On Sunday night, all of Vancouver were Timbers fans. And by virtue of Portland's 1-0 win over Seattle, the Whitecaps won back the Cascadia Cup for the first time since 2008.
Seattle's loss guaranteed Vancouver finished atop the Cascadia standings with a 2-1-3 record, their nine points two better than both their Pacific Northwest rivals in games between them. The 'Caps claim the derby title for the fourth time since it was first awarded in 2004 and for the first time as an MLS club.
"I’m really pleased for everyone involved with the club: the players, the staff, the front office staff, and then obviously for the supporters as well," Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie told whitecapsfc.com. "I know that it’s really, really important to all of the players and to the coaches and to everyone at the club to beat our rivals. Those are the games that have the most intense atmosphere, the highest energy and often the most on the line.
"I’m really, really pleased that we’ve made this step. It’s our first trophy as an MLS club and hopefully it will be the first of many."
The 'Caps were a loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention this past Wednesday, but hung a shock 4-1 win over the Sounders at CenturyLink Field behind a hat trick from rookie Kekuta Manneh that kept them in the running.
"Soccer clubs are built on memories like that, nights like that," Rennie told the club site. "Those are the types of things that fans will always remember. People who traveled to the game, people who watched it on TV, people involved in playing in it and coaching it and so on … you’ll always remember nights like that. Those are the things that build the history of the club."
Vancouver are currently in seventh place in the Western Conference with 45 points, but are only three behind Colorado, who occupy the fifth and final playoff place. The 'Caps close their season with two games against the Rapids: on Oct. 19 in Colorado and on Oct. 27 back at BC Place.