Preview: Whitecaps FC open Cascadia Cup campaign against Portland Timbers

'Caps host Timbers on Saturday, 4 p.m. PT at BC Place

VANCOUVER, BC – Playing their seventh match in a month's time, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-4L-3D) host Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers (4W-1L-6D) this coming Saturday, May 18 at BC Place.

Be on the ball. Secure your seats for this weekend’s clash while you still can at ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc.

Kickoff on Saturday is at 4 p.m. PT and is live on City TV and Bell mobile devices. The match will be replayed on Sportsnet Pacific at 8 p.m. PT. 'Caps fans can also listen to Saturday afternoon’s match live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 2 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will wrap-up with a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

The ‘Caps are coming off of a 0-0 draw against Montreal Impact this past Wednesday, May 15 at Stade Saputo in the first leg of the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship final. Despite several chances for both sides, the ‘Caps walked away unscathed heading into the decisive second leg at BC Place on May 29, where they will look to lift the Voyageurs Cup on home turf.

Last MLS match: Whitecaps FC 3-1 LA Galaxy

In their previous MLS match last Saturday, May 11, the Blue and White defeated LA Galaxy 3-1 for their first ever league win against the two-time defending MLS Cup champions. Canadian international Russell Teibert scored his first two professional goals against the California side while striker Darren Mattocks rounded out the scoring in front of a sell-out crowd of 21,000 energetic fans at BC Place.

The ‘Caps will be looking to get another monkey off their back on Saturday, as they have yet to defeat Portland Timbers in MLS action. In fact, the Timbers have won each of the first two meetings between the clubs at BC Place.

In terms of injuries, Martin Rennie’s side will be without midfielder Daigo Kobayashi (left ankle sprain) and Kenny Miller (hamstring). The home also continue to be without captain Jay DeMerit (ruptured Achilles tendon) and winger Omar Salgado (foot surgery) indefinitely. Centre back Johnny Léveron is suspended for the match following review of a tackle vs. LA Galaxy last weekend. To compensate for the absences, the ‘Caps have recalled centre back Carlyle Mitchell, who has been on loan to NASL club FC Edmonton since March.

PORTLAND TIMBERS

Last match: Portland Timber 3-0 Chivas USA

The Timbers enter Saturday’s match coming off of a 3-0 win over Chivas USA. Goals for Portland came from defender Rodney Wallace, and midfielders Diego Valeri and Will Johnson.

Head coach Caleb Porter’s has his side second in the Western Conference and unbeaten in nine matches dating back to a 2-0 defeat to Montreal Impact on March 9 at JELD-WEN Field.

Leading the charge has been the impressive midfield group of Valeri, Will Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, and Diego Chara. Benefitting from the Timbers attacking play has been striker Ryan Johnson, who has four goals this season, as well as the aforementioned midfielders, who have a combined 10 goals.

The Timbers continue to be without centre backs David Horst (R tibia plateau surgery) and Mikael Silvestre (L ruptured ACL), midfielder Brent Richards (L ACL surgery) and striker Bright Dike (L ACL surgery) – all out indefinitely.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This weekend’s tilt will be the sixth meeting between Whitecaps FC and Portland Timbers in MLS regular season action. In their first two seasons in MLS, the ‘Caps have yet to defeat Portland and have a record of 0W-4L-1D against the Rose City side.

2012: Whitecaps FC 0-1 Portland Timbers

Saturday’s match marks the 74th all-time for the ‘Caps against Portland. Vancouver hold an all-time record of 33W-28L-12D versus Portland, with the Blue and White registering an all-time home record of 23W-9L-3D.

In terms of player connections, Portland are now the home of midfielder Michael Nanchoff, who began his MLS career with Vancouver in 2011 and 2012. Nanchoff was also a teammate of Darren Mattocks at the University of Akron, where both were coached by Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. In 2008, Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton spent time on loan with the then United Soccer Leagues First Divison (USL-1) side Portland Timbers when he was a member of New England Revolution. Lastly, ‘Caps defender Greg Klazura played with Timbers injured striker Bright Dike at the University of Notre Dame.

CASCADIA CUP

For the ‘Caps, this match has special significance as it marks the first match of their quest for the Cascadia Cup, an annual tournament that was conceived by the supporters groups of the three Pacific Northwest clubs: Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Sounders FC, and Portland Timbers back when the clubs played in USL-1.

Cascadia Rivalry: Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers

The Cascadia Cup is awarded to the team that has the best head-to-head record in MLS regular season matches against their Pacific Northwest rivals. The ‘Caps have won the trophy a total of three times (2004, 2005, 2008), as have Seattle (2006, 2007, 2011) and Portland (2009, 2010, 2011). It should be noted that Portland’s titles in 2009 and 2010 were while the Cascadia Cup was only contested between the Timbers and ‘Caps.

NEXT UP

Following Saturday’s Cascadia Cup match, the ‘Caps have a bye week from MLS play as they prepare for the second leg of the ACC final on Wednesday, May 29 at BC Place. See the Blue and White take on Montreal as they try to capture the Voyageurs Cup for the first time in their history by getting tickets at ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc.