Borrowed from
-Jason Davis

American soccer history exists, it's just sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Or, more accurately, it requires a bit of looking. Thanks to the hands-off-history approach of MLS for the first decade-plus of its existence when it came to soccer history, connections to anything pre-1996 were under-informed or absent all together.

Thankfully companies like Bumpy Pitch and Pot Hunting, and teams with legacies going back into the NASL days like the Cascadia clubs, are poking holes in the modern soccer history bubble. A company called FC Media has created a display of the Timber's NASL history. After painstakingly collecting items from the heydey of the original Timbers, the peek at American soccer history is set to be unveiled at the Oregon Historical Society  tomorrow.

Titled "Soccer City, USA: The Portland Timbers and the NASL Years, 1975-1982," the collection includes photos, a campy t-shirt featuring the Timbers first-ever signing Mick Hoban, and the first instances of Nike-branded apparel ever created. As Nike itself wasn't making apparel yet (only running shoes), the logo and name was slapped on previously manufactured items.

The Timbers were also the first sports team to wear Nike-branded uniforms, again with the company's logo sewn on kits not actually manufactured by the Oregon company. Nike seems to have been more jersey-sponsor than the club's uniformp provide, though I'm sure no one thought of it in those terms in 1979.

The Timbers Nike warmup jacket pictured in the above-linked Oregonian article is interesting because it sports three shoulder stripes that give it an Adidas look.

A photo gallery of the collected Timber memorabilia can be found here.

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