Seattle Sounders v Portland Timbers: A History By Numbers

It’s not easy being Rave Green, as the Seattle Sounders have suffered some historic lows lately.

In the last 21 days: We have lost to Portland twice. We lost 4 league matches, dropping 12 of 15 MLS points. We suffered our worst defeat, ever, to Portland 4-1. Ozzie re-injured himself and hasn’t played a minute. Portland knocked us out of OUR tournament, the USOC. Obafemi Martins broke his face and then his groin, and won’t be back for a long while yet. Darlington Nagbe actually looked talented for once. Clint Dempsey went all Rambo on an overmatched ref’s notebook, losing him money, MLS games, USOC games and his USMNT captaincy. And the Timbers beat us, twice.

Rest easy gentle reader: this too shall pass. But in case you needed some perspective, I compiled some cheery factoids for you.

The major benchmarks for judging an American club team’s success are: League play, the USOC and CONCACAF Champions league. Let’s see how the Sounders and Timbers compare in these major categories.

Open Cup:

  • Open Cup Finals Appearances: Seattle has appeared in the USOC Final 6 times (tied with Bethlehem Steel for the record). Portland? Zilch.
    Open Cup Championships: Seattle has won the tournament 4 times (tied for 2nd behind only Maccabi LA and Bethlehem Steel). Portland? Nada.

League Play:

  • Portland and Seattle’s overall head-to-head record (since 1975 when Portland joined the NASL): 47–32–10, Seattle.
    Portland and Seattle’s head-to-head record in MLS: 6-3-4, Seattle.
  • Average points-per-season (since 2011 when both franchises were in MLS): Seattle’s averaged 58.75 points per season. Portland’s only got 45.5.
  • Seattle is the current Supporters’ Shield champion. Portland has never sniffed that bit of silverware.


  • The NASL Sounders reached the playoffs 8 times and the championship (aka Soccer Bowl) twice. The NASL Timbers made the playoffs only four times, and Soccer Bowl just once.
  • What MLS team has made the playoffs every year of their existence? Seattle, 6 straight years. Portland’s made the playoffs exactly once.
  • Seattle has advanced to the Western Conference Finals twice. Portland has advanced to the Finals once (and got whupped by RSL to an aggregate of 5-2).


  • Seattle has played in 3 CCLs and last season’s success punched their ticket to their fourth.
  • Portland has played in 1 CCL.
  • Seattle didn’t advance from their group in 2010. They advanced to the knockouts in 2011 and the semifinals in 2012, becoming the first MLS team to beat a Liga MX team in a knockout game.
  • Portland didn’t advance from their group in 2014.


Sounders ‘til I die.


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