Words and photos by Diego G Diaz
Hundreds of fans congregated at Jen-Weld on Wednesday to celebrate Portland Thorns FC victory in the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League, in their victory 2-0 over the New York Flash last Saturday, August 31st.
Their victory brought the first national trophy to the city of Portland since that legendary run for the NBA ring by Portland Trail Blazers in 1977 – a fact that was reiterated by city mayor Charlie Hales, in company of Portland’s First Lady, Nancy Hales and City Commissioner Nick Fish.
It was indeed a very festive climate, and even as some key team members weren’t in attendance due to National Team duties, the dimension of this epic first NWSL title, and Portland’s first ever soccer league win by the Thorns was not diminished.
As in these events tend to be, there were speeches by officials, team owner Merritt Paulson, coach Cindy Parlow Cone, goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and defender Rachel Buehler. Of the absentee players, Alex Morgan, attended the event symbolically by a video message played on the south side big screen.
Merritt Paulson in his speech declared to the cheering fans that “there is only one Soccer City, USA”, and as he was leaving the podium and LeBlanc was picking the microphone, he got reminded of a certain promise he made if the team won the championship that had him dancing in front of the crowd. Definitely a party.