The Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers meet today in Sodo to renew their rivalry. It’s not just a soccer game, it’s not just a marketing spectacle for the league, it’s an atavistic need to conquer your neighbor. What inspired Genghis Khan, William the Conqueror and Tywin Lannister inspires Sounders-Timbers: crush your enemy before they crush you.
Sorry Yoda, but I gotta disagree.
Bold Prediction: As I said in the podcast, today’s game will be key. Since Porter came to Stumptown and made the Timbers relevant, the series has been on a seesaw. 2013 was all Timbers, 2014 all Sounders. Tonight sets the tenor for the early days of the Porter chapter of the rivalry. The pressure is really on him to beat Seattle and prove 2013 wasn’t a fluke. For Seattle, 2013 was one hiccup in a long and successful campaign of embarrassing Portland. The Sounders just want to keep Portland in their cute but irrelevant corner of the American soccer consciousness.
Tonight is a chance for both teams to significantly shape the narrative. The Sounders win and they’ve ahead a serious distance from Portland (13 pts in 7 GP vs 9 in 8 for PDX). However if the Timbers somehow bumbleclutz their way to a rare W, they’yy be a nose ahead of Seattle (12 in 8 for PDX vs. 10 in 7 for SEA). A draw, Porter’s preferred result, would leave the teams quite close.
As to the actual game? Chad Marshall is a big loss. But Evans and Scott kept a clean sheet against Dallas, and I could see that again tonight. Though the Sounders play tight, someone makes an error. I don’t see Portland shutting down the Deuce and Oba show, as we scored 10 goals against them last season (8 in Portscum!) I said it on the podcast, Seattle wins 2-1. Now I am beginning to think I was being a bit too conservative. As Zach Scott said, “We beat Portland.”