The Cascadia Cup is in full swing with the Sounders FC, Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers all playing each other once so far in the 2012 season.
However, the battle for Northwest supremacy is far from over.
Currently, the Timbers lead the Cascadia Cup standings with four points at 1-0-1, playing both their matches at home at Jeld-Wen Field. Vancouver is second with two points at 0-0-2 and the Sounders are third with one point at 0-1-1, with both of their matches being played on the road.
With still four games to be played by each team, there are still plenty of points to be had as the three Cascadia clubs strive for the cup that is being contested for the ninth time.
“We need to get these points at home. That keeps us in competition for that,” Schmid said. “Winning the Cascadia Cup, the most important thing about it is I think it puts us a step closer to achieving our playoff goals and achieving our position that we want to finish the season at.”
This year, the Sounders are defending the trophy after winning the Cascadia Cup last year, powered by Fredy Montero’s four goals in Seattle’s four Cascadia Cup matches.
“That’s the game you always want to play,” he said. “That’s the game you always have to score.”
While the rivalry between the three teams dates back to Portland joining Seattle and Vancouver in the North American Soccer League in 1975, the Cascadia Cup is a much more recent wrinkle to the existing feud.
The three teams first played for the supporter-created trophy in 2004, with the Whitecaps edging out Portland for the top spot by one point. Vancouver would again win in 2005, with seven of the 12 total matches ending in a draw.
The Sounders won in 2006 and 2007, then the Whitecaps returned to the top of the Cascadia table in 2008, the last year the Cascadia Cup was contested between the three teams until the Whitecaps and Timbers joined the Sounders in Major League Soccer last year.
In the two years in between, when just Portland and Vancouver played for the trophy, the Timbers won both times.
In its first competition with all three teams at the MLS level in 2011, the Sounders finished an unbeaten 2-0-2 to send their fans that traveled north to Empire Field in Vancouver home with the trophy to declare at the border.
After hosting the Whitecaps on Saturday, the Sounders will play on the road against Portland on September 15 and in Vancouver on September 29 before finishing off their set of games in the derby on October 7 at CenturyLink Field against the Timbers.