There is no better way to explain the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers rivalry. There is "a feeling deeper than hate" when these two teams meet three times a year. The players on the pitch, the coaches and the fans all dislike each other so much.
The Sounders entered MLS in 2009 as you all know by now. The success of the Sounders helped kickoff the expansion of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers. HELPED. Just want to make sure you read that correctly. This writer isn't dumb enough to think that the Sounders success spawned the MLS version of the Timbers. It merely helped the process. The Sounders have never missed the playoffs in their six plus years of existence. That being said, they have come up short year after year.
The Timbers entered MLS in 2011 with the Whitecaps and struggled their first two years in the league. Then they brought in a coach by the name of Caleb Porter and he seemed to help turn things around. He and the Timbers took the league by storm in 2013 finishing with a record of 14-5-15 (W-L-T) and first overall in the Western Conference standings. They even knocked the Sounders out of the playoffs in 2013.
Sometimes when these two play each other, it gets a little nasty on the pitch. There have been red cards handed out during this rivalry in MLS play as well as U.S. Open Cup play. To date, the Sounders and Timbers have played 11 matches in MLS regular season play. The Sounders hold a 5-2-4 (W-L-T) edge over the Timbers. In U.S. Open Cup play, the Sounders also hold the edge there with four wins and only one loss. Some will say that the Timbers hold the edge in the most important part of the season, MLS Playoffs. They have only faced off once in the playoffs, the only year the Timbers made it, and Portland holds the advantage 2-0 in the two matches that were played. Overall, the clubs have met 88 times in official competitions and Seattle has won 45 times, Portland has won 31 and there have been 12 draws.
The Timbers missed the playoffs by one point last year. Some supporters may say if they wouldn't have blown a 4-2 lead with five minutes to go in early April last year, they would have made the playoffs. The Sounders won their first ever Supporters' Shield last year, but once again was bounced from the playoffs. Both of these teams have had different levels of success and failure. The Sounders always fail in the playoffs and the Timbers have only succeeded once in making the playoffs.
It is always tough to determine how these games will play out. Throw records and previous games out the window when these two get together. Also hide your women and children and cover their ears. Foul, nasty things will be said on the pitch and in the stands during this one. Will Portland finally be able to beat Seattle at home during the regular season? The road team has only won twice in 11 previous tries not counting playoffs.
This one will be on national TV Sunday night. If you have never witnessed a Seattle-Portland match, now is your chance. It will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm PST. These two teams have good players, great coaches and even better fan bases. Take it from someone knows how loud and annoying the Timbers Army can be. Sadly, their section is too close to yours truly when they come to CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders currently sit at 3-2-1 (W-L-T) with ten points and the Timbers are at 2-3-2 on nine points. A win by either team will give them early bragging rights over the other. This will be Portland's second Cascadia Cup match and Seattle's first. Don't know what the Cascadia Cup is about? If you want to know, follow the link to thecascadiacup.com and it will give you all the information you need.
This is bar none the best rivalry in MLS. Sorry Vancouver, it's just not the same. Sorry Los Angeles-San Jose, D.C United-New York or any other rivalries you will find in MLS. Something isn't right when these two meet each other. Remember, "It's a feeling deeper than hate".