It may go into the record books as the first Major League Soccer win for the Timbers, but last night's 4-2 thumping of the Chicago Fire was a victory for the masses.

On a chilly, rainy night that was pure Portland, the home team dominated the action on the pitch, but it was the home crowd that took over the scene and turned the most heads. They cheered, they chanted, and their unfiltered love for their club outshined the precipitation and overwhelmed even the most ardent of critics.

Say what you want about Major League Soccer. Fine. It's not baseball, it's not basketball and it'll never be American football. It doesn't need to be. And it probably doesn't want to be (mammoth television contracts aside). But it's time to stop comparing and start appreciating the spectacle that took place last night in our fair city for what it was: Pure. Unabashed. Joy.

Frankly, you'd have to be cynical beyond reason to not appreciate what went down: A national anthem that elicited chills. Constant singing, dancing and chanting that undoubtedly spurred the action on the field. A victory truly shared by thousands.

And if you're against joy like that, well, you've got bigger problems than disliking soccer.

Much less ranting to nobody in particular after the jump (promise!) but lots more good stuff, including exclusive locker room interviews with man-of-the-match Jorge Perlaza (via his interpreter), defensive stud Eric Brunner, a happy Futty Danso and goal-scorer Rodney Wallace, along with a short pre-game video of festivities. Also, coach John Spencer talking about nearly crapping himself (his words) and EXTRA TIME links to help you re-live the night and get set for Sunday.

Minutes after his breakout game, Jorge Perlaza talks through his interpreter about knocking in his first two goals of the season, the fan support, what the win means to the team and what the signing of his pal Diego Chará means to him.

Defensive standout Eric Brunner talks about how well the defense played, how much the fans impacted the game and what it means for the team to get that first win under its belts.

Defender Futty Danso talks to me (and "Blogterrn," evidently) about his first MLS start, how 18,000 fans sound more like 60,000 and the team's progression this season. Note halfway through the interview when Danso finds out his late goal was changed to an own-goal, and back-up keeper Adin Brown offers his heartfelt condolences.

Defender Rodney Wallace talks about the importance of the win, the fan support, how he scored his goal and what the team needs to do to prepare for Dallas.

Coach John Spencer's post-game presser was as entertaining and jovial as you'd expect from a coach who just picked up his first MLS win. And the videography is about as shitty as you'd expect from me. Regardless, Spencer talks up the Timbers Army (big time), cracks on Alexi Lalas and compares how the Timbers' atmosphere stacks up to teams across the pond. You guessed it—he thinks it's better.

More atmosphere. Pre-game festivities from field-level, including players walking on the pitch and fans going nuts.

EXTRA TIME! Links to remind you that, yes, this actually happened.
• Lots more breathtaking photos by Portland Timbers' shooter extraordinaire Craig Mitchelldyer and a TA-themed photo essay by The O's photogs.
• MLSsoccer's Greg Lalas agrees with Spencer about the atmosphere, and Nick Firchau says the team gave its fans plenty of reasons to fall in love.
• Ives Galarcep of Fox Sports says nothing could dampen the mood of the Timbers on their big night.
• Rick Chandler of NBC Sports has high marks for the TA's national anthem performance.
The Trib's Kerry Eggers says the scene at the House of Pane was "Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve and Your Horrible Neighbor is Moving all rolled into one festive occasion."
• Drew Epperley of SB Nation says the fans truly put on a show.
• Greg Jayne of The Columbian says there's no better fit for soccer than Portland.
• Brian Quarstad of IMSoccer News says the Timbers have set the MLS bar.
• The Timbers' official site has more notes and quotes as well as a Doug Binder story on Perlaza's redemption.
The O's Rachel Bachman has more on the Timbers Army effect, and Molly Hottle reports the parking situation wasn't the disaster neighbors feared.
• Chris Wright of Who Ate All The Pies cracks on Timber Joey as "health and safety nightmare" and an example of why European teams don't take MLS seriously. Coming from a guy who writes for a blog called "Who Ate All The Pies." Got it.
• The Sports Network looks ahead to Sunday's match against Dallas FC, a meeting between two clubs with plenty of momentum.