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Sounders can clinch Cascadia Cup with a point in Vancouver

Will Bruin sees the rivalry trophy as the first tangible piece of hardware from a dramatic turnaround.

MLS: Western Conference Semifinal-Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

TUKWILA, Wash. – With a chance to claim their first Cascadia Cup since 2015 and just their third since 2007, the Seattle Sounders are understandably excited about the prospect of clinching on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

Will Bruin, who joined last season from the Houston Dynamo, has always valued the Cascadia rivalry.

“When you’re on the outside looking in, you know it’s a big deal,” Bruin said Wednesday. “You see how much it means to the club, the fans. It’s bragging rights at the end of the day. Any time we have any chance to win any kind of hardware, any kind of trophy, it’s something that we take pride in. It would be great to clinch that on the road in Vancouver.”

The Sounders are currently at the top of the Cascadia Cup standings with a 2-1-0 record. Their most recent win was 1-0 in Portland on Aug. 26, on the back of a Julio Cascante own goal. They had previously beaten the Whitecaps at home and lost to the Timbers at home. (Seattle’s 1-0 loss at Portland in May is not counted in this year’s standings, due to the imbalanced schedule between Seattle, Vancouver and Portland). A win or tie would clinch the cup for the Sounders, who would then be assured of finishing ahead of the Timbers and would own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Whitecaps. Coincidentally, each of their two previous Cascadia Cups were clinched in Vancouver.

By claiming at least a point, the Sounders would also stay ahead of the Whitecaps in the playoff race while still having a game in hand.

For Bruin, the trophy would represent a tangible reminder of the turnaround the club has managed since its 3-2 loss to Portland June 30. The Sounders have gone unbeaten in the 11 games since then and are currently riding an eight-game winning streak.

“It’s no secret that we didn’t start the year off right,” Bruin said. “We’re back to playing how we know we can play now. I personally love celebrating trophies on other people’s turf. We’ll see if that happens in the next 90 minutes in Vancouver.”

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