The Seattle Sounders have faced rivals from north and south over the 37 years since the original side began playing back in 1974.
The rivalry with the Portland Timbers seemed to get momentum not in the NASL days, but rather more recently in the United Soccer Leagues era. Now the clubs will meet on the pitch and exchange chants in the stands in Major League Soccer starting this season.
With the Cascadia Summit pre-season match between the two coming up on Friday at Starfire (sold out, streamed on www.SoundersFC.com), now seems like a perfect time to open up the www.GOALSeattle.com archives and look at the battle as it happened in the 2000’s.
You only need to search “Sounders Timbers” on YouTube to come up with a nice selection of fan videos from both sides. Being from the Rave Green side of the border I naturally have embedded a video of Sounders success over PDX in the playoffs, at left. Ah, good times.
The photos in the gallery are from 2006, 2007 and 2008. They show the derby as it is, raw on the pitch, and nearly bursting in the stands.
Some Seattle fans are not interested
“I know I’m likely in the minority in this, at least among more active fans of the Sounders, and it’s likely to be a controversial opinion, but I really don’t feel any sort of rivalry with the Timbers and I’m not sure why I’d even want to.”
So begins a recent editorial by Sidereal over at SounderatHeart.com.
What good does hyping this ‘rivalry’ do for the Sounders? Drive up attendance? We sell out every game anyway. Fill every message board thread with trolls who think ‘Portscum’ and ‘Seaturd’ are original and brilliant? No thanks. There’s no upside. This is all to Portland’s benefit and I’m not sure why any Sounders fan would bother. They’re the Espanyol of this ‘rivalry’. It benefits only them, while it serves as nothing more than a distraction to the Sounders.
Seattle Times feature draws criticism
Such is the nature of Seattle-Portland that when the Times this week featured a giant full-color photo of Portland supporters in this story, the comments section was not amused.
“Too bad you missed some of the TImbers Army’s greatest hits, like the sign with a shotgun saying “Keller Do A Cobain” at the ’09 and ’10 cup matches (as well as for the ’09 Chicago match) or the geniuses who were throwing flares under vehicles during the USL days,” said one comment.
Today the times features the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Hanauer will be watching the pitch…and the stands
Seattle Sounders FC General Manager Adrian Hanauer talked with Joshua Mayers of the Times about the Cascadia Summit. See the full text here.
Hanauer says he approaches the weekend with hope, and with an eye on the stands. “Absolutely. Yeah. I think it’d be naive… Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, clearly a supercharged atmosphere, but I think even before that rivalry kicks off, the league and our teams have made supporter security, culture, interaction a priority. I think this just ramps up the level of prioritization.”