David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Capping off a rivalry, for now

Sounders took the 2007 Cascadia Cup over Vancouver and Portland.
(Jenni Conner)

When the Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps close out the 2008 United Soccer Leagues Division One regular season against each other on Saturday at 7:00 PM at Starfire there will be a cup hanging in the balance.

That shouldn't surprise anyone.

Seattle and Vancouver have been playing meaningful matches against each other since 1974.

In 1976 it was Geoff Hurst who scored Seattle's overtime goal to give the Sounders their first-ever playoff win in the NASL. It came against Vancouver.

Throughout the late 1970's thousands of Whitecaps supporters invaded the Kingdome with their chants of "Oogie oogie oogie, oi! oi! oi!" echoing off the cement walls.

Seattle went to two Soccer Bowls in the NASL era, but it was Vancouver who won the only title amongst the two when they beat Tampa Bay in 1979.

It was the Sounders who helped the Whitecaps open BC Place in 1983 before over 60,000 fans.

After the NASL folded FC Seattle and the Seattle Storm picked up the Emerald City soccer banner while up north the Vancouver 86ers began life. The two cities played 'friendlies' in the 1980's.

In 1994 the Seattle Sounders were reborn and played with the 86ers in the new APSL. The rivalry continued. In 2001 Vancouver reclaimed the name "Whitecaps" and the derby was finally, officially all the way back.

In 2002 the Whitecaps helped the Sounders open Qwest Field before over 25,000 fans.

Over the last 34 years Seattle and Vancouver have played each other over 100 times. (Seattle leads the all-time series). The biggest blows against each other have been in fairly recent years. Vancouver fans will happily remember the 2002 season when Seattle ran away with the league after 23 wins, only to get blasted in the first round of the playoffs on an 8-2 aggregate by the Whitecaps.

Sounders fans will remember the 2003 and 2004 campaigns when Seattle knocked Vancouver out of the playoffs two straight seasons.

The Cascadia Cup demands quality and the two sides with the most quality in the region have been the only ones to win the Cup. While PDX looks on, Seattle and Vancouver are tied 2-2 in cup wins. Vancouver won in 2004 and 2005. Seattle has won it in 2006 and 2007.

The last three USL-1 Championships have been won by either Seattle (2005, 2007) or Vancouver (2006).

2008 sees the end of the current derby.

How long before the Whitecaps are once again on the Sounders' regular season schedule? 2011?

Soon won't be soon enough.

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