courtesy of Emerald City Supporters
When I first got into the sport of soccer the most appealing about the sport is still what is most appealing about it to me today: The hatred factor.
I remember watching the United States epic victory over the Mexican national team in the 2002 World Cup that saw frustrations boil over late in the match with Rafa Marquez’s red card.
I remember the United States’ gritty and ugly draw against an Italian side known for their dirty tactics and overly physical play.
And when I jumped on the soccer bandwagon full time going into 2009 it was a match against the Mexicans again in 2009 in which a Mexican collission into Tim Howard resulted in a red card and a hampered goalkeeper manning it out for another 2 nil U.S. victory.
But then there’s the club level hatred. The world over rivalries or ‘Derbies'(intra-city/region matches) are renowned. Real Madrid/Barcelona. Machester City/Manchester United. AC Milan/Inter Milan.
Here’s one everybody in Seattle, soccer fans or not, can get their heads around.
I don’t care what it is. Basketball, college football, pumping your own gas vs. having an attendant, hell even beer. Washington and Oregon are natural rivals, in everything. We’re regionally secluded from the rest of the nation, and nobody understands this but us.
The departure of the Seattle Supersonics has left a rivalry void for a lot of Seattle fans, and the fact that Portland folks constantly mock us about it is even more reason to get behind an I-5 rivalry rebirth at the MLS level.
It’s old fashioned hatred at it’s finest. Classy, yet real.
It was only two years ago in which Portland supporters showed a tifo in which their mascot, Timber Jim, chopped down the Space Needle.
Roger Levesque responded by scoring a goal only a minute later.
Needless to say, we one upped them. With a tifo that has since gone viral, around the world.
This is a rivlary in which there is no love lost between players and supporters alike. Qwest Field security took every utmost precaution to make sure Portland supporters made it to their seats without incident.
Timbers are likely to do the same when the Sounders make the return trip this Sunday.
For those in Seattle who are so reluctant to jump on the Sounders wagon because of their inner hatred of soccer, this boring, un-American, useless sport; Think about your city.
For us, as supporters, this derby is every much about our region, our city, that we are so proud to be from and be a part of, as it is about the clubs themselves.
So if hatred of that step brother state to the south isn’t enough, maybe the superiority of the Emerald City is enough to jump on the wagon for the match Sunday.