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We love Cascadia! Oh yes we do!
May 27, 2012 11:45 AM   Subscribe

The latest match in North American soccer's Cascadia Cup was played yesterday between the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the atmosphere was amazing.

Since the mid 1970s, teams in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland have maintained a fierce rivalry. It has lasted through the rise and demise of four leagues and, with last year's expansion of Major League Soccer, it now takes place within the MLS, North America's highest level professional league.

In 2004, the 30th anniversary of the rivalry, the supporters of all three clubs created the Cascadia Cup, which is awarded to the team that has the best result against the other two. Although there are other intra-league rivalry cups played for within the MLS, the Cascadia Cup is the oldest and best supported by fan groups.

The rivalry is powered by the rabid devotion of the main active supporters groups in the three cities. Vancouver's Southsiders, Seattle's Emerald City Supporters and Portland's Timbers Army continue to feed the rivalry making derby matches among the most incredible sporting events in North America.
posted by salishsea (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
the MLS, North America's highest level professional league

Mexico is part of north America - wouldn't its Primera División be at the same level?
posted by williampratt at 1:00 PM on May 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


It was a fantastic atmosphere last night though it wasn't quite on the same level as the Timbers/Sounders games of last year. Shame the football was dire.
posted by hornet67 at 1:07 PM on May 27, 2012


I thought you were going to post video of the lightning that struck on or near the stadium.
posted by msalt at 1:25 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been to a Timbers-Whitecaps game at BC place.

The timbers army is a chant and song adled group in want of a Catholic Church gathering or a Wrestlemania.

They made me yearn for a gentile and respectable crowd of hockey fans.
posted by sleslie at 1:29 PM on May 27, 2012


Yup williampratt. You're right. Primera Division is The best quality football in North America. My bad.

Back to the thread
posted by salishsea at 2:31 PM on May 27, 2012


heh, could. not. resist. USA 5 Scotland 1.
posted by marienbad at 3:38 PM on May 27, 2012


I'm just curious -- it looks like soccer has taken root much more easily in the Pacific Northwest than anywhere else in the US or Canada. Is there a particular reason for this? Did the old NASL teams do an extraordinary job of marketing in the area? Is youth soccer just bigger there than in other places?

As a Northeasterner -- and a baseball/football-first guy who would probably be more interested in soccer if there were regional rivalries around here like the one mentioned in the FPP -- I find the phenomenon interesting (and also cool to see).
posted by workingdankoch at 6:34 PM on May 27, 2012


I've been to thousands of sporting events at every level (former sportswriter), and Sounders/Timbers/Whitecaps is, pound-for-pound, the best pure fan thing going right now in the U.S.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:36 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a particular reason for this?

My wild-ass guess:

(Pre-existing fan base) + (Alienation from established marketed sports like the NFL) + (Young, highly educated, relatively wealthy U.S. demographic unafraid of being tagged as "European") + ("New hip thing" appeal of a non-mainstream activity) = success.

The demo- and psychographics are key. Just on those measurements, MLS fans in Seattle/Portland/Vancouver are as close to middle-class Londoners and Barcelonés as you can get in the U.S.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:49 PM on May 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think Cool Papa Bell has it nailed, except for the alienation from established US sports. Seahawks fans have reached 134 dB in their stadium, Blazers fans are a rabid bunch, and the aftermath of the SuperSonics/Thunder move was really, really messy.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 7:15 PM on May 27, 2012


I have mixed feelings about the Whitecaps. I think it's great that the team has captured the hearts of Vancouverites (and is likely headed for bigger and brighter things under the watch of John Furlong) but, fundamentally, I hate Greg Kerfoot and all that he stands for.

Kerfoot sits on the board of a Crown corporation I used to work for. When I got hired, I was required to make a brief intro presentation to the board about what I was going to do in my role. Kerfoot's only comment: "We should never have hired you."

Luckily, I had a strong ally in the boardroom who stuck up for me, and it was rather amusing to see Kerfoot turn gradually red as my ally, in effect, told him to stick it up his ass.

But Kerfoot is beloved by the smart folks in Vancouver, from sweetheart deals for the Whitecaps stadium to the City of Vancouver flowing money to Pulse Energy.

All because the guy got lucky and sold a software company.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:16 PM on May 27, 2012


Actually, it makes sense that Seattle fans are looking for something to fill the gaping hole that Clay Bennett left in the city, and both Portland and Vancouver have only one "Big Four" team each, which seems strange compared to their size.

Good point, Daniel. Seems like Cool Papa Bell was right after all.

I guess you're right, Daniel. Good on him.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 7:24 PM on May 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


By alienation, I meant the marketing doesn't seem to talk to them, not that they don't like it. MLB and NFL is marketed for families, blue-collar types and older dudes with money. You're not seeing lots and lots of "bring the kids" marketing for the Sounders, while the Mariners have bobble-head doll giveaways. Today's promotional giveaway was a Mariners growth chart poster to hang on a kid's wall.

What's also interesting is how the corp sponsors sense this, too. Anheuser Busch is a sponsor of all three Cascadia teams ... But they do lots of knock-on marketing of local brews Widmer and RedHook, which are also co-owned by InBev.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:37 PM on May 27, 2012


Thanks Cool Papa Bell (and daniel striped tiger)! That intuitively makes sense to me, and the hijacking of the Sonics must only have served to accelerate the process.
posted by workingdankoch at 8:34 PM on May 27, 2012


And yet the game ended in a draw. All other major pro sports have a way to determine a winner each and every game. 90+ minutes of soccer and people still have to go away without the satisfaction of a win, or the we'll get em next time attitude coming off a loss.
posted by Gungho at 4:44 AM on May 28, 2012


And yet the game ended in a draw. All other major pro sports have a way to determine a winner each and every game. 90+ minutes of soccer and people still have to go away without the satisfaction of a win, or the we'll get em next time attitude coming off a loss.

I would enjoy a taut, well-played 0-0 game of soccer over a 90-115 blowout midseason NBA game any day, to say nothing of the horrible monotony of a 1-0 MLB game.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:09 AM on May 28, 2012


All other major pro sports have a way to determine a winner each and every game.

Not to be pedantic, because I get your point, but the NHL and NFL both allow regular-season tie games. They are very rare in the NFL, and while they NHL has shoot outs, they respect a stat called "overtime losses" that signify the game ended in a tie.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:06 AM on May 28, 2012


And yet the game ended in a draw. All other major pro sports have a way to determine a winner each and every game. 90+ minutes of soccer and people still have to go away without the satisfaction of a win, or the we'll get em next time attitude coming off a loss.

Surely in a league match if the teams performed equally well a draw is the correct result?
posted by kersplunk at 8:47 AM on May 28, 2012


Atmosphere: Timbers fans sing the national anthem at the home opener.
posted by the painkiller at 6:00 PM on May 28, 2012


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