The Portland Timbers are headed to enemy territory this week, as they face off against Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. While the head-to-head match will be the second time the two clubs have met this season, the rivalry between the Timbers and Sounders always lives up to the hype.
Seattle enters Sunday's game sitting second place in the MLS Western Conference, and will look to cement their spot as one of the top teams in the league with a win over the Timbers. The Timbers, who currently sit four points out of a playoff spot, have an opportunity to climb up the standings with a victory in the Emerald City.
Here's a look at what you need to know about the storied rivalry before Sunday's matchup.
The Timbers-Sounders rivalry is real
The Sounders and Timbers have played in over 100 matches dating back to the 1970s in the now-dormant North America Soccer League. Since the Timbers entered the MLS in 2011, the two teams have met on 23 occasions.
Also, the two clubs have exchanged a lot of beef on social media over the years that you won't want to miss.
So let's get this straight: Ivanschitz and Deuce are on the same team now? #RCTID— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) August 4, 2015
portLLLLand pic.twitter.com/v4xdpqzV1B— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) August 27, 2018
The Timbers beat the Sounders 2-1 in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup on June 12. Timbers forward Brian Fernandez cut inside from the right wing to notch an early shot in the sixth minute. Jeremy Ebobisse found Fernandez once again in 50th minute to give Portland a 2-1 lead, which the Timbers would retain for the victory.
Portland has had a lot of success on the road against Seattle. In their last four competitive matches, the Timbers have two wins, one draw and advanced via penalties in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
One to top off the night!🙌@TimbersFC comes out on top with an absolute thriller against @SoundersFC!💥 Tune in to the Round of 16 draw tomorrow to see the next match-ups!— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) June 13, 2019
FINAL 2-1 POR | #USOC2019
📺 Highlights ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/MG3ehVDx67
Who leads the series?
The Sounders lead the all-time, regular season series between the two clubs, 10-7-6.
Goals on goals on goals
The Timbers and Sounders have a combined 74 goals, and there has never been a scoreless draw in regular season play. In each of the last three matches, Portland has scored multiple goals.
What the Timbers are saying
"We need to continue to get points," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. "We want to continue to look at how to get in the playoff zone. We're getting closer and closer. A win (Thursday) would have put us in a situation right there. So, that's why it's important for us to go (to Seattle) and get points."
“Everybody’s going to rest well, we gotta be ready to face Seattle, you don’t need any extra motivation to play those games.”— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) July 19, 2019
Larrys Mabiala on tonight's performance and going into Seattle on Sunday #RCTID pic.twitter.com/ZTNlo62GiM
What the Sounders are saying
“I want the guys who step on the field to make sure they’re focused on Dortmund because we obviously want to put on a performance,” Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Fans are paying money to watch us play. So, we need to make sure that the group that gets out there is prepared, organized and anxious to play.”
“For us, it’s a good test,” midfielder Jordy Delem said. “It’s good for us to get some minutes to show what we can do and that the coaching staff can trust us. Dortmund is a great team, so the goal is to have fun and, of course, try to win.”