At least for a wee bit, our book "Cup Bound & Crowned", topped the local best seller list at the iconic Powell's City of Books. I contributed to this project, surrounded with a great group of professionals. Cup Bound and Crowned is dedicated to the great run on the 2015 MLS season that earned the Portland Timbers FC their first star. Prost Amerika’s first book, is an immersive tale of the team ups and downs, its players and the fan culture around the club.
The idea of the book originated the day of the cup win on December 6, in Columbus when writer Kristen Gehrke and our chief editor Steve Clare, asked themselves how could they follow this act, “A book” was decided. I was doing coverage back in Portland for a local paper of one of the official party’s at the Crystal Ballroom, and as crazy it was in Columbus the explosion of happiness lived in stump town was most likely visible from space.
The Crystall Ballroom explodes with brand new scarfs, "MLS Cup Champions 2015.
Also back cover full page for the Portland Tribune.
My personal contributions to Cup Bound and Crowned were not just my photographic work throughout the season, I also wrote chapter 11, “The Timber’s heart beats to Latin rhythms". I had been an occasional online contributor and have produced many pieces, from interviews, to fan culture pieces, and a few match reports, this is my first time being published, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
The end product is much more than just a coffee table book, the content makes it a great read as well. Or so were told, as an online comment put it “now I have an excuse to go to Ikea and buy a coffee table”.
Liam Ridgewell's goal in Western Finals series opener at Providence Park
“Cup Bound & Crowned is a wonderful trip inside the Timbers universe and a great review of their successful season. Beyond the team, it offers a chance to discover some of the most passionate supporter who have been spreading the love of their club and our sport for 40 years.”
– Michele Segura, Eurosport MLS Editor.
The book was published in January 2016, with the help of writers from the Portland and Seattle bureaus, also with photographers based across most of MLS cities in the US. The preface was written by Jim Serrill, most known as Timber Jim, he lead our book tour through a hectic and marvelous month of events and media attention. I found myself giving interviews, one of them to the local Spanish language KUNPTV, an experience of a lifetime and the best way to start a year. (see the interview here http://kunptv.com/news/local/sale-a-la-venta-libro-cup-bound-crowned)
We were hosted at Powell’s City of Books, after we launched our book, we had hit the top slot of the best seller list, relegating Harry Potter to the second place on local sales, I was heard saying, "Hey Porter, our magic is real".
At our official launch event, I got to talk to our audience from the same pulpit I had listened authors talk dozens of times. “You are a published author now”, our editor said, I have to admit it haven’t downed on me yet.
Cup Bound and Crowned, can be found in Powells, also at the Timbers FC store at Providence Park, and in a few Pubs and restaurants, Gilda’s, Kells Irish Pub, and Bazi Bierbrazzerie. It can also be purchased online at www.prostamerika.com
Now deep in the 2016 campaign, is time to “etch scketch” and start over with new lessons learned and just like the team, aim as high as the stars we added to the kit.
Diego G Diaz
Photojournalist, Professional Photographer