By BOB MACKIN
The Vancouver Whitecaps may have been robbed Thursday night, but president Bob Lenarduzzi isn't rushing to call the soccer police.
Toronto FC beat listless host Montreal Impact 6-1 in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship series finale to win the Voyageurs Cup on goal differential. TFC needed a four-goal win to surpass the leading Whitecaps and advance to the CONCACAF Champions League. The 2007-established Major League Soccer club hoisted a trophy for the first time and hosts the Puerto Rico Islanders July 28 in the first leg of the preliminary round.
"I'm extremely disappointed, I'm devastated," Lenarduzzi said from Vancouver. "I thought we'd done enough. When it got to five, when they went up with the penalty, Toronto has never scored five, never scored six. Montreal has never given up five or six at home."
Ex-Whitecap Tony Donatelli put Montreal ahead 1-0 with a 24th minute penalty kick. Then Dwayne De Rosario took over with a trio of goals in the 29th, 39th and 49th minutes for TFC. Amado Guevera had a pair and Chad Barrett added one.
"De Rosario, he took the game by the scruff of the neck," Lenarduzzi said.
Whitecaps players were in Montreal's Saputo Stadium to watch the match and were hoping to collect the trophy after compiling a 3-1 record in the three-team tournament. Vancouver meets the Impact on Saturday when the teams resume United Soccer Leagues' First Division play.
"I couldn't see Montreal being beat by that many (goals), but Toronto came out and pushed numbers forward and left gaps at the back," said Whitecaps' captain Martin Nash. "They were trying anything to score."
The Impact missed five regulars and coach Marc Dos Santos opted to start backup goalkeeper Serge Djekanovic. Former TFC backup Djekanovic was released by the Whitecaps during the 2008 season because of a disagreement with head coach Teitur Thordarson over playing time.
Lenarduzzi said he would discuss the outcome of Thursday's match when the 2009 series is analyzed with counterparts from TFC, the Impact and the Canadian Soccer Association
"The idea of playing your full squad for the integrity of the game, that's something that always should happen," he said. "It's going to certainly require some discussion."