Legends are made from exploits when matches matter most. Sometimes that’s the postseason, and sometimes those feats come in the context of a derby.
Leafing back through time, those who have constructed tifo-worthy Seattle careers have largely done so through earnest effort, tenacious battling, artful orchestration and as fearless saviors. But of course, the most golden of moments is when the ball billows the back of the twine, and the crowd goes wild. Glory beyond compare awaits those who score goals, and the bigger the occasion, the more splendid the finish and the more goals, the better.
Here, then, going into Sunday’s match with Portland, are Seattle’s golden boys of Cascadia, era by era, over the past 41 years:
NASL / Sounders, 1974-83
Cascadia goals: Peter Ward (6); John Rowlands (5), David Butler (5), Paul Crossley (5), Mark Peterson (5)
Ward inflicted most of his damage on Portland in 1982, his MVP campaign, felling the Timbers twice in one week with a hat trick and brace. And the last thing the Rose City saw in their NASL era was a Peterson goal beating them at the brink. A year later Peterson was the first to score at B.C. Place. On the flipside, Vancouver’s Peter "Thunderfoot" Lorimer blasted seven in the Sounders’ net and Portland’s big Clyde Best proved a handful (6 in as many matches).
WSL / FC Seattle, 1984-90
Cascadia goals: Bruce Raney (5), Chance Fry (3)
A late Raney goal at BC Place gave the then-amateur side their first-ever win in an '84 friendly with the Whitecaps. He then erupted for the first trick in a 6-1 romp at FC Portland the next season.
A-League/USL / Sounders, 1994-2008
Cascadia goals: Chance Fry (11), Roger Levesque (11); Darren Sawatzky (8), Mark Baena (7), Andrew Gregor (7)
Fry tormented Vancouver keepers for all his 11 (plus another six in the NASL and WSL eras) while Levesque was the bane of Portland’s existence, scoring nine times, including four in the 2004 and ’05 playoffs. Altogether he had five game-winners. Opposite Fry was the 86ers’ legendary homegrown, Domenic Mobilio, 10 times a scorer versus Seattle. Interestingly, Sawatzky, Baena and Gregor all played a spell in the 503. When the Timbers reeled off five straight wins in the series (’03-04), Byron Alvarez was the instigator, scoring five of his seven overall.
MLS / Sounders FC, 2009-2014
Cascadia goals: Fredy Montero (8), Eddie Johnson (7), Clint Dempsey (5), Osvaldo Alonso (4)
Montero may have never opened his postseason account, yet when it came to rivalries he delivered time and again. Some of his most glorious theatrics were saved for the Timbers and Whitecaps. Johnson nearly caught Fredy in his two seasons, and now Dempsey is fast closing on the field following five goals against Portland in 2014. Clearly Alonso’s production spikes in Cascadia, as does Vancouver Kekuta Manneh, who’s conquered the CLink with four goals the past two years.
There you go. Ladies and gentlemen, start your tifos.
Frank MacDonald is a Seattle soccer journalist and historian. This story first appeared on his website and has been republished here with his permission.