The beginning of the Seattle-Portland rivalry

This day in football history

On 2 May 1975, the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers played for the first time, starting a rivalry that has spanned over six different leagues.

That first game in the series was Portland’s first game ever. Founded earlier that year, they were starting their inaugural NASL season and opened it by hosting Seattle, who were in their second year in the league. A crowd of 8,131 showed up at Portland’s Civic Stadium for the game and watched Seattle claim the win, 0–1.

But Portland got their revenge by winning their division, then eliminating Seattle in the playoffs en route to the Soccer Bowl, where they finished as runners-up to Tampa Bay.

Since then, the teams have met in the Western Soccer Alliance, the American Professional Soccer League, the A-League, the United Soccer League, and their current home, Major League Soccer. They’ve also played six times in the U.S. Open Cup. Overall, Seattle has the edge with a record of 49 wins, 36 losses, and 10 draws. They’ve been evenly matched lately, with each team winning four of their last nine MLS meetings. They play again on May 27 in Seattle.


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