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

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Seattle-Portland Derby: The FC '80's

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. This is entry #3. (See #2 here) (See #1 here). Watch for more this week.

In 1985 Seattle and Portland had teams in what was called the WACS, or "Western Alliance Challenge Series." Read about how that came about here.

FC Seattle and FC Portland played three times in 1985. There was a 0-0 draw, a 2-0 win for Portland and 6-1 win for Seattle.

Seattle changed it's name to the "Seattle Storm" in 1986. Portland finished tied with Seattle for second in table on points but won out on goal differential. The Storm beat FC Portland 2-0 in the Rose City in '86, on a brace from Dennis Gunnell. The Seattle fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with Peter Fewing getting Seattle's score.

FC Seattle Storm and FC Portland played home and away matches in 1987. Seattle finished second in the table and Portland fourth. The rivals split the 1987 series with Portland winning 2-1 and Seattle bouncing back 1-0 in the return fixture.

In 1988 Seattle and Portland again played home and away. The Seattle home match featured a "Seattle Sounders" of the NASL Reunion match. Seattle were better on the scoreboard both times in '88. The Storm won 3-1 in Portland and 3-2 in Seattle.

(Edit: special thanks to SoundersFC.com beat writer Frank MacDonald for sending us many of the results listed above.)

In 1989 FC Portland reclaimed the name "Portland Timbers." Seattle Storm again played Portland home and away. The Timbers swept Seattle 3-2 and 1-0.
Kasey Keller was playing in goal for the Timbers at this time.

In 1990 the Storm and Timbers were part of the APSL.

They met home and away. Here is a PDF file of an autographed match program cover from the Seattle home fixture.

Both Seattle and Portland finished 10-10 in 1990. Portland swept the series that year with 3-0 and 1-0 victories.

These 1980's and early 1990's matches were fun for both cities, but hardly the stuff of great rivalry. The echoes of the NASL were still ringing in the ears of players and supporters.

It was great to play each other and have soccer to support, but both sides could only dream of a time when the rivalry might regain or surpass its previous heights.

The Seattle Storm and Portland Timbers folded after the 1990 season.

Seattle would find it's way back as the "Sounders" just four years later. It would take 7 more years after that before the derby would be reborn, stronger than even before.

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