It all happened pretty quickly. One week the Portland Timbers were talking about stepping up to save a local WPSL team, the Portland Rain, and the next week it was reality. The announcement became official on Wednesday.
With the Portland Rain (WPSL) looking like it would not continue due to financial reasons, MLS side Portland Timbers stepped in and brought the Rain under the Timbers Alliance umbrella. The Rain will wear the red and white Timbers Alliance kits this season and the Timbers will financially support the team.
“The Portland Rain has existed for many years and has served as the elite level for women players in the area,” Rain head coach Janine Szpara said. “This alliance with the Timbers brings us closer to making professional women’s soccer in Portland a reality.”
Portland is now the eighth MLS team to have some form of involvement with a women’s team. The Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids and D.C. United lend their club names and images to W-League teams, while FC Dallas does the same in the WPSL. Real Salt Lake recently partnered with Salt Lake United (WPSL) and Chivas USA has a partnership with the W-League’s Los Angeles Strikers.
For women’s soccer, the steps are small, but encouraging.