Portland Timbers 2 is set to make Hillsboro Stadium home for its sixth season and beyond.
Yesterday morning, the Portland Timbers held a press conference at Hillsboro Stadium where they announced that the first team’s USL affiliate will be moving out of what ultimately felt like a cavernous Providence Park throughout much of the season.
Here is the video of the official announcement:
And the dual press release from both the Hops and Timbers:
Hillsboro is a big sports city. Today we are excited to announce that we are bringing professional soccer to the west side! Through a partnership with the @TimbersFC, we announce that Hillsboro is the new home of @TimbersFC2. #AllHoppedUp #T2FC https://t.co/zdb0yfxnBm pic.twitter.com/Y9wiI6KQW7— Hillsboro Hops (@HillsboroHops) October 30, 2019
Golub announced a few things during the one-minute clip that is worth at least paying attention to. First of all, he mentioned that the Hillsboro Hops will join on and help run the business side of Timbers 2. While that comment may not mean a whole lot to anyone right now, it will be interesting to see what might change on the business side of the team down the line, especially with the growth of the USL Championship as a whole.
The press release also states that Hillsboro Stadium will be refitted with new turf, which will make the new field feel just like the one the team just left.
“FIFA certified FieldTurf CORE will be installed as the playing surface for T2 games at Hillsboro Stadium- the same playing surface used at Providence Park. CORE’s multi-layer dual-polymer fiber design optimizes the systems performance delivering a more realistic, textured, grass-like shape with optimal durability and resiliency. The field won’t have any football lines on it for T2 games.”
Last season, T2 averaged 1,899 fans per game, which ranked 29th in the league according to Soccer Digest. For a team that played at 25,218-seat Providence Park, well, you could tell that it was 1/25th full most afternoons.
Regardless of average attendance, Timbers 2 is in a better spot now than ever before. From Eryk Williamson and Renzo Zambrano to Marvin Loria and Jeremy Ebobisse, some of the fruits of the team’s labor is beginning to pay off as more younger players are cracking Gio Saverese’s first-team lineup. If the Timbers development system continues to grow like it has shown signs of recently, the future will be bright.