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Preview: Community Shield, Sounders vs. Timbers

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Today's Inaugural Community Shield match ensures that the Seattle-Portland rivalry will continue its 35-year run in which the two teams played every season they both fielded teams. The rivalry has stretched across three leagues. 

Although it's being billed as a friendly, the 13,000-plus fans who will be in attendance may not feel the same way. The two teams have met 60 times, with the Sounders holding a 34-21-5 advantage, including wins in each of the past two meetings. 

There are reportedly four busloads of Timbers fans making the trip to Seattle. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. with plenty of tickets still available. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Washington State, Seattle SCORES, Soccer Saves and Washington Youth Soccer.

While the match may not have any significance in terms of the standings, it also marks the penultimate preseason game for the Sounders.

There are stil 21 Senior players listed on the Sounders' roster and, if as expected, the roster limit is 20 that means at least one player won't be making the active roster (and that doesn't include Blaise Nkufo, who will join the team after the World Cup).  This listing also does not include David Estrada and the battle for the four Developmental Slots

If the players' rhetoric is to be believed, this may also be the last time Sounders fans have a chance to see their team at home, at least for the foreseeable future.

According to Toronto FC defender Nick Garcia, the federal mediator has failed to bring the sides any closer together on a new CBA. Garcia also said the players will not play under the terms of the old CBA.
"We're anticipating not having the season starting [on time]. As of now, for us, we're very far apart — even with the mediator there in D.C. We're hoping things can get done, but quite frankly I don't think we're confident things will."

Will this be a showcase of the League's future when tens of thousands of fans show up for a preseason friendly between long and bitter rivals, or will it be the last time we see Sounders in their home Rave Green for the forseeable future?