VANCOUVER, BC – One win against the Montreal Impact, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be Canadian champs.
On the heels of a gutsy scoreless draw in Montreal during the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship, Vancouver will host the decisive second leg on Wednesday (7 p.m. PT, Sportsnet Pacific/ONE, TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca), with all eyes on winning their first Voyageurs Cup in 12 tries.
“We’re the only team as far as I know that have shut out the Impact in Montreal,” head coach Martin Rennie told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1410 this week. “So it shows that we’re doing a lot of things right, and now we must make sure we get everything right for Wednesday and that’s really the first big opportunity of our season.”
Home form against Major League Soccer opposition has been steady in 2013 for the ‘Caps, who are unbeaten (3W-0L-3D) at BC Place this season. In their last two matches, the 'Caps thrashed the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy 3-1 on May 11, only to blow a lead late against the 10-man Portland Timbers a week later.
Rennie talks Voyageurs Cup final on Sportsnet Connected
In between those matches, the ‘Caps fought off the Impact in the first leg of the two-leg tie by playing two recognized defenders in Alain Rochat and Brad Rusin in midfield to claim a 0-0 away result. That draw, while hardly champagne football, was a difficult feat, and something Rennie and his men are latching onto as a potential confidence-builder ahead of this decisive match, especially given Montreal managed to score five goals in their most recent match.
As the first leg was scoreless, Whitecaps FC will need to win to take home the trophy – if there is a score draw, the Impact will leave with the championship – if the match remains scoreless through 90, then the match will go an extra 30 minutes before penalties if necessary.
Two players the ‘Caps are hoping provide a boost in some capacity are Kenny Miller and Daigo Kobayashi, who have missed time due to a hamstring injury and an ankle problem, respectively.
“Having players like Kenny Miller and Daigo back in contention is a big plus for us,” Rennie said. “Hopefully we can get players fit and keep them fit for the rest of the season – that would make a big difference to our squad.”