Fourteen years ago this week…
In digest number two in my attempt to prove that there was professional soccer in Portland before 2011, we go back to fourteen years ago this week in 2001 when the Timbers first season in the USL ended with a 1-0 loss in Hershey, Pennsylvania (yes, Hershey, Pennsylvania) in the second round of the 2001 playoffs.
Their first season in the A-League (top division of the USL at the time) was a successful one, finishing 4th in the Western Conference with a 13-3-10 record and knocked off the Charlotte Eagles in the first round by the scores of 2-0 and 3-2 to then face the #2 seeded Hershey Wildcats in the second round.
(PS, the population in 2000 in Hershey, Pennsylvania was 12,587. Yes, this was not MLS, obviously.)
The Timbers dropped their second round home opener by a 2-0 score, giving up both goals while the Timbers were up a player. The 1-0 loss a week later knocked the Timbers out by a 3-0 aggregate.
Yes, Hershey, Pennsylvania. Great little town, smells like chocolate, but a long way from MLS.