The fourth round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup gets underway tonight and that means the introduction of all 17 US-based MLS sides to the competition.
The fierce rivals play in the final game of the night on Tuesday at 22:30 ET (03:30 BST) and Seattle will be hoping to call on recent history as they kick off their campaign in defence of the competition they won for a fourth time last year.
Portland won’t have to play in front of the deafening CenturyLink audience on Tuesday night but a trip to Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila won’t necessarily mean things are any easier for Caleb Porter’s men.
The Sounders have not lost in any of the last six meetings between the two sides, including an extra-time win against the Timbers in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup last term.
They have already faced off once in MLS this year, with Seattle winning 1-0 at home to make it three in a row against their Northwest rivals.
Portland do come into the game off the back of three straight league wins and will be confident. Porter has admitted there’s no tougher game in the competition at this stage than the one the Timbers face against their Cascadia rivals and reigning champions, but he’s staying positive.
“We got the toughest draw of anybody, but in some ways we like it because we have a chance to knock off the team that won it last year, which would mean we have a really good chance of winning it if that happens. But we certainly have the toughest game of any team.”
– Seattle have won the last three meetings between the two teams.
– The Sounders have not lost to Portland in their last six games in all competitions.
– Seattle boast an impressive 19-0-1 record in competitive matches at the Starfire Stadium since 2005.
Will the Seattle Sounders make it four wins in a row against the Timbers on Tuesday night?