When the full time whistle is blown at CenturyLink Field between Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers, Seattle vs. Portland heads a couple miles north, with Memorial Stadium the site of the nightcap as Seattle Reign FC takes on Portland Thorns FC. Supporters of both teams, from both cities, will be doing the double this Saturday because the rivalry between the two cities means that much.
But what does it mean to Seattle Reign FC players? Lauren Barnes, Nahomi Kawasumi, and Beverly Yanez have experienced plenty of highs and lows when facing their rivals in red. They have penned small open letters to you, Seattle supporters, about what the rivalry means to them and why they need you in the stands on Saturday night.
Lauren Barnes / Defender / #3
Ever since our first meeting back in 2013 it has always been more than just a competition; it became the biggest rivalry in the NWSL. It became a way of life. An absolute. I knew I would always identify as a Seattle Reign from that point on. That’s what Seattle versus Portland means to me — legacy, history, and loyalty.
To help continue the Reign legacy and make this one of the best rivalries — we need you, Seattle, in the stands for the game to continue to build a tradition in this city. You are the most important part to the team because you are the reason we as players get to play this beautiful game. We need everyone's support to defeat Portland!
Nahomi Kawasumi / Forward / #9
Every match is always special, but this match is extra special because we are cross-town rivals.
When there are more fans in the crowd supporting us, I get more energy to continue doing my best. Having the players, staff, and fans cheering loud in the stands make it a fun environment for the players!
We are excited for every match, but this game brings extra excitement. We are looking forward to it!
P.S. I hope Seattle wins every game! :)))
Beverly Yanez / Forward / #17
When we play Portland, it is always an intense match. Every game is very important and the PNW rivalry adds some extra excitement.
Our fans are so great and so loud that it adds so much to the match. Since the match isn’t too far, many Portland fans usually travel and are very loud. The environment is so intense, adding a lot to the PNW rivalry match. Really fuels you as a player! We are looking so forward to the match, as we do every match, every week!
So what are you waiting for Seattle? After the Sounders start the bonfire in the afternoon at CenturyLink Field, get up to Memorial Stadium and give your energy and your passion to the Reign so that bonfire keeps burning brightly, well into Saturday night.
It’s time to beat Portland.