In anticipation of Canada Day on Friday, July 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be celebrating a full slate of Canadian soccer action this week. “’Caps Canada Week” features a vital Canadian Major League Soccer derby match, a cross-border battle for the women’s squad, a key match for the Canadian women’s national team, an exciting Canada Day doubleheader in Richmond, BC, and the deciding second leg of the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship final.
“With summer here, we’re now getting into a busy stretch of the soccer calendar,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “From grassroots all the way up to the international level, it’s an exciting time for soccer in this country and we look forward to an action-packed week which will hopefully end with a Whitecaps FC win in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final on Saturday.”
On Wednesday, Whitecaps FC travel to Southern Ontario for a crucial MLS match against Canadian rivals Toronto FC at BMO Field. Officially at the midway point of their inaugural MLS season, the ‘Caps will look for a positive result to kick start a second-half surge. Kickoff of Wednesday’s match is set for 4:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on TSN. Fans can also listen live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca.
Also on Wednesday, the Whitecaps FC women’s squad head down Interstate 5 for an important match against 2011 W-League Final Four hosts Seattle Sounders women at 8 p.m. PT at Starfire Sports Complex. Currently sitting atop the W-League’s Western Conference standings, head coach Hubert Busby Jr. and the ‘Caps will be out to prove that the best women's soccer in the Pacific Northwest is being played north of the border.
Thursday sees the attention shift from the Blue and White to the Red and White, as Canada play their second match of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Stocked with 14 former Whitecaps FC players, Canada face France in a pivotal contest at Ruhrstadion in Bochum, Germany. Carolina Morace’s squad will look to rebound from a 2-1 defeat at the hands of tournament hosts - and two-time defending World Cup champions - Germany, where a beautiful free kick goal from Burnaby, BC, native Christine Sinclair nearly propelled the Canadians to an improbable comeback in front of 73,680 fans at Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Kickoff of Thursday’s match is set for 9 a.m. PT and will be broadcast live on CBC and cbcsports.ca.
On Friday, Whitecaps FC will be hosting a Canada Day PDL and W-League doubleheader against British Columbia rivals Victoria Highlanders FC at Richmond’s Minoru Park. First, the Whitecaps FC Residency squad suit up against Highlanders FC in PDL action at 4 p.m. PT, as head coach Richard Grootscholten’s side continue to fight for a playoff spot in the tight Western Conference, Northwest Division. Then at 7 p.m. PT, the Whitecaps FC women’s team host the Highlanders FC women, as they continue their quest to lock down a postseason berth. Tickets for the women’s match are available for just $12 at whitecapsfc.com/wtickets.
Whitecaps FC will also be participating in the third annual Canada Day Parade on Friday. Make sure to look out for the official Whitecaps FC Kia Car, as it travels down the parade route that runs along Georgia Street and proceeds up Burrard Street.
‘Caps Canada Week culminates on Saturday, as Whitecaps FC battle Toronto FC in the deciding second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final at BMO Field. The ‘Caps looked well on their way to winning the title on May 25, when they led 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) after 60 minutes, but weather conditions caused the match to be abandoned. Vancouver will look to duplicate that effort in the replayed match on Saturday and claim their first trophy as an MLS club. Kickoff of Saturday’s tournament finale is set for 9:30 a.m. PT and will be broadcast live on Rogers Sportsnet ONE and sportsnet.ca. Fans can also listen live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca.
Be sure to follow all of this week’s action with daily coverage on whitecapsfc.com and join the conversation on Twitter by using the #CapsCanadaWeek hashtag.