Take a sneak peek at “The 1975 Portland Timbers: The Birth of Soccer City USA” by Michael Orr.
On January 23, 1975, after a great struggle, the Timbers were officially awarded to the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest. With this award, Portland was about to experience a sports renaissance that would earn it the nickname “Soccer City,USA.” Portland’s debut year with the NASL gave rise to an outstanding team despite the haste surrounding its formation. The Timbers would forge an unusual path, starting with a front office of five, securing its roster the week of the first game and holding its first practice amid construction.
Yet the roots of Portland’s soccer craze took hold long before the end of the Timbers’ wildly successful first season.
“I asked [teammates] to cross some balls in as a warm-up. I headed the first ball into the goal, and a cameraman nearly dropped his camera. They filmed me for about five minutes because they’d never seen someone head the ball. That’s where I got the nickname ‘Mad Header,’” said Timbers striker Peter Withe.
In this fast-paced narrative, Orr features player interviews, news coverage and statistics as he recounts the Timbers’ single-season journey from expansion team to championship bidder.
The 1975 Timbers’ manager, Vic Crowe, chose players based on personality as well as skill; Crowe believed that the newcomers must win the hearts of Portland’s close-knit community. Excitement grew as the team’s nickname was to be decided by a poll and the winning entry awarded a Timbers road trip. The 1975 Timbers broke attendance records with on-field success and local PR events thanks to Crowe’s vision.
The 1975 Timbers’ challenges, wins and legacies created the foundation for a love affair between the city and its soccer team for years to come. Relive the magic of the Portland Timbers’ first season in Michael Orr’s newest title, The 1975 Portland Timbers: The Birth of Soccer City, USA. Every soccer fan will want to own this book as the Portland Timbers continue making history.
The 1975 Portland Timbers: The Birth of Soccer City, USA retails for $19.99 and is available throughout Oregon and online at www.historypress.net.