David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Mr. Sounder" scored first goal against Portland

Who needs teeth when you can score against a rival?
This 1974 photo shows Gabriel (far right) leading the Sounders.

As we count down the days to the Sounders' 2008 home opener at Qwest Field against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, I'll be blogging about moments in the history of the derby. Watch for more this week.

The Sounders and Timbers first met in regular season play on May 2, 1975. It was the first-ever match for the new expansion Timbers. The Sounders had begun life the year before. Only 8,000 fans showed up at Portland's Civic Stadium to see Jimmy Gabriel's converted penalty kick become the match-winner as Seattle held on for a 1-0 away result.

By the end of 1975 it would be Timbers fans celebrating. Portland caught fire and won the division over the second-place Sounders. In the stands Portland also was a sensation, drawing sell-outs the next two times the clubs would meet in the Rose City.

The Timbers edged Seattle 2-1 that July before 27,000 fans with Dave Gillet getting the Sounders' only tally.

On August 2 the Sounders returned the favor with a wild 3-2 victory in overtime before a sellout crowd of 18,000 at Seattle's Memorial Stadium. John Rowlands netted the match-winner.

The real ice-breaker on the rivalry came in the post-season as 31,000 fans packed old Civic Stadium to see Seattle and Portland play their first-ever playoff match of any kind. It went to overtime, naturally, and Rose City fans were thrilled with a 2-1 Portland victory.

The Timbers made it to Soccer Bowl '75 in their first season as a club, but lost 2-0 to Tampa Bay Rowdies in San Jose.

Since then the Timbers have never gone to another final.

The Sounders have been to seven, winning four trophies as league champs.

Read about the 1975 Sounders and the 1975 Timbers.

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