The Portland Timbers Preseason Tournament. Kind of has a nice ring to it doesn't it? Yeah, I don't think so either. In fact, it's an incredibly bland name for something that so many people are excited about. Which is why it's my opinion that the tournament needs a new name to help build a respectable tradition. After all, who's going to remember attending the very first Portland Timbers Preseason Tournament 50 years from now?
I know this is going to seem a little arbitrary, but stick with me on this. I'm a huge proponent of using culturally relevant themes or ideas in order to help back up something that you know will be sticking around for a while. It's why I love sports team names like the Portland Timbers, and despise names like the New York Red Bulls (no offense New Yorkers, there's just never been an ancestral "red bull" herd in your area). The Portland Timbers Preseason Tournament is only culturally relevant in that it describes exactly what the tournament is. It might as well be a tagline.
So here are some suggestions for names. Right off the top of my head:
- Rose City Challenge
- Columbia River Cup
- Bull Run Soccer Invitiational
- Willamette River Cup Challenge
Are they good? Eh, not really. But they're far more intriguing than a simple descriptive sentence. Even going down MLSsoccer.com's list of preseason tournaments, it's pretty clear which ones have had the most thought put into them.
If this is intended to be a yearly event, which all signs point to yes, then all I'm arguing for is that it would be nice to have a culturally relevant name to back up the tournament. In 50 years, I don't want to be impatiently waiting for the 51st annual Portland Timbers Preseason Tournament to kick off.
What would you name Portland's preseason tournament given the chance? Do you think it's fine the way it is?