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sounders-scarvesIf you didn’t hear, there’s a little soccer match taking place Sunday.

Yep, 67,000 screaming fans are expected at a sold out CenturyLink Field in Seattle for an epic Sounders-Timbers match that has all sorts of story lines: The first home match for U.S. soccer stud and newly-signed Sounders midfield Clint Dempsey. Possible playoff implications. And one of the largest expected Major League Soccer crowds in history.

Of course, we love to have fun with the Portland-Seattle rivalry as it expands beyond the pitch into the tech community. Team GeekWire actually boasts a PDX native, sports nut Taylor Soper. (So, who you pulling for this weekend, Taylor?) We’ve actually been spending more time in the Rose City this year, covering the hot action in the burgeoning tech community. (Look for even more coverage in the weeks and months to come).

But, first things first. Let’s get a little wager going again with our good PDX pal, Rick Turoczy of the Silicon Florist tech blog. You may recall that last time we bet, our Sounders took it to the Timbers, and Rick ended up having to write a wonderful guest post for GeekWire about why the Portland and Seattle tech communities should form tighter bonds. (A thesis we agree with, and are trying to foster in many ways).

A famous moment in the Timbers-Sounders rivalry
A famous moment in the Timbers-Sounders rivalry

So here’s my challenge to Rick for this Sunday’s match: If the unthinkable happens and the Timbers win, I’ll buy him dinner and drinks at the GeekWire Summit Sept. 11-12 in Seattle (and even don a Timbers scarf at some point during the festivities). If the Sounders win, I’ll expect Rick to buy me dinner and drinks (yes, I’ll even tolerate some of the Portland microbrews) during the big TechFestNW event from September 6-8. I’ll also be arriving with a Sounders scarf for Rick to wear!

What do you say, Rick?

So, how are the tech communities in the two cities faring right now? Both are heating up like Obafemi Martins and Diego Valeri — and that’s a good thing for the NW tech corridor.

PDX certainly has a lot of buzz. It’s still the smaller sibling to Seattle in many ways, but it’s got all sorts of mojo at the moment. Seattle, meanwhile, is riding high on the backs of Amazon, Tableau, Zillow and a host of smaller startup companies.

sounders300250_fallbackHere’s a look at the two cities by the numbers, with a handy infographic below too. (I may dispute the brewery figure though as there are nine nano breweries I know of in my neighborhood of Ballard alone).

Venture Capital

Washington: $207 million in Q2 (ranked 5th)

Oregon: $23.8 million in Q2 (ranked 22)

Source: CB Insights

Inc. 500 companies

Washington: 9

Oregon: 4

Source: Here are the top Pacific NW companies on Inc. 500 list: Level 11, HasOffers, Spoken, Puppet Labs and others

techtownportlandTech IPOs in the last two years

Washington: 3 (Zillow, Tableau, NanoString)

Oregon: 0

Tech company HQs with market values over $2 billion

Seattle area: 7 (, Concur, Expedia, F5 Networks, Microsoft, Tableau, Zillow)

Portland area: 1 (Mentor Graphics)

2012 tech industry employment

Washington: 191,000 (8.2 percent of overall employment)

Oregon: 81,600 (6.1 percent of overall employment)

seattle-skyline-stormSource: Cyberstates reports for Oregon and Washington.

So, there you go. As you can tell, the stats tend to favor Washington state right now. That said, as we know in the tech industry, just as in soccer, the game can turn quickly. So, who do you think will come out on top?

And just to make things fun for this Sunday’s match, leave a comment with your name and email below (or email me directly at guessing the score and winner of the Sounders-Timbers match. (I am personally going with a 3-1 Sounders win, with goals by Oba, Alonso and Dempsey).

From the pool of correct picks, we will choose one lucky person to win a free ticket to the GeekWire Sounders Day on Sept. 4th. GeekWire Sounders Day will be hosted by EMC/Isilon on their awesome rooftop deck before the Chivas USA match. Make sure to get your tickets here today. Going to be amazing.

Portland Vs. Seattle

Previous guest column by Rick Turoczy on GeekWire: Seattle and Portland should do more to become BFFs

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