VANCOUVER, BC – Let’s try this again.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC kick off their quest for the Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday night, when they host North American Soccer League side FC Edmonton at BC Place. Tickets: http://ow.ly/MOoFH.
The ‘Caps were actually set to open the 2015 Amway Canadian Championship last week in Edmonton, but there was one slight problem. The match was snowed out.
As a result, Wednesday’s fixture will now act as the first leg of the semifinal and the Eddies will host the second leg on May 20 – barring any unforeseen circumstances, that is.
Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is set for 7 p.m. PT. You can watch the match live on Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet World. It will also air live on TSN 1410 radio, including a pre-match show at 5 p.m. PT and a two-hour post-match show.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Last match: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-0 Philadelphia Union
This will be Vancouver’s second of three matches in the span of eight days, so it’s safe to say there will be a number of changes to the lineup.
As Carl Robinson confirmed last week, goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi will make his first competitive start for the club.
Defender Tim Parker and winger Cristian Techera were slated to play last Wednesday, but they both appeared in Vancouver’s weekend win over Philadelphia Union, which may or may not change Robinson’s plans.
“Maybe I’ll pull them out and give other players opportunities,” Robinson told reporters after the match. “But my boys are fit. If Timmy needs to play three games in a week, then Timmy can play three games in a week.”
That could very well be the case, as Robinson confirmed that centre back Diego Rodriguez (quad strain) isn’t quite ready to return just yet, adding that he may be available for the second leg. Another player who remains sidelined is 19-year-old midfielder Marco Bustos (left foot contusion).
The ‘Caps have never won the Canadian Championship, which is not lost on Robinson.
“That hurts,” he told reporters last week. “Everyone else seems to win it and we don’t. We want to try and have a go at it this year.”
FC Edmonton and the Amway Canadian Championship
The Eddies advanced to the ACC semifinal by defeating Ottawa Fury FC 6-2 on aggregate in the two-leg preliminary round. Strikers Tomi Ameobi and Daryl Fordyce led the way with two goals apiece.
Other players to watch include wingers Lance Laing and Sainey Nyassi, who also each scored a goal for Edmonton in their preliminary round triumph.
Laing has been among the North American Soccer League’s most dangerous players through five matches – the 27-year-old Jamaican already has two goals and three assists in league play. Laing is a left-sided player, which should make for an intriguing matchup with whoever gets the nod at right back for Vancouver.
Nyassi is another attack-minded player with over 100 appearances in Major League Soccer between New England Revolution and D.C. United.
FC Edmonton have never appeared in the ACC final. They came agonizingly close last year, however, falling 5-4 on aggregate after Montreal Impact scored a stoppage-time penalty kick in the decisive second leg of the semifinal.
In league play, the Eddies are 1W-2L-2D through five matches this season.
This will be the third meeting between Whitecaps FC and FC Edmonton in the Canadian Championship semis. The ‘Caps won the previous two encounters by a combined score of 10-3 (over four matches).
In each round of the Canadian Championship, teams play a two-leg home-and-home series. The team that scores more combined goals between the two games advances. If the aggregate score is even, then away goals are used as a tiebreaker.
FC Edmonton will host the second leg next Wednesday, May 20 at Clarke Field. The winner of the Western Canadian semifinal will then meet either Toronto FC or Montreal Impact in the two-leg final on August 12 and August 26. Montreal earned a 1-0 home win against Toronto in the first leg of their semifinal.
In addition to claiming the Voyageurs Cup, the 2015 Canadian champion will earn Canada’s lone entry into the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) – an annual 24-team competition between the top clubs from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver! Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are now on sale. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket, and single match tickets. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.