Vancouver Whitecaps fans will hopefully now all be very familiar with the Cascadia Cup. What many may not be so familiar with is the new piece of silverware introduced this season – the Juan de Fuca Plate.
And the Whitecaps could be lifting it for the first time this weekend.
The Plate is the brainchild of supporters of Vancouver Whitecaps and Victoria Highlanders, who wanted to reward the efforts of their PDL teams and award a trophy to the team that performed best in matches between the three British Columbia based teams (Fraser Valley Mariners being the third team in the mix).
The initial idea was thought up by avid Whitecaps and Highlanders fan Drew Shaw after reading Ruffneck Scarves were going to give a trophy for the best PDL team in Washington State.
The premise was simple – if they have something down there, then we should have something even better up here.
Vancouver Southsiders and the Highlanders’ Lake Side Buoys supporters’ groups loved the idea and more than 20 people have donated $700 which pays for the Plate itself, the wooden base that holds it, ribbons in the colours of all the competing teams, website and other administration costs, and a game day banner that will be unveiled in 2013.
There are plans to continue fundraising in 2013 so the winning team players can be presented with commemorative scarves in future years.
The Juan de Fuca Strait is a 95 mile long body of water that is the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean, with the international boundary between Canada and the US running down the center of the Strait, so it’s a very fitting name.
With the Caps having two eligible fixtures remaining for the inaugural Plate, Sunday’s match with Victoria Highlanders at Richmond’s Minoru Oval Park is likely to see the trophy won and presented for the first time.
It’s not everyday that you can go along and see the Caps win some silverware, so get yourselves along to Richmond for the noon kick off on Sunday and see some cracking football in the sun.
The PDL on the whole is a fantastic environment to go and watch live football.
Entertaining games in intimate settings and every match is a Cascadian derby. What more could you want?
This year had the added boost of Seattle Sounders taking over and rebranding the Tacoma Tide, meaning all three Cascadian MLS clubs have their U23 teams competing in the League.
It’s been a tough 2012 campaign for the Caps but with three matches remaining, they could still snag one of the four playoff spots.
They currently sit in fifth place, on 18 points. Portland Timbers and Washington Crossfire are sitting in third and fourth, and have to play each other twice still. Providing they don’t share a win apiece and the Caps win their last three matches, then Vancouver will clinch a playoff berth.
So still a lot to play for.
The Caps PDL side is a mix of talented local University prospects and key members of the Whitecaps Residency program, often bolstered by younger members of the MLS squad.
From the newer members of the team, captain Gagan Dosanjh, Cam Hundal and James Farenhorst have really shone this season.
Vancouver play North Sound SeaWolves at 7.30pm tonight at Swangard Stadium, then take on Victoria Highlanders at noon at Richmond’s Minoru Oval Park on Sunday, The Caps then round of their regular PDL season matches with a game against Fraser Valley Mariners at 7.30pm this coming Wednesday (11th).
Admission is free at Swangard, so get yourselves along, enjoy the sunny weekend, cheer on the Caps and #SupportTheFuture.
About the author:
Michael McColl began writing about football in 1989 and has freelanced for various newspapers, magazines and websites in the UK, before moving to Vancouver in 2007. He is the editor of “Away From the Numbers”, which can be currently found over on Canadian Soccer News, and a regular columnist with the Metro. He is also a member of the North American Soccer Reporters association and Vancouver Southsiders supporters club.