Preview: May 30

MONTREAL, QC – A berth in the Canadian Championship Final is at stake on Tuesday when Vancouver Whitecaps FC visit Montreal Impact in the second leg of the tournament semifinal.  


KICKOFF: 4:30 p.m. PT │ TV: TSN │ RADIO: TSN 1410


Here’s everything you need to know about the match.


STORYLINES

Win and we’re in: After an exciting 2-1 victory in last week’s first leg, the ‘Caps know that a win – or draw – on Tuesday would send them to the Canadian Championship Final, where they would face either Toronto FC or Ottawa Fury FC. They could also advance with a one-goal loss with at least two away goals (for example, 3-2 or 4-3), while a 2-1 Impact victory would send the match to extra time and penalties if needed. Suffice to say, Vancouver won’t want to let it get to that point. They’ve put themselves in a decent position. Now, it’s time to take advantage.


Young guns: Vancouver’s young guns took care of business in the first leg, with 16-year-old Alphonso Davies leading the way with a goal and an assist. Rookie goalkeeper Spencer Richey also had a night to remember, stopping a Patrice Bernier penalty en route to an impressive five-save performance. Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told reporters on Saturday that he’s going to use a “similar squad” for Tuesday’s second leg – will his young guns rise to the occasion again and get the ‘Caps over the line?


Clean sweep? This will be the third and final meeting between Vancouver and Montreal this season – barring an encounter in the MLS Cup Final, of course – and they’ve all come in the last month. The ‘Caps won the first two matches by identical 2-1 scorelines, including an MLS victory at Stade Saputo on April 29. Can they make it a clean sweep on Tuesday?


PLAYERS TO WATCH

As you may have heard by now, this year’s tournament has a new Canadian content rule that requires teams to start at least three Canadians each match.


In the first leg, the ‘Caps started Homegrown midfielders Ben McKendry and Russell Teibert and left back Marcel de Jong (Davies, a permanent resident who is in the process of obtaining his citizenship, does not count as a Canadian for the purposes of this competition). Montreal, meanwhile, started 17-year-old Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, goalscorer David Choinière, and goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau.


And there’s a good chance we’ll see most, if not all, of them again on Tuesday.


WHAT’S NEXT?

Following this week’s semifinals, the quest for Canadian soccer supremacy continues with the two-leg Canadian Championship Final at the end of June.


June 20/21 2017
First leg between semifinal winners
*should Montreal make the Final this match will be played on June 21


June 27 2017
Second leg between semifinal winners


The winning team will not only hoist the Voyageurs Cup but also face Toronto FC, last year’s Canadian champion, in a special one-match playoff to determine Canada’s representative in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. The playoff, which will only be played if Toronto FC do not repeat as champions, is set for August 9 in Toronto.