Vancouver knocked Portland out of the Division 2 playoffs last season, but they may be too late to pull the same trick in 2011.

The Timbers' mid-season swoon has PTFC on the outside looking in, but for one night at least, that's irrelevant: Postseason play is out of the question for one team, and nearly out of reach for the other, but when the Timbers and Whitecaps meet at 7 tonight (Fox Soccer, 750 AM, 101.1 FM), regional pride takes center stage.

A nasty feud that dates back to 1975 will see its first Major League Soccer meeting as the expansion Class of 2011 gives two of the Western Conference's worst teams an opportunity to "compare blueprints" for the future.

Vancouver is "playing for pride" at this point, and Portland's window of opportunity for a postseason run isn't letting in much of a draft after two straight road losses against fellow Wild Card contenders. Cascadia Cup glory, however, is still very much a possibility for both sides. Seattle leads the race for Northwest soccer supremacy, though Portland and Vancouver aren't out of it just yet.

I'll return later with some HIGH-PITCHED LIVE BLOG ACTION, but until then, peep the links below as this Cascadia clash gets within range.

• OK, so neither club is technically eliminated from the playoffs, but Sounder At Heart's Sidereal points out Vancouver and Portland fans shouldn't hold out much hope.
• The Cascadia Cup presents Portland "the best opportunity for Timbers season glory," says Geoff Gibson of Stumptown Footy.
• At least one Whitecaps backer is jealous of what Portland has built this season. Metro blogger Michael McColl outlines what Vancouver fans can expect at the House of Pane.
• Whose roster is a better foundation for future success? Marc Weber of The Province breaks it down and compares the "Cascadia Cousins."
• How does this rivalry look from the inside? How about the middle? The Timbers' official site has Prost Amerika's correspondents share their view of today's derby, along with John Strong's only note for Portland: Be yourself.
• Records "don't mean a thing" tonight, says Bruce Constantineau of the Vancouver Sun, whose breakdown says the 'Caps should "forget the playoffs" and focus on not finishing "dead last in the league." Which team are they talking about again?
• The Timbers "are no plaything" for owner Merritt Paulson, profiled by David Ebner of The Globe and Mail. Take-home quote: “When we play, I’m holed up with our GM, totally focused on the game. I don’t need people to see my reactions, because I can get fairly demonstrative during games. It’s important it’s a soundproof area. And the GM’s in with me at his own risk of bodily harm.”