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Soccer Town USA and its suburbs are full of fans waiting for the Portland Timbers.

They grew up when field hockey was the only PE sport for girls, when Title 9 and gender equality were just around the corner.

They went to college, traveled, found someone special enough to have kids with, someone who understood the connection between sports and social development.

Soccer was their kids’ first organized sport, growing brighter for some, fading for others. They read about Pele, then Maradona, while the hoards in shin-guards ran the practice field. World Cup fever circled the world every four years.

Those Moms and Dads spent their 1990’s weekends sitting in camp chairs on soccer sidelines, smart parents giving their kids a head start.

Soccer is smart and the Portland Timbers winning Major League Soccer’s MLS Cup proves to the rest of America what they already suspect.

Portland is smart. How smart?

The ultimate puzzle for the smart Portland Timbers to solve is how to burn their triumph into Portland’s sports soul like Blazermania. It belongs in there.

Two major league teams brought it back to Portland; one of them still shines thirty eight years later.

If the Timbers want to shine thirty eight years from now they need to go one better than the Portland Trail Blazers. If they go back to back, or three-peat, all the suburban rec coaches/fans deserve honorary doctorates.

The Blazers joined the other championship teams in the ’70’s going one and done. Warriors, Blazers, Washington, and Seattle all got their title ticket punched. No dynasties, no runs, after the Boston Celtics ruled the ’60’s with seven in a row and the Larry and Magic show ran the ’80’s.

Portland got their chance and knocked it out. The following year looked like more of the same until injuries mounted. You know the story.

The accomplishments of Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Shaq’s Lakers show how rare multiple titles are. The Dallas Cowboys of the early ’90’s and NY Yankees of the late ’90’s made it clear.

Back to back still means something. Winning one means everything, but most of all it gives you a chance at two.

Dynasties are nothing new to Major League Soccer, at least the seeds of dynasty. The Los Angeles Galaxy took three out of four titles between 2011 and 2014. The Houston Dynamo got two in 2006-07.

With the 2015 MLS Cup safely in Portland, it’s time for a new dynasty. If the Portland Timbers can drive soccer deeper into America with a dynastic hammer, we’ll be ready. Won’t we?

About David Gillaspie
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