When the Seattle Sounders face off against the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field on May 27, it will be the 98th meeting between the sides since they first met at Civic Stadium as members of the North American Soccer League in Portland on May 2, 1975. That’s a lot of time for history to be made and for bad blood to brew.
This is a rivalry rife with historic moments and stories that have all fed into making it what it is. Leading up to this year’s inaugural 2017 clash between the sides at CenturyLink, Sounders Monthly caught up with a few figures that are most familiar with the rivalry to dish on their favorite moments, scenes and memories. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL EDITION.
One of Head Coach Brian Schmetzer’s favorite moments from the rivalry actually took place in a coffee shop, another anecdote from the USL days. In those days, the team would bus to Portland on game day and would frequently stop at a Starbucks located just outside of what is now Providence Park.
On this day, Schmetzer and a few of the other members of the Sounders coaching staff went into that Starbucks to grab coffee before the game. It was then that he had an interaction with a Timbers fan that happened to be passing by that he'll never forget.
Schmetzer: So, I’m sitting there at this Starbucks with [Darren] Sawatsky, Tommy Dutra and some of the other USL guys. And as I’m sitting there, I make eye contact with this Timbers fan that’s walking down the street. We lock eyes and he’s walking by me and we’re still looking at each other. I kind of turn my head and I follow him and he literally takes like 10 or 12 steps past where I was sitting and you could tell he’s consciously thinking about what he’s just seen. You could see his mind working.
So, he stops and then he turns around walks back up the hill, looks up at me and flips me off. Double bird. He’s going, ‘F--- you’ because he realized, ‘Hey, that’s the Sounders coaching staff in that Starbucks.’ He flips me off and then he just turns and walks away down the street. I actually enjoy that story because, you know, okay, you can criticize Portland and the Timbers Army or whatever. But it’s not like they’re not passionate. So, I actually I appreciated it in some weird strange way.
Tommy Dutra (Sounders goalkeeping coach): That was definitely gasoline [for the rivalry] for me, just how much they hated seeing us at that Starbucks. The funny thing about that is my wife was actually in that same Starbucks like three hours later. And they saw her Sounders scarf and they were just letting her have it for wearing that scarf. Which is funny because she’s actually from Portland.