For years, there had been a big hole in Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s trophy case.
The ‘Caps won their first-ever ever Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday night at BC Place, defeating 10-men Montreal Impact 2-0 in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship Final (4-2 on aggregate).
Add it to the collection.
Here’s a look at all the silverware the club has won since its inaugural season in 1974.
NASL SOCCER BOWL
After upsetting New York Cosmos in the deciding mini-game of the NASL semifinal, Vancouver became the city’s first professional sports team to win a major North American Championship when they defeated Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-1 on September 8, 1979. Upon return to Vancouver the following day, as many as 100,000 people lined Vancouver’s Robson Street to salute their heroes during a championship parade, arguably creating the most historic moment in club history.
(1988, 1989, 1990, 1991)
From 1988 to 1991, the Vancouver 86ers established themselves as a powerhouse in the Canadian Soccer League, winning an unprecedented four-straight league championship titles. The club also set a North American professional sports record by playing 46 consecutive matches without defeat (37 wins and nine draws). Three of Whitecaps FC's Ring of Honour inductees played a major part in this run: Bob Lenarduzzi as a player/coach, Carl Valentine, and the late Domenic Mobilio, who sits atop the club's scoring charts with 170 goals.
USL W-LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Whitecaps FC women became the first Canadian team to win the USL W-League in 2004, going unbeaten in the regular season before upsetting the favoured New Jersey Wildcats in the championship final thanks to a goal from goalkeeper Erin McLeod in the penalty shootout. McLeod was one of a number of Canadian internationals on the team, including Whitecaps FC Ring of Honour inductee Andrea Neil, Kara Lang, and Brittany Timko (Baxter). And many of the same players returned to bring the Whitecaps FC women their second title in 2006.
The ‘Caps men won their first-ever USL championship in 2006 after a fourth-place finish in the regular season. In the playoffs, Vancouver went on to beat Miami FC and Montreal Impact to reach the championship final against Rochester Raging Rhinos, whom they defeated 3-0 in upstate New York. The club won it all again in 2008. After surprising many with a victory over MLS side LA Galaxy in a friendly earlier that season, the 'Caps went on a memorable run defeating Minnesota and Montreal on route to their first championship final at Swangard Stadium since 1992.
(2004, 2005, 2008, 2013, 2014)
The Cascadia Cup is contested between Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle. It is awarded annually to the team with the best head-to-head record over their Pacific Northwest rivals in the regular season. Vancouver, then in the USL, won the first two editions of the supporters-created competition in 2004 and 2005 and added a third title in 2008. Whitecaps FC have also won the last two editions of the tournament in MLS, making them the most successful club in competition history.
After 13 years of heartbreak, Whitecaps FC lifted their first-ever Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday at BC Place. Not only does this cement Vancouver’s status as the best team in Canada, it also secures their berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League.
Will Whitecaps FC add to their collection in 2015? Stay tuned.
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