In a season of many challenges, the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to end on a positive note, with a solid 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers, clinching the Cascadia Cup Championship, and knocking their rivals out of the running for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Caps and Timbers had been tied for Cascadia Cup points, with the Whitecaps needing to overcome a large gap to wind up on top – which, through their victory – is exactly what they did. The win is their sixth overall, which gives them a dominant lead over the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers in overall wins, and their third victory in the past four soccer seasons.
The Cascadia Cup is a regional rivalry formally started in 2004 as a supporters cup. The biggest supporters groups for the three clubs are the Emerald City Supporters, the Timbers Army, and the Vancouver Southsiders. Traditionally these supporters groups celebrate with the cup after their team wins it.
The competition began when all three teams were members of the USL 1st division. The Whitecaps won the cup three times in this span, and the Sounders twice. In 2009 and 2010, the competition was contested between the Timbers and the Whitecaps as the Sounders had moved to the MLS. The Timbers won the cup both years. In 2011 all three sides were in the MLS for the first time together. The competition resumed with three sides again, with the Sounders winning the cup in Vancouver.
In 2012, MLS switched from a home and away balanced schedule to an unbalanced schedule in which teams from the same conference play each other three times. Even with the unbalance of home and away matches, the three supporters groups agreed to include all MLS matches in the competition. These three teams have a long history between each other which spans prior to 2004, dating back to 1974 and the NASL.
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