Aug 232014

A 2-0 loss to FC Kansas City today ended the Thorns season on the road.

This season was a wild ride with ups and downs and twists and turns and, at this point, there’s not much to do but be thankful we have a team that plays in a beautiful stadium, in a gorgeous city, and gives their all for the badge they wear.

Well, there is one more thing.

There’s a long tradition of welcoming home the winners, those who’ve bested their opponents and lifted a trophy. Sadly, the Thorns fell short in their game today. But, being who we are and supporting as we do, we want more than anything to lift them up once more as the season closes.

So, we’re going to the airport again. We don’t expect the response we had last year when quite literally hundreds of folks turned out to greet our championship team. We’re going anyway.

There are two flights coming in, the first at 9:25 a.m., the second at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. For those of you attending the Timbers Cascadia match at 2 p.m., that second flight might be cutting it close for a noon gate time.

If you can make it to greet either or both flights, come on out. I’ll be the one wearing the scarf and waving a cell phone around. I’ll post on the Twitter account (@pdxriveterssg) where to find me tomorrow when I get on site.

As was the case last year, please be aware that not everyone in the airport is there to see the Thorns and act accordingly. Some of these poor folks just want to get home and will be ill-prepared for the likes of us. Apologies in advance for barking at you to clear a path should that be necessary.

I’ll see you lot in the morning.


Art History 101

 Posted by on August 17, 2014  Players, Tifo  13 Responses »
Aug 172014

Today’s display was a gallery of art for our players. The main banner image was Pablo Picasso’s bouquet of flowers with a quote which means “Everything you can imagine is real.”

The front banner was based on Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie.

And then there were the two-sticks. Riveters painted a custom banner for each player, and we presented them to the players after the match.

Jackie Acevedo was based on Frida Kahlo’s “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”.
Nadine Angerer was based on posters from the Bauhaus school, particularly the work of Joost Schmidt.
Michelle Betos was based on Fernand Leger’s “Woman with a Book”.
Vero Boquete was based on a detail from “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez.
Amber Brooks was based on Robert Indiana’s“LOVE”.
Steph Catley was based on Aboriginal dot paintings.
Sinead Farrelly was based on “Portrait of Maggie Wilson” by Frank Duveneck.
Tobin Heath was based on the work of Bob Ross.
Sarah Huffman was based on Raymond Kaskey’s Portlandia statue.
Angie Kerr was based on the work of Patrick Nagel.
Allie Long was based on Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroes.
Nikki Marshall was based on M.C. Escher’s “Hand with Reflecting Sphere”.
Emily Menges was based on the work of Keith Haring.
Jessica McDonald was based on Laylah Ali’s Greenheads series.
Alex Morgan was based on Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.
Rebecca Moros was based on old Samurai woodblock prints.
Courtney Niemiec was based on the work of Roy Lichtenstein.
Mana Shim was based on Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”.
Christine Sinclair was based on Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase”.
Kat Tarr was based on Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell.
Hanna Terry was based on “Woman with Braid” by Jacques Lipchitz.
And Rachel Van Hollebeke was based on Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”.

We Louvre our Portland Thorns!

Edit: LOOK at these wonderful pictures on Twitter from @kellehel! If you didn’t see the two-sticks or the front banner, here they are.
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4

And this one from Amber Brooks shows the big banner, two-sticks, and front banner: looky

Aug 142014

The principles that constitute the annual donation drive known as By Your Capo A Pint aren’t exclusive to any one group like the Timbers Army, but they and the 107ist have championed this initiative for the past five seasons with aplomb. So it’s probably safe to presume that you’ve read about its origins involving Tim Burr, a Stuttgart jersey, capos, values, charities, kids, etc.

That also means that you can probably figure out what the Rose City Riveters plan to do in about two weeks’ time on August 17th, yes?

We: The 107ist, Rose City Riveters, Portland, Cascadia, humanity and so on, seek to create a realizable philosophy that actualizes our beliefs into actions.

We, as capos, help people to find their voice during match day.

Buy Your Capo A Pint is a chance for the people in our sections to say, “Thank you” to the conductors of the NWSL’s most insatiable supporters by requesting one more thing of you: Whatever you would consider to be the value of a complimentary beverage for a hard-working capo, instead of buying that beverage put that money into our pickle buckets and we will turn it into tuition for young girls to attend Portland’s own Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

The choice to benefit this magnificent group speaks volumes that are arguably equal to those that the RCR doles out on match days for the Thorns.

“Creative voices of girls and women need to be amplified to create social change. Girls need positive role models and support for their creative endeavors. We can build a community where girls support each other rather than tear each other down. We can empower girls to recognize, understand and respond to discrimination. ‘Girls Rock’ is more than just a slogan.”

August 17th is the last match of the regular season for the Thorns.

August 17th we host our rivals from the north before the post-season begins.

August 17th will require your heart, you extra vocal chords, your passion and your rhythm.

August 17th presents to you the opportunity to help many young girls a chance to become confidant, empowered women who rock.

See you in the stands.

Hey! Ho! Go Thorns!


- The Rose City Riveters Capos, Drums and Trumpets



Aug 132014


vero_faceThe results are in and the people have spoken! With 59% of the vote out of almost 500 people voting, the undisputed winner this year is Vero Boquete. ¡¡Felicidades Vero!! We’ll be honoring you at the match this weekend.

Honorable mention goes to runners-up Jess McDonald, Nadine Angerer, and Christine Sinclair. Click here to view full poll results.

Keepin’ it cool.

 Posted by on July 13, 2014  Uncategorized  No Responses »
Jul 132014

The game tomorrow (like the games for the rest of the season) has the potential to be a real scorcher. For the hardy souls who will be in the sun, we have two ideas:
1. Bring a spray bottle to mist yourself and the people around you. Bottles have to be empty when you come in, but can be filled in the bathrooms. Don’t forget to protect your phone from possible misting.
2. We will have buckets of ice water down by the main stage for dunking your scarf, hat, bandanna, etc. Please, no swimming, and don’t drink the water; it’s gonna be funky.

Wear a hat, bring sunscreen, drink water, and remember the players are in the same sun and running for 90 minutes on the scorching turf. The least we can do is bring the noise.

EDIT 7/14: Well, we didn’t end up needing it, but we will do this for future sunny hot daytime games. Stay cool.

Jul 062014

As a few of you may know, we had a few complaints following the Seattle home match a while back. Folks didn’t like that people were swearing. Or booing a Seahawk. Or that they didn’t bow down in reverence of a USWNT player on the opposing team.

Whatever. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone supports in different ways. What matters deep down is that they’re supporting. Complaints are going to come, especially after a contentious match against our closest rival.

So, it came as a bit of a surprise to me to get a complaint email in the middle of yesterday’s match. I wasn’t in the North End yesterday, I was up in my perch in what Heidi calls my “lofty eyrie” that the rest of us call the press box. From up there, I can hear chants pretty clearly. Yesterday, I didn’t hear anything unusual.

But still, the complaint came.

Hello. I am a person who loves the Thorns, my whole family does. We have season tickets, however it is very troubling to us that the Riveter chants that used to be so supportive to our Thorns are now used for making our city look like a bunch of assholes. The game against Seattle fans had disgraceful behavior and today’s game too with chants of lousy keeper? Our team is a good one and we should instead continue to support them as best we can instead of wasting effort abusing the other team. It makes the Thorns, their supporters and the city of Portland look bad. I hope it gets resolved soon.


My immediate reaction to this was, very simply, snotty dismissiveness. I read it on my phone on the elevator down to the post-match presser, and again before the coach and players came in to answer questions, and once more when we found out Karina LeBlanc, last year’s Riveters player of the year and current Chicago Red Stars keeper, would be in to give us a few quotes, too.

One only need be within thirty yards of me when the Timbers play the Galaxy to know of my *ahem* dislike of Robbie Keane. But I don’t think we were anywhere near that with Karina. Karina will always be one of us.

But Karina also gets it. She knows what being a player on an opposing team coming into Providence Park entails. Moreso, she knows what being an opposing keeper coming into Providence Park means.

It means you stand with your back to the loudest, most boisterous group of supporters anywhere in women’s sports for at least 45 minutes. It means you are greeted with the “Dodgy Keeper” chant as all opposing keepers are, regardless of skill or how much we may love them as players or individuals. It’s just part of the game.

So, it should be no surprise that she was asked about it in the post-match presser. And her response should be no surprise, either.

Portland is just a city that I remember being here just playing for the people. They’re great, they’re energetic, they love the game. It was just so nice. I just embraced it and just said this is such a good opportunity to play in front of amazing fans. I didn’t take it as them cheering against me or anything…

They’re fans, they have to cheer for the home team. I didn’t take it personally. Again, when I walked out there, they were on their feet clapping for me. It’s a special feeling. Portland will always have a special feeling in my heart…

When the whistle blows, you just want to play the best soccer and give the best expression of yourself on the field. It’s always special playing here.

As previously stated, KK will always be one of us. She gets us. She played her heart out for us. She may play somewhere else, but she will always be loved in Portland.

And, until such time as she finds herself again wearing a Thorns badge, she will be greeted with “Dodgy Keeper.” And she will laugh and wave and take it as part of the game.


Jul 012014

It seems the world is colored red, white, and blue this week.


The USMNT made a valiant effort in the knock-out round of the World Cup and Independence Day happens to fall on the same day as our next Thorns home match. And for many of us, it’s a three day weekend. And Tobin Heath is finally here. And Paul Riley says Mana Shim is healthy and will be ready to play by Friday.


So, let’s celebrate ALL THE THINGS with streamers.


Get thee to the nearest Dollar Tree and buy all the red, white, and blue streamers they have. They usually run two rolls for a buck, but if you’re patient and have a little spare time (and/or an electric drill), you can re-roll those two rolls into bunches of mini-rolls to share with the people around you. If you don’t want to share your streamers, at least share this post so folks know to bring their own.


And here’s another thing: Friday, make sure you’re in the stadium early. The Thorns have been kind enough to allow us a few minutes pre-warmups for the promotion ceremony of one of our own. Jaimie Wyckoff is being promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. The tentative time for this is 10:10, just after gates open, so hurry in.


As per usual, we’ll have Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) open pre-match for any of your merch, 107ist membership services, or ticket exchange needs. If you’ve got a spare ticket you won’t be using, you can donate it by transferring it to



Reminders and magic

 Posted by on June 25, 2014  Editorial  3 Responses »
Jun 252014

Every once in a while, I get a reminder of why we do the things we do. I got another one today.

This has been an up and down season, difficult to navigate, difficult to understand, difficult to stay up for games when the results have been so inconsistent.

For those that don’t know, I’m the one behind the Twitter account. I do my best to answer questions there and give out a bit of info here or there on where away day viewings will be or when we’ll have Fanladen open or when we need help with tifo or whatnot.

I also get to see the other side of it that a lot of you might not see. I see when people click that favorite button.

And I see when players follow the account and when they click favorite on its tweets. And sometimes it makes me cry.

One of the other things I do is write a bit about the Thorns for a soccer website. I’m not very good at it, but I keep doing it anyway in the hope that maybe someday I’ll get better at it. It allows me a little extra access on game days. I get the good stat sheets from the team and I go to the post-match presser and listen to Paul Riley and try to figure out what he’s thinking.

And when I leave the presser, because I’m lazy, I take the elevator up to the concourse to head home. Tonight, one of the Thorns, an injured player who did not play, rode up with a bunch of us.

There was a visiting journalist who’d been asking me about the game and if I enjoyed it.

“Well,” I said. “I enjoy all games in varying degrees.”

“What do you mean?” he asked as we all piled into the elevator.

“I like wins better.” The words were already out before I realized the player was there with us. I felt like an idiot. She doesn’t know me, she doesn’t know the small role I play in the Riveters.

But she smiled and said emphatically.”I do, too!”

I got off the elevator and thought about it all the way home. What a dumb thing for me to say and what a remarkable reaction she had.

For some odd reason, she follows my personal account on Twitter and I sent her a message when I got home to apologize for being snide and to reiterate that we’re not in it just for the wins, but to support the team when they most need us.

She replied almost immediately. “I do know that. Rain or shine, win or lose.”

Those words touched me. Rain or shine, win or lose. That’s the epitome of what it means to be supporters.

And, when I posted those words on the Riveters Twitter account, three of our Thorns hit favorite and I was again reminded that they play for us. All heart, all emotion, they want to win for us but they know that we will be there for them even if they don’t.

There’s some magic in that.

2014: #SpaceNeedleAway

 Posted by on May 12, 2014  Away Travel, Events  9 Responses »
May 122014

Join the Riveters in Seattle on July 27th when the Thorns take on the Reign. In their house.

Purchase your seat on a bus here.

The Riveters have 2 buses going to the Seattle Center to help the Thorns bring 3 points back to the Rose City. We have 100 tickets to the match, and want to get even more! We won’t do that unless there is demand, though, so please buy your tickets on our bus and in the Riveters section early, so we can plan for the right amount of supporters.

The timeline:

  • 10:30am  - Buses will be loaded and we will depart from the north side of the Convention Center (on NE Holladay Street). Please arrive a few minutes early, as we want to leave as soon as everyone is on their bus! ** There will be 1 stop on the way at a rest stop.
  • 2pm – Arrive at the Seattle Center and enter Memorial Stadium.
  • 4pm – Kickoff
  • 6:30pm – Depart for the Rose City. **There will be 1 stop on the way at a rest stop.
  • 11pm – Arrive back at the Convention Center

We have 3 different options for joining the Riveters at the match. Please know that all sales are final.

  • Bus ticket/match ticket combo – You will be given your ticket as you board the bus at the Convention Center
  • Match ticket only – Please meet up with the Riveters at Memorial Stadium at 2pm to get your ticket.
  • Bus ticket only – You may have beat us to the punch and already purchased your ticket. We have a seat on the bus with your name on it.

And, finally, a few notes/rules about Riveters Away Travel:

  • NO GLASS ALLOWED ON THE BUS. While we are allowed to bring food and drink (adult beverages are way okay), you are not allowed to have glass containers. Please plan accordingly.
  • NO #2 ON THE BUS!! The bathroom on the bus has a very small storage tank!! We will be stopping at a rest stop about 1/2 way through the drive. Or, about 90 minutes in.
  • There are no age restrictions in the Riveters or on our buses. If you’re a party of 1, coming with friends, or want to make it a trip for the whole family, please join us!!
  • Memorial Stadium allows flags, banners and 2-sticks. Please leave all noise makers at home, though. Those will not be allowed into Memorial Stadium.
  • Bring food and drink. Keep glass at home. Clean up after yourself. Keep an eye on each other. We all want to have fun.

Questions? Ask in a comment! Feedback? Provide it in a comment!

We have 10 weeks until we see them again. Let’s get ready.


Apr 272014
Photo: Luke Fritz

The Thorns inaugural season was something of a fairy tale come true:  a new team in a new league spurred on by a level of support never before seen in women’s soccer.

The style of play was not great, but our Thorns pulled themselves together and, when push came to shove, won a championship and raised a trophy.

This is the dream of every young athlete, male or female.

For female athletes, it often means working part-time jobs and playing team sports as a hobby as professional opportunities in sport tend to be not in team sports, but as individuals. Golf and tennis are prime examples.

Women’s soccer has struggled. The teams play in less-than-stellar facilities to sparse (and often silent) crowds. With the exception of a few, they’re paid a pittance and many hold down second jobs when they’re not training and traveling with their teams. It isn’t easy, it isn’t pretty, but they play for the love of the game.


They found it impossible, for the Thorns held fast together.


This is where the fairy tale ending happens. This is where women’s soccer is elevated to the point where it sees support as strong as support for men’s soccer.


Last night’s tifo, a story book opening across sections of the Thorns most raucous supporters, came from the story of Little Briar-Rose.

She was her parents’ pride and joy and they invited Wise Women from throughout the kingdom to attend her birthday. Each conveyed on her magical gifts to enrich her life, save one:


When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She wished to avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even looking at anyone, she cried with a loud voice, “The King’s daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead.” And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the room.

 They were all shocked, but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, “It shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall.”


Eleven Wise Women. And the twelfth stepped forward to save her. I could write a treatise about how supporters (I hate to make a Twelfth Man reference here, but there you go) will be the ones who will save women’s soccer, but it’s been pretty well covered over the last couple weeks.

When Briar-Rose falls into her deep sleep, her entire kingdom does as well and around her castle grows an enormous hedge of thorns to protect her as she sleeps.

In the tifo, the thorns were shown wrapped around the NWSL Championship trophy, protecting it from those who would wish to take it from us.

The league will be more difficult this year. New players, an expansion team, new coaches for a couple teams. The play will be better, the competition stronger. Holding onto that trophy for a second year will be a challenge.

But the Thorns will hold fast together.