Since the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC joined the Sounders FC in MLS in 2011, there have been visions of the three Cascadia clubs duking it out for supremacy not just among each other, but also in the Western Conference standings.
All three clubs have been tremendous successes in ticket sales, marketing and corporate partnerships.
On the field, both Portland and Vancouver struggled out of the gates, but last year the Whitecaps joined Seattle in the playoffs. This season, all the three clubs look poised to all compete for playoff spots and on Saturday, the Sounders will get their first look at the 2013 Whitecaps.
Portland leads the three clubs in the league standings at 5-1-7, good for third in the West. Seattle and Vancouver are on the outside of the playoff picture as they clash at CenturyLink Field in a nationally televised match on NBC Sports, but are within striking distance of the fifth spot with Seattle at 5-4-3 and Vancouver at 4-4-4.
In the Cascadia Cup standings, no team has garnered more than a draw against either opponent, as the Timbers got a late equalizer from Rodney Wallace on March 16 against the Sounders and another from Jose Valencia on May 18 against the Whitecaps.
All three teams have been getting results of late, too.
The Sounders are the hottest team in the league over the past eight matches at 5-1-2, while Portland is unbeaten in the same stretch, but have earned fewer points at 4-0-4. Like Seattle, Vancouver started off the season slow at 2-4-3, but are unbeaten at 2-0-1 over their last three games to get back on track.
The Whitecaps are unbeaten at 3-0-3 at home, but have struggled on the road, getting their first victory away from BC Place on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls. They are 1-4-1 on the road, overall.
On the other hand, the Timbers have always struggled to find success on the road, but that is where they have earned their points this season. They are 2-0-5 on the road thus far and 3-1-2 at home.
After losing their season opener, the Sounders are since unbeaten at home at 2-0-2 and have actually earned 10 points from seven road matches at 3-3-1.
There will be increased fuel on the Cascadia Cup fire this weekend, too, as Sounders FC has opened the entire stadium at CenturyLink Field for the first of four matches this season. They have had tremendous success when opening up the stadium in the past, going 6-0-2 while outscoring their opponents 20-6 when the crowd exceeds 40,000.
For tickets and 4-Match Pack ticket package information, visit the tickets link on SoundersFC.com.