Minnesota United FC is headed to Portland to take on Portland Timbers FC this Friday (if I had a dollar for every time I have typed something along those lines this week...) and we want to take the time to introduce you to our SB Nation counterparts in Portland: Stumptown Footy.
Stumptown Footy’s Managing Editor, William Conwell, was nice enough to answer a few questions about their blog, team and what they know about Minnesota.
Portland Timbers FC
Where did the blog name come from?
Portland earned the nickname Stumptown from its logging industry. Other nicknames for Portland include the Rose City, Bridgetown, and (my favorite) Little Beirut.
If you could change your blog name, what would you change it to and why?
I would not. Frankly, it seems like you are projecting a little.
How did the 2016 season go for your team?
Guh. Well, the Timbers made history in 2016 by being just the third defending MLS Cup champion to fail to make the playoffs. The Timbers had a lot of injuries, gave up the most goals in the West, and completely capitulated in the final game of the season against their rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps, to lose out on even taking home the Cascadia Cup.
For our lazier readers, sum up that answer in 5 words.
It bad. No more Cup.
What are your expectations for 2017?
Expectations are high around these parts. The Timbers got younger, more talented, and less injury prone over the offseason, and whenever the first team was together during preseason they absolutely were in control of every game they played. With the addition of David Guzman and Sebastian Blanco they are widely acknowledged as having one of the best -- if not the best -- midfield in the league. The Timbers' center backs might not be the best in the league, but the midfield will shield them with possession and the defensive prowess of Guzman and Diego Chara.
Is there a player on your team that is crazy popular that someone that isn’t a hardcore fan wouldn’t understand? Why?
Diego Chara is a fan favorite and David Guzman is rapidly joining him. Other teams mostly hate Chara and will definitely hate Guzman. Some evidence as to why:
Who from your team are we most likely to hate/dislike?
If it isn't Chara or Guzman, either Fanendo Adi or Liam Ridgewell are good picks here. Adi is the most physically dominant striker in the league, bar none, which means that defenders play him physical and he returns the favor. This wouldn't result in so many hurt feelings if he didn't score oodles of goals; nobody likes seeing their center back tossed out of the way before the ball goes in the back of the net. Ridgewell, meanwhile, is the Timbers' most senior defender and after years of kicking around the English leagues he is well versed in the defensive Dark Arts.
Does your team have any ties to Minnesota? Players, coaches, etc.?
Well, Amos Magee is a former Timbers assistant coach.
Does your blog have any ties to Minnesota? Writers, friends, weird coworkers that continue to remind you that it isn’t that cold out?
Jeremiah Braeback, one of our Thorns writers, is from Minnesota.
What do you know about Minnesota United as a team?
People around Portland all have some base level of knowledge about the Loons, whether that starts from this year's preseason invitational or extends all the way back to the Timbers facing off against them in leagues past. For me, until proven otherwise, they are still the bunch of hacks that came to the preseason tournament last year and tried their very best to break the Timbers legs with ridiculous, high, studs-up tackles.
What do you know about Minnesota - the state?
Basically nothing. Something about lakes? Maybe butter?
What, if any, Minnesotan stereotypes do you know?
Wasn't the mom from Bobby's World from Minnesota? Her voice.
For Loons making the trip to Portland this weekend, what breweries, bars, restaurants, etc must MNUFC supporters check out?
Portland has superlative [all of those things] and a wide range to choose from. Check out the Timbers' Army's website and hit up the visiting supporters section. They will do right by you. If I had to pick one thing to point people toward, it would have to be Powell's City of Books. If you like words on paper at all you should be prepared to spend several hours in there.
How many lakes does your sad excuse for a state have?
Well, I haven't counted them, but Crater Lake is among the best.
Again, we would like to thank William for
offending us taking time to answer questions about STF. We like you now William, but from 8:30 to 10:30(ish) pm (CST) on Friday, March 3rd we will not feel that way.
Got any questions you want us to ask the other blogs in the future? Let us know in the comments.