2. The Pacific Northwest Rivalry
What would sports be without rivalries fueled by bitter hatred? Gentlemanly contests of physical and mental strength probably. Lame.
In MLS, where many stadiums are still pock-marked with empty seats, truly nasty rivalries are practically non-existent because regional grudges like New York-Philadelphia or New York-New England play out in more popular sports like football and baseball, where fans pack stadiums. That is, until now.
Known for being a generally civil, respectful region, the Pacific Northwest goes apeshit for soccer (see above). An MLS team since 2009, the Seattle Sounders have had, without question, the strongest home support of any team, raucous sell-out crowds that stand and chant for the full 90. In 2011, equally soccer mad rival cities join the fray as the Portland Timbers (formerly of the United Soccer Leagues Division 1) and Vancouver Whitecaps (formerly of the Division 2 Pro League) make their MLS debuts and show the rest of the U.S. how soccer rivalries are supposed to look.
With the Sonics and superstar Kevin Durant stolen relocated to Oklahoma City, killing the I-5 basketball rivalry between Seattle and the Portland Trailblazers, soccer is now the sport to determine superiority in the Northwest. Superiority of activist bike culture, beard length, and coffee strength will be determined separately.