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, ESPN, 750 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 #1: Timbers and Sounders ignite league with first MLS Cascadia rivalry match
With a history that stretches back long before Major League Soccer even existed, the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders have a rivalry that crosses state borders and civic pride. Now with both teams in MLS, the stakes have raised to the next level.
The MLS era of that journey began early in the 2011 season. On May 14, both teams met for the first time in MLS play at a rain-soaked then-Qwest Field with over 36,000 in attendance and a section of Timbers Army supporters making the trek to Seattle.
WATCH: Portland face Sounders in rainy Seattle
“From a club and player standpoint, this was probably the most important game,” said Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins about that night.
“That was probably the most important game for us as an MLS club, it certainly was monumental to go there and draw 1-1.”
Going down a goal in the 52nd minute, Portland found the right opportunity to beat veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller not long after. In the 64th minute, Sal Zizzo made a slicing run with the ball towards the middle only to be tripped up. Captain Jack Jewsbury took the ensuing free kick and he lofted a beautifully placed ball into the box. Though plenty of Sounders defenders swarmed the area, Futty Danso found enough room and position to get his head on the ball and knock it past Keller.
Portland and Seattle would continue to battle in search of a game winner, however in the end, the first Portland-Seattle match up in the MLS era came to a thrilling 1-1 end.
The match was a debut for many more to come and the infectious environment was one that MLS as a league was happy to help spread.
“The whole Cascadia rivalry is what the league wants out of every club,” Perkins explained.
“You’re starting to see little things pop up around the league. That’s what the MLS wants, and they want it right away, and I think we have a great thing here already.”