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Sounders face crucial game against Portland

Seattle Sounders interim coach Brian Schmetzer. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Seattle Sounders interim coach Brian Schmetzer. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
By Matt Pentz Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Interim Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer has taken part in the Seattle-Portland rivalry as a player and a coach.

But try as he might, Schmetzer could not recall a bigger Sounders-Timbers regular-season game than the one that will take place on Sunday at Portland’s Providence Park.

There was the Western Conference semifinal series edged by the Timbers back in 2013, but that was another beast altogether. There was Clint Dempsey’s home Sounders debut earlier that year, when more than 67,000 packed into CenturyLink Field to watch the hosts win 1-0.

“That was a big game. 67,000 – that’s massive. But as far as importance in the standings is concerned, to my knowledge and my recollection, yeah,” Schmetzer said. “We’re nipping at their heels, with a game in hand. It’s two rivals. There’s a lot to that.”

The rivals are separated in the conference standings by just a single point.

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