I'm J-Mill, a St. Louis sports fan who also happens to be a soccer fan. As you can imagine, that causes me daily dismay, since we haven't had a top level professional team since the old NASL. I recently read a couple articles over at Hot Time In Old Town chronicling our ill-fated attempt at an expansion team (as if I needed another reason to hate Philadelphia sports fans), and it made me realize that, while I still think an MLS team in St. Louis is too good of a prospect to not happen eventually, it'll probably take some time. In fact, barring another franchise tanking and relocating, the best case scenario would still take at least 4 or 5 years.
So I'm looking to adopt!
Based mostly on my tastes, plus some practicalities, I've narrowed it down to three clubs: Chicago Fire, Real Salt Lake, and Portland Timbers. All three are squads that I've passively rooted for in the past, but now I'm looking to pick one full-time and go all-in! At the moment, I have no leanings one way or another, which is where you guys come in.
I'll list certain pros and cons on my mind to start, but I'm willing to listen to a logical argument and/or a passionate cry. If you can convince me join your ranks, and I'll do my best to catch on, be apart of the community here on SBN, and even buy a kit and/or scarf (when I can...I'm pretty fraking broke).
PRO: Home Field Atmosphere - Having watched a couple Timbers home games last year, the intense passion of Timbers Army is definitely infectious - what a soccer game should be! And for god's sake - how can you top a fraking lumberjack?!? Also, tangentially along those lines, I could definitely catch on quickly to hating Seattle - as a St. Louis Rams fan (...I know, I know...) I'm pretty much half-way there already.
PRO: Rose from the ground up - Unless I'm very mistaken, I understand that the Timbers FC has been around for years, but was allowed to rise through the US pyramid through a combination of consistent on-field success and fan support. In a country where there's no promotion/relegation system in place, that's really quite a feat. Seeing as Jeff Cooper, the man behind the St. Louis expansion bid a few years ago, turned out to not even be able to support a women's pro team for a full year (which was the fear that, if Garber is to be believed, was the single biggest reason Philly beat us out for the 16th expansion team), that method might be our best chance at our own team - hopefully with the St. Louis Lions of the PDL, who I plan on supporting as much as possible this summer.
CON: Proximity - There's virtually no chance that at any point in the near future that I could make it to a Timbers home game. Above that, I have nothing resembling a connection to the Oregon region. Plus, most games probably wouldn't start until at least 9:00 my time.
From here, it's up to you - why are YOU a Timber supporter? Why should I join you? Or at the very least, why shouldn't I root for the Fire or RSL?