Vancouver salutes victorious Sounders


Vancouver Whitecaps FC wish to congratulate Seattle Sounders FC on a successful start to their inaugural season in Major League Soccer.

A Qwest Field crowd of 32,523 helped raise the curtain on the 2009 MLS season by providing a colourful and passionate atmosphere to Thursday's first-ever match for the expansion Sounders. The Seattle fans went home a happy bunch after Sigi Schmid's side cruised to a 3-0 victory over the 2008 MLS Cup finalists New York Red Bulls.

Colombian striker Fredy Montero wrote his name in the history books by scoring Seattle's first-ever goal in MLS when he struck the winner after just 12 minutes. Montero then played provider for the Sounders' second goal when he set up Brad Evans to strike the ball through the legs of Red Bulls goalkeeper Danny Cepero. Montero secured 'Man of the Match' honours with a fine third goal with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining to secure a season-opening win.

It was an excellent start for the league's 15th and newest club, with Vancouver excited by the prospect of renewing our rivalry with our Interstate 5 neighbours after being awarded an MLS expansion franchise for the 2011 season. Seattle's result also adds to a fine week for soccer in the Pacific Northwest, as Portland, Oregon, were formally announced as the 18th team to join MLS on Friday.

Though fierce competitors on the pitch during the days of the North American Soccer League, and in more recent times in USL-1, Seattle and Vancouver have had a positive relationship in their many years as professional soccer clubs. This includes a very strong and friendly relationship among both sets of fans during those years of competition.

With a long history behind us, Vancouver is delighted to have the chance of adding a new chapter to our rivalry with the Sounders and Portland, with fans in all three cities keen to resurrect the Cascadia Cup competition that ran between 2004 and 2008 when the Whitecaps, Sounders, and Portland Timbers were opponents in USL-1. The Whitecaps currently hold the fan-based derby cup after finishing top of the standings last season.

Five thousand $50 deposits for Vancouver Major League Soccer 2011 season tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 21, at 10:00 a.m. Current Whitecaps ticket holders receive priority purchase rights for 2011 season tickets. For more information on securing a season ticket for 2011, visit vancouverMLS2011.com.