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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Local fans revel in team’s MLS crown

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter
Published: December 7, 2015, 11:06pm
2 Photos
Kelsey MacKinnon, left, and Kim MacKinnon at MLS Cup final Dec. 6 in Columbus, Ohio.
Kelsey MacKinnon, left, and Kim MacKinnon at MLS Cup final Dec. 6 in Columbus, Ohio. (Contributed photo) Photo Gallery

A week ago, Bryan Dainty and Noland Hoshino were making plans to watch the MLS Cup championship game at Crystal Ballroom in Portland, where an official watch party was planned.

Instead, they found themselves Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, six rows from the field as the Timbers claimed their first championship. And, before the evening was over, the Vancouver residents were holding the MLS Cup trophy during a private party for Timbers players, employees and their families.

“We didn’t know what the party was until after we got there,” Hoshino said, adding that the whole trip was difficult to put into words.

Kim and Kelsey MacKinnon spent the entire match putting their passion to words. The Vancouver couple was stationed right next to one of the big drums in the middle of the Timbers Army section, chanting and singing throughout the match.

The MacKinnons are season-ticket holders who do not sit with the Timbers Army at home games, but usually do when they travel to away games.

“Being in there and being able to do the chants with them was so exciting,” Kim McKinnon said. “It was constant the whole game. It was exhausting, but so much fun. I’ll never forget it.”

While the MacKinnons flew to Detroit then drove to Columbus, Hoshino, Dainty and friends Connie and Jim Fadden of Portland flew to Columbus early Saturday, only four days after Hoshino learned he won a trip for four to the game in a Microsoft-sponsored sweepstakes

Prior to the game, thousands of Timbers fans attended a large tailgate party. Kim MacKinnon said she met fans who traveled from around the country to support the Timbers’ title quest.

Hoshino noted that some the Timbers Army members were helping get fans from the airport to the stadium. “The whole Portland presence you felt was amazing.”

Dainty said that Hoshino was fascinated with the Timbers Army from the moment they entered Providence Park for the first time in May for a match against D.C. United, invited by the Faddens, who are season-ticket holders. Prior to that first live experience, Dainty said he and Noshino followed the team more casually than many friends who are hard-core soccer fans.

“There’s something absolutely infectious about (the Timbers Army),” Dainty said. “I think that was evident in Columbus.”

Columbus Crew fans, Hoshino said, were “super, super nice.” But their supporters’ section was noticeably quieter than the Timbers, Hoshino added.

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“The Timbers Army fans were amazing. That’s all you could hear in the stadium,” Hoshino said.

Kim McKinnon said that from the heart of the Timbers rooting section she could not tell how much noise the rest of the stadium was producing. She understood, though, that this was a special day.

It became extra special when the final whistle blew and her Timbers were league champions.

“Everybody around me was in disbelief and crying and hugging,” she said. “Complete disbelief. It was so crazy.”

Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter