'Caps set to 'Blue' out Toronto FC


Soccer is still the game, but blue is the new colour - for Wednesday night at least.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be wearing their away blue kit for their match against Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC on Wednesday, July 9 at 7:00pm, and are encouraging all fans attending the match to do the same by wearing the colour blue. As a result, Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium will be transformed into a sea of blue when the Whitecaps attempt to take down Toronto FC for the second straight time.

Wednesday’s tilt is the final and pivotal Whitecaps match in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. The two sides met on Canada Day in Toronto, as the Whitecaps defeated the Reds 1-0 in a historic contest at BMO Field. Martin Nash's first-half penalty gave the Whitecaps the three points that they required to keep themselves alive in the three-club competition after losing their opening two tournament encounters to USL First Division rivals Montreal Impact. The thrilling victory gave Toronto their first loss of the season on home turf and was also Vancouver’s first win of the competition.

Tickets for the July 9 rematch against Toronto FC start at just $18 - call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit whitecapsfc.com to purchase.

Overall, Vancouver’s record in the three-team CONCACAF Champions League qualifying tournament is 1W-2L-0D (minus three goal differential). Toronto’s record 1-1-0 (even goal differential), while the USL-1 Montreal Impact sit on top of the standings with a mark of 2-1-0 (plus three goal differential). The final match of the tournament will feature the Impact versus Toronto FC at BMO Field on Tuesday, July 22.

In case two or more teams are tied on points after all four matches, the winner will be decided first by goal differential, then if necessary by goals scored, then if necessary by most away goals, and then if necessary by the drawing of lots.

The champion of the inaugural Nutrilite Canadian Championship will qualify for the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League season. The Canadian entry will face a Nicaraguan club in the preliminary home-and-away series in late August and early September. The winners from the 16-team preliminary round will join the eight seeded teams in the group stage, which will consist of four groups of four. All the teams in each group will play each other in a round-robin system during six match dates (three home games, three away games) from September 16 to October 30.

The top two clubs from each group will advance to the knock out phase and play a home-and-away elimination. The quarterfinals commence in February 2009, with the semifinals to begin in March, and the final to take place in late April. The CONCACAF Champions League winner will qualify as CONCACAF’s representative for the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.