The End of an Era (For Now or Forever?)
It's over. Dunzo. Outta here like last year. And to put it in the most eloquent way I can think of...it totally sucks. The oldest existent soccer rivalry in the country has gone the way of the dodo and even though I'm not a supporter of either club --at least not officially, but I do have my preferences-- I have to say I'm kinda bummed for a few different reasons.
Aside from the void that the disappearance of this semi-annual display of passion and vitriol from the fans creates in the American soccersphere, I still wonder how Seattle's defection to the bigs will affect Portland, their other close rival Vancouver and USL 1 as a whole. Seattle's leap may not hurt them so much right now, but if Portland or Vancouver are on the money with their expansion bids I wonder how long the last man will stand alone in northwest with the nearest rival being Minnesota or the expansion Austin Aztex.
Jakob Anthony (who contributes to the quite nice Unprofessional Foul blog) has put together a nice eulogy on the northwest rivalry for Goal.com. It's a great recap of the game which had over 12K in attendance --probably about the same amount that will show for the DC-RBNY grudge match this weekend in NY--, the history and the potential future of this epic beef. He also drops a nice little bomb that I wasn't aware of: Portland's incoming mayor is a former Timbers Army member.