Given the way the Vancouver Whitecaps’ home crowd was reacting and the rather sullen faces on the Seattle Sounders, you could be forgiven for not realizing which team has just claimed a trophy following Sunday’s 1-1 tie.
Although the Sounders had needed a win in order to retain their spot at the top of the Western Conference, the tie was plenty good enough to secure their third straight Cascadia Cup. The Whitecaps would have needed to win this match by four goals in order to reclaim the rivalry trophy, but the tie was still good enough for them to secure a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
“Vancouver supporters were overjoyed just to make playoffs,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer observed after the game. “I don’t think they understood we won the Cascadia Cup. We won an actual trophy.
“We set a high standard. Guys were ticked off in the locker room that we drew, that we couldn’t find a second goal despite (the various absences).”
Frustrated as they might have been with the final result, by winning the Cascadia Cup again the Sounders did make a small piece of history. Since the trophy was first awarded in 2004 through the collective effort of the Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army and Southsiders, this was the first time any team had won it three times in a row. The Sounders’ hold on the trophy actually goes back to 2018 as the Cascadia Council chose not to award it last year since no fans were allowed in the stands and the Whitecaps weren’t even allowed to play in Vancouver. The Sounders have now won it in 5 of the 10 seasons all three teams have been in MLS.
This year’s Cascadia Cup omitted the first of the games each of the three teams played against one another. Just for good measure, however, the Sounders would have won the trophy even if those matches were included, going 1-0-1 in their earlier games against the Timbers and Whitecaps.
Cascadia Cup standings
|1||Seattle Sounders FC||4||2||1||1||11||6||5||7|
|3||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||4||1||1||2||5||8||-3||4|