Defending Champs: Looking back at the 'Caps road to Canadian Championship glory in 2022


VANCOUVER, BC – Just like that, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to jump into another Canadian Championship Final.

It feels like yesterday Tristan Blackmon sent the BC Place faithful into a frenzy with his calm penalty kick and Cristiano Ronaldo-esque celebration.

That warm July summer night saw the 'Caps claim their second Voyageurs Cup, and now they'll be looking to defend their trophy as they host CF Montréal in the Final on Wednesday, June 7.

To celebrate the occasion, we look back at the Blue and White's road to last year's Voyageurs Cup triumph.

'Caps open up CanChamp run with 2-0 victory over Valour FC
VWFC 2-0 Valour FC - May 11, 2022 - BC Place

The 'Caps opened up their 2022 Canadian Championship campaign at BC Place with a first-ever meeting against Canadian Premier League (CPL) side Valour FC.

In the 19th minute, Ryan Gauld and Ryan Raposo combined for some nice interplay at the top of the box, which led to a powerful shot from Raposo to force a save from Valour goalkeeper Rayane Yesli.

The rebound fell to the feet of Russell Teibert, who calmly slotted home his first Canadian Championship goal to give the 'Caps a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, the Blue and White doubled their lead as Déiber Caicedo squared the ball into a wide open Raposo for an easy finish into an empty net to make it 2-0 on the night.

The 'Caps kept Valour quiet for the rest of the match and secured their place in the quarterfinals. 

The match also saw several former 'Caps faces return to Vancouver, including Valour head coach Phil Dos Santos (VWFC first team assistant coach '19-'21), goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois (on loan with VWFC first team at the MLSisBack tournament in 2020), defender Matteo de Brienne (VWFC academy graduate '16-'20), and defender/midfielder Brett Levis (VWFC U-23 '14-'15, Whitecaps FC 2'15-'17, '16, VWFC first team '18-'19 ).

PK shootout victory in Spruce Meadows
Cavalry FC (3) 1-1 (5) VWFC - May 25, 2022 - ATCO Field

The quarterfinals took the 'Caps out to ATCO Field in Spruce Meadows, Alberta to face another CPL side in the form of Cavalry FC. 

The match marked the second time the 'Caps played at a CPL venue in their history and the first-ever meeting against Cavalry.

Neither team was able to find the breakthrough in the first half, but Cavalry found their moment of magic in the 72nd minute through former 'Caps player Myer Bevan, who's strike from distance found the upper corner to give his team the 1-0 advantage.

Facing elimination from the tournament, the 'Caps continued to push on for an equalizer and got one in the 85th minute.

Caicedo whipped a right-footed corner kick into the box, which was redirected towards goal by Érik Godoy to tie the match at 1-1 and send the game to penalty kicks.

Lucas Cavallini, Caicedo, Cristian Dájome, and Leonard Owusu each converted their attempts before Cody Cropper denied Cavalry midfielder Ali Musse to give Cristián Gutiérrez the chance to send Vancouver to the semifinals.

The Canadian international stepped up and did exactly that, sending his left-footed attempt into the bottom right corner past former 'Caps goalkeeper Marco Carducci.

White's brace against York powers 'Caps to CanChamp Final
VWFC 2-1 York United FC - June 22, 2022 - BC Place

Up next for the 'Caps was a semifinal at BC Place against York United FC in another first-ever meeting. 

The Blue and White had the better of the chances in the first half, with Brian White and Cavallini coming close to grabbing the opener.

In the 52nd minute, the 'Caps pressure would pay off, as White volleyed home a loose ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Roughly 20 minutes later, White got his brace as he sent a left-footed shot into the top corner after a cross into the box from Gauld and putting the 'Caps ever-closer to a Canadian Championship Final.

York would pull one back through Isaiah Johnston late on, but Vancouver held on to book their ticket to the Final.

VWFC (5) 1-1 (3) Toronto FC - July 26, 2022 - BC Place

The 'Caps hosted MLS Canadian rivals Toronto FC in the Final at BC Place, with a full crowd in attendance cheering them on.

Inside the first minute, the 'Caps caught Toronto off guard as Gauld found an opening on the left wing and whipped a ball into the box for Cavallini. The Canadian forced a fine save from TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono from close range, narrowly giving the 'Caps a dream start.

Not to worry, that dream start would arrive in the 19th minute.

Gauld was once again at the heart of the offence, as he lofted a ball to the back stick for White to head home past Bono for the opening goal of the Final.

The 'Caps continued to create chances against Toronto's backline, with Raposo almost finding a second with a curled, right-footed effort but Bono once again came up clutch for his side.

Raposo came close again to doubling the lead right on the stroke of halftime, as he put his volleyed effort just wide of the far post after a cross from Andrés Cubas.

Fast forward to the 75th minute, TFC got their equalizer through defender Lukas MacNaughton's header from close range, meaning the winner of the tournament would have to be decided in a shootout.

Gauld, White, Julian Gressel, and Cubas all put their attempts away, while Jonathan Osorio saw his effort hit the post in the third round of the shootout, giving Tristan Blackmon the chance to win the 'Caps their first Voyageurs Cup since 2015 with a successful kick.

The centre back stepped up and calmly rolled his shot down the middle past Bono, sending the fans at BC Place to their feet.

Celebrations would go deep into the night, one that'll be remembered for a long time in 'Caps history

Secure your seats for the 2023 Canadian Championship Final at to watch the 'Caps take on CF Montréal on Wednesday, June 7 at BC Place as they look to secure their third Voyageurs Cup title and a spot in the Concacaf Champions League. Kickoff on Wednesday is set for 7 p.m. PT. Can't make it to the match? Catch all the action on OneSoccer and TELUS Channel 980.