With Seattle set to join Major League Soccer in 2009, the storied rivalry with the Timbers could come to an end Aug. 7 at PGE Park.
That's the date of the last of three regular-season matches between the clubs. Portland and Seattle played each other from 1975 through 1982 in the North American Soccer League; Seattle won that series 13-8. Since Portland joined the United Soccer Leagues in 2001, the Sounders have had a 19-11-4 edge, making the combined result 32-19-4 for Seattle.
This season, the two teams will play first at PGE Park on April 26 (Portland's third of four straight at home to open the campaign). The other Seattle-Portland meeting, and Portland's last scheduled trek to the Sounder turf, comes May 10 at Qwest Field; it will be the Seattle's home opener.
• Each team in the USL First Division will play 30 games, two more than in recent years. The Timbers will face each foe three times. Portland will have two home games against Seattle, Miami, Minnesota, Charleston and Puerto Rico but will have to play twice at Vancouver, Montreal, Rochester, Atlanta and Carolina.
'We have to play three of the top four teams in the league away twice (Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta), which does make it a little bit more difficult,' coach Gavin Wilkinson says. 'It's just a bigger challenge.'
• Wilkinson says he'd like to three or four exhibition games, one in April, at least one in a 15-day league gap in June, and at least one 'somewhere else.'