We are the Rose City! A History of Soccer in Portland

Timbers Army members showed support during a match against the Houston Dynamo on June 22, 2019. Courtesy of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust.

July 24, 2020 – April 11, 2021

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Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, Oregon 97205
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Attend a soccer game at Providence Park and you may hear people chanting, “We are the Rose City, the mighty PTFC!” Thousands of supporters flock to the park on match days to watch the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns take to the pitch, competing in a sport that is beloved by many in the Pacific Northwest. From the athletes, to the fans, to the many events that have shaped “Soccer City,” We are the Rose City! explores the history of professional soccer in Portland and the cultural context of the game.

Portland entered the soccer world in 1975, when the Timbers took to the field at Civic Stadium for the first time — and the city fell in love. 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of the Timbers joining Major League Soccer (MLS), and Portland’s love continues to grow. The two-time National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) champion Portland Thorns played their first season in 2013. The Thorns boast an impressive history, sending multiple players to represent the U.S. in the Olympics and the World Cup.

One of the most iconic aspects of Portland’s soccer culture are the fans — the Timbers Army and the Riveters — that fill Providence Park with a deafening roar on match days. This is an exhibit about soccer, but it is also one about community — the community of Portland and its love of the world’s game. While we may not be able to cheer on our home teams in person, We are the Rose City! will give fans the opportunity to celebrate the many milestones Portland soccer has marked both on and off the pitch.

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