Cascadia Cup

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Sounders overturn poor run, outlast rival Timbers in victory (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  After a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers, the Cascadia Cup belongs to the Seattle Sounders, and so do three points. Having not won in the last four, the three points, although not hoisted like the cup following the game, are sweeter than any silverware. Seattle, with seven regular-season games left to play, need every point they can get to remain second behind a historic LAFC. Raul Ruidiaz, scoreless throughout the aforementioned run, proved to be the difference, with one goal and assist throughout the night. The Timbers, who hang on by a thread in the playoff race, fell back on Diego Valeri’s genius in the second half, but it wasn’t enough this time around. They remain in the seventh spot with 37 points.

Three moments that mattered

10′ — Cristian Roldan opens the scoreline — Awkward assist from Ruidiaz, simple tap-in from Roldan.

60′ — Ruidiaz makes it 2-0  — Chances are Ruidiaz will score inside the box on a first-time strike.

54′ — Valeri gives Portland life — We’ve seen him do better before, but Valeri likes to show up against the Sounders.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Raul Ruidiaz

Goalscorers: Roldan (60′), Ruidiaz (47′), Valeri (54′)

Portland outlasts Seattle in gripping playoff second leg

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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Portland and Seattle staged a second leg befitting of their rivalry, as the Timbers knocked their rivals out of the MLS Cup Playoffs with a gripping win in Seattle early Friday.

A chaotic ending put the match in extra time, where Dairon Asprilla sent a bullet header into the back of the goal off a Diego Valeri cross to make it 4-3 on aggregate only to see a penalty make it 4-4 four minutes later.

Will Bruin hit the post with Seattle’s second penalty attempt and Jeff Attinella stopped Osvaldo Alonso on the next Seattle attempt. Stefan Frei stopped Liam Ridgewell‘s winning bid, but could only get a hand on Asprilla’s winning hit.

The triumph sets Portland up for a meeting with either Real Salt Lake or Sporting KC in the Western final.

[ MORE: Louisville City defends USL Cup title ]

The Sounders entered the match down 2-1 but holding an away goal. That meant 1-0 would be enough for them to get into the conference finals, and an awful Portland mistake put them in the catbird seat.

Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella bungled a cross and left it on the doorstep for Raul Ruidiaz, who made it 2-2 on aggregate in the 68th minute. Seattle, as it stood, was headed back to the Western finals.

Enter Sebastian Blanco.

The Argentine took a lay-off from Dairon Asprilla and hit a low ball that caught Stefan Frei in a hard place.

Portland was back in front, though the Timbers were denied a bid to close the match out via Frei’s in-tight denial of Lucas Melano.

Stoppage time made it 2-1 to Seattle, when Ruidiaz unleashed this beauty following a weak headed clearing attempt from Blanco.

The match went to extra time, and Valeri’s long cross was met at the back post by the leaping Asprilla.

The score line stayed the same for less than four minutes, as a Blanco handball sent Lodeiro to the spot and the Sounders star did not miss his chance to make it 4-4.

Ruidiaz had a goal pulled back for a handball as the match continued to deliver drama en route to kicks.

Some Timbers players celebrated after extra time, apparently thinking they advanced via away goals (away goals in extra time are no longer a tiebreaker). That’s… problematic.

Lodeiro brace gives Seattle’s faint playoff hopes a lifeline

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In Major League Soccer’s forgiving playoff structure, there’s almost always a way back into the mix.

When your team has a talent like Nicolas Lodeiro, your chances get magnified quite a bit.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez bags 3 more ]

Lodeiro scored twice, once from the spot, and Seattle debuted its new Designated Player in a 2-0 Cascadia Cup win over Vancouver on Saturday.

Seattle is now eight points back of the West’s final playoff spot with 15 to play in its season. And the Sounders join Portland on three Cascadia Cup points, with the Timbers beating Seattle in the other cup match of the season.

Raul Ruidiaz came off the bench for the Sounders, and showed early glimpses of why Seattle wanted the World Cup participant from Peru.

The ‘Caps finished the match with 10 men thanks to a red card on Efrain Juarez, who saw yellow and then made contact with the referee.

The second goal took a vicious turn on its way to making goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic look capital-A awkward.

Watch Live: Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Things are about to get bonkers in the Pacific Northwest — extra bonkers, even — as the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps meet in Washington to sort out a number of key MLS issues (Watch live on NBCSN, 10 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).

First, there’s the Cascadia Cup, as the winner will bring home the coveted trophy fought for by the two clubs as well as the Portland Timbers.

[ RELATED: Latest MLS standings ]

Then there’s the Supporters Shield, another bit of hardware the Sounders can win. They are locked in a battle with red-hot Los Angeles for that honor.

Oh, and Vancouver can again leapfrog Portland into the driver’s seat for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

Lineups

Seattle Sounders: Frei, Evans, C. Marshall, Anibaba, Gonzalez, Neagle, Alonso, Azira, Pappa, Dempsey Martins

Subs: Hahnemann, Cooper, Barrett, Rose, Pineda, Scott, Traore

Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Harvey, Waston, Laba, Hurtado, Manneh, Rosales, Teibert, Beitashour, O’Brien, Morales

Subs: Tornaghi, Adekugbe, Ballouchy, Leverón, Sampson, Mezquida, Froese

Seattle, Vancouver do battle for Cascadia Cup live on NBCSN

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This is it. On Friday the Cascadia Cup will head to either Seattle or Vancouver, to the United States of America or Canada. You will not want to miss this one.

With local pride, playoff positions and a coveted cup on the line, the Seattle Sounders welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps to CenturyLink Field (Watch live on NBCSN, 10 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra) in what promises to be a thrilling clash.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

The Sounders are currently top of the Cascadia standings and know a win or a draw would seal their first success since 2011. However, defending Cascadia champs Vancouver stand in their way and with Carl Robinson’s men desperate for a win to enhance their hopes of making the MLS playoffs, a victory would seal a seconds-straight title as ‘Kings of Cascadia’. In terms of the league standings, the ‘Caps sit just one place outside the playoff spots in the West and are two points behind Cascadia’s third team, the Portland Timbers, in the postseason hunt.

With just two regular season games left, fans of the Timbers are urging bitter rivals Seattle to win on Friday night (that does not happen often) adding an extra spice to this one. Plus, there’s more. Seattle are leading the Supporters’ Shield race and are joint-top of the Western Conference with the LA Galaxy, so they won’t be letting up either.

So, it’s quite simple, a win or draw for Seattle sees them lift the Cascadia Cup, while a win for Vancouver means they’ll be heading back to British Columbia with the trophy and be back in the playoff spots in the West.

Get ready, this could get crazy at CenturyLink as the final Cascadia clash of the 2014 season is upon us.