The Cascadia Cup, created back in 2004 by soccer supporters to celebrate the rich rivalry between clubs in Seattle , Portland and Vancouver , is now the unexpected center of a conflict between those groups and Major League Soccer .

It started when MLS intended to trademark the term ''Cascadia Cup'' in the United States and Canada - prompting outrage from the fans who named the yearly head-to-head competition between the Sounders, Whitecaps and Timbers, and gave it a stately silver trophy.

MLS claims it wants to protect the Cascadia Cup from outsiders looking to exploit it. The supporters fear that MLS itself will be exploiting the expression.