Former Seattle Sounders head coach and club ambassador Alan Hinton is asking Sounders fans to do the unthinkable this weekend.
He wants them to root for the Portland Timbers.
Hinton said this week in an interview with Prost Amerika that a Timbers win over Columbus Crew SC in the MLS Cup on Sunday will only enhance the rivalry between Seattle and Portland, and could lead to more important matches and larger crowds when the Cascadia clubs meet again in 2016.
“I know a lot of Sounders fans are not happy and a lot of Sounders fans won’t even watch the game,” Hinton said. “I’m urging them to do that, because the rivalry between the Sounders and Portland … will be even stronger if Portland win the Cup.
“So next year, when Portland come to Seattle, you’ll see even bigger crowds, probably selling out 65,000.”
Hinton praised the Timbers for their run through the postseason and the first MLS Cup appearance in franchise history, but stopped short of an MLS Cup prediction, instead reasserting the benefits of the Sounders’ biggest rival winning the league’s ultimate prize.
Said Hinton: “It’s better for the Sounders if Portland wins.”