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Sounders regular-season finale with Vancouver will be true Cascadia clash

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The Canadian government has cleared all MLS teams to play cross-border games.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing Covid-related restrictions from the Canadian Government have left the location of the Seattle Sounders’ Decision Day match with the Vancouver Whitecaps up in the air.

Today the Sounders — as well as the rest of the USA-based MLS teams — found out they’ll be allowed to play matches in Canada, clearing the way for their first trip to Vancouver since 2019.

MLS announced that all three Canadian clubs will host their remaining regular season and postseason home matches in their respective Canadian locales. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Minister of Immigration have approved a National Interest Exemption that outlines stringent health and safety protocols allowing for all MLS players to participate in cross-border matches, according to a release from the league.

The announcement ends a long and protracted ordeal for the Whitecaps, Toronto FC and CF Montréal — but particularly for the Whitecaps, who unlike their Canadian counterparts, have been unable to play any matches at home. Both TFC and Montreal had resumed playing some of their home matches in their home markets.

There are still significant restrictions in place, however. According to a release from the league:

  • All traveling players and staff will continue to undertake COVID-19 molecular testing prior to, and upon arrival into Canada, regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Those individuals who are partially vaccinated, or are unvaccinated, will be required to observe a modified quarantine.
  • Upon receipt of a negative COVID-19 test, these individuals may participate in work activities only, including trainings and games, and are otherwise prohibited from attending other functions or places through the remainder of a 14-day quarantine period, or until they leave the country.

The Sounders previously announced that all players and staff have been vaccinated, so they will not have to worry about a modified quarantine. The league has not announced what protocols — if any — will be in place for supporters to cross the border to attend matches.. The last match in which Sounders fans attended a matchup between the sides at BC Place was March 30, 2019.