Soccer games as sovereignty movement -

Soccer games as sovereignty movement

While Quebec fights for independence, the Vancouver Whitecaps battle for Cascadian pride on the pitch

Soccer games as sovereignty movement

Rick Bowmer/AP

The battle for Cascadian independence is largely a footnote in North American history books. It is highly unlikely the bioregion encompassing British Columbia, Washington and Oregon will achieve sovereignty. When it comes to professional soccer, however, national pride is at stake.

Every year, the Cascadia Cup is awarded to one of the three Major League Soccer teams within its borders—Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders—based on which team has the best head-to-head record in league play. “The soccer rivalry has really helped create this notion of the Pacific Northwest as a distinct region,” says Brandon Letsinger, a member of the Seattle chapter for CascadiaNow. Although the Whitecaps haven’t won the cup since 2008, the drought is of little concern to the fans while their team fights for the final MLS playoff spot. “I would proudly wear a Cascadian flag on my Whitecaps jersey, but I can’t see myself protesting for Cascadian independence,” says Brandon Walters, a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps supporters’ group, Southsiders. Regardless, the Southsiders proudly waved a massive Cascadian flag—blue, white and green with a Douglas Fir tree in the centre—over its entire section at a game earlier this year. “There are some people hoping at some point Cascadia actually does become its own entity, but I think that’s probably a pipe dream,” Walters says. “It’s more of a pride in soccer culture than anything for me.”


Soccer games as sovereignty movement

  1. The Cascadia Cup is a football trophy created by the fans of Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. It has nothing to do with any form of sovereignty or separatism, and the author of this article is deliberately disingenuous to link the two.

    • Uhh there’s actually quite a link between soccer in the Northwest and Cascadian secession. The Doug Fir flag is something with distinctly radical roots that was later used at soccer games. Regardless of the fans’ feelings, if they’re sporting the Cascadian flag, they are supporting the Cascadia cause in a small way. If you flew a hammer and sickle flag at a basketball game and then claimed it was simply a pride thing, people would roll their eyes. The Doug Fir is something that will always be associated with a free Cascadia by the many people supportive of the idea.

  2. Cascadia libre! We want freedom from the capitalist oil-igarchy of Harper’s Canada!

  3. Soccer has always had a distinct relationship with Nationalism, aside from being rooted in a sense of place – going back into the early 1900’s when Egypt played Britain in the World Cup, or as games played during the cold war have shown. This whole article just completely seems to miss the point, maybe because it’s based no where near BC. Coming off of the Miss Vancouver Blog article which articulates a beautiful summary of Cascadian soccer, idealism and regionalism, I’m actually surprised this article managed to get published.