"Different colors, but the same ole' hat."
Most of us know and understand the challenges of taking on a major project or leading a group of people toward a common goal. Or, do you remember the feeling you had when something special stirred a passion in you... a passion so strong that you would devote hours of time, thought and energy into making that passion a reality or a success. This is exactly what happened over a decade ago when a handful of parents formed our community's very first soccer club. Who would have thought what started at someone's kitchen table with a handful of scraggly soccer players and a few passionate parents would have kick started what we now have in the Bend FC Timbers soccer club. I am convinced those families are giggling today when they hear the Bend FC Timbers have over 2400 players, five paid staff, and are preparing to build four turf soccer fields in Bend.
From all records and accounts, we know organized soccer in Central Oregon began in the late 1990's. The first known club of record was called the Central Oregon Soccer Association or COSA. Though encountering early challenges and having to forge new territory east of the mountains, this group really formed the foundation of club soccer in Central Oregon. This group of parents, players and coaches actually organized and helped install the first dedicated soccer field in Bend located at Ponderosa Park on SE 15th St.
Building on what COSA started, Bend United Soccer Club was created in 2003 in an effort to build a stronger soccer coalition by pulling coaching resources together and raising club professionalism. This organization was primarily comprised of the same group of parents, players and families from COSA, thus it was a mere name change. Bend United grew and developed many young athletes and teams during the early 2000's and ultimately became respected and feared by teams and clubs around the state and region.
In 2005, out of a desire for better competition and to develop teams and athletes to compete regionally and nationally, a group of parents and coaches formed a new "competitive only" soccer club. They called themselves "Deschutes Academy and Futbol Club" or "DAFC" and is the registered name we use to this day. Though the formation of a second soccer club initially created some division and controversy within our soccer community, our athletes, coaches and parents had fallen in love with the game of soccer and were pushing for more. A short time later (2007) DAFC joined forces with a nationally recognized organization called "Rush" and from then on operated under the name "Oregon Rush."
Our affiliation with the Rush organization has proved invaluable to a smaller soccer community such as Bend and allowed us access to many national resources. This branding also provided an opportunity for dozens of our players and families to play and compete at some of the highest levels in the game of soccer. In 2009, our community leaders brought the two clubs back together under the one umbrella of "Oregon Rush." During these past 5+ years, we have shown our strength and resolve as evident in 12 state championship titles, huge tournaments wins, successful high school teams, and dozens of college soccer scholarships awarded. The players, parents, coaches and soccer community have benefited greatly from a cohesive and strong soccer club.
In 2013, your DAFC soccer club made a bold move to join the alliance of the Portland Timbers MLS organization and leave behind our partnership with "Rush." Now called "Bend FC Timbers", we represent one of seven major alliance clubs in the State of Oregon. This alliance will allow our players, coaches and soccer community direct access to some of the best coaching, teams, events, tournaments and programs in the country…all right here in our own backyard. We are excited to call ourselves part of the Timbers family and are glad you are part of ours! We look forward to many successes and exciting times in the future of soccer in Central Oregon. Be sure to thank those who had the passion for soccer and who stuck together years ago to build the fantastic soccer club you know today.