SEATTLE (AP) — When Portland and Vancouver joined neighboring Seattle in Major League Soccer in 2011, the rivalry tucked away in the Pacific Northwest was deemed the greatest advertisement for the league.
The only thing that could amplify the rivalry would be a playoff meeting between two of the Cascadia squads.
Wish granted. Seattle and Portland will get the center stage when they meet in the Western Conference semifinals starting Saturday night. It's the opener of the two-leg, aggregate-score semifinal with the return game next Thursday night in Portland.
Seattle advanced to the semifinals by beating Colorado 2-0 in the play-in round on Wednesday. Portland has been on a late-season roll, going unbeaten in its final eight regular-season games.