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Cascadia Cup rules still being mulled

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Supporters from Sounders, Whitecaps and Timbers are still assessing options.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

With travel restrictions still in place, the Vancouver Whitecaps unable to play games in Canada and even home attendance limited, the Cascadia Cup Council recently announced that they remain undecided on how to award their annual rivalry trophy. The decision might not come until summer, they wrote in a joint release:

As the 2021 MLS season begins, representatives of the Cascadia Cup Council are still working through the details on how to award the 2021 Cascadia Cup, given pandemic restrictions in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. At this time, many MLS teams (including Seattle and Portland) are not allocating tickets to away supporters or promoting away travel, and Vancouver will, at least temporarily, play “home” games at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT with no fans in attendance. The Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army, and Vancouver Southsiders continue to evaluate options on how to properly award the supporter-owned and -driven Cup using the most fair methodology, and expect to make an updated announcement in, or before, July 2021.

With fans unable to attend matches in person throughout most of last year and teams playing an unbalanced schedule, the Cascadia Cup Council decided to hold off on awarding their trophy in 2020. In 2018 and 2019, the council decided to only count a subset of the games toward the Cascadia Cup standings.

If the Cascadia Cup is awarded this year, a similar subset of games will likely be used, which would likely discard last weekend’s match between the Whitecaps and Portland Timbers as well as the upcoming game between the Sounders and Timbers. Theoretically, the groups could wait until Aug. 15 to make a decision, as the three teams would still have home games against each opponent remaining on their schedule.

The Sounders are the current title holders, having won in it in both 2018 and 2019, and are tied with the Vancouver Whitecaps with six all-time titles. The Sounders have won it four times since all three teams have been in MLS, which is the most during that era.

The trophy was first awarded in 2004 when all three teams competed in the USL, and was created by Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army and The Southsiders. The supporters groups eventually formed the Cascadia Cup Council in 2012 in an effort to fend off a trademark dispute with MLS, which ultimately proved successful.