VANCOUVER, BC – Let the games begin.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC kick off the 2018 Major League Soccer season against Montreal Impact this Sunday at BC Place in front of what is expected to be a club record home opener crowd (3 p.m. PT kickoff – limited tickets still available). This will be the first time Whitecaps FC have opened the full lower bowl at BC Place in an MLS season opener.
KICKOFF: 3 p.m. PT │ TV: TSN 1/3 │ RADIO: TSN 1040
Here are the key storylines to watch.
Newbies: Sunday’s match marks the potential 'Caps debuts for a number of players, including two-time MLS all-star striker Kei Kamara, last year’s Venezuelan Primera División leading goalscorer Anthony Blondell, and experienced Mexican midfielder Efrain Juarez.
We meet again: This is the 68th all-time meeting between Vancouver and Montreal Impact dating back to 1993, and their third meeting in an MLS season opener. The ‘Caps won the first one 2-0 back in 2012, before Ignacio Piatti led the Impact to a 3-2 win with two goals and an assist in the 2016 opener.
Canadian content: Seven ‘Caps and Impact players took part in Canada’s run to the Gold Cup quarterfinals last summer: Alphonso Davies, Marcel de Jong and Russell Teibert from Vancouver and Raheem Edwards, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Michael Petrasso, and Samuel Piette from Montreal. All seven players could feature on Sunday.
Alphonso Davies (LW) vs. Michael Petrasso (RB): This matchup will be of particular interest to Canadian soccer supporters. Davies, 17, and Petrasso, 22, were two of Canada’s brightest young players at last summer’s Gold Cup, with Davies winning the tournament Golden Boot and Young Player Award. And they will likely be lined up directly opposite to one another on Sunday. Davies is also coming off a strong preseason campaign, highlighted by a spectacular end-to-end effort vs. Las Vegas Lights FC.