Futty Danso, USL Timbers vs. Sounders, 6.30.10
Photo by Michael Stringfield

Five Moments in Portland-Seattle Cascadia History: 2010 U.S. Open Cup Match

Editor's Note: With the Portland Timbers hosting the Seattle Sounders at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday in a Cascadia Cup clash (Presented by PGE; 2:00pm PT, ESPN750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940), we're taking a look throughout the week at some of the memorable moments that have occured over the near 40-year history of the Portland-Seattle soccer rivalry. 

Moment #3: Timbers and Sounders in heated U.S. Open Cup match ends with Seattle win

On June 30, 2010, the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC met for the final time before both were a part of Major League Soccer.

On that date, the two long-time rivals played a memorable match at then-PGE Park in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Seattle—in their second season in MLS—and Portland—in their final season in the USL/USSF Division 2 league—played to a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time, only to have the Sounders advance in the tournament after winning 4-3 on penalty kicks.

“That was the game when I realized how big this rivalry is,” said Timbers defender Futty Danso, who played in the thrilling Cup match.

WATCH: Portland-Seattle USOC Highlights, 2010

“I had played against Seattle before that, but the atmosphere of that game was bigger than what I was expecting.”

After Seattle took an early 1-0 lead in the 13th minute off a header by forward Nate Jaqua, Timbers forward Bright Dike equalized in the 38th minute. His slow-roller from near the penalty spot got past the extended fingertips of Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The 1-1 score would remain through regulation as well as 30 minutes of overtime.

The penalty kick shootout wasn’t short of drama, either. Timbers forward Ryan Pore missed the first penalty kick of the shootout though Doug DeMartin converted on the second. Next up was Danso.

Danso calmly converted his spot kick for Portland and then followed it up with a memorable and impromptu “shuffle” in his celebration. After putting one past Keller, Danso casually held out his arms and then emphatically pumped his fists. Play-by-play man Rich Burk described the movement saying, "Futty holds his hands out, palms upwards as if to say, 'Nothing to it.'"

“Kasey [Keller], he was a really nice guy,” Danso explained.

“When I first talked to him, I told him my name was Mamadou, and he was like ‘Oh, Big Mama,’ and he started calling me Big Mama.”

“So before I took the PK, he was like, ‘Come on Big Mama, I know where you’re going.’ So after I kicked the PK, I raised my hands and was like, ‘I thought you knew where I was going!’”

After three straight Sounders conversions, Portland’s Ross Smith had his attempt saved by Keller. With a chance to win it, Seattle’s Patrick Ianni’s shot pinged off the crossbar. However, Seattle defender Zach Scott scored the winner shortly thereafter to seal the win for the Sounders.

Though the Timbers lost the closely contested match against Seattle, the game marked a transition point in the Portland-Seattle rivalry. The Timbers were to be an MLS team the following year and the rivalry was going to take on yet another development.

“When it was announced that Portland was going to have an MLS team, the first thing everybody started talking about was the Seattle-Portland rivalry coming into it,” Danso said.

“[Back then], we were in the USL playing, but when we played Seattle, the atmosphere was always like MLS teams playing each other. Like a Cup final.”