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May 15, 2023

We answer some of our voluminous viewer mail this week, as listener Rob Hawksford joins for an intriguing look back at Portland, Oregon's pro soccer scene in the 1990s - when summertime indoor clubs known as the Pride (Continental Indoor Soccer League, 1993-97) and the Pythons (Premier Soccer Alliance, 1998 & World Indoor Soccer League, 1999) kept the sport alive after the collapse of the iconic outdoor NASL/WSA Timbers in 1990.

Starting out as a game-day volunteer for the Pride during the CISL's inaugural 1993 season, Hawksford quickly found himself on the payroll in subsequent summers doing a variety of front office jobs - including General Manager, where he helped the club change venues (from Portland's aging Memorial Stadium to the state-of-the-art Rose Garden in 1996), leagues (bolting with three other teams to form the PSA in 1998), and nicknames (Pythons).

In between, of course, a myriad of memories from one of the most interesting professional circuits in all of North American soccer - and a curious, but oft-forgotten footnote in Portland's long and storied "Soccer City USA" history.