred selection of my match day attire. I missed the hastily downed pint and whiskey at some random spot chosen by circumstance on the circuitous trip to the center of downtown.

I missed the gaggle of vagabonds and roustabouts who’s passion and intensity pushed my own experience and participation to levels well past the border of decency and even sanity. I missed the vibrant glow of our fucking fake grass juxtaposed with the oranges and pinks of the sky illuminating the subtle pastels of the surrounding infrastructures.

I missed the bitter taste of $9 beer and the internal debate whether to buy the nachos that I know taste like shit.

I missed the insane moments after goals when time seems to stand still and go into slo-motion as your knees bend and your scarf curls back on itself as you whip it wildly into the air while jumping as high as you’ve leapt in your life. I even missed the excruciating sadness and unbearable disappointment that comes hand in hand with the sublime elations and ecstasies of this beautiful game.

Even a winter filled with Arsenal, Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, Cambridge United, the Asia Cup and Palestine’s historic appearance, midnight A-League kickoffs, and an obscure fetish for New Zealand’s ASB Premiership couldn’t fill the void left by the absence of a Timbers fixture.

Sunday was supposed to be different. My excitement was blinding. My expectations were muted by the sheer giddiness of just being back in the stands. Everything felt right.

Then everything went wrong.

If it wasn’t the Army haphazardly attempting chants it was the players casually attacking the box. And we were attacking from the start even if sloppily. Vancouver’s tactics were obvious. Foul the shit out of anyone who has the ball or may receive the ball at anytime. Need to stop Adi? Wrap yourself up in his beautiful long legs so he can’t stroke the ball with molasses and slow time for others around him. Did Nagbe just burn you? Kick the fuck out of his legs because chances are the ref has no fucking idea how to watch a player so fast.

La Gata was a mouse chasing his own tail around a midfield of cats. Elbows were connected more than passes. Man met ground more than ball met foot and even before our young Zemanski went down and out the air was already pulled from the room.

And when our former CB scored with his head from a cross into the box against our improved and bearded giant defense that looked small all night, it was then I knew we probably wouldn’t pull this one back.

And as the officials continued their crusade against decency and rational thought, endangering everyone on the pitch, it was obvious we didn’t have it in us.

I kept chanting. You kept playing. We’ve been here before.

Asprilla and Urutti came on way too late and looked cocked to spring an equalizer but we’d been bullied down too much. Down to 9 men. At the bottom of our beers and to wits end with the disappointment.

And we left the stadium and I still sung some songs that I’d made up for players and I still went to the Commodore and got to know people and had a great time.

In the end I was just glad to have you back.

I’m not saying that I missed losing but gawd I missed you.



When I Root I Kick It Root Down: Official Match Statement for The Mighty PTFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Roots are for closers.

Roots are for closers. (PHOTO: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers)


The Back Office
Beneath Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement PORvSJ  League Match

Dear Major League Soccer,

You probably know this about me but when I root I root for the Timbers.

I also kick it root down.
We put our boot down.

San Jose we put down.
We put our boot down

And Valeri’s making some love, he put his boot down
Like Bob Ross and Joy of Painting Alliance
Everybody knows he’s a master of Footy Science.
He’s a Maestro of thick rhythm.
Guess who to expect to get his crew rhyming
Never let you down when he’s gliding on the ground.
So Rod, gets on the Mic and turns it out.
We’re talking Rod Down, he put his boot down.
And if you want to battle him he’ll pace you on the ground.
He put his boot down, he slung that goal down.
He stepped up to the slab lifted it off the ground.

We kicked it root down.
We put our boot down.

Come up representing from The Upper West
Cascadia Derbies putting us to the test
Most times we feel as though we are blessed.
Because what we are doing is for the crest.
Well, we came out early goofy like those California Raisin guys
Then we were strutting like The Meters with the Look-ka Py Py.
Cause downtown Portland is where we were born.
And when the rain is falling we know we’ve won.
Your clubs are stable as the Titanic.
A phone call from Garber and you’re throwing a panic.
But we break it from our roots when we kick it on down.
Jimmy Conway is my man, I wanna give him a pound.

We kicked it root down.
We put our boot down.

Chara’s a rock he don’t stop, across the pitch like a tic and a toc.
This club will fill the fuckin heart to the brim
We ride bikes on our blocks and sing on a whim.
There is that crowd with the funky sound.
The Timbers Army you know we came to get down.
Flags and songs and banners among two-sticks.
And say “Oh my Rod,” that’s the funky shit.
Pass the ball to Sugar Foot he’s gonna cause a panic.
The Original Timbers kid is doing damage.
His speed like a train from the Goose Hollow station.
Doing hardwork getting kicked in vain a fucked up situation.
Writing battles in the turf with his feet wrapped in tape.
In circles he will run around underneath the sky scrapes.
Like Ohio Players shredding funky on the Soul Train show.
It’s Darling vs. villains and only one we should know.
Enough of that, I just wanna give some respect due.
Ridgy Smalls and Big Papa Bear are a wall true.
Villafaña is prophetic for the flank’s fight.
If Harrington or Powell play I shall feel alright.
I’m feeling good saw a game played like music.
Tears running down my face because I love how they do it.
And no one can stop this flow from flowing on.
A Flow Master in class with our problem’s gone.
I’ll give a shout out to my friends and fam.
For bringing this into this world and so on.


The Audacity of Cope: Official Match Statement for San Jose Earthquakes vs. The Mighty PTFC

Oh, look, honey. Real supporters. (PHOTO: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Oh, look, honey. Real supporters. (PHOTO: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)


The Back Office
Beneath Providence Park
Rose City, Cascadia

Official Match Statement SJvPOR  League Match

Dear Major League Soccer,

Why is the universe made of peaks and valleys and not just an infinite plateau of sublime contentment?

Why are feelings made of waves with ebbs and flows that fluctuate on the tides time?

Why does the heart beat and not hum?

Why must things that go up also always, inevitably, come down?

Is the only way to truly know something to truly know the opposite?

Sometimes, in the early purity of morning, after I’ve stumbled to relieve myself and drank hungrily straight from the faucet, I’ll look in the mirror and I’ll see you. And if I still had to pee I’d wet myself from your cool and calculating stare. Whispering, “We are you,” with lips that aren’t mine. Screaming, “I love you!” with a glare not from my eyes. Uttering, “We want you,” with gestures from limbs unattached to mine. And in that reflection I see years of torment, of unrequited love, of unreciprocated generosity, of malicious offenses meant to demean and coral that which you can’t control. That which is opposite. The thing you see in the cold of night after emptying your loneliness into a tissue while listening to Dempsey raps is us.

And that reflection doesn’t taunt you it whispers, “Go fuck yourself.”

Just as we only know we are here if the reflection is in the mirror we can’t truly know ourselves without knowing who others are. That’s why we have friends, it’s why we have heroes and villains, why we love intimately those that are different in ways that lead us to discover more in ourselves and grow as humans.

Contrast is a universal revealer.

A valley always leads to a peak. Something can’t flow unless it ebbs. A rattle might hum but a beat is eternal. When something is down will it inevitably go up?

The ups and downs of this season were exemplified in our match down in the city by the city by the bay. If it wasn’t the contrast of two complimentary colors of green and blue that when mixed together make the color of every mid-nineties Saturn sedan, it was the contrast of possession with purpose disguised as the contrast of a Adi looming down on the half-men of San Jose’s back line as he stroked the ball with legs the size of Jon Busch. The traveling Timbers Army were the fun house mirror making the 1906 Ultras feel bloated and small and insignificant in their own halls.

The Notorious Wall of Portland was a rap battle disguised as a USMNT striker poaching and pinching and flinching and pouting and losing the aerials and losing the lines to an Argentine and a Brit bookended by the vigor of youth and the brashness of learning. And even after Wondo had beaten the line and laid Ridgy Smalls to rest with Villafaña gently caressing his back in a pile of fuck up, it was the young buck who was jawing the veteran at every opportune moment to get in his mealy mouthed head.

But being down to San Jose is how we get off and with patience and virtue we continued our gambit to lay haters to rest and continue the season further into the fall. Our midfield was a contrast to our midfield of past with the reckless vigor of Johnson replaced with the monotonous consistency of Zemanski’s aptness. Where once we had Valeri as a maestro of many melodies we now had La Gata, curious and pensive, yet always dangerous and ready and able to pounce for a goal or deliver a one time slide-rule that unlocked free space. 2014 Nagbe, ever the foil of his 2013 self, burned holes in man-markers and due to his contract with some cynical fate was unfruitful from point-blank even against the tiny keeper.

It was Wallace our savior, our awesome Rod, who delivered a brace of deflections that was contrary to everything we’ve known this year. Our luck has been made on the backs of the dead, meaning without bad luck we’d have none at all. But tonight was different, the deities ruling our world shaped in clay by their hands, saw fit to reward us for never giving up hope.

Our audacity to cope with every obstacle imagined, thrown our way on the lashing tongue of fate or filed on a memo in Satan’s briefcase, was finally acknowledged and the chips all cashed in.

The Goonies used to never say die.

But we killed them so we could live another day.