Portland hosts Philadelphia tonight in the punctuation mark for Round 1 of the 2012 MLS season. Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman are on the call (9:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN2). Five reasons you might consider tuning in:
- Timber Joey. It’s one of the strongest bits in professional sports. After every goal, Timber Joey fires up the chain saw and cuts serious wood with that bad boy.
- Peter Nowak. The Union coach is on the spot. Never shy of making bold personnel decisions, Nowak made a few more in the offseason. That’s fine. But when you do so, you’ve drawn a hard target, center mass. Read a little more about the match from Philadelphia’s perspective here.
- Darlington Nagbe. Not even sure if the Timbers’ second-year man will start, but he’ll play at some point tonight I would think, and Nagbe has that difference-making something about him. My guess is that he’ll start on the outside, opposite Kalif Alhassan. Read a little more about the Timbers in the run-up to this one here.
- Kris Boyd. The Timbers new high-profile striker, the leading all-time Scottish Premier League scorer, debuts in Timbers green.
- Insanity. Watching matches come to life from Jeld-Wen Field rocks. Period.
See for yourself. Watch the video as Timbers fans chant away … then burst with impassioned, flag-waving joy as their team scores against L.A. It looks like a scene from some soccer-mad Eastern European outpost; but it’s right there in downtown, Portland, Ore.