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Major League Soccer's rivalry week raises the question of what a rivalry is

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It's "rivalry week" in MLS again, which once again raises the question of what exactly a rivalry is in this league.

Geography plays a part in creating rivalries, though not usually to the intimate degree that it does in most of Europe. But just as commonly, and maybe problematically, rivalries in MLS are built by the league.

Longtime MLS fans tend to be very suspicious of rivalries that don't feel organic. Many of them, who follow clubs that have been in the league since it began in 1996, have spent...

Caleb Porter and Portland Timbers aim to end road woes vs. Seattle Sounders

Experience all the goals scored by Portland and Seattle against each other in wake of their upcoming derby.

How tightly packed is the race for the playoffs in the Western Conference?

Consider that the Portland Timbers have amassed more points (40) this season than they had at the same stage two years ago, when they won the West and narrowly missed out on the Supporters' Shield yet are somehow still fighting for their playoff lives heading into Sunday's Cascadia Clasico against the archrival Sounders in Seattle (5 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN).

"We're in postseason position, but I can't say we're in a good...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

What is Major League Soccer's best rivalry?

It's Rivalry Week again in MLS, featuring four match-ups in which geographical rivals will go head-to-head:

Aug. 28: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy (11 p.m. ET)

Aug. 29: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact (4 p.m. ET)

Aug. 30: Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers (5 p.m. ET, ESPN and WatchESPN)

Aug. 30: New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United (7 p.m. ET)

Ahead of these games, we have a question for you:

What is the best rivalry in MLS?

CA_rivalry-site
Between them, San Jose and LA have won MLS Cup seven times.
canada rivalry-site
In nine previous MLS meetings between the two sides, Toronto has four wins, Montreal has two and there have been three draws.
NW_rivalry
Seattle and Portland have met twice already in MLS this season, winning one game apiece.
NErialry_Site
New York and D.C. met in last season's playoffs, with the Red Bulls winning 3-2 on aggregate.

What do you think is the best rivalry in MLS? Let us know!