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There are must win games in June

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“We are looking for the next game, so it’s a must win.” Clint Dempsey

MLS: Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan (7) argues with Portland Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco (10) during the first half at CenturyLink Field.
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

“Every game is a final,” Cristian Roldan said after the most recent loss.

It is fitting that the Seattle Sounders declared, in essence, that every game is a must-win game the week prior to facing the Portland Timbers. It is fitting that hope lives or dies with the greatest rivalry in American soccer.

“Every game has to become a final. Every game has to be one where we maximize our chances of getting points,” Brian Schmetzer said after the match.

Schmetzer knows and lives this rivalry. He knows that his Sounders have been the better team than Portland in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2016. That’s all but two seasons when Schmetzer coached the Sounders and the Timbers attempted to be better. In 2017 the Sounders were worse by the number of wins after being tied on points. In 2004 the Timbers dominated the league, a truly unusual circumstance. Schmetzer is 23-15-7 against Portland all-time, all competitions.

“It’s just every game you’re just trying to get as many points as you can. We aren’t looking that far, we are looking for the next game, so it’s a must win. That’s how we are approaching every game,” said Portland’s grandest villain after the match.

Clint Dempsey has dominated Portland to the tune of a 6-2-3, 9 goal and an assist record against the Timbers. He will need to do so again on June 30 at 1:30 PM on FOX immediately following World Cup action. It will be one of the grandest stages with a marketing campaign that started nearly a month ago. It is the type of stage for Deuce to remind the league and the nation exactly who he was, and maybe who he can still be.

There are must win games in June, and July, and August, September and October, at least if the Sounders want there to be must win games in November and December.

Must win games begin with the Cascadia Cup season starting.