The first so-called Rivalry Week has begun in MLS with DC United visiting New York. Other games scheduled over the weekend pair Toronto at Montreal, New England at Philadelphia, Chicago at Kansas City, San Jose at Columbus, Colorado at Real Salt Lake, Houston at Dallas, and Chivas USA at Los Angeles … and, of course, Portland at Seattle at 5:20 today on NBCSN.
Seattle-Portland in particular and the Cascadia Cup in general certainly are the best rivalries in MLS. But some of those others are very good (Toronto-Montreal, LA-Chivas, Colorado-RSL), Houston-Dallas) others less so (New England-Philly) and San Jose Columbus really isn’t a rivalry at all.
One Sounder who has been involved in several of these games is defender Marc Burch, so I talked to him this week about a few of them.
On Columbus-SJ: I can’t see that being a real rival. I have no idea. I would think maybe Chicago would be a little bit closer as a rivalry. Maybe there were just a lot of teams.
On DC-New York: It’s a good rivalry: being able to take the train up. They usually take a couple of buses from DC to New York. It’s always a good game. No matter what, it’s always been a battle. One year they got us 4-0 there, and we beat them like 3-0 at their place. It’s back-and-forth all the time … and I’m rooting for New York.
On LA-Chivas SuperClassico: I didn’t play, but I got to witness it. It’s pretty cool. It’s fun. Hopefully Chivas has the support that they did when I was there. It would be a good rivalry. These games are always important. You know where you stand when you take on a team that wants to beat you that bad.
On Sounders-Timbers being the best: By far. You feel it in the city, you feel it in the fans, and you feel it in the team and the coaches’ passion about it. You feel this a lot more. They’re not always talking about it in other cities, but here everybody’s talking about the big game coming up on Saturday.