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Singing ‘Jingle Bells’ in Portland is becoming its own tradition

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Sounders have now gotten to sing their road-win song on three straight regular-season trips to Portland.

Just as they had done in their previous two regular-season trips to Portland, the Seattle Sounders emerged from their visit to the Rose City victorious on Sunday. Not only was this the first time Sounders have ever won three straight on the road against the Timbers, the 3-0 scoreline was tied for their biggest margin of victory over their biggest rivals and their most lopsided win ever in Portland during the MLS era.

As is a tradition that dates back to the USL days, the Sounders commemorated their win by singing “Jingle Bells.”

Prior to this winning streak, that song had gone nearly extinct in Portland. The Sounders had gone winless in their previous five trips to Portland — dating back to 2014 — and were just 2-6-3 there in the regular-season all-time.

Although the stakes in this game were inarguably not quite as high as those previous two wins — those were much later in the season and directly impacted the Sounders’ playoff chances — this one was still plenty satisfying. The Sounders came into the game having not played a competitive match in almost a month after getting ignominiously bounced from the MLS is Back Tournament that was eventually won by the Timbers.

As Brian Schmetzer said afterward, “I just needed them to know they could play well.”

Playing in Portland was apparently just what they needed.