It seems that I have been saying this for the past few weeks, but the Vancouver Whitecaps are back in the driver’s seat after their 1-0 victory Friday night over the Seattle Sounders. With the win, the Whitecaps took back over the fifth and final playoff spot. The Portland Timbers held that spot for two days after their 3-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes last Wednesday night in Portland.
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The Whitecaps have a one point lead with two games remaining. If the Whitecaps win and the Timbers lose this coming weekend, the Whitecaps will secure the fifth and final playoff spot. If both teams win, it will make for an interesting final weekend of the season for the two Cascadia rivals.
It could get really interesting if the Timbers tie and the Whitecaps lose. It would create a tie for the final playoff spot and make the final day of the season really matter. The Whitecaps have arguably the easier schedule of the two teams. The Timbers face Real Salt Lake on Friday night, while the Whitecaps face the Earthquakes on Saturday.
It will be a little tougher for the Timbers. After they face off against RSL, they have to travel and face CD Olimpia for their final group stage match in the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League. I will be interested to see what team takes the field for that match-up. If the Timbers are still alive for that fifth and final playoff spot, I could possibly see Caleb Porter field a somewhat weaker team. However, the Timbers need to win their Champions League match to ensure advancement to the knockout stages.
Regardless, you can be assured that both teams will play their hardest as they both know how important it is to make the playoffs.
Author’s note: Red, White and Green is Playing for 90′s column aimed at focusing on the Cascadian (Pacific Northwest) teams. In MLS, three teams – Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver – battle for the Cascadia Cup each year. Red, White, and Green will give a critical eye to Cascadia teams. The column is named Red, White, and Green based on the team colors. Red for the Portland Timbers as they are known as “Rose City”, white for the Vancouver Whitecaps as it is their primary color when they play, and lastly green for the Seattle Sounders as they wear “Rave Green” for most matches, home or away.