Photo Courtesy of Corky Trewin/Seattle Sounders FC
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Most of the 21,000 had departed Empire Field after Seattle's 3-1 win over the Whitecaps, marking the last MLS game at the temporary stadium built in Hastings Park. Most, that is, except for the 500+ Seattle supporters who crowded into the Northwest corner of the stadium.
For them, there was still the matter of presenting the Cascadia Cup to resolve, with Kasey Keller accepting the trophy in a short ceremony after the match.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
Keller hoisted the trophy in the direction of the fans, to raucous applause and drumbeats. Osvaldo Alonso got a turn, as did Mike Fucito and the night’s two-goal hero Fredy Montero. Even with one more game in the Cascadia Cup—Vancouver host Portland at the refurbished BC Place October 2—Seattle claimed the title with an aggregate 2-0-2 record against its Northwest rivals.
After the match, Keller toasted the fans making the trip north.
“A good day for all the Seattle fans who traveled up,” Keller said after the match. “It will be a nice border crossing either tonight or tomorrow.”
In addition to the fans who had packed into the supporters sections, Seattle fans dotted the stands at Empire Field. Head coach Sigi Schmid remarked that Seattle had more than its 500 allotted fans in the stadium on an unseasonably warm night in Vancouver.
“The Sounder fans were great with their support and it was a great feeling to be able to hold the Cup up in front of them,” said Schmid. “I’m not sure what the favorite top of the line beverage is here in Vancouver but I’m sure it will be filling the cup tonight.”
Seattle overcame a spirited effort from the Whitecaps in the final game at Empire. Evans noted that when the Sounders saw Mustapha Jarju in the starting lineup as a striker, it was an indication that the Vancouver would come out attacking and try to get up early.
Tom Soehn’s team did exactly that, getting the early goal through Camilo.
Keller credited his team with keeping its composure, eventually turning the tide of the game before Evans equalized from the penalty spot before halftime.
That set the stage for Montero’s second-half heroics, as the little Colombian turned a 1-1 deadlock into a commanding 3-1 final.
“It seemed like half the stadium was our fans so it was awesome to see that wherever we go we get support, and for us to win the Cascadia Cup here is special,” said Evans, who converted his third penalty of the year in the 33rd minute. “This is a great result for us and it’s our first trophy of the year.”
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS