Special Olympics Unified Match Recap

24 Nov 2015 11:56 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

—by Matthew Lindley

For the second year in a row, the Timbers Army showed that their commitment to community is as strong as their commitment to club as they came together with Special Olympics Oregon for another Unified Match.

Photo by Ray Terrill

The cold air was illuminated by the stadium lights at Lincoln High School as the lucky TA and SOOR athletes took the field for warm-ups. Split into two teams, Green and White, the teams were introduced to their honorary coaches for the match: Timbers midfielder Ben Zemanski for Green, and Thorns defender Kat Williamson for White. Both teams loosely figured out their formations, and the match was kicked off to the delight of gathered family, friends, and TA.

Green came out aggressive, scoring two quick goals for an early lead. But, as newly discovered teammates got better acquainted, the White were not to be denied as they clawed back and equalized just before halftime.

While the assorted TA were certainly there to enjoy the experience, this didn’t seem at all like an exhibition to the Special Olympics athletes on hand, and they tried—and often succeeded—to run rings around their counterparts. The game was a fast-paced, 7-on-7 affair with many offensive chances for each team, leading to each team adding another goal before three whistles brought the evening to an end with a fitting 3–3 draw.

Photo by Ray Terrill

Hugs and handshakes ensued as both teams gathered for a customary group photo displaying both the Special Olympics and Timbers Army banners. Another memorable night in a series that will hopefully become a fall tradition for both organizations.

Thanks to Ray Terrill for the pictures. You can see all his photos here.


  • 28 Sep 2016 11:02 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)
    Kim Bergenser says:
    Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks Matt for you well written report on the Unified match between the White and the Green.
    You obviously forgot to credit the 4 honorary referees you stayed on – after refereeing several of the Special Olympic matches – to control your two teams, and allowed you to play soccer in a great atmosphere. OK I am a bit biased as I was one of the referees and also a TA Supporter. Kim Bergenser (and the announcer did not butcher my last name). Cheers.
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