Seattle Sounders Win Cascadia Cup After Defeat of Vancouver Whitecaps

Sounders Win Cascadia Cup
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Sept. 15, 2018) — The train keeps on rolling and the Seattle Sounders FC continue to stack up victories.

The Cascadia Cup final came and went on Saturday, with the Sounders extending its record-breaking winning streak to nine games. Raúl Ruidíaz felt right at home at BBC Place, scoring two goals.

Seattle Sounders Win Cascadia Cup After Defeat of Vancouver Whitecaps

Ruidíaz’s first goal came in the 21st minute, giving the Sounders the early edge. Before the halftime whistle blew, the Peruvian striker found the back of Stefan Marinovic’s net, scoring in the 42nd minute.

While his second goal was unassisted, Kelvin Leerdam and Cristian Roldan assisted his first tally of the game. His brace brings his season total to five. Ruidíaz joined the team in July after featuring in the FIFA World Cup. He has started eight out of his nine appearances.

For his efforts against Vancouver, Ruidíaz was named to the MLS Team of the Week. It’s the first time the Peruvian received the honor. Leerdam, on the other hand, made it to the MLS Team of the Week bench.

After the match, Ruidíaz said he was “really surprised” by all of the success, including the nine-game winning streak.

“But we’re more than just a group,” Ruidíaz said. “We’re a family. That’s why everything is coming out excellent.”

After the match, Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer reiterated his striker’s point, complementing not only his team but the traveling supporters and fans back in Seattle.

“They made noise the entire game from when we walked out in pregame warm-ups to the end, and I’m so happy that George [the trophy] is going back on those supporters’ buses,” Schmetzer said. “I hope they drink out of him, I hope they enjoy them because that’s for them. That’s truly a supporters’ trophy and I’m very happy that they are the recipients tonight.”

Three Takeaways

  1. This team can win a championship: It seems like a distant memory that the Sounders were fighting with the San Jose Earthquakes to stay out of last place. Now, the Sounders sit in a healthy fifth place, poised to make the playoffs. The race is still tight, though, with no teams clinching a spot. However, this is a Sounders team that is riding a huge wave of confidence and momentum. Seattle can truly go back to a third-straight championship game — and win the whole thing.
  2. Two “Stefans,” one Frei: Both goalkeepers were kept busy, but for Stefan Frei, victory was sweet. The stalwart in net for Seattle, Frei made four saves, denying Cristian Techera and Nicolás Mezquida, twice. There’s a big possibility that Frei can win Goalkeeper of the Year. During Seattle’s rough patch at the beginning of the season, he kept the team in games. His leadership has shone through this season.
  3. A family affair: Ruidíaz isn’t the only person that takes the family culture in Seattle seriously. One of the traveling supporters was none other than Cristian and Alex Roldan’s mother, Ana. If she really is Seattle’s lucky charm, keep her on the team bus all the way until the championship game.

 

PHOTO: The Seattle Sounders FC team pose with the Cascadia Cup trophy — named “George” — after defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, at BBC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Photo courtesy of Mike Fiechtner/Seattle Sounders FC.