The Timbers should invite Detroit City FC to the Rose City Invitational

10 Dec 2015 11:39 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
—by Scott Jeffries


The following is an opinion piece. It represents the views of the author, and may not represent the views of the Timbers Army or 107ist Board of Directors.

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Every year the Timbers kick off their home campaign with a tournament featuring three other teams: two MLS sides and a foreign club. The inaugural tournament hosting AIK was a memorable one that forged lasting relationships. Now the Timbers need to recognize another potential partner and invite Detroit City FC in 2016.


"Detroit City FC Supporters at Cass Tech" by BPesqueira - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Detroit City FC is a fourth-tier club in the National Premier Soccer League. They have existed for all of three years. They currently play at a high school. Their players don't get paid. In spite of all that, they have some of the most passionate fans in American soccer. The 800-strong Northern Guard, DCFC's supporters group, was founded by members of the Timbers Army, brothers Gene and Ken Butcher, who brought the same ethos to that group. They sing loud and proud (often songs they adapted from us), they Tetris, they set off smoke, and they are active in their community. They are everything a supporters group should be.

When the Timbers came to Columbus to capture the MLS Cup, the Detroit City supporters jumped at the chance to help their cross-country brethren, offering rides to and from the airport and places to crash for anyone who needs them without asking anything in return. They did it out of a sense of community and shared identity. We were both there to hate Ohio, sure, but our ties run deeper than one mutual rivalry. The Timbers Army and the Northern Guard are one and the same, cut from the same cloth. I am a Detroit City fan now, and I can't imagine any Detroiter left that game not having become a Timbers fan (if they weren't already).

The Timbers have fanbases all over the country and Detroit is no exception. But the Timbers have unique potential to form even stronger ties to Detroit soccer fans. Their closest MLS teams are in Chicago and Columbus. No self-respecting Detroiter would ever support Columbus, and between the Lions-Bears, Pistons-Bulls, and Red Wings-Blackhawks, I can't imagine they're jumping to get on the bandwagon of a dismal suburban Chicago soccer team that their own city even struggles to support. This is a huge untapped market, somewhere from the 11th to the 14th largest in the country depending how you count it, that the Timbers can seize on, that already has a built-in connection to our city and club. The Detroit fans would surely jump at the chance to come to Portland for what would likely be their first Timbers game, the ones who stayed behind would follow the games with great anticipation, and those travelers would return home with tales of a vibrant and hospitable supporters group that helped birth their own. And Detroit as a city deserves to play on a higher profile stage than they ever have.

I can't think of any other team I would rather have in Portland next spring than Detroit City FC, and I can't think of any other fans I'd rather have in town than the Northern Guard. It would be great for the supporters and it would be great for both teams. But our club needs to know we want this to happen. Please, take a moment to write or call your ticket rep and request they invite Detroit City FC to the 2016 Rose City Invitational.

Comments

  • 20 Sep 2016 7:32 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Darnell says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    As a Detroit native, but now resident of Portland-East (a/k/a Brooklyn) and supporter of both teams, I love this idea. Note that DCFC is already planning on hosting FC United of Manchester during Memorial Day weekend for FCMC’s first ever US match. Great to see such tight bonds between grassroots supporter groups.

    (And perhaps the Riveters could help inspire the NG to help bring a NWSL team to Detroit.)
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:33 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Kurt says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    As a member of the NGS that recently moved to Beaverton, I would be ECSTATIC if this were to happen. I know a couple other Detroit transplants in the area and Timbers fans I have talked to about the team would also be just as excited about this. There are some NGS that are planning a trip sometime next spring/summer, so this would be a great way to get more out this way.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:33 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Dan says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    As a former Detroit (now resident of Portland) and proud supporter of both clubs I am behind this 100%. Detroit has a broad appeal and the support for both clubs would benefit from the exposure. I will be calling my rep to request some consideration of this idea. Nothing would make me happier. It’s impossible for someone to go to Providence Park for a Timbers game and not become an instant fan, and the same holds true for Cass Tech and DCFC (soon to be Keyworth and maybe the NASL). I have a few cities I’d die for and these are them. Let’s find a way to make this happen. My door is open to anyone from the NGS who needs a couch to crash on.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:33 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    andyinsdca says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    San Diego DCFC supporter (born & raised in Pontiac). This’d rock.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:34 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Brandon K says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    You mean you’re from Pontiac but not a Michigan B*cks fan?? hahaha… j/k, the bucks suck.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:34 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Brandon K says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    MAKE.THIS.HAPPEN. I don’t care if it’s TimbersFC, TimbersFC2 or TimbersU23, there is too strong a connection between the supporter’s groups for this not to happen. It’s obvious the success that Timbers are enjoying at this point, and DCFC has tremendous momentum building right now and regularly beats out most USL teams in attendance, let alone the NPSL. I had the pleasure of traveling with some TimbersArmy and went to the Cup match on Sunday. I think we share a similar culture and approach to the game. Great idea and thanks for getting the message across to your board.

    Also, if anyone is interested, DCFC is raising funds to renovate their stadium and is willing to pay interest on your money. If anyone is interested in helping, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/5m7qrz4w if you are out of state.

    For those in Michigan, please sign up at: http://michiganfunders.com/project/detroit-city-football-club/
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Billy Hagerman says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Great idea. I am in full support.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Eric says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Yes we would be honored. If not that date in the future. Cheers! CTID!
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:35 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    City Aaron says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Road Trip to Portland! The City faithful would be honored.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Mark says:
    Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    As a Michigan transplant and Timbers Axe Society member, this is a great idea. Make it happen. DCFC and PTFC are brothers in spirit. Return the favor for the support in MLS Cup.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Scott says:
    Friday, December 11, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Has anyone looked to create an online petition for this? I feel like this might be more effective than calling our reps.
    Link  •  Reply
  • 20 Sep 2016 7:36 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Derek Phillips says:
    Friday, December 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Born in Chicago and raised in Michigan and DCFC fan here as well, but keep an eye on Grand Rapids FC. After their inaugural season in fifth tier Great Lakes Premier League (averaging 4,509 fans per game!) they’ve moved up to the NPSL and have partnered with Helm Soccer to host a camp with Landon Donovan, Brian Ching and Stuart Holden this summer. Lots of good soccer and fan support in the midwest!
    Link  •  Reply
  • 20 Sep 2016 7:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Ashley says:
    Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    As a Detroit native living in Portland and present in Columbus, it was easy to see the support members of the NG provided the TA. I support this idea as we continue to grow the leagues across North America to create high levels of competition.
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Evan Girard says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 5:58 am

    The depth of support on display both in Detroit and Grand Rapids gives me such hope for the future of the game in the U.S. Perhaps we’lll see a day when all three cities compete in the MLS together via a form of promotion/relegation. And with many cities with teams at stake. I currently live in Brooklyn and I have lived in Grand Rapids but I grew up in Portland, going to Timbers games in semi pro days. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a 40, even 60 teams vying for 20 spots in MLS?
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  • 20 Sep 2016 7:37 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Jeffrey Wright says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Native Michigander who is behind this idea. Detroit is an awesome sports town and this sounds like a winner!
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