• Brent Diskin

Build a bonfire—Seattle is atop the minds of Timberland. The crown jewel of North American soccer rivalries kicks off at 5 p.m. today with the first salvo in a heated rivalry renewed for the 80th time. It's derby day in Cascadia. Let's go to press!

Cast those road-weary woes asunder, comrades. The Timbers have certainly stalled along their fair share of MLS journeys, but this new-look bunch is optimistic they can kick-start the season with three points away at the arch-rivals.

Portland and Seattle? Yeah, hate's the right word.

The attack looks fine and all, but...Portland needs to show improvement in an aspect of the game that hasn't exactly been the Timbers' calling card this young season. This guy knows what I'm talkin' about.

Will Seattle fall into a little lull after a big win over Mexican side Tigres on Tuesday? The Timbers shouldn't count on it, even if Sounders coach Sigi Schmid says it's only human nature for his team to let up a touch today.

Caleb Porter knows plenty about DeAndre Yedlin, and not just because the 19-year-old has been one of Seattle's best in the early going. Porter coached the Seattle native at Akron, along with midfielder Steve Zakuani, who described Portland's new coach as intense, headstrong, and a little chatty: “He would never, ever change his style. Never, ever. He believes in it so much. (In December 2011), a few of us were back at his house—we went to see him for a bit—and he spoke for three hours on his soccer philosophy, and he just wouldn’t stop. He’ll never change that style."

Portland looks more dangerous than last year, says Seattle supporters blog Sounders at Heart, which, in related news, sounds scared.

Trademark-up! MLS' offseason attempt to put a stamp on the Cascadia Cup is the silver elephant in the stadium this evening. After an offseason of lawyering up and careful conversation, Paul Kennedy of Soccer America says the whole issue boils down to trust: "It's an important test of how MLS handles the delicate balance of protecting its 'corporate' interests and nurturing the independent or alternative soccer culture that thrives in the Northwest."

Hey, nice timing there. Newly signed Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins' first match as a Sounder could be today.

How's your Caleb Porter impression coming along? Impress your friends by reading aloud from the transcripts of his Thursday media teleconference! You're welcome.

Need more time to get into the groove of the season? Not feeling so jacked about this one? Still getting adjusted to daylight savings? You're officially out of excuses.

I'll just leave this article about former Sounder Roger Levesque right here.

Know thy enemy. 5mTKO offers its weekly assessment of opponents' shortcomings, and it certainly lives up to the billing during rivalry week. You'll be bule if you miss it.

They'd much rather have six points, but after Donovan Ricketts won MLS Save of the Week 2 following Diego Valeri's Goal of the Week 1, Portland is atop of the table in online poll victories.

And speaking of Valeri, find out more about the Timbers' new Argentinian star in this profile. I don't care for the writer, but the psychedelic illustration of Valeri pretty much rules.