Cascadia Soccer: A Look Back On First Kick, A Look Ahead To The Weekend

To the surprise of many MLS fans, it was the Vancouver Whitecaps who recorded the first Cascadia win in 2011, a 4-2 victory over Toronto FC. Meanwhile, Portland Timbers fell 3-1 at Colorado Rapids, and Seattle -- the older, wiser, more experienced brother in all this -- has failed to score in its first 180 minutes of 2011, losing 1-0 to both the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls. How will everything shake out this weekend?

Portland Timbers

Many had fretted over the state of the Portland defense before the Timbers even took to the pitch against the Rapids last Saturday. The center backs were regularly pulled out of position, left back Rodney Wallace had a shocker, and reserve goalkeeper Adin Brown started in place of Troy Perkins. Jeff Larentowicz, Omar Cummings and Jamie Smith all found it rather easy to score against this hapless defense. Kenny Cooper did manage to score the first MLS goal for the Timbers, so at least that's out of the way.

Now the Timbers head to Canada, but not to face their rivals: their next match is against Toronto, where it was snowing on Wednesday. Considering the fact that Toronto fell 4-2 to their flashy upstart Canadian "neighbors" last week, it's fair to say that an icy reception awaits.

For more on Portland, visit SB Nation's Timbers blog, Stumptown Footy.

Seattle Sounders

In happy news, Fredy Montero says, via his twitter, that he's in training thinking about how to score goals. What's worrisome his how long this might take. The Sounders started their season off on the wrong foot, with the news that forward Blaise Nkufo would be leaving the team breaking just an hour before they hosted the LA Galaxy. Seattle went on to lose 1-0 on March 15, before traveling to New York to lose by the same scoreline.

While it's not true that the Sounders absolutely need a traditional center forward, they do need to find a way to capitalize on chances. Simply having someone other than O'Brian White lurking in the area might help. However, Seattle looked rather threatening against RBNY for much of the match, and should the Sounders continue that attacking style against Houston Dynamo on Friday, we might finally see the first goal of 2011.

For more on the Sounders, visit SB Nation's SSFC blog, Sounder at Heart.

Vancouver Whitecaps

What a start for Vancouver, beating fellow Canadians Toronto FC 4-2 in their first match as an MLS side. Just fifteen minutes into the match, Eric Hassli had scored for the home side. I'd love to tell you how this happened, but as MLS Match Day Live was entirely out of  commission for this match, I'm not entirely convinced that the match actually occurred. Assuming the match did actually occur, then it is correct to note that Dwayne De Rosario equalized shortly thereafter, giving 'Caps fans a bit of a scare, but in the end, it was Hassli and company that found the win, with the forward scoring a second and Atiba Harris and Terry Dunfield adding to the scoring.

A bright start for Vancouver, but can they keep it up this week as they embark on their first road trip? The Whitecaps head east to face the Philadelphia Union, who defeated the Dynamo 1-0 last week. They'll be looking to make history again with such milestones as first away goal, first away win, first time having to get out the passports when crossing the border...

For more on Vancouver, visit SB Nation's Whitecaps blog, 86 Forever.

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