The Seattle vs. Portland soccer rivalry is unparalleled in North American soccer. Ahead of our doubleheader with OL Reign on Saturday (1:30 p.m. PT; FOX, Watch free on Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS), we're breaking down some of the best Sounders vs. Timbers and Reign vs. Thorns matches in recent history:
Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers
4-4 draw at Providence Park
Clint Dempsey was at the center of many rivalry heroics against the Timbers in his time in Rave Green, perhaps none more dramatic than his performance at Providence Park on April 5, 2014.
The USMNT legend was at his finest in this matchup, powering Seattle’s comebacks from deficits of both 2-1 and 4-2 to salvage a miracle 4-4 draw.
Dempsey’s first strike came in the 24th minute via some beautiful combination play with strike-partner Obafemi Martins, which equalized the match after Portland had taken a 2-1 advantage. After the Timbers netted twice to take a 4-2 lead, Dempsey pulled off one of the great individual efforts a Sounders player has ever managed in this Cascadia derby.
It started in the 85th minute when Lamar Neagle whipped in a cross that allowed Dempsey to convert a sliding strike. Just two minutes later, DeAndre Yedlin drew a penalty kick, which Dempsey coolly converted from the spot to deliver a shocking 4-4 draw and stunning the Providence crowd.
Roger Levesque’s opening goal just 48 seconds into Seattle’s third-round US Open Cup match against Portland on July 1, 2009 fostered arguably the most iconic goal celebration in club history, and was a seminal moment in the club’s early MLS era.
Playing in Portland on July 1, 2009 during the club’s debut MLS season, Levesque converted a diving header off an assist from Sanna Nyassi before many Portland fans had even gotten to their seats, spearheading an eventual 2-1 victory.
Levesque’s celebration instantly went down in Sounders lore, as the midfielder sprawled to the turf in a perfectly executed choreographed “tree-chop” with teammate Nate Jaqua. The two had hatched the plan for the celebration on the bus ride down and wound up setting the stage for the first of the club’s four subsequent victorious US Open Cup runs.
Sounders FC & OL Reign Doubleheader
Two rivalry matches against Portland, one ticket. You won't want to miss the biggest PNW soccer event of the year!
It was raining golazos at Providence Park on August 15, 2021, when the Sounders pulled off the most lopsided blowout in the history of this derby.
Fredy Montero started it off with a brace, as the club legend followed up his early opener with a highlight-reel strike from outside the area. After the Timbers fought back to tie it at 2-2, the Sounders simply went off, as Raúl Ruidíaz notched a brace of his own that included a scorching free kick. On night filled with unforgettable goals, left back Jimmy Medranda stole the show with a scorching volley off of João Paulo’s corner kick that eventually won MLS Goal of the Year.
New arrival Nicolas Benezet capped things off with Seattle’s sixth of the match in his club debut, securing a 6-2 scoreline that delivered the traveling supporters a legendary party in the house of their biggest rivals.
OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns
Double-header victory in 2021
This Saturday’s double-header will be the second such occasion on which these clubs have collaborated, with the first coming on August 29, 2021 at Lumen Field. The Reign certainly delivered, taking a 2-1 rivalry victory that gave a glimpse of the type of show the club can put on at their new home venue.
Megan Rapinoe was the star of the show, getting it started in the 16th minute with the opener off an assist from Jess Fishlock, then bagging a 40th-minute penalty kick that was given for a handball.
The Thorns managed to pull one back before halftime, but Rapinoe’s brace delivered the home fans a 2-1 victory to cap off the double-header in style.
5-0 rout in 2014
One of the most lopsided rivalry results OL Reign ever pulled off occurred on July 27, 2014, when the club blitzed the Thorns 5-0 in front of a euphoric crowd at Memorial Stadium.
The onslaught started just three minutes into the contest, when Sydney Leroux tallied the opener with a tough-angled finish. The Reign never looked back from there, as Nahomi Kawasumi doubled the lead just before halftime, setting the stage for an electric second half.
Kawasumi found her brace just three minutes after second-half kickoff. That’s when Rapinoe made her mark on the proceedings, finding the scoresheet just two minutes after entering as a second-half substitute. Kim Little then rounded off the eye-popping 5-0 scoreline with her strike in second-half stoppage time.
Playoff spot clinching win in 2019
OL Reign couldn’t have clinched their postseason spot in sweeter fashion than when they secured a 2-0 victory over the Thorns at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma on September 29, 2019.
Forward Jodie Taylor started it off with a strike off a longball assist from defender Theresa Nielsen, giving the hosts a deserved 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.
In the 81st minute, rookie forward Bethany Balcer put the match to rest with a near-post finish, officially clinching OL Reign’s postseason spot as part of her sterling debut NWSL season.