SANDY, UT - OCTOBER 22: Players of the Portland Timbers pose for a picture before a game against Real Salt Lake at an MLS soccer game October 22, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt lake and the Portland Timbers played to a 1-1 tie. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
First I just want to wish everybody a happy New Year and I hope everybody got home safe last night. If you're reading this now then I'm also happy you're not suffering from a severe hang over. Seriously, kudos! I managed to escape one myself!
In any case, with 2011 now officially over I thought it might be a good time to relive some of the year's more interesting moments. As a Portland Timbers fan we won't be able to say this about every year, but 2011 was, without a doubt in my mind, a historic year for the club and one that I will personally remember very well.
Anyway, enough blathering, here were some of the Timbers bets moments of 2011, as reported by us! Feel free to wax nostalgic with us. All of which is listed chronologically from January, of course.
For those who will be with us for this year's SuperDraft but were not here for last year's this is a good time to refresh your memory on how it all went down. Portland, obviously, picked up Darlington Nagbe with their second overall pick, but some other trades and movements happened as well.
Kenny had his high and his low moments of 2011. It was a rough transition for everybody involved. But his signing to the club was still a big event and he was a big name to have on the opening ticket.Portland Timbers Sign Chivas USA Midfielder Salvatore "Sal" Zizzo
Another great signing and one that, at least initially, seemed fairly minor. Today, however, I have trouble envisioning a midfield with Sal's speed. If he can learn to pick up his head a bit more in 2012, we could see a great player.
With the imminent signing of Brent Richards, perhaps it's time to check out our academy system once again to see how and where future youngsters will be coming from.
Another momentous player signing. Jack Jewsbury would later go on to become captain of the Timbers and would lead them to a fairly successful first season. Here's hoping he sticks around for 2012.
The first official clash between the sides as MLS teams. Nice to see the Timbers drew first blood in the rivalry renewed.
The first ever MLS game for the Timbers. Unfortunate it was a loss, but momentous nonetheless.
It took about a month into the season, but it wasn't too long before the Timbers has their first designated player in Colombian Diego Chara, one who would go on to make quite an impact in the second half of the season.
The home opener! After coming off a couple losses and a draw, the atmosphere at Jeld-Wen Field on that historic day was unreal and it helped propel the team to an amazing 4-2 victory.
Another great match against one of the league's great teams. Real Salt Lake ended their MLS unbeaten streak at Jeld-Wen Field...
Oh to have heard the pure hubris spewing from the Soudners fans mouths heading into this match... you would have thought the game would end 10-nil Soudners. Unfortunately, for them, the Timbers walked away with a point in this first official MLS clash between the two sides.
It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops in 2011 and FC Dallas proved that with a 4-nil shellacking of the Timbers. Why should we remember this one? Well I think it sort of epitomizes the mid-season slump the Timbers got themselves into and is one of the primary reasons why they didn't make the play-offs.
Another momentous game in the history of 2011. This was the first time the two MLS sides met in Portland. It was a hugely fun game to watch. If only they hadn't given up that last goal though...
And here is just about where the season rebounds. Mike Chabala and Lovel Palmer, despite what some might think, really did bring in some muscle. Adam Moffat, while he didn't get a chance at the Timbers, went on to be one hellofa player for Houston.
Just as the FC Dallas away match was the low point, the LA Galaxy home game was the high point of the season (for on field success). With both Landon Donovan and David Beckham starting it was quite the event to see the Timbers beat the future Supporters Shield and MLS Cup winners 3-nil.
Another big on-field success. With the Timbers recovering from the mid-season, their home match against New England was probably their best performance overall.
Unfortunately the Timbers did not make the play-offs in their first season, but they didn't go quietly either. Heading into RSL is tough and Tmbers managed to score a point out of the ordeal.
In his first season, Darlington Nagbe won the goal of the year trophy for his stunner against Sporting KC. Some still think Eric Hassli deserves the honor, but regardless it was one amazing goal.
The culling didn't take long after MLS Cup ended with the Timbers resigning two key players and dropping seven others. It's unfortunate, but that's life in soccer.
We knew it was coming, and it actually leaked months before, but the third kit was officially unveiled earlier last month.
The Timbers would end the year with a big signing in youngster Valencia or "El Trencito" named after his father who was quite the goal scorer in MLS.
And that pretty much sums up 2011 quite well! Here's to a happy and successful new year for the Portland Timbers!