Vancouver Whitecaps FC host arch-rivals Montreal Impact at Empire Field in the second leg of their Nutrilite Canadian Championship semifinal series on Wednesday, and with a 1-0 lead from the first leg, they're confident they can finish off their lower-tier opponents.
However, in order to complete their triumph, they’ll need to tighten up on the costly mistakes that have left them winless in their last seven MLS matches.
“Unfortunately at the moment, any little mistake we make we’re getting punished for,” said Terry Dunfield. “It is frustrating, but I think we need to learn from these mistakes now. We need to make teams really work for their goals.”
The ‘Caps will have to do just that against the Impact. Whitecaps FC hold the advantage, but only by the slimmest of margins. Montreal, meanwhile, come to Vancouver a confident bunch after earning their first win of the season, a 5-0 drubbing in North American Soccer League play against fellow Canadian club FC Edmonton on Sunday evening.
“We needed a win and all the players answered well,” Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos told the team’s official website. “It’s an important win morally before Wednesday’s highly anticipated game against Vancouver.”
The sudden goal output by Montreal will have gotten the attention of Teitur Thordarson and his coaching staff. The problem for Thordarson, though, is that his team has had little time to prepare lately, as they’re in midst of a stretch that sees them play seven matches in 18 days.
“You can say at the moment that there is not much space for real training,” the coach said of the busy schedule. “It is mostly recovery and light preparation before the game, so there are no real trainings at the moment.”
Evidently, this grueling gauntlet of matches has made it difficult for the ‘Caps to correct their mistakes, but that’s exactly what they’ll need to do if they hope to not only win the Voyageurs Cup, but also turn around their fortunes in MLS.
“I’m not unhappy with the team, absolutely not,” iterated Thordarosn. “But we’ve been punished hard.”
Wednesday's Nutrilite Canadian Championship (NCC) semifinal, second leg, match between Whitecaps FC and Montreal Impact on Bell Pitch at Empire Field kicks off at 8 p.m. PT. Individual tickets start at $20, plus applicable service charges, and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca, and Charge-by-Phone at 1.855.6.GO-CAPS(1.855.646.2277).
Wednesday's NCC match between Whitecaps FC and Montreal Impact can also be seen live on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific and East, Rogers Sportsnet ONE, as well as streamed live on sportsnet.ca. 'Caps fans can also listen to Wednesday's match live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca, starting with the pre-game show at 6 p.m. PT. TEAM 1410 will also have a two-hour post-game show, which will begin following the match at around 10 p.m. PT.