The Portland Timbers arrived in Seattle last Aug. 21 with the opportunity to put their longtime foe to the sword.
The Brian Schmetzer era had started reasonably well for the Sounders, with two wins from three matches under the then-interim head coach. Still, both the team's standing and confidence was tenuous.
They were still far outside the playoff qualifying places. A home loss to their most bitter rivals could have been the straw that finally broke Seattle's streak of consecutive postseason berths.