Seattle, WA – Major League Soccer fans will get their first taste of Cascadia Cup action on Saturday when the famed rivalry renews for the new season as Seattle Sounders FC welcomes the Portland Timbers to CenturyLink Field.
Both teams are winless to this point in the campaign, though Seattle has only played one match. The Sounders were left stunned on the opening weekend of the season when the Montreal Impact picked up 1-0 win.
But since then, Seattle has managed to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League with a rare win over a Mexican club, defeating Tigres 3-2 on aggregate.
After the Sounders dropped the first leg 1-0 and conceded the opening goal in the return match, the Emerald City club opened up play and advanced behind goals from DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore and Eddie Johnson.
"I wasn't too happy with how we played in the first half," said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid. "I wasn't too happy with some individual efforts which we sort of identified very directly. But we also said 'this was how we're going to play in the second half. This is what I need.' I think you saw Steve Zakuani step up in the second half. Obviously DeAndre stepped up. 'Three goals is very possible. Three goals is not impossible. We can score three goals, let's go do it.'"
Portland, meanwhile, is still looking for its first victory under Caleb Porter, who assumed the managerial reins during the offseason.
There have been some strong displays under Porter so far this season, but the results have not been consistent with the run of play.
The Timbers opened the season with a 3-3 draw with Red Bull New York, an impressive result given the fact that Porter's men found themselves down 3-1 at halftime.
Even Portland's 2-1 loss to Montreal last weekend is a misleading result given the manner in which the Timbers dictated play.
"It's not surprising we had as much of the ball as we did, we knew that would be the case," Porter said. "I'm surprised we had  shots and only had one goal. And I'm disappointed we gave up two goals on [nine] shots. I'm disappointed they hit us basically the two ways we prepared for them to hit us. And we didn't do a good enough job in managing those two things."
Portland has leaked five goals in its two matches this season, which certainly doesn't bode well as the Timbers prepare to take on a Sounders side that bolstered its attack with the signing of Obafemi Martins on Friday. Schmid confirmed that the 28-year-old will be available for selection.