PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 25: Fans of the Portland Timbers celebrate a goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps on August 25, 2012 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
With the upcoming Cascadia Cup match against the Portland Timbers arch rivals the Seattle Sounders just over a week away, there are undoubtedly a lot of fans who are placing their remaining hopes of the season on winning the regional trophy. After all, with the chances of making the play offs all but mathematically ruled out, there's little else for Timbers fans to get excited for.
The truth of it is that a win against the Seattle Sounders would lock up the trophy for the Timbers this year because any tiebreaker result at the end is decided on head to head goals.
Let's take a look at the current schedule and Cascadia Cup standings:
A couple weeks ago our own Will Conwell put together some bits and pieces of this puzzle, breaking the possible outcomes down.
According to my breakdown, 60 of the possible 81 outcomes of the four remaining games result in a Timbers win either outright or by the first tiebreaker: head to head points (74%). Five of the possible outcomes give Portland the chance to win on goal differential. Vancouver cannot win outright, but could come out on top due to goal differential in 3 scenarios.
What all this means is that if the Timbers win, they get the trophy, if they tie, they're still in a solid position to win the trophy. However, if they lose, at that point the competition is wide open and, in that case, any of the teams could win with Vancouver having the slightest chance still, with a possible total of 8 points.
What do you guys think? Are you expecting to win the trophy this Saturday?
P.S. For those of you who saw my embarrassing first draft, I apologize. My fault entirely and was done on hasty research fueled by a large move yesterday. Ignore that.