Jeremiah over at Sounder at Heart was all over this a few days ago, but now the idea of a preseason tournament for the Cascadia rivals is picking up steam. Be sure to check out the link as it sounds like the event would be held at Starfire in Tukwila and would feature a round-robin involving the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps.
Portland coach John Spencer talked about it yesterday on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio. He was actually asked about what he thought of the reported possibility of a Cascadia rivalry week, perhaps in the 2012 regular season, but instead offered this:
“I think it’s a great idea and the great thing about it is we’re not trying to create something. We’re not trying to create a rivalry. The rivalry has been there. History tells you that. I think it’s a great tournament that Seattle is gonna host in the next month or so and to get all the fans together and have a good preseason tournament. We’ve all been around the game long enough to know that sometimes you play in meaningless preseason games where there’s not a big crowd there. But we’re going to play in this tournament against the Whitecaps, and obviously the Sounders, and it’s probably going to be sold out at Starfire with 5,000 or 6,000 people there. I just think it adds a little bit of spice. There’s nothing better than getting these preseason games and you add a little bit of fan fervor there and it lifts everybody’s game.
I haven’t heard anything from the Sounders, but it certainly sounds like this is a go. Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi mentioned the possibility last week. And why not? These are the best rivalries in MLS, even Grant Wahl thinks so.