For the first time since 1975, the Sounders sit behind Cascadia rivals the Timbers on the table which makes for a very interesting clash at CenturyLink Field this weekend.
Johnson is aware that Portland, like many other clubs, have strengthened this season but them being more competitive doesn't change the fact there is a clear hatred between the two clubs.
"I think it's the same (feeling as it's always been). I think each team every year tries to strengthen their roster," said Johnson.
"They became a stronger team over the last year and we've added a lot of new faces and we became a stronger team. But we don't like each other.
"That is what makes this sport big and has caught the awareness of many more viewers in America."
And Sounders boss Sigi Schmid admits his side needs a bit of catching up to do prior to the end of the MLS season.
"Like I've said, things happen. Things change. Nothing stays permanent forever," he said.
"So this time we're looking up at them at this point in the season, but we know we still have games in hand and we know we still have to perform. We're at home and we need to make the home game count for us."
Seattle currently sits sixth on the Western Conference table, three positions and four points behind the third-placed Timbers.