Photo: Max Aquino
August 30th, 2015
TUKWILA, WA - Two years, two consecutive penalty shootouts to determine the winner of the Supporters' Cup between Emerald City Supporters FC and Timbers Army FC.
And make that two victory celebrations for ECS FC.
Proving that history loves to repeat itself, the ECS FC Men's I team retained the cup for the second-straight year by coming out victorious in penalties following the 1-1 regulation draw, capping ECS FC's two-to-one edge in the results of the day's matches at Starfire Stadium. Nate Brown opened the scoring in the first half for ECS FC, volleying home a flicked-on long throw. FC Portlandia of Timbers Army FC leveled the scoring immediately from the second-half kickoff, as Charlie Piehler chipped the goalkeeper from 50 yards out on a wonder goal.
As can often be the case in a Cascadia rivalry, the tense penalty shootout did not lack a bit of controversy. FC Portlandia goalkeeper Mike Krasser made three agile saves, only to have two of the saves negated for coming off the goal line prematurely. In the end, ECS FC's Seth Hespe made two vital stops of his own including the clinching save, leading ECS FC to a 4-2 shootout victory.
Also mimicking the 2014 results were the preceding Men's II and Women's matches. In the opening game of the day, ECS FC Men's II overcame a 2-0 second half deficit and rallied for a 3-2 victory over TAFC's North End United, led by a brace by James Hong. In the following match, Whipsaws FC of Timbers Army controlled the run of play en route to a 2-0 victory over the ECS FC Women, getting the opportunity to lift the brand-new Women's Supporters' Cup for the first time.
Despite the stormy weather which downed power lines and caused road closures in the Puget Sound region, over 200 fans and members of both clubs were in attendance for parts of the day's matches at Starfire Stadium, the home of Seattle Sounders in the US Open Cup as well as their USL-affiliate second team. Fortunately for all, the wind and rain which had hit earlier in the morning let up during the afternoon's games, holding off for just long enough before opening the heavens only minutes after the teams left the field.
Special guests were in no short supply on the day as well. Not only did Sounders legends Steve Zakuani, Roger Levesque, and Brian Schmetzer serve as honorary coaches for the ECS FC squads, but Sounders national anthem leader Dr. Stephen Newby also joined in to lead the crowd in the national anthem before the evening's title match.
Preceding the matches of the day were two very special events for youth players. La Barra Fuerza Verde's Copita kicked off the day's festivities, gathering youth teams to participate in a small-sided tournament on an accompanying Starfire field. Then, immediately preceding the kickoff of the Men's II match, Special Olympics teams of Washington and Oregon participated in their annual Exchange match, assisted by both the Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers organizations.
For further recaps of the day's matches:
Supporters' Cup: ECS FC defeats FC Portlandia on Penalties to Win the Men's Supporters' Cup (Prost Amerika photo recap)
Supporters' Cup: Whipsaws FC Defeat ECS FC Women 2-0 to Retain Women's Supporters' Cup (Prost Amerika photo recap)
Supporters' Cup: ECS FC II Defeats North End United in Wild Second Half (Prost Amerika photo recap)
Men's II match photos (Casey Woodrum)
Women's match photos (Casey Woodrum)
Thanks to our friend and ECS member Scott Levy, ECS FC is proud to share a special edition of LevyFilms featuring highlights of the Men's I trophy match!
ECS FC vs. Timbers Army FC from LEVYfilms on Vimeo.
Capping off the best supporters' derby series in America was a very special short feature during ESPN's pregame to the Sounders vs Timbers match on the day following the Supporters' Cup. Take a look!