- Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers
- Timbers Brian Umony, Kalif Alhassan and Futty Danso check out the pitch where Portland will make its MLS debut tonight.
It's a beautiful morning in Portland, especially if you're a fan of the beautiful game.
The Timbers officially become big-league at 6 tonight, when they face the defending Major League Soccer champion Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Stadium in Commerce City. Local coverage is on Fox Sports Northwest (Comcast Ch. 34) and Fox Soccer Channel (Ch. 401), but if you're like me, getting together and watching with a big, rowdy group is half the fun of any sporting event. I'm planning on heading to the Bagdad to watch/chat with some Timbers Army folk, so if you see a guy with a recorder in his hand instead of a beer, it's probably me.
As for match-day rituals, I've started a new one today — scouring the Internets for Timbers links! Lots after the jump, including match previews, hashtags to follow and links to more photos of the team's travel day. Oh, and hey, Blogtown: I want to know your match-day rituals. Do you iron your scarf? Cheerios and Guinness? Let me know in the comments what gets you kicking.
* Dropping Timber has your match-day fix, noting opening-day jitters will be amplified tonight.
* Timbers forward Kenny Cooper and Colorado's Drew Moor have plenty of history as they renew a friendly rivalry today.
* John Meyer of the Denver Post profiles Timbers coach (and former Rapids' fan favorite) John Spencer.
* One's a new team, the other the defending champs, but the Timbers and Rapids have plenty in common.
* MLS Supporter has yet another team preview for you to digest.
* Ryan Gates of Dropping Timber was up late last night educating his family in Colorado just how big this moment is for Portland football.
* Prost Amerika calls today "the biggest day ever in the football history of the Pacific Northwest."
* Paul Danzer of The Columbian answers a few questions about the "big-time" Timbers and gives a quick breakdown of today's match.
* Shooter extraordinaire Craig Mitchelldyer's photos of the team traveling yesterday are pretty breathtaking.
* Geoffrey C. Arnold of The O breaks down the entire roster and its average age — 24.6 years old.
* NYSportsJournalism says "industry analysts" value the Timbers' stadium-naming-rights deal with Jeld-Wen at $2 million per year.
* If you're looking to scout Colorado, Soccer365.com has a preview, Goal.com has a match breakdown, and local Denver station KSDK has even more info.
* Follow the Timbers Army folks who made the trip to Colorado on Twitter, as well as more general Timbers revelry.