Blas Perez - blue kit, Liam Ridgewell battle for position

PORTLAND, OREGON – It's Rivalry Week in Major League Soccer as Vancouver Whitecaps FC put their hot streak on the line when they visit Portland Timbers. Also up for grabs on Sunday afternoon is crucial three points in the Cascadia Cup race.

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Here are three storylines for the derby date at Providence Park.


Head coach Carl Robinson's side has turned the corner after a slow start, rolling out three wins in a week to remember for club.

On Sunday, they look to match their longest win streak since joining MLS as they gun for their fourth straight win.

Headlining the 'Caps is Kekuta Manneh, whose recent heroics bagged the Gambian MLS Player of the Week honours

Blas Pérez has provided the support and the acrobatics, and his experience and knack for coming up huge on the big stage will be valuable to Vancouver.

A challenge for the Robinson will be finding the right mix as he won't have Fraser Aird, as the young fullback serves a one-match suspension. Also remaining sidelined is Masato Kudo, who is recovering from a fractured jaw after recording a goal and an assist in last week's win over Portland.


If the 'Caps are able to weather the storm in what's expected to be a raucous atmosphere at Providence Park, they will get a golden opportunity at building a considerable, though early, lead in the Cascadia Cup standings

Whitecaps FC have won the first two derby fixtures, getting 2-1 results against Seattle Sounders FC, and last week versus these same Timbers. Getting another three points on Sunday will give them a bit of cushion as they look to reclaim the coveted Cup.


Robinson is wise to keep his troops ready for the much-anticipated rematch against the defending MLS Cup champions, who are looking to avenge last week's setback to Vancouver, which pushed them down a three-match losing slide.

No one knows better than the 'Caps that it takes only one match to turn the tide.

It's no secret who Vancouver defenders will have to keep close tabs on, as Fanendo Adi, Diego Valeri, and Darlington Nagbe once again lead the Timbers attack.

Will the 'Caps continue to roll or will the sleeping giants wake up? Tune in at 1:30 p.m. PT on TSN1 to find out.

Three storylines: Streaking 'Caps visit revenge-minded Timbers on derby day -

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