Editor's note: This article originally ran on May 27, 2017.
TUKWILA, Wash.—To say that Brad Evans has been a part of a few Seattle-Portland rivalry matchups in his career would be an understatement.
The 32-year-old veteran has been a member of the Sounders since their 2009 expansion season, affording him a firsthand look as the Cascadia Cup rivalry between the sides developed into what many consider to be the top derby in MLS.
As his team gets set to take on at Providence Park on Sunday (10 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes; TSN2), take a look back at MLSsoccer.com's interview with Evans ahead of the teams' first meeting in May, where the veteran defender shared what he considers to be his top three moments from his time as a member of the Sounders-Timbers rivalry.
The first one that came to mind, he said, actually occurred during the first MLS matchup between the sides at Providence Park.
July 10, 2011 — Alonso’s celebration
This fixture might not get brought up as frequently as some of the other classic matchups the rivalry has yielded. But maybe it should. The game featured a little bit of everything, including two separate equalizers from former Sounders great Fredy Montero, a red card to Portland’s Eric Brunner after a flying kick foul in the box on Lamar Neagle, and Osvaldo Alonso’s subsequent game-winning PK that paced the Sounders to a 3-2 victory.
The most memorable part, according to Evans? Alonso’s celebratory jig in front of the Sounders’ traveling supporters after converting the penalty.
“After Ozzie hit the PK, he goes over and he does his celebration in front of the fans,” Evans said. “That was awesome.”
April 5, 2014 — Dempsey makes miracles
Clint Dempsey has a well-established reputation for loving the spotlight the Portland rivalry provides, as evidenced by his eight goals in seven career games against the Timbers. This might just be the place where that all started.
Kenny Cooper scored the game’s first goal for Seattle in just the third minute that afternoon, but the Sounders found themselves in a 2-1 hole after conceding goals to Portland’s Diego Chara and Diego Valeri. Dempsey would equalize in the 24th minute, but Seattle looked to be headed for a 4-2 defeat after conceding two more to Chara and Maxi Urruti.
Deuce came to the rescue again, however, cutting the deficit to 4-3 with an 85th-minute goal before dramatically salvaging the draw with a converted penalty kick drawn by erstwhile Sounder DeAndre Yedlin in the game’s waning moments.
“The comeback away from the home, that made that one special,” said Evans. “Little accomplishments. Knowing you can come back from a deficit like that is obviously an accomplishment in itself, but to do it in somebody else’s territory, hostile environment during a rivalry game? Just a nice cherry on top.”
July 1, 2009 — Levesque’s 48 seconds
When discussing the most iconic moments in the scope of the rivalry, this 2009 tally from Roger Levesque gets brought up so much that it probably sounds like a broken record. But that’s because you could make a solid argument that, to this point, it’s the most memorable goal in Sounders franchise history.
In their first season in MLS, the Sounders traveled down to what was then known as PGE Park for a third-round U.S. Open Cup matchup against the Timbers, who were still members of the USL at the time. Just 48 seconds into the game, Levesque finished a diving header off a cross from Sanna Nyassi.
Levesque then performed a choreographed tree chop celebration with teammate Nate Jaqua, who – using his arms to mime an axe – “chopped” Levesque down and sent him sprawling to the PGE Park turf. The move sent Seattle’s traveling supporters into a frenzy and forever cemented Levesque’s place in franchise lore, meaning it should come as no surprise that Evans picked it as his No. 1 most memorable moment from the derby.
“It was right as their introduction into MLS was soon to follow,” Evans said. “To go down there and show that we were a step ahead at that point was awesome.
“But I also think Roger stands out. He’s a classic villain in the rivalry who seemed to always score goals against them. Him scoring goals and that celebration was something else. I think that’s why it stands out so much in people’s minds.”