Five reasons to watch Monday Night futbol: Timbers vs. Union

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Kris Boyd. The Timbers new high-profile striker, the leading all-time Scottish Premier League scorer, debuts in Timbers green.
  5. 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.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKTgbUaqAX8&w=420&h=315%5D