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Gut punch: Sounders lose Cascadia Cup to Whitecaps

Whitecaps are first MLS team to retain rivalry trophy.

Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography

The streak had to end at some point. But few thought it would end quite like this. The Seattle Sounders, who had gone 9-0-1 in the 10 matches they've played in front of home crowds of at least 50,000, were shut out at home for the second time this season and fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0  on Friday.

In one fell swoop, the Sounders lost the Cascadia Cup and could very well need to get results in both games against the LA Galaxy that will the end the regular season in order to win the Supporters' Shield.

That the only goal of the match came on a somewhat controversial play will only serve to make the loss sting even more.

The Sounders never seemed to find their rhythm in this one. Although the game was wide open for much of the time, the pace was more frantic than controlled. The Sounders didn't get a clean look on goal all match as the Whitecaps did a commendable job bottling up Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey, neither of whom looked particularly dangerous all match. The Sounders' best chance came in the dying minutes when Dempsey put a header across goal that Brad Evans redirected on net. But Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston was there to easily clear it off the line.

The Whitecaps goal came just before halftime when Kekuta Manneh was waved back onto the field, seemingly in the middle of a counter-attack. Manneh was able to cut past Chad Marshall and then put his shot between Stefan Frei's legs. Manneh, who left the field a few minutes earlier to address his injured quadriceps, limped immediately after scoring and was substituted at halftime.

The Whitecaps seemed more than content to sit on that lead. They packed players behind the ball in the second half and dared the Sounders to go through them, rather than get behind. It worked for the most part, as the Sounders' frustration grew.

Depending on the LA Galaxy's result against FC Dallas on Saturday, the Sounders may be in a position to need two results in their final two to claim their first MLS hardware. The only way the Sounders can afford to split those games is if the Galaxy fail to get any points against Dallas.

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