VANCOUVER, BC – Take me home. Vancouver Whitecaps FC are coming back to Canada.
The club confirmed on Wednesday that the first team plans to be back training in Vancouver during the final week of July. Following the away match at Los Angeles FC on Saturday, July 24, the team will return to Vancouver on July 25 and resume training at the Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre on July 27.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the prospect of returning to Vancouver,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC chief executive officer and sporting director. “We always understood that first the situation in our community has to change into a positive for everyone and for that we will be forever grateful to all our frontline heroes, who work tirelessly to keep British Columbians safe.”
The club also confirmed today that it was able to work with Austin FC to move the ’Caps home match date from Wednesday, July 28 to Saturday, September 4 at 4 p.m. PT, as a result the club will finish the year with nine of the final 15 MLS regular season games as home matches.
“Throughout this very trying period, our fans have remained extremely loyal,” added Schuster. “We’ve explored a number of scheduling options to give us the best chance to play as many games as possible at BC Place and are very thankful to Austin FC for understanding our unique situation. We’ve had a lot of encouraging discussions with all our partners and will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
In addition, the club moved the home match against Real Salt Lake from Saturday, August 28 to Sunday, August 29 at 7 p.m. PT to add an extra day following the Canadian Championship Preliminary Round match against Canadian Premier League side Pacific FC. Vancouver’s first-ever match against their fellow British Columbian team is set to take place at Starlight Stadium in Langford, BC, on Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m. PT.
Based on direction received from the club, the stadium’s July date holds were released near the end of May. BC Place is committed to other events through July and Whitecaps FC will play the next 'home' match against Minnesota United FC at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, July 31. The league continues to work with Canadian teams and government officials on a National Interest Exemption for continued play in Canada. The club will continue to provide updates as additional information is confirmed.