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January 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Each rivalry game will count toward the 2012 Cascadia Cup

According to a news release posted on the Vancouver Southsiders website, each rivalry game in 2012 will count toward the Cascadia Cup. The format of the competition is determined by the fan groups and the Southsiders worked in conjunction with the Emerald City Supporters and Timbers Army.

Per the release: “The Cascadia Cup will be awarded to the team with the most points after all matches have been played or when there is a clear winner. In the event of a tie, the Cup will be awarded to the team with the best goal differential.”

This has been a point of discussion since the unbalanced league schedule has also resulted in an unbalanced distribution of rivalry games among Sounders FC, Portland Timbers FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Portland hosts Seattle and Vancouver twice this season and goes on the road just once against each. The Sounders go on the road twice against the Timbers and Whitecaps, hosting each rival just once.

That schedule is expected to be reversed in 2013, with Seattle getting four of its six rivalry games at home.

Here Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid on the matter:

“It’s a competition that this year puts Portland in the driver’s seat and next year puts us in the driver’s seat — unless, who knows, maybe they change the rules again. It’s a situation where Vancouver is always going to play a balanced schedule, but they’re always going to run into a team that gets an unbalanced schedule.

“It’s not a fair competition — I’ll put it that way — but it’s a competition, so we’re going to participate in it. I think the Northwest is an important part of MLS and soccer, and I think down the line they’ve got to find a way to balance it. But not next year. Next year the advantage should return to us and then balance it off in 2014.

“It’s that could have been maybe better thought through before they established the schedule. I don’t think it really mattered whether we played Dallas away twice this year or Salt Lake (at home) twice. Everybody could’ve found an extra away game, whether it was San Jose or Colorado or Salt Lake or whomever, so that this could’ve been balanced.”

* * *

What do you think? Was this is the right decision? The Sounders will have a disadvantage this year, but an expected advantage in 2013. Is the format fair?

* * *

Here are the parameters for winning the Cascadia Cup, as posted in the Southsiders website:

1. Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned

2. Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned

3. Greater number of goals scored in matches between the teams concerned

4. Reapply first three criteria if two or more teams are still tied

5. Greater goal difference in all cup matches

6. Greater number of goals scored in all cup matches

7. Smaller number of disciplinary points in all cup matches (yellow = 1 point, red = 2 points)

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