Warning : No stats or data analysis in this post :-)
In a weekend filled with great derbies and ‘super-clásicos’ I was lucky enough to watch the “Cascadia Derby”, live. I rarely missed a Sounders home game in the past year or so. This one was special, my first taste of Seattle – Portland. People often ask me what is the atmosphere like at a football game in the US and how does it compare to the best in Europe. I would say Seattle Sounders provide the best atmosphere in MLS with an average crowd of roughly 38000 per game (MLS average is closer to 20,000). And this game had by far the best atmosphere ever at the CenturyLink field.
Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers.
The 67K CenturyLink stadium was a sellout. It was a gorgeous and sunny day in Seattle
Official announced attendance : 66,452. And it was noisy. About 3K-4K Timbers fans made the ~200 mile trip up north to the Emerald City. Although these teams have joined the MLS recently, the rivalry is much older when the two clubs were in the lower divisions of US soccer.
Portland had nothing to play for except for the Cascadia Cup. Seattle had clinched a spot in the playoffs. However, they need points to get a better seeding in the playoffs. More on MLS Playoffs
The stadium started filling up around 5:30p. By 6p, it was almost full. Here are a couple of spectacular panorama shots taken by Sarah Rudd.
The Tifo being unveiled by the supporter groups
The atmosphere was electric and buzzing (a lot more than usual). Former player and fan favorite Roger Levesque was felicitated in the pre-game. Later he sent the crowd berserk with his rousing introduction to the Sounders’ starting line-up.
The game started at a very high pace with Portland pinning Seattle in its own half in the early minutes. However, Seattle took control of the game gradually and around the 25th minute they scored via an own goal. A few minutes later Eddie Johnson made it 2-0 finishing off a great through ball from Brad Evans. More of the same in the 2nd half with Freddy Montero making it 3-0. The quality of the football wasnt the greatest but rivalry & derby games are much more than that. ,
It was an #epic result that takes the Sounders past LA Galaxy into 3rd place with a game in hand. Latest MLS standings
In terms of the Cascadia Cup, if Vancouver Whitecaps get a result at home vs. Portland next week, Seattle would retain the Cup.