Last night's sold-out soccer game
between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders has fans preparing for more big crowds at PGE Park in 2011, when the Timbers officially join the Sounders in Major League Soccer competition.
In the meantime, the Timbers' biggest fans, the Timbers Army, are taking steps to prepare for another development: the creation of a new nonprofit group in Portland dedicated to soccer.
Jeremy Wright of the Timbers Army writes:
The name is going to be "Pitch Invasion" and the concept is to utilize the human resources of the Timbers Army to go out and work with local soccer clubs, the City of Portland, local municipalities and school districts to fix up soccer pitches across the city that are currently used by kids and are not well maintained. We will concentrate our efforts in areas that are under funded, lower income and/or have a district incapable of maintaining the pitches.
We recognize that despite the best efforts of the institutions responsible for these fields there are simply not enough resources to prioritize field maintenance. Many of us are involved with local youth and adult soccer leagues and we see on a daily basis the dire state many of these fields are in. We see an opportunity to make a difference for the kids and the game in the Portland area. It also fits with our mission statement of supporting soccer in the Rose City from the grassroots to the highest professional level.
In other soccer news, the Portland City Council will consider an ordinance
(PDF) on Wednesday, July 8, to increase the city's contract with Ball Janik LLP from a maximum of $100,000 to a maximum of $225,000.
Ball Janik has provided outside legal counsel for services related to the city's deal with Timbers-owner Merritt Paulson to revamp PGE Park for Major League Soccer.
Photo of Wednesday night's game against Seattle, courtesy Jeremy Wright