Today MLS announced that Vancouver Whitecaps FC will open the 2015 season at home to Toronto FC on March 7, with kickoff at 3 p.m. PT at BC Place. Fans can secure their tickets today by purchasing Season Tickets, Match Packs, or a Holiday Pack featuring two tickets and two scarves.
In celebration, here are five early storylines for the 2015 season opener.
Carl Robinson spent 12 years playing in England from 1995 until 2007 when he decided to make the move to North America to join Toronto FC for their inaugural MLS season. Robbo stayed with TFC until 2010, when he moved to New York Red Bulls.
Now, Robinson is head coach at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In his head coaching debut in 2014, his squad defeated his former New York Red Bulls team 4-1 at BC Place. Can he conjure up a similar result against another one of his former clubs?
Old acquaintances, Part II
Speaking of past TFC players thriving in Vancouver, the ‘Caps were thrilled to secure a permanent move for Matias Laba to stay in Vancouver. Laba originally came to the West Coast during the 2014 preseason when TFC filled their quota of Designated Players with three, meaning that they no longer had room to keep the Argentine.
Whitecaps FC happily obliged, welcoming one of the most promising and tenacious defensive midfielders in MLS. Laba ended the season as the league leader in tackles. After his 151 tackles, the next closest player was Diego Chara with 138.
So we meet again
This will be the third time in Vancouver’s five MLS seasons that they’ve opened at home against Toronto. The other two matches both ended in glory for the Blue and White. Fans will never forget the inaugural MLS match in 2011, a 4-2 victory over the Reds. And then in 2013, it was a tight match, but ultimately a 1-0 win courtesy of a goal from Gershon Koffie. Another win over their Canadian rivals would be a huge boost for the Blue and White as they kick off their 2015 campaign.
We’re going streaking
Winning home openers is nothing new for Whitecaps FC. In fact, the ‘Caps are undefeated in their past 13 home openers dating back to 2002. That includes four straight since joining MLS (including the two matches against TFC in 2011 and 2013).
The last defeat came in 2001, a 2-1 loss to Milwaukee Rampage (we’ll get you yet Rampage!).
A new season means a new start for every team. Both teams look to have built a solid core of players for the future. However, both teams will also no doubt welcome a number of new additions into the fold. How will they fare in their first match?
There’s only one way to find out. See you on March 7 at BC Place.
Participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver! 2015 Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are on sale now. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, Student Half-Season Tickets, and a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket. For more information on 2015 Season Tickets, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.