Fans of the San Jose Earthquakes are likely familiar with several pieces of soccer silverware, including MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, U.S. Open Cup and Concacaf Champions League. The lesser known trophy, and the one on the line this weekend, is the Heritage Cup.
The Heritage Cup trophy was designed by Quakes fan Rob Stevenson and was commissioned by San Jose's Soccer Silicon Valley Community Foundation in collaboration with supporters of Sounders FC. The two teams began competing for the trophy in 2009, when Seattle entered the league as an expansion side, and the ‘Heritage’ is in reference to the two teams longstanding rivalry from the NASL days.
The beautiful trophy is given annually to the team that fares better in head-to-head action that season. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. Road goals are valued more than home goals, so the 2-2 draw at CenturyLink Field puts the Quakes in good position to win the trophy for the first time since 2015.
For San Jose to claim the Heritage Cup, they need to win or finish in a draw that sees the two teams score no more than one goal apiece. A loss or 2-2 draw (or higher) would mean Seattle claims the trophy for a fourth consecutive year based on current MLS standings.