Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, of course, sees the rapid expansion and growth of new franchises in Major League Soccer. But he doesn’t want to sit on the periphery and watch it all pass by, as he explains in an in-depth story with Paul Tenorio at The Athletic.
With the league now at 24 teams, Paulson has seen Atlanta United enter and win an MLS Cup in its second year of existence, spending big-time on South American players. Then there’s Los Angeles Football Club and the Carlos Vela show, as well as Minnesota United opening Allianz Field. The list goes on and on.
I sat down with Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson last week to talk about the stadium renovation, infrastructure investment and, yes, ask about a grass surface at Providence Park: https://t.co/Yct0gSYbDa pic.twitter.com/kcAT0lTFgo— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) April 25, 2019
As Tenorio chronicles, Portland has combatted this new influx of high-spenders and game-changers by molding what they already have: Providence Park. The former minor-league baseball stadium is currently closed for expansions and renovations, leaving the Western Conference side on the road for its first 12 games of 2019. Their home opener is set for June 1 against none other than LAFC.
So while the Timbers won MLS Cup in 2015 and made the final last year, they’re definitely not resting on their laurels as MLS grows around them.
You can check out Tenorio’s full story here.