The playoff race is really heating up in the MLS. On Wednesday night we saw the Houston Dynamo keep their hopes alive by beating fellow contenders Toronto FC 1-0.
Meanwhile Portland beat the already eliminated San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 to move them into the playoff places ahead of Vancouver. They may sit two points clear of the Whitecaps but the Whitecaps have a game in hand, and they play it tonight, away to Seattle. This is where it gets interesting.
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Possibly the fiercest rivalry in the MLS is Portland and Seattle. They are pretty much secluded up in Pacific Northwest and their game in August of 2013 was the second most attended game in MLS history when 67,385 people attended the game at CenturyLink Field.
So, with that being said, and with the way the table is looking, Seattle beating Vancouver tonight would be a huge result for Portland, and Merritt Paulson - the Portland Timbers owner - has acknowledged that by writing a hilarious open letter to his fans:
Chance for Silverware
Seattle have already qualified for the postseason and currently sit at the summit of the Western Conference, but are level on points with the Galaxy.
So, don't expect Clint Dempsey and co to take it easy tonight. They are gunning for a top seed in the playoffs and a chance to win the Supporters Shield. Good news for Portland then. This and the fact that in their last 12 home games, the Sounders have collected 31 points from a possible 36.
This match also marks the final game in the Cascadia Cup - a internal competition between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland - and the Sounders are one point ahead of Vancouver and Portland on eight points. So a win or draw would be enough for Seattle to bring the trophy back home for the first time since 2001 after the Whitecaps won it last season. A win for Vancouver however, would see them retain it.
Seattle may have a great home record this season but their head to head record against Vancouver isn't pretty they have won one in the last five encounters and that was back in June 2013. This game should be a cracker.
Portland fans, tonight is the time to swallow your pride. It won't be easy, but a win benefits both parties.
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