In their away match against Alpha United last week in Guyana, the Portland Timbers are involved in the Concacaf Champions League for the first time. Their first game last week was away to Alpha United in Guyana. To mark the occasion, the team brought two members from the Timbers Army to take in the experience and chronicle their adventures. Shawn Levy who is an author and Steven Lenhart who is a photographer joined the team and had what I can imagine was an incredible experience for two dedicated TA members.
Below is the beginning to what I imagine to be a remarkable fan experience for Shawn and Steven. Read the full article over at the Portland Timbers site.
It started with an email. Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, entirely out of the blue, extended an invitation to me to join the team on a charter flight that would leave Boston on the morning after the team’s regular-season MLS match against the New England Revolution to fly directly to Guyana and then return to Portland after the Champions League fixture. Since he suspected that I had no plans to be in Foxborough for the first match, he offered to fly me there as well, and to put me up in the hotel with the team in both cities.
At first, I was so stupefied by the offer that I didn’t think I should take it. It was too dreamlike, too generous, too unreal. And it was, potentially, a problem: I serve on the board of a charity that works closely with the Timbers front office, and I wanted to be sure to avoid any conflict of interest or even the appearance of one. Assured by my fellow board members that, lucky son-of-a-gun, I was in the clear, I accepted the offer gratefully. And when another seat on this remarkable journey became available to me to share, I thought almost immediately of Nevets.
Now, if you’ve never traveled to a Timbers away match with Nevets, you need to know a few things. For starters, he has the unfailing ability to turn up in the most remarkable places; wherever he goes, he finds someone with a story to share about the city, the home team, or some other point of genuine interest and novelty. I have no doubt that if the Timbers Army were to someday visit Rome and take a morning to see Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square, Nevets would vanish from the group only to appear beside the Pontiff on his balcony, talking, inevitably, about Argentine soccer.
But he’s also a professional photographer who has chronicled the rise (…and rise…and rise…) of the Timbers Army in images that are so true to the spirit of the group that the team actually used them on the 2010 season tickets in the “You Can’t Fake This” campaign, featuring the kid with the green mohawk, the watermelon with the logo carved into it, etc. Not only would I be traveling with an old friend who had a knack of finding stories and characters worth knowing about, but I could have a talented shooter to chronicle the epic.