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Portland-Seattle rivalry lives on in tense U.S. Open Cup match

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The Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers rivalry is already good, and it's only going to get better once it hits the Major League Soccer stage.

After a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time, the Sounders escaped the Rose City with a victory (4-3 on penalty kicks) in another dramatic chapter in this NASL-days rivalry.

Wednesday night's game at PGE Park was entertaining, and Portland had the better run of play, though the Sounders started with nine reserves. Sigi Schmid wasn't taking the USSF D-2 squad lightly, though — he did sub in Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani. 

The Sounders played with 10 men for the second period of extra time, but veteran keeper Kasey Keller saved their bacon with two saves in the PK round. 

Here are five thoughts about Wednesday night's U.S. Open Cup match:

  • Portland had better find a way to hang onto forward Bright Dike for MLS next year. The Columbus Crew's first-round pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft caused the Sounders plenty of fits along with scoring a 38th-minute equalizer. He tallied a hat trick in the Timbers' U.S. Open Cup second-round match as well.
  • The Sounders needed a confidence boost in the wake of a bad loss at Philadelphia Sunday. This win helped, but back-to-back matches against the L.A. Galaxy are up next, the second one being in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
  • Portland will need to upgrade at goalkeeper. Steve Cronin has experience, but I don't think he's the answer at the MLS level. He should have saved at least one of the PKs and almost Robert Green'ed a shot during regular time.
  • Good game for Sanna Nyassi of Seattle, for the most part. Also, Nate Jaqua, who played in his second match after battling a long-term injury, scored a confidence building-goal in the 13th minute off a feed from Nyassi. With a healthy Jaqua and the soon-to-arrive Blaise N'Kufo, the Sounders will have depth at forward and more scoring options.
  • This rivalry was good in the NASL days and strong in the USL days. The teams played before big crowds in Portland this year (15,422 Wednesday night) and last. When both teams are in MLS, it has a chance to be the premiere rivalry in the league.


What did you think about Wednesday night's match? Which rivalry do you think is/will be the best in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Here’s a pro tip.

    Date taken 9/18/2005

    Camera: Canon PowerShot SD400

    Serial Number: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX


    If you’re going to steal something then post pictures of yourself with it on the internet you should probably erase the metadata from the image.

  2. Yeah, a lot of air play last night but what I thought was the best part of the match, and it came across really well on FSN, was the atmosphere the supporters created. Well done Portland (and those who made the trip from Seattle)! You guys are going to be a great addition to MLS.

  3. STEAL KASEY! We loved him when he played at UP and now it is really hard to hate him (which is required being that he´s playing for Starbucks)

  4. Are the Timbers going to get new turf or real grass for MLS? That bouncy surface looks like RSL’s old place where it seems they were kicking basketballs.

  5. When you have 7 different types of surface making up 1 “pitch”, you have to play in the air. That ground is a disgrace. Although, it fits the team that calls it home.

  6. ACES members still have petrified wood for brains, but they were pretty impressive last night. 15-16k and the loudest stadium that the Sounders will play in outside of QWest this season.

    Will the Timbers games still be on Fox Sports Northwest next year ? IF so and they put the Whitecap’s games on CBC, Seattle fans will be watching 6 MLS teams every weekend on regular cable.

  7. yes, the ball in the air was difficult to watch but better than watching it bounce on that horrid pitch, that is pathetic, get it fixed portland.

  8. I agree on Portland needing an upgrade at keeper for next year, but I’ll give Cronin a pass on that slight bobble last night, as that shot was an absolute blast and I thought he did well to get in front of it. It was hardly a Green-esque moment.

    Despite being a Timbers fan, it was fun to see Kasey Keller play, and I certainly had an awful feeling when it went to PK’s. I was in the north end right behind the goal during the shoot-out, and Keller just had this absurd level of calm confidence about him. His body language was basically, “Please, this is nothing compared to being at in goal at Highbury with Thierry Henry heading toward me”.

    Totally agree with Advocate’s comment above, in that the ball was in the air the whole damn night. They seriously might have set some sort of American record for number of headers in one game.

  9. I agree … I was watching it streaming from the Timbers website. Ugly game all around, and the Sounders really should have destroyed the Timbers, who are a bunch of MLS rejects.

    Then again, Seattle had guys like Tyson Wahl on the field, who might be one of the worst professional soccer players I’ve ever seen.

  10. I would really like to see the G’s push for the Treble this year. If Donovan stays it could be a possibility. (likelihood of Donovan staying though seems slim, So I guess it will depend on who comes in to replace him.)

  11. I was at the LA-St.Louis match and that match was not too impressive either. Seems like the G’s play down to the D-2 competition. Will be curious to see what squads the Galaxy and Sounders put on the pitch for their quarterfinal match on the 7th.

  12. Have to disagree with Jose here—this was not a very entertaining match in my opinion. It was downright ugly. I can’t recall a single time when more than six passes were strung together by either side. The ball spent more time in the air than it did on the pitch.

    BUT, aside from all that, it was still Sounders – Timbers, and hence—an interesting match that became exciting as time went on toward penalties.

    Good result for Seattle, so I’m happy. Got to keep those Timbers in their place, ya know.

  13. I didn’t see the match. From what I have read, it was a typical Seattle-Portland match.

    Now that MLS has brought all of the Cascadia clubs into the fold, I thinkt that there is a great chance that some of the rivalries that already exist in MLS are going to be eclipsed. The hardcore fans like Timbers Army and Southsiders and ESC (I’m not talking about the “Jonnie come latelies” who just jumped on the bandwagon after the club moved to MLS–it’s going to a real surpise for people who weren’t exposed to USL.

    Portland and Seattle is gonna be wild next year. I really want to see those matches on the tizzzube.


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