PORTLAND The Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders face off Sunday in what is sure to be a classic match in one of MLS s most storied rivalries.

A win for Portland on Seattle s home pitch would not only propel the Timbers forward in the Cascadia Cup rankings, it would also reaffirm the signing of midfielder Diego Valeri, who already has 3 assists and a goal since his contract was purchased from Argentine club Lanus on Aug. 6.

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While Timbers fans are proud of their standout midfielder, all eyes will certainly be on the Sounders' newest acquisition, Clint Dempsey.

A franchise-record 67,000 fans are expected to pack into CenturyLink Field to see Dempsey s home debut match, and even the most ardent Timbers fans have to be excited to see one of American soccer s greatest talents compete in the Northwest.

More: Timbers Aug. 25 match at Seattle sells out

Dempsey, the native Texan and captain of the U.S. national team established himself as a legit soccer talent in the English Premier League.

For six years, Dempsey stood out as a top player for west London club Fulham before transferring last season to Tottenham Hotspur.

Sunday s nationally-televised game starts at 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN2.

I can t even imagine what it s going to be like when the whole stadium is completely packed and they are behind us, Dempsey told

Sunday s game is another mile marker in soccer s meteoric rise from relative obscurity in the United Sates and nowhere else can the sport s popularity be appreciated than in the Northwest.

The MLS even posted 14 Reasons Why It s A Great Time To Be A Soccer Fan In The U.S. on Buzzfeed, which prominently features the Timbers, the Sounders and Clint Dempsey.

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