Whitecaps fans cheer on their side.
Getty Images

'Caps fans set for pilgrimmage to Qwest

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Although results haven’t exactly gone their way, throughout the season, the Vancouver Whitecaps have had great support on the road.

There were Michael Nanchoff fans who came to see the ‘Caps in Columbus, Tommy Soehn supporters in Chicago and, most recently, a group of fans traveled to see the team against Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake.

On Saturday, though, things kick up a notch as Whitecaps fans get set to travel en masse to Seattle to see their club’s first match of the Cascadia Cup derby against the Sounders. (10:30 pm ET; FOX Soccer, TSN2)

The agreed allotment of 500 tickets was snapped up by the Whitecaps supporters, showing how much the sport has continued to grow in recent years.

“It’s quite amazing that just a few years ago, I used to come down to Qwest Field for a Whitecaps-Sounders match and there would be less than 2,000 people,” said Brett Graham, one of the many fans heading down I-5 this weekend. “Now, I'm returning for a Cascadia Cup match at the same venue and there will be 36,000.

“There will be 500-600 Vancouver fans alone. That’s quite different from when I would come down for a USL match and all the Vancouver Fans shared a car.”

Graham is a part of the Vancouver Southsiders supporters group. They plan to head down in the morning and make it a full day event. Part of that will involve catching Canada’s Gold Cup match against Guadeloupe at 6 pm ET, and luckily, they’ve found a spot to watch the game.

Afterwards, it’s off to Qwest to sing, chant and drive their squad to victory. With their team in need of a win, that support could truly make a big difference.

“I like to think that the team gets a lift from seeing their fans cheering them on in hostile territories,” said Graham. “Selfishly, it is also a lot of fun.”

Added Whitecaps head coach Tom Soehn, “It's exciting being so close and having some of our fans there to support us. There won’t be much needed to get the adrenaline rush going.”

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.