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Timbers issue ‘permission slip’ to root for Sounders

AIK v Portland Timbers - Portland Timbers Tournament

PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 23: Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson looks on after the game against AIK at Jeld-Wen Field on February 23, 2013 in Portland, Oregon. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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As the playoff race continues to rage in the MLS, teams are going to great lengths to earn a ticket to the dance.

Even if it means rooting for your bitter rivals.

That’s exactly what Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson did when the team sent out a “permission slip” for their fans to support the Seattle Sounders this Friday.

[ RELATED: MLS playoff picture breakdown ]

Seattle currently sit atop the Western Conference standings, tied with Los Angeles for the best record in the league. With a playoff berth secured, Seattle’s main goal is to break away from the Galaxy and claim the top seed.

The Sounders take on the Vancouver Whitecaps tomorrow, which can be seen live at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

[RELATED: MLS stats]

With the Whitecaps currently trailing the Timbers by two points and with a game in hand, this match is vital in the Western Conference playoff race.

Although Portland and Seattle are always competing for dominance in the Pacific Northwest, a Sounders win would benefit both squads. Seattle would climb to the top of the table while Portland would keep their hold on the final berth.

However much they may hate the Sounders, Timbers fans will have to swallow their pride and hope for a Obafemi Martins hat-trick.