VANCOUVER – Raúl Ruidíaz struck twice in the first half and the Seattle Sounders clinched the 2018 Cascadia Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday night.
Kei Kamara netted in first-half stoppage time for the hosts, but Seattle would manage to see the game out in the second half, extending its single-season league-record winning streak to nine games.
Ruidíaz struck first after getting on the end of a cross from Kelvin Leerdam and redirecting it past Whitecaps goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, giving the Sounders the dream start.
Ruidíaz then doubled the lead in the 42nd after a giveaway from the Vancouver back line left him in a one-on-one with Marinovic. The Peruvian capitalized on the opportunity, dancing around Marinovic and tapping home the easy finish to double Seattle’s lead.
Vancouver struck for its only goal on the stroke of halftime, as Kamara cashed a home a thundering header off a corner kick to make it 2-1 – the scoreline that would hold as the final.
The Sounders hadn’t won the Cascadia Cup regional trophy – a tournament which also includes the Portland Timbers – since 2015. They ended that streak on Saturday, however, finishing 3-1-0 with nine points in the four games against Cascadia competition that counted in the standings to bag their first trophy of the 2018 season.
The Peruvian striker is in fine form with Saturday’s brace giving him five goals and an assist in nine games since his midseason arrival. Seattle have shown they’re tough to stop when their shiny new striker is rolling and he most certainly is at the moment.
Raúl Ruidíaz finishes the first of his two goals against the Whitecaps | Mike Fiechtner
The Cascadia Cup haul wasn’t the only history the Sounders made. With the win, the Sounders also bagged their ninth straight victory, to extend what was already the MLS record for a single season in the post-shootout era. The question now becomes if they can push that to double digits, which they’ll try to do back home against Eastern Conference foe Philadelphia Union at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, September 19 (7 p.m. PT; JOEtv, YouTube TV; 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM; TICKETS).
SEA - Raúl Ruidíaz (Kelvin Leerdam, Cristian Roldan) 21'
SEA - Raúl Ruidíaz 42'
VAN - Kei Kamara (Nicolás Mezquida) 45'+4'
SEA - Osvaldo Alonso (Unsporting Behavior) 41'
VAN - Russell Teibert (Unsporting Behavior) 48'
SEA - Kelvin Leerdam (Unsporting Behavior) 59'
VAN - Kei Kamara (Unsporting Behavior) 90'+6'