Travel US & Canada

The Cascadia Cup and the World of Soccer in the Pacific Northwest

It is a regional dynamic that is often overlooked and Major League Soccer is the first time it has ever been on display in sports. The Cascadia Cup is pure magic for fans of both sport and culture.

The Pacific Northwest, popularly referred to as Cascadia, is a great region of the North American continent that is shared by both Canada and the United States. While visiting the Pacific Northwest, you may find that one of the most sought after trophies of any sport is the Cascadia Cup, awarded to the best performing team among the three Major League Soccer teams in the region.

“Kickoff Celebration” by rayterrill is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A little background on the event that unites hard-core fans around the Pacific Northwest; The Cascadia Cup was created in 2004 informally by fans to recognize the best performing team in the Pacific Northwest. Today the participating teams are the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Sounders FC, and Portland Timbers. A two-foot-tall silver Cascadia Cup was produced as the official trophy of the unofficial tournament and has been awarded to the winning at the end of the season each year. 

Each year, the teams from the founding regions compete for the trophy in stadiums around the Pacific Northwest. It is without any doubt these matches are the region’s biggest sporting events and are witnessed by tens of thousands of spectators. Cascadia Cup matches often feature massive TIFO displays, including regional pride, and of course a healthy dose of competitive flair. 

Why Is The Cascadia Cup Worth Your Time While Traveling?

“Portland Goes Up 1-0” by frozenchipmunk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Although Vancouver is in an entirely separate country from Seattle and Portland, if you talk to anyone who lives in Vancouver, they will probably say they have more in common with someone from Seattle than they do with someone from Montreal, or Toronto. They same thing can be said for their American neighbors to the south in Seattle, who can relate more to Vancouverites in climate, lifestyle and politics than they can relate to Americans in other regions. 

It is a regional dynamic that is often overlooked and Major League Soccer is the first time it has ever been on display in sports. The Cascadia Cup is pure magic for fans of both sport and culture. The entire inter-country region only has one hockey team, one basketball team, one football team and one baseball team, but each major city in the region has an MLS team. Each year, the matches played in any of the 3 stadiums, BC Place, Lumen Field and Providence Park, are some of the most energetic you’ll find in the entirety of either country.  

Lastly, the Cascadia Cup is an opportunity to meet a wide variety of people from two different countries at the same time. All over the world, soccer/football brings together many people who share a common interest –the love of sport. The tournament provides an avenue to meet people not just from the region, but from all over the US and Canada. If you are ever in the Pacific Northwest at the time of the year and you have some time to kill, then catching the Cascadia Cup is one of the best forms of entertainment you can get. 

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