The Sounders have seen both of their Pacific Northwest rivals hoist the Cascadia Cup the past two years, and the quest to reclaim the trophy starts Saturday in Portland.
As the rivalry action begins, however, both teams are coming off losses and face potentially significant personnel issues.
The Timbers are winless at 0-2-2 could be without a handful of starters. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and defender Michael Harrington will be serving suspensions, and many feel defender Pa Modou Kah could be subject to retroactive punishment from the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Also, star midfielder Darlington Nagbe left Saturday’s game injured while ex-Sounder Steve Zakuani was unavailable with a hamstring injury.
Seattle, on the other hand, will be without suspended defender Djimi Traore after Saturday’s red card. The main injury concerns are midfielder Brad Evans, who has missed the past two games, and defender Leo Gonzalez, who still hasn’t started a game this season and has been limited to coming off the bench. Elsewhere, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin might have their roles affected by Wednesday’s friendly with the U.S. national team against Mexico in Phoenix.
Certainly, Portland looks to be more affected, but either way it is a lot to consider for two teams that haven’t gotten off to the best starts.
Here are the previous winners in the Cascadia Cup (* — two-team competition in the United Soccer Leagues while Seattle was in MLS):
And here is the 2014 schedule:
|April 5||Sounders FC at Portland||Providence Park|
|May 24||Sounders FC at Vancouver||BC Place|
|June 1||Vancouver at Portland||Providence Park|
|July 5||Sounders FC at Vancouver||BC Place|
|July 13||Portland at Sounders FC||CenturyLink Field|
|August 24||Sounders FC at Portland||Providence Park|
|August 30||Portland at Vancouver||BC Place|
|September 20||Vancouver at Portland||Providence Park|
|October 10||Vancouver at Sounders FC||CenturyLink Field|