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June 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Poll: Would you rather win Sunday in Portland or Tuesday in the Open Cup?

Let’s get this out there right away: When it comes to the question posed in the headline, I know your answer is “both.”

Sounders players, coaches and fans alike are aiming for a win both Sunday in a nationally televised rivalry game in Portland and Tuesday in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Goalkeeper Andrew Weber pointed out as much to me on Twitter.

But with two games in three days, there has to be some consideration at least as to how you play this one out — particularly with lineups. Coach Sigi Schmid wasn’t immediately available after Friday’s practice to address the issue, but did a little bit in Thursday’s conference call:

“We’re going to prepare for the Portland game — we’re going to look at who’s healthy, who’s able to go, who’s prepared to go,” Schmid said. “Then after that game we’ll look at the next one. We sort of look at them as independent things. We’re hoping to get a little healthier, so we’ll see through training in the next couple of days as to whether we can add some guys into our roster of 18 who haven’t been in the 18 for a while, so that’s something we’re looking forward to.”

Player were available after practice, and I asked Jeff Parke which game he would rather win.

“I’d rather win… I mean… They’re both important. I can’t say,” the defender said after thinking aloud. “Going down to Portland, it’s a huge win and it’s important for us and for the fans. But Tuesday is, ‘You lose, you go home.’ It’s important that we win that.”

“Nah, I’m not going to answer that,” he conceded with a smile.

Roger Levesque was asked if Portland away was the less important match coming up and said: “Absolutely not. This team’s always done a great job of focusing on the task at hand and it’s always that next game. So go down to Portland and all our focus and all our energy will be on the rivalry game. Once the whistle blows, we’ll have a chance to decompress a little bit. That recovery period starts right away to get ready for Tuesday.”

And which game would Zach Scott prefer to win?

“If you had to choose, I would definitely say Sunday,” the longtime Sounder said. “Against a rival like that, it doesn’t matter where we are in the league, who’s ahead, who’s below, it’s a rivalry game — you want to win those.”

Even considering the team’s success in the Open Cup and it’s “must win” nature?

“They’re going to carry equal weight for us and we’re going to put our best team out there for both games,” said Scott. “We want to win everything. We want to win rivalry games. We want to win league games. We want to win. In any competition we’re in, we’re going for a ‘W.’ We’re not resting guys. We’re putting guys out there to win.”

So what do you think?

* * *

If you had to pick one — and just one — which game would you rather win?


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