We Are Timbers: Fernando
Big, burly, and brash, Fernando Machicado’s steely gaze has been stopping people in their tracks as he gazes over the avenues of Portland. But don’t let that axe and ink fool you as Machicado’s demeanor is friendly and approachable. Born in Bolivia, the intertwining of soccer with life began for him at a very early age. A board member of the organizing group behind the Timbers Army—the 107 Independent Supporter’s Trust (107ist)—Machicado takes his love of Portland and the Timbers very seriously.
Be glad that he is on our side.
Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.
What’s your background? Where are you from? What do you do?
Fernando Machicado: I was born in La Paz, Bolivia and grew up in the D.C. metro area. I am hoping the billboard kick starts my modeling career, I can do both lifestyle and fashion shoots.
How’d you get into soccer? Do you still play?
FM: Being from South America I was exposed to both the culture of support and the game itself at a very young age. I have played soccer since I could walk and I still play in the [Greater Portland Soccer District] league with a fantastic team, North End United.
Have you lived in Portland long? What is it about this city that makes it work for soccer?
FM: I have lived in Portland since 1995 and this city was ready for soccer the 90’s with the amount of kids playing in the area, the success of the Pilots and the success of the Timbers for the past 10 years.
What style of soccer do you most like to see?
FM: I like an attacking style of play with flair and passing over the physicality that some teams rely on.
Like Abe, I know you are a long time Timbers Army leader and fan. How did you get involved with the TA and the Team?
FM: Being from South America I was familiar with the Barra or ultras style of support and I decided to add my voice to the Timbers Army. The saying is true that if you want to be Timbers Army, then you already are. It’s amazing how it has grown too and needed an actual organization like the 107 Independent Supporters Trust to help organize it. The 107ist has also been fundamental in promoting the Timbers as well as donating equipment and uniforms to the kids in the community. It is fulfilling being on the board or the organization that fuels the Timbers Army because it gives me the opportunity to show my civic pride while supporting soccer.
Going to as many games as you do, what’s your favorite thing to do at a match?
FM: My favorite thing to do during the match is sing our songs, drink beer and absorb the energy of the people surrounding me it has become a sort of brotherhood amongst my friends. Being in the Timbers Army section you can experience the high and lows with people from all walks of life. I recommend that every Portlander come and join us and experience a match, it may not be the best view but it is definitely the most fun.
What do you like about Timbers?
FM: I like that we are going global in our recruitment efforts and excited to see what international players are coming to Portland. The off season has been massive in regards to the drafts, kit unveiling and the seeing so many people wearing Timbers gear around town. MLS is about to witness the awesomeness of Portland and its fans.
What are you most looking forward to for next year?
FM: I look forwards to traveling to the various MLS cities, New York, Philadelphia, D.C. and, of course, the Pacific Northwest rivalries with Seattle and Vancouver. Hopefully other MLS supporters groups come out and experience how amazing Portland is.
How would you describe yourself as a soccer fan to other people?
FM: With the recent World Cup it has been easy explaining to people that I am soccer supporter and I always seem to be wearing some sort soccer related apparel.
What do you love about it?
FM: I love soccer because for 90 minutes it is an emotional roller coaster, you experience ecstasy of a goal scored, and you feel the angst and sadness over a goal being scored on your team. You get mad at the fouls committed by the other team, you are happy when they are carded.
Playing the sport is also a fantastic way to bond with your friends. You never know when a pelada might break out in Portland; I have played in the snow in Government Camp, in an alley in North Portland—you just need a few friends and ball and you have a game. It is also the one sport that bonds the entire world, if you travel anywhere you’ll be able to join a friendly game regardless of skill.