The Sounders FC supporters currently hold the Cascadia Cup after the Sounders won the championship for the Northwest derby last year.
If they aim to keep hold of the cup, this weekend is a vital one as the Sounders travel to Portland for the second time this year to meet the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday.
The Timbers currently lead the Cascadia Cup standings with seven points at 2-0-1. The Sounders can even it up with Portland with a victory on Saturday, sitting at 1-1-1 for four points through their first three matches. Vancouver, meanwhile, is 0-2-2 for two points.
After starting off slowly with a draw and a loss, Seattle had a resounding 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field on August 18.
Portland is playing their fourth and final home game in the Cascadia Cup series, an oddity to the MLS schedule that had the Timbers playing four home matches in the derby while Vancouver plays three and Seattle plays just two.
For the Sounders, while their aim is to win MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield, the Cascadia Cup is certainly part of those goals.
“We’re going into the playoffs looking to at least solidify second seed in the West, so these points are humongous, aside from the point of it being a rivalry game,” said defender Zach Scott, who is in his 11th season with the Sounders, far more than any other player among the Cascadia clubs.
The Sounders currently are 13-6-8 and sit six points behind the San Jose Earthquakes in the Supporters’ Shield race, good for second in the West and third in MLS, trailing Sporting Kansas City by three points.
Vancouver is also in the playoff hunt in fifth place in the West at 10-11-7 while Portland seemingly has just the Cascadia Cup to play for as they are in ninth in the West at 7-14-6.
So while they have bigger goals in mind, the Sounders also know that the Timbers have never won the Cascadia Cup while Seattle has contended for the trophy, only winning the cup in 2009 and 2010 when the Sounders were in MLS and not included in the competition.
They aim to keep it that way.
“It’s a fan-based cup, so obviously it means a lot to fans of both teams,” Scott said. “Anything we can do to continue that tradition and put another trophy in our trophy case is huge.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 pm Pacific on NBC – marking the first time MLS has been featured on national network television since 2008.
The Sounders will round out their end of the Cascadia Cup competition with a road match against the Whitecaps on September 29 and a home match against Portland on October 7.