The Cascadia Cup resumes this weekend as Seattle Sounders FC head up to Canada and take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday (JoeTV 7PM). That's the third match for Seattle in the regional competition that also includes the Portland Timbers -- Sounders FC are in 2nd. With a win they take 1st. Then next Sunday they host Portland on ESPN2 in front of a full CenturyLink Field (tickets still available). But there's much more than just those two MLS games going on. If you have free time on nearly any day of the next 10 days you can pay attention to Seattle soccer.
It actually starts this evening at 7:30 PM. Starfire Sports is hosting the Sounders Women against the LA Blues. What are the Sounders Women? They are an amateur, mainly college student, side getting women playing time and development for potential pro contracts in the upcoming years. At 5-2-0 they are a mid-table team playing the 1st team in the division. You can either go to the match for just a couple dollars or watch online.
On the 4th of July the Sounders U23s team takes the pitch against the Puget Sound Gunners at Issaquah High School. Sounders U23s are based in the South Sound and are currently fighting to get into one of the three playoff spots. Like the women they are mostly college students getting playing time under pro coaches as they prepare for future contracts. Several of the players are eligible to be signed by Seattle Sounders FC as early as this year. Jordan Morris and Darwin Jones are the two most exciting prospects, though there are at least a handful of others that should make it into the MLS in the next few years.
July 5th is the First Team match against Vancouver. It's at 7 PM on Joe TV (10/22/110). Seattle is dominating the league. No, Clint and DeAndre most likely won't be back. That hasn't really mattered. The team is 9-1-1 in their last 11 played.
July 6th is incredibly busy.
It starts with Sounders Reserves playing a friendly against FC Edmonton of the NASL at 3 PM back on Field 12 at Starfire. That match won't count in the standings, but is a way for players that aren't getting regular playing time to see the field. This will cost you parking only, but there aren't seats. This is for the real soccer geeks.
At 4 PM you have choices. The Sounders Women play at 4 PM at Starfire Stadium and the Seattle Reign play at Memorial Stadium against the Boston Breakers. Reign FC are dominating the NWSL. The team of Solo, Rapinoe, Naho, Little, Fishlock, Leroux, Winters and more is undefeated on the year. Many of their players will be at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. If you love America you will love this team. Also if you love not losing. Or just love pro women's soccer in Seattle.
Monday the 7th at 7 PM the Seattle Sounders Academy U18s take the field against the Montreal Impact Academy. This quarterfinal match in the national playoffs sees the winner head to the national finals (semis, final) and the loser start to prepare for college or their senior year in high school. Several of Seattle's 18s look good enough for the pros right now. A full ten have time in the Sounders FC Reserves 18 during league play. This is the future. It is from the Academy that Yedlin, Okoli and Kovar became Sounders; the Academy will only get stronger in the future.
On the 8th at 7 PM the Sounders U23s head to Washington Crossfire. That's the PDL team for the massive Crossfire Academy and features one of the best midfielders in the college game - Christian Roldan of the University of Washington.
Wednesday July 9th at 7:30 PM has another Cascadia clash, though one for a different Cup, the U.S. Open Cup. The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer tournament in the U.S. and the third-oldest in the world, and the winner is awarded a slot in the CONCACAF Champions League. It's kind of a big deal. The Sounders will be hosting the Portland Timbers at Starfire in an intimate affair that should see both sides fielding near ideal XI lineups. The Sounders are undefeated hosting Open Cup matches at Starfire, so the near 5,000 attendees will be expecting to go home happy. Tickets are sold out, though you may be able to acquire some through various means. This game will be streamed online for free though. This game figures to be a rabid, close-quarters match that should produce enough fireworks to make attendees wonder if the 9 on their ticket is actually a 4.
Also on the 9th the Sounders Women start a trip to Colorado. That first match is 6 PM against the Colorado Rush. The 10th is your only day off. On the 11th the Sounders Women face the Colorado Pride at 6 PM. Then they wrap up the Colorado trip on the 13th against the Colorado Storm. That's a week at elevation.
Chicago hosts the Reign at 5 PM on the 12th. It's a 5 PM start and will be streamed (we will embed it here).
Sunday the 13th is busy
Washington State Soccer Pyramid
Soccer is booming in the Evergreen State. Here's a brief look at the various teams and leagues that are playing this summer.
Get ready for a day full of soccer. It starts at 10 AM with the Sounders Women finishing that road trip. At noon the World Cup Final will be played. There will be viewing parties throughout the city and no matter who is playing, it will be a good time. At 2 PM the U23s host the Victoria Highlanders. It ends with all the eyes of American soccer on CenturyLink Field for Portland against Seattle. The rivalry that is deeper than hate. It is UW v Oregon, Duke v UNC, 49ers v Seahawks. Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin should be back in the starting lineup. Portland's woeful season will be on life support. 67,000 people will be thunderous and massive. The atmosphere will be a mix of what you see at the World Cup and at Seahawks home games. This game is everything soccer is meant to be.
These are not the only soccer teams and leagues in the state. The other PDL teams are in Kitsap, Issaquah and Redmond. There is a division of the NPSL with teams in Seattle and Tukwila. The WPSL has teams in Seattle, Issaquah and Everett. The all-Washington Evergreeen Premier league has eight teams scattered throughout the state as well.
If the soccer bug bit you now is your time. There are more than a dozen matches in the next ten days. Enjoy at least one of those. Maybe try two at different levels. We soccer fans want to see you support the entire sport, not just the Americans at the highest national team level.