The week of the second Sounders-Timbers match of this Cascadia Cup has begun. Actually, it began Saturday, just minutes after Seattle's 2-1 win over Chivas USA, when coach Sigi Schmid was asked about the coming match in Portland.
"It's a game were looking forward to," Schmid said. "Cascadia Cup is important to us. We felt a little hard done in our last game down there. I didn't think we played real well. The game got away from us as a game, and also emotionally got away from us a little bit, so we're looking forward to going down in front of the Timbers Army and putting on a result. We want to put ourselves in a position to win a Cascadia Cup, but also want to put ourselves in a position to solidify second place. We want three more points. We want to put ourselves in a position where if San Jose falters, we're right there and they know it, and we still have a six-point game against San Jose coming up in two weeks, as well."
Here are some early notes from the club:
The Cascadia Cup rivalry reignites on Saturday afternoon as a surging Sounders FC side visits the Timbers in the 78th all-time meeting between Seattle and Portland soccer teams, dating back to 1975.
The match will be the first MLS game on network television since MLS Cup 2008, and kicks off a series of three regular-season games on NBC in 2012. Saturday's kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. PT at JELD-WEN Field in Portland.
Calling the action for NBC will be Arlo White and Kyle Martino. The match can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM. Sounders FC (13-6-8, 47 points) jumped into sole possession of second in the West with a late win over Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Eddie Johnson scored both of Seattle's goals in the 2-1 win, bringing his season total to a club record 13 goals (fourth in MLS).
Seattle has lost just once (6-1-4) in its past 11 league outings, and extended its home winning streak to four straight. With the third-highest point total in MLS, Sounders FC continues to chase the Supporters' Shield, six points behind leaders San Jose with one head-to-head meeting remaining.
The Rave Green now readies for three games in seven days. The stretch begins in Portland on Saturday, continues in Honduras on Wednesday and wraps up at home against San Jose on September 22.
Seattle will look to extend its four-game (3-0-1) league unbeaten run on Saturday in Portland. The match will be the second of the season between the two rivals as Sounders FC fell, 2-1, on June 24 at JELD-WEN Field.
Portland (7-14-6, 27 points) is bottom of the West with seven matches remaining. The Timbers rattled off the season's first back-to-back wins following a nine-game winless streak, but fell to the Colorado Rapids last week.
The Timbers are currently atop the Cascadia Cup standings with seven points through three games. A win on Saturday would move current Cup-holders Seattle into a first-place tie with Portland. Sounders FC will open the entire stadium for the third and final meeting of the season on October 7.
Following Saturday's game, MLS Reserve League play continues as Seattle visits Portland on Sunday. Kickoff is 2 p.m. PT at JELD-WEN Field. The final reserve game of the season will be against San Jose on Sunday, September 23 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash.
Sounders FC will then fly south to San Pedro Sula, Honduras to take on CD Marathon in the third game of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage on September 19 before returning to Seattle for a home match on September 22 against the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes.