In light of the Timbers’ successful six-game, eighteen-day stretch over the past few weeks, it is understandable that Wednesday’s friendly match-up with Monarcas Morelia has not been on the receiving end of much of the perpetual buzz following the Timbers this season. Nonetheless, on Wednesday, the Timbers will inaugurate the Copa Verde – an annual friendly between the Timbers and a Liga MX side.
The Copa Verde provides the Timbers the opportunity to benefit the Mexican Consulate of Portland’s IME Becas Program. But while friendlies that go to benefit good causes are nothing new, the Timbers and a local woodworker collaborated to create a very sharp looking, locally sourced, Tarascan-inspired trophy for the competition.
After the Timbers were referred to him by a colleague at ADX, a community woodworking shop in southeast Portland, local woodturner Alain Bally and the club settled on a design that was inspired by Las Yacatas pyramids in Mexico and crafted entirely out of salvaged Oregon wood.
The Yacatas pyramids are located in the ruins of Tzinzuntan, the capital of the Tarascan Empire, and completed sometime around 1450. The rounded, stepped pyramids inspired the top section of the Copa Verde trophy, which sits atop a shaft of Oregon maple and inverts the pyramids’ design to crown the cup.
But the trophy’s inspiration isn’t the only thing that ties it to the community. Rather than turn to a major manufacturer, the Timbers found their way to Bally, a local retiree who passes the time giving back to the community and turning wood. His workshop, ADX, isn’t the sort of place that churns out wood products for Cost Plus, but rather is a local community workshop open to wood- and metalworkers of all skill levels to join, ply their passion, and take classes. And the wood used to fabricate the Cup wasn’t offloaded from a logging truck of freshly felled Oregon forests; instead, Bally found it at The ReBuilding Center, a Portland sustainability nonprofit that reclaims and salvages building materials and flips them back into use.
The design and crafting of the Copa Verde, then, appropriately represent the budding connection between the Timbers and the LigaMX clubs that come to Portland to participate in the Copa Verde, and serves as a symbolic centerpiece for the club’s outreach to the local Hispanic community through the Somos Timbers initiative, and the community at large through Stand Together. Oh, and it’s pretty cool looking.
Not too bad for a trophy given to the winner of a friendly.
 At the time Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico, the size of the Tarascan Empire was second only to the Aztec Empire in Mesoamerica.