Victory all the sweeter for former 'Caps - The Province


Five now play for Montreal

BY MARC WEBER

To Eduardo Sebrango, it felt like last season.

To the untrained eye, it looked like it, too.

The 36-year-old Cuban forward dancing up a storm, ripping off his jersey to reveal a white undershirt with the names of his young kids -- Gaby and Donovan -- written around a heart.

But the red colouring of the heart had faded completely since he pulled the same move for the TV cameras a year ago in Vancouver. And the jersey he took off was an Impact one.

"This is the lucky shirt," said a beaming Sebrango, who now stands alone with five USL-1 championships, one more than Whitecaps captain Martin Nash.

"It's just like last year to be able to win at home. It's huge.

"It was a tough season, but this is how life is," added Sebrango, who lost his father to cancer midseason. "We kept believing and kept working and got rewarded."

It wasn't a good night for the Whitecaps at Saputo Stadium. Just for their alumni.

Sebrango, who led the Whitecaps in scoring last season, then left for Montreal to be closer to his Ottawa-based kids, was the least involved. He came on for the final 20 minutes.

Midfielder Tony Donatelli -- traded for Charles Gbeke midway through the 2008 season -- scored the opener on a penalty kick.

Midfielder Joey Gjertsen -- traded to Montreal along with David Testo in a regrettable 2007 deal -- scored the second and helped set up the third.

None said the opponent mattered, just the stage.

"It was a final," said Gjertsen. "It was great to win it here, at our home field in front of our fans.

"It's a good group [the former Caps] and we work well in the midfield together."

It was a quirk of this final that five players who won the 2006 championship with the Whitecaps were dressed for the game, but all dressed for Montreal.

Backup goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic was the other.

"I have a lot of good friends on the other side, so it's hard to see them as disappointed as they are," said Donatelli. "But we're thrilled to get this win here and it's hard to describe.

"We started both games well and we were a very experienced group that never got rattled. They had some young guys and fought hard."

mweber@theprovince.com

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