Fans of the Portland Timbers face a difficult decision on who to root for in Friday's match between the Seattle Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps. When the two teams face off they will hold the fate of the Supporters' Shield, the Cascadia Cup, and the Timbers' fragile playoff hopes in their hands.
A win for Vancouver gives the Whitecaps back their single point lead over the Timbers in the Western Conference, putting the pressure back on Portland to continue winning and hoping that the 'Caps drop points against the currently abysmal Colorado Rapids or San Jose Earthquakes. A win would also give the Whitecaps the Cascadia Cup.
A win for Seattle keeps the Sounders on pace to win the Supporters' Shield, taking off some of the pressure of their final two matches against the LA Galaxy, who only trail them on tiebreakers. A win for Seattle also gives the Cascadia Cup to the Sounders.
Looking at the two outcomes, the Timbers can only want Vancouver to lose. With a pair of tough matches coming up against Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, two teams that have recently seen their own vulnerability demonstrated with respective losses to Chivas USA and Vancouver, the Timbers will want all of the buffer space that they can get.
For Timbers fans, however, the decision is much less straightforward and it all comes down to A.C.E.S.
Any City Except Seattle.
In the Timbers Army, the A.C.E.S. motto adorns scarves, banners, shirts, buttons, patches, and just about anything else that one could think to put it on. There is a reason that, if the Timbers Army is building a bonfire, Seattle goes on the top.
So, how about it: what matters more this Friday? Are you A.C.E.S. or do those two points currently propping the Timbers above the red line trump everything else?