Preview: Whitecaps FC seek first Voyageurs Cup
MONTREAL, QC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS RS 3W-4L-3D – ACC 2W-0L-0D) face Canadian rivals Montreal Impact (MLS RS 6W-2L-2D – ACC 1W-1L-0D) in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final at Stade Saputo on Wednesday evening.
Wednesday's match between Whitecaps FC and Montreal Impact kicks off at 4:30 p.m. PT and is live on Sportsnet ONE. 'Caps fans can also listen to Wednesday evening’s match live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 2:30 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match.
With the chance to lift the Voyageurs Cup for the first time in their history and with a place in the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League up for grabs, Whitecaps FC will be aiming for a positive result in Quebec before bringing the series back to BC Place for the second leg on Wednesday, May 29.
Competing in their third successive ACC final since the tournament changed to a knockout format, Whitecaps FC will be keen to end on the winner’s podium after finishing as runners-up each of the past four years.
After successfully navigating the semifinal against FC Edmonton, Vancouver will look to repeat the feat by dispatching Montreal Impact over the course of the two-legged final.
Last match: Whitecaps FC 3-1 LA Galaxy
Canadian Championship history is on Vancouver’s side as Whitecaps FC are undefeated in their last six meetings with Montreal in the competition, stretching back to 2008, with an overall 3W-2L-3D record. It should be noted that the first six meetings were held while both teams were in the North American second division, while in 2011 Whitecaps FC were an MLS squad and Montreal were still in the second division. This will be the first matchup with both clubs playing as MLS squads.
The ‘Caps go into Wednesday’s match on a high after defeating two-time MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy for the first time on Saturday with a 3-1 win at BC Place. Canadian Russell Teibert was the hero with his first two professional goals while Darren Mattocks finished the scoring with his second goal of the season.
With a full fixture list in the month of May, head coach Martin Rennie may look to rotate his squad before the clash against Cascadian rivals Portland Timbers this coming Saturday at BC Place.
Captain Jay DeMerit continues to be out indefinitely with a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Kenny Miller, Camilo and Daigo Kobayashi stayed behind in Vancouver to recuperate from their respective injuries.
Last match: Montreal Impact 3-2 Real Salt Lake
The Impact are enjoying a storming start to the 2013 MLS Season, including a come-from-behind 3-2 win against Real Salt Lake this past Saturday to stretch their unbeaten start at home to six matches.
The Quebec side produced one of the most impressive performances in ACC history in their semifinal, as they overcame a 2-0 deficit from the first leg against Toronto FC in spectacular fashion, plundering six unanswered goals to seal their place in the final with a 6-2 aggregate scoreline.
Swiss head coach Marco Schallibaum has tended to rotate his team for ACC matches this season but with a place in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League and the Voyageurs Cup on offer, Schallibaum may look to the experience of some of his star names. Included on that list is Italian striker Marco Di Vaio who currently leads the team with eight goals, with six of those in MLS play – good for second most in the league. Di Vaio has scored in all six of Montreal's home matches this season.
Among the players out for the Impact due to injury are defender Alessandro Nesta (R groin strain), Nelson Rivas (L knee surgery) and strikers Daniele Paponi (R hamstring strain) and Andrea Pisanu (R quad strain). Midfielder Davy Arnaud is listed as questionable (concussion-like symptoms).
AMWAY CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
2011: 'Caps get winner in extra-time of ACC semi 2nd leg
Both Whitecaps FC and Montreal won their way to the finals with two-legged semifinal wins against FC Edmonton and Toronto FC respectively. Vancouver won 3-2 away before seeing out the tie with a comfortable 2-0 victory at BC Place to record a 5-2 aggregate victory. Montreal Impact did things the hard way, losing 2-0 away to Toronto FC before putting in an impressive performance at Stade Saputo, beating TFC 6-0 to go through 6-2 on aggregate.
Now Vancouver and Montreal take each other on over two legs in consecutive weeks, first at Stade Saputo on Wednesday before the return leg at BC Place on Wednesday, May 29. The team that is victorious on aggregate over the two legs will lift the Voyageurs Cup and represent Canada in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.
2012: 'Caps welcome Impact to MLS with 2-0 win at BC Place
In their MLS debut in 2012, Montreal fell 2-0 to Whitecaps FC at BC Place. This was the last time the two Canadian sides met but the rivalry between Whitecaps FC and the Impact stretches back nearly two decades. Between 1993 and 2012, the two clubs met 56 times, with the majority of those games coming at the North American second division level. The Impact lead the all-time series of results with a 29W-17L-10D record. This includes an all-time record of 14W-8L-6D for the Impact in Montreal.
Whitecaps FC do have the upper hand in Canadian Championship action having not lost against the Quebec outfit since 2008. Vancouver now have an overall record of 3W-2L-3D against Montreal in the ACC including a 2W-1L-1D matches at Stade Saputo.
Following the first leg of the ACC semifinal, Vancouver head back to BC Place for their first Cascadia Cup meeting of the season as they take on Portland Timbers in MLS action this coming Saturday, May 18. Kickoff on Saturday is at 4 p.m. PT.
Whitecaps FC will then stay in Vancouver for the second leg of the ACC final which will take place Wednesday, May 29 at BC Place. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00p.m. PT.
Tickets for the Portland and Montreal matches at BC Place can be purchased at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc, or Charge-by-Phone at 1.855.6.GO-CAPS (1.855.646.2277).