The Cascadia Cup represents one of the most passionate derby rivalries in North America. Known for the region of North America that Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland represent, the Cascadia Cup was created by the supporters of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Sounders FC, and Portland Timbers. Officially founded in 2004, the origins of the cup date back to when all three clubs were members of the United Soccer Leagues First Division. The combined fan-based organizations of the three clubs came together to produce the two-foot-tall silver Cascadia Cup, which is awarded annually to the team with the best head-to-head record in regular season matches between their Pacific Northwest rivals.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 2004, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016
Seattle Sounders FC: 2006, 2007, 2011, 2015
Portland Timbers: 2009, 2010, 2012
All nine regular season MLS matches between the three clubs will be included
Three points for a win, one point for a draw
Team with the MOST POINTS after all matches is the winner
Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned
Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned
Greater number of goals scored in matches between the teams concerned
Reapply first three criteria if two or more teams are still tied
Greater goal difference in all cup matches
Greater number of goals scored in all cup matches
Smaller number of disciplinary points in all cup matches (yellow = 1 point, red = 2 points)
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Whitecaps FC hold the distinction of winning the first-ever Cascadia Cup title in its founding year. From 2004 until 2008, all three clubs competed for the cup in USL-1 play, with Vancouver raising the cup again in 2005 and 2008, while Seattle claimed the title in 2006 and 2007.
For 2009 and 2010, the Cascadia Cup format was briefly altered following Seattle Sounders FC’s move to MLS. It meant the trophy would be contested solely between the ‘Caps and Timbers for two seasons at the North American second division level. During that period, Portland won their first Cascadia Cup in 2009 before defending their title in 2010.
2011 marked a return to the original three-club format for the competition after Whitecaps FC and the Timbers joined MLS. Fan-based organizations for both clubs renewed their rivalry with Seattle supporters, as the three clubs renewed their derby battles in regular season action. Sounders FC would go on to win their third Cascadia Cup, and their first since 2007, after coming from behind to win away matches in Vancouver and Portland and earning draws against both sides in Seattle.
With the inclusion of expansion side Montreal Impact into MLS bringing the total number of clubs in the league to 19, a new conference-based schedule was created for 2012, emphasizing local rivalries and increasing the number of head-to-head games played between conference teams to three matches-a-side. The new schedule format meant the Pacific Northwest rivals played a differing number of home and away matches this year, with Portland hosting both Vancouver and Seattle twice, Vancouver hosting Seattle twice and Portland once, and Seattle hosting both clubs only once each. Despite the unbalanced number of home and away games, the three fan-based organizations agreed that all regular season matches between the sides wouldcount equally towards determining the Cascadia Cup winner.In the last Pacific Northwest match-up of the 2012 season, Portland Timbers defeated Whitecaps FC 1-0 in Vancouver to overtake Seattle in the standings and clinch their third Cascadia Cup.
In 2013, the teams once again played each other three times. For the first time since 2008, Whitecaps FC clinched the Cascadia Cup to become the first club to have won the title four times. Down to the final match, it was thanks to Portland Timbers FC and their 2-1 defeat of Seattle Sounders FC at home that helped the ‘Caps to win the cup.
With each team again playing three games against each of their Cascadian opponents in 2014, the race was close. Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland finished within three points of each other (at 10, 8, and 7) for just the third time in the competition’s history. On the competition’s final day, Whitecaps FC claimed a 1-0 win over Sounders FC at CenturyLink field on October 10, 2014 to take their second consecutive Cascadia Cup.
The ‘Caps had a pair of memorable wins over Cascadia opponents in 2015, with a last-minute goal from debutant Robert Earnshaw beating Portland 2-1 at BC Place, and a dominant 3-0 win in Seattle in August. But ultimately, two home defeats to Sounders FC saw Seattle take home the Cascadia Cup in 2015.
In 2016, Whitecaps FC entered the final day of the regular season needing at least a three-goal win over Portland Timbers to reclaim the Cascadia Cup. With Portland desperate for three points to qualify for the playoffs, the ‘Caps put forth arguably their most impressive performance of the year, winning 4-1 to hoist their sixth Cascadia Cup, and ending their bitter rivals’ season in the process. As of the end of the 2016 season, Whitecaps FC lead their rivals with three Cascadia Cup wins, including three in the MLS era. Sounders FC have four, two in MLS, while Timbers have three, one in MLS.