So, did you hear who's singing the national anthem at the Timbers' home opener on Thursday?
It's a group that reps Portland harder than most: Brash but folksy, loud but poignant — a classically inspired homage to the past with a fresh sound that's all its own. You may have caught them once or twice back in the day (or claimed to have, at least), but now a sold-out stadium is the only place to see 'em live.
Yep, Timbers Army is about to play to its biggest crowd, even if it is just the opening act.
More on this pitch-perfect bit of marketing and some soaring EXTRA TIME links after the jump.
The TA will have its Ed Sullivan moment with the tune Frankie Scott Key penned and Marvin Gaye perfected, and they'll honor America by singing her national anthem prior to the Timbers' Jeld-Wen Field debut against the Chicago Fire at 8 p.m. JUST TWO DAYS FROM NOW.
What a great move and another marketing masterstroke from a team that's stressed authenticity from the start.
In fact, it's downright adorable: What a fitting homage to the team's fanatics. What a fantastic opportunity for MLS to showcase its most ardent group of supporters. What a chance to create a blatantly boisterous, chill-inducing memory in front of a national audience. What better way to kick off the next phase of Portland's soccer history?
Done right (and I have little doubt the 3,600-strong Army will lead an 18,000+ chorus to heart-swelling measures) and this has potential to be that moment a sellout crowd, a national TV audience and the sports world at large will remember long after the goals, saves, wins, losses or draws.
And isn't that what it's all about?
EXTRA TIME! Because they'll actually be playing a soccer match once that nationalistic lather is all worked up.
* No matter how well they sing, John Spencer says the team can't "stand around admiring our fans" once the ball's in play.
* Darlington Nagbe (who's apparently showing more and more flashes of brilliance) scored and some of Portland's reserves got to show their stuff against Oregon State's men's team.
* Geoffrey C. Arnold of The O looks up front for some scoring, while Monique Balas checks in on the House of Pane's feral cat colony.
* There's an app for that MLS team from Portland.
* The Timbers Army offers some do's and don'ts for Thursday: Do lose your voice, don't spill your beer.
* FOX12's new Timbers in 30 debuted this week, with John Spencer sharing some thoughts and Jake Gleeson picking some strings.
* The Timbers added another home date — a U.S. Open Cup play-in against San Jose on May 3 — and Geoff Gibson of Stumptown Footy breaks it down.
* The New School Beer Blog un-taps a rundown of brews created in the Timbers' honor.
* If you need something to take the edge off after Thursday's match, the Oregon Historical Society will highlight the team's NASL days with an exhibit starting Friday.
* ESPN's Charlie Corr reports Chicago's assists leader Patrick Nyarko is "a little lucky" to be eyeing Thursday's lineup.
* Denz of RSL Soapbox has the Timbers at the bottom of his power rankings, with Chicago at No. 12.
* Note to the TA: Don't add words to the anthem. It may haunt your New Jersey senate campaign someday: