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After earning a 1-0 win against Toronto FC this past weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in action on Wednesday night as they face Canadian Premier League side Valour FC in the Preliminary Round of the Canadian Championship.

The winner of the match will go on to face Cavalry FC in the quarter-finals of the competition.

In this edition of 'Know thy enemy', we look at some familiar faces and key pieces on Valour FC.

'CAPS CONNECTIONS

Despite Wednesday's match being the first all-time meeting between the 'Caps and Valour FC, there are plenty of interesting connections between the two teams.

Valour head coach Phil Dos Santos, who was previously an assistant coach with the Blue and White from 2019 to 2021, was given the reins in Winnipeg this past offseason as he looks to lead the club to their first Canadian Premier League playoffs berth.

During Dos Santos' time in Vancouver, 'Caps head coach Vanni Sartini was a fellow assistant coach with him before taking up the role of Director of Methodology for the club towards the end of 2020.

Another connection is wing back Cristián Gutiérrez's twin brother and Valour midfielder Diego Gutiérrez.

Diego, who returned for a second stint with Valour during the offseason, made an appearance off the bench in Valour's last league match against Halifax Wanderers FC.

In terms of former teammates, centre back Ranko Veselinović could face off against his former FK Vojvodina teammate Stefan Cebara.

The pair played together for two seasons from 2017 to 2018 in the Serbian first division and now find themselves reacquainted in Canadian football.

In addition to all the previous connections, three former 'Caps players are currently on the Valour roster.

Defender/midfielder Brett Levis spent six years with the club across the U-23 team, Whitecaps FC 2 and the first team, goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois was briefly with the 'Caps as an emergency backup at the MLSisBack Tournament in 2020, and defender/midfielder Matteo de Brienne is a graduate of the Whitecaps FC BMO MLS academy.

Sirois, who is on loan from Eastern Conference side CF Montréal, will be unavailable for the match due to the loan agreement Valour has with Montréal.

ONES TO WATCH

Despite their 1W-1L-2D start to the season, Valour have plenty of key players that can change a game in the flip of a switch.

Starting off in the midfield, CF Montréal loanee Sean Rea has proven to be one of the top chance creators in the early stages of this season's CPL campaign.

The 19-year-old currently sits second in the league in assists with three after registering five goal contributions in the whole of 2021.

Meanwhile, forwards William Akio and Moses Dyer can also offer plenty of danger on the offensive.

The pair combined for 24 goal contributions last season, with Dyer notching nine goals along with four assists while Akio tallied eight goals and three assists.

Dyer is more comfortable playing up top as an out-and-out number nine, while Akio's main role is to create havoc out wide as a winger with his combination of agility and eye for goal.

If the 'Caps are to progress to the next round, they'll need to prevent Rea, Akio and Dyer from having space in the final third.

Don't miss the Blue and White's opening match of the Canadian Championship at BC Place this Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m. PT. You can catch the match live on OneSoccer and AM730, with the radio pre-game show starting at 6 p.m. PT. Tickets are still available at www.whitecapsfc.com/tickets.