The battle for the 2017 Cascadia Cup will be determined on the last day of the Major League Soccer season.
Seattle's 3-0 win over Vancouver on Wednesday moves the Sounders to the top of the standings for regional bragging rights. If the Timbers beat the visiting Whitecaps on Oct. 22, Portland will win the Cup. A drew or a Whitecaps win will make Seattle the king of Cascadia.
Of course, that Oct. 22 match might have bigger stakes.
Wednesday's result at CenturyLink Field tightened up the fight for top positions in the MLS Western Conference.
Despite the loss at Seattle, Vancouver remains first in the conference standings with 48 points from 30 matches. Portland and Seattle both have 47 points from 31 matches and Sporting Kansas City has 47 points from 29 matches.
All of those teams are close to clinching playoff spots. Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas, Houston and San Jose are battling for the final two spots. FC Dallas got a key win over Colorado on Wednesday, but San Jose and Houston each took a hit.
The Earthquakes — who play host to the Timbers on Saturday — lost 4-1 at home to Chicago. The Dynamo tied with the 10th-place LA Galaxy.
Portland and Seattle each play their final road match of the regular season on Saturday. While the Timbers are at San Jose (7:30 p.m., KPDX 49/13), Seattle flies east to take on the Philadelphia Union.
After a week off — during which the United States will play critical World Cup qualifying matches against Panama and against Trinidad & Tobago — Portland will play host to DC United and Vancouver to finish the season. Seattle's two home games are against FC Dallas and Colorado.
Vancouver must play at Kansas City on Saturday and at the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 7. The Whitecaps are home against San Jose on Oct. 15 before coming to Portland to finish the schedule.
After playing host to Vancouver on Saturday, Sporting Kansas City will play three of four on the road, visiting Minnesota, Houston and Real Salt Lake. SKC's other home match is against Houston.
• Striker Fanendo Adi's hamstring injury has not healed as quickly as anticipated. Timbers coach Caleb Porter reported on Wednesday that Adi could be sidelined a couple more weeks.
Thorns locked into second place
The North Carolina Courage wrapped up first place in the National Women's Soccer League on Wednesday with a 4-0 win over Houston. That means the Portland Thorns are locked into second place.
Chicago and Orlando have locked up the other two playoff slots. Interestingly, the final weekend of the regular season might be a preview of the semifinal round. The Thorns play host to Chicago at 12:30 p.m. Saturday (Lifetime Network). Orlando visits North Carolina to wrap up the regular season.
The Thorns semifinal playoff game will be at Providence Park at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 7.
T2 fall in home finale
Shaun Wright-Phillips had a goal and an assist Wednesday as Phoenix Rising FC beat Portland Timbers 2 by a 2-0 score in front of 1,887 fans at Providence Park.
Portland finished its United Soccer League home schedule 1-12-3. T2 (2-20-6, 12 points) is last in the USL and finishes the season with four road games.
Phoenix (14-7-7, 49 points) clinched a spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
Portland had 63 percent of possession against defensive-minded, but shots were only 15-13 for T2 and each team put six on goal.
Three of the six saves by Phoenix goalkeeper Josh Cohen denied promising scoring chances. He stopped a curling 25-yard free kick from Tomas Granitto, a bouncing header from Michael Amick and a Bill Tuiloma free kick.
Wright-Phillips scored in the eighth minute with a rebound finish and assisted on an 82nd minute goal by Jason Johnson.
Kendall McIntosh made four saves for Portland.
T2 visits Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday, the first in four road games over two weeks to complete the season.