The Sunday night clash between Seattle Sounders FC (11-4-2,35pts) and the Portland Timbers (4-9-5,21pts) at Century Link Field is in its purest terms one of the great rivalries in American soccer. The two teams have met 86 times since 1975. The rivalry has spanned several leagues including the USL First Division, A-League, NASL and now Major League Soccer. Wednesday’s 3-1 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal victory by Sounders FC was the latest clash. Seattle holds a 43-31-12 advantage between the bitter rivals.
Sunday night’s clash will be televised on ESPN and the Sounders FC have decided to open up the upper deck seats so a minimum of 55,000 plus fans will be in attendance to witness the epic clash in which USNMT Captain and prodigal son Clint Dempsey makes his return from the World Cup.
Sounders FC have a 9-0-3 all-time record with an attendance of over 40,000. “We know its three points. We know it’s a league game. We know it’s a Cascadia Cup game. We know it’s our rivals,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “Everything is there to play for.” What are at stake for the Sounders FC will be their MLS best five game home winning streak and the seven point lead on the Supports Shield. For Portland the game gives them a shot a redemption. What better way to be a rude guest and ruin a block party of an expected 60,000 plus fans than with a win on your rivals home field.
If Portland is to play the part of rude guest they will need to create more chances for forward Fanendo Adi. The 6-4 Nigerian forward is a game changer if given time and space in the box. “He’s a big body. He uses his height well. He positions himself well. He’s got good pace and he’s got good size,” Schmid said. “He stays up top so it gives them a good focal point. He’s been a good addition for them.” With most of their firepower back on the pitch, Sounders FC will look to Lamar Neagle and Brad Evans to stay close to the touch lines to create space in the midfield for Gonzalo Pineda and either Osvaldo Alonso or Marco Poppa.
overall record 11-4-2 4-5-9
Goals Scored 33 30
Goals Scored Per Game 1.94 1.67
Goals allowed 24 30
Goals allowed Per Game 1.41 1.67
Goal Differential +9 0
Goals 2 players (8) 2 players (6)
assists Martins (6) Valeri (8)
Minutes Frei (1440) Johnson (1619)
Goalkeeper Frei (1.44) Ricketts (1.39)