Cascadia Cup Comes to a Close: A preview for the final match and perspective on the rivalry Part One
By Philip Mitchell
As I have written earlier this season, there is nothing like the Cascadia Cup, especially when Portland plays Seattle. I will need to take a few words back though. The cup match Wednesday in Seattle versus Vancouver was epic. I completely found the game entertaining and when the results were over I was completely satisfied. Seattle fans reading this may begin to feel a bit of emotions towards the negative but there is a very good reason why I feel this way.
Something different took place than what many of us MLS fans have gotten accustomed to in regards to the Cascadia Cup. Vancouver now has beaten Seattle not just once, but twice this season and the most recent game was in Seattle. It wasn’t even close as well.
To prevent any further insult to injury, I will focus this article on what could be the game of the season. Even better than the epic come from behind six goal match against New York and that unbelievable match in Vancouver where Camillo scored one of the best goals I have ever seen…. well the best goal I have ever seen was Nagbe’s stunner in 2011 against Sporting Kansas City. But I digress. With that said, something needs to be said prior to the battle that will ensue this Sunday evening.
Before Timbers fans start to froth from the mouth for Sunday’s match against the Seattle Sounders, they need to step back and really look at what is taking place in regards to their rivals from the Emerald City.
The Sounders are similar to a wounded animal that is ready to give its final fight. They are not dead but close to needing to be put out of their misery. Their ultimate goal of the Supporter’s shield is within reach but Portland could take care of that. Expect SSFC to come out prepared to do whatever is necessary to win. That is a dangerous situation for any team, not just Portland.
Seattle wants to destroy Portland. Embarrass them at home right in front of the Timbers Army and gain the upper hand in the league standings and win the Cascadia Cup. In their minds, nothing better than to do it against a rival where the fans literally hate more than they actually support their own team (Did you leave before the game ended on Wednesday?).
I have been to plenty of Portland vs. Seattle games and neither side likes each other. But the vibe in Seattle is different. In Portland, there are not as many people. It has kind of a close to the action feeling no matter where you sit, unless you got a support beam in your way. But in Seattle, there is just this gut feeling I get whenever I go there. It is not about what my team will do or not do. It is what will the fans do towards me or other Timbers fans. Yes, there is a supporter’s section for the away team. Others as well as myself should take note of that next time but you would think that it really is not that bad. No it is. There is this feeling of a superiority complex in the stands. The firmly believe they are better. It does not matter what you say. They always have something to prove you wrong. They do not think they will ever lose and that destiny has set them up to be the cream of Cascadia. I am not sure why they have this visceral hate towards the Timbers. But they do. I grew up in Seattle and while attending these matches, as a Sounders fan, I never understood why. But for some reason the fans in Seattle just hate Portland with a passion regardless of the sport.
Some could say that Portland fans return the hate, and I have seen it myself. I for one have been told of members of the Timbers Army being subject to odd treatment by Seattle security and fans on away games but there have been other times where I have been and have heard of others being welcomed to tailgates and had no issues. So should I really hate them? Hate is such a strong word and emotion. I really have begun to grow to love to watch them lose or blow a lead. But hate. I don’t know.
Let me just say that the feelings are mutual when it comes to the two cities but there is a bit of a difference in Portland. If a game does not end the way Portland fans want it, there is a feeling of we will get them next time or next year. Yes, there is frustration and in some instances anger but in the end, people go about their day. Seattle fans appear to take any kind of swipe personal. This is no different than what I have seen for college football or even in Portland. But it is at a higher level.
Even if they win, they really go out of their way to remind you outside of the stadium. I think that is classless. Let the opposition’s fans go home. I will not get into what happens if they tie or lose. There are stories but most are unsubstantiated so I will not get into it. Maybe it is different in Portland due to the fact that the TA has gotten used to disappointment and the team has under achieved. But this is a game. Either you win, lose or draw. Sometimes, you have to just deal with the fact that your team may have to take it on the chin once or twice a season when they get beat…. really bad. Look at the results this season in MLS. Find a team that hasn’t.
Click Here for Part Two