Sports & Outdoors

The battle of I5

The “Battle of I-5” is a common reference to a few sports rivalries on the West Coast but none is more intense than the rivalry between the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders.

For those who are not familiar with the “Battle of I-5,” it received its name, as both Seattle and Portland are major stops on the Interstate-5 freeway.

Of all the rivalries along the freeway down the years, none has lasted longer than the one between the Sounders and the Timbers. The rivalry currently spans four different soccer leagues from the North American Soccer League of the 1970s to the current rivalry in Major League Soccer.

Currently Seattle holds the edge in the 40-year rivalry, boasting 46 wins in the 88 games that the teams have played so far.

Famously stoking the rivalry was the Timbers billboard stunt the year before they would enter Major League Soccer in 2011. During an MLS match between the Sounders and the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 9, 2010, a billboard was erected next to the home stadium of the Sounders that sported the Timbers crest and read, “Portland, Ore. Soccer City, USA, 2011.” To date, the Sounders have not defeated the Timbers in MLS playoff football. The only time the two teams met in the playoffs was the conference semi-finals in 2013. Portland took the series with a 2-1 at Seattle in the first leg and a 3-2 win at home.

Most Puget Sound students have already chosen a side in the rivalry and there will be many great games to come in the “Battle of I-5.” The two teams have not yet played in the current MLS season, but their first match takes place just an hour north of campus at Century Link Field in downtown Seattle on April 26. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.