David Villa praises Portland's atmosphere as the best in MLS

PORTLAND, Ore. New York City FC had a pleasant experience in Portland over the weekend in more ways than one. 

Not only did they down the Portland Timbers on Sunday at Providence Park, but striker David Villa and coach Patrick Vieira also had high praise for the city's stadium and fans.

Villa and Vieira gushed about their first experience playing in the Rose City, calling it the best they’ve seen in MLS. NYCFC played Portland once last year, but the match was in New York City.

“Amazing. So far it is the best. The best in MLS in my opinion,” Villa said when asked about the atmosphere. “A lot of games, a lot of the stadiums have very good atmosphere. But for me, in my opinion so far, Portland is the best atmosphere.”

Vieira’s reaction was similar.

“Fantastic. This is the best atmosphere so far I have experienced,” he said. “When the anthem was going, the fans were fantastic and as a player you are looking forward to playing on this kind of stage. The players really enjoyed it today.”

The Timbers fans have a unique tradition during the national anthem of tossing their scarves in the air to punctuate lines in the song. For the final two lines, they whirl the scarves over their heads.

Throughout the match though, the Timbers Army provided the soundtrack and electrifying atmosphere, as usual, with their non-stop chants and drumming.

“It is unlucky for us that we play in the other conference,” Villa said. “Maybe in two years we will get to come and play against Portland here. The atmosphere is amazing. Congratulations to Portland, to the Portland Timbers, to the fans because the atmosphere is amazing playing here.”