VANCOUVER, BC – It all comes down to this.
After winning their first-ever Voyageurs Cup in 2015, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will look to repeat as Canadian champions on Wednesday night at BC Place in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship Final vs. Toronto FC. Tickets are still available.
TICKETS: http://ow.ly/u2AH301Gx71 | KICKOFF: 7 p.m. PT | TV: TSN | RADIO: TSN 1040
The ‘Caps fell 1-0 in the first leg last week in Toronto, which means they’ll have to win by at least two goals to lift the trophy again. A 1-0 Whitecaps FC win would send the match to extra time and penalties if needed. Click here to see all the different scenarios.
"It’s exciting," Whitecaps FC midfielder Andrew Jacobson told reporters. "This is what you play for, to be in the finals where you can go for a trophy."
The ‘Caps, who are coming off a 3-2 weekend win over Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union, know they need goals again on Wednesday.
But they also know keeping a clean sheet would make life a lot easier.
"We don’t have to go crazy," Jacobson told reporters, "because if they start hitting us on the counter and scoring goals we’re in real trouble."
On the defensive end, the key will be to shut down reigning MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, who has been in on 14 of Toronto FC’s 17 goals this season. The Italian also has three goals and an assist in two matches against Vancouver this season, including the lone goal in the first leg.
Giovinco will be the only Designated Player in Toronto's lineup. Striker Jozy Altidore (hamstring) is still recovering from injury, while midfielder Michael Bradley was not named to the 23-man roster after his stint with the U.S. national team at the Copa America Centenario.
Goalkeeper Clint Irwin (quad) is also out for six weeks, TFC announced Tuesday.
Russell Teibert on the Canadian Championship: "It means everything to everybody in that locker room. It you don’t believe that, you didn’t watch the video [of our celebrations] last year. I watched it again this week. Just to experience what it feels like to be champions. I want to replicate that feeling this year. It’s a feeling that can’t be explained, it can’t be described, it can be won. And we have an opportunity to do that."
ROAD TO THE CUP
Whitecaps FC defeated North American Soccer League side Ottawa Fury FC 3-2 on aggregate in the two-leg tournament semifinal. After a 2-0 loss in the first leg, the ‘Caps came out flying in the second leg at BC Place and advanced to the final with a convincing 3-0 win.
In the other semifinal, Toronto FC knocked off Montreal Impact by an aggregate score of 4-2.
Record vs. Toronto FC (MLS): 3W-3L-1D
Record vs. Toronto FC (Canadian Championship): 2W-5L-6D
This will be the 21st all-time meeting between the two clubs.
There have many memorable moments along the way, as you can see below.
There have also been some heartbreaking ones. In 2011 and 2012, Vancouver’s first two years in MLS, the ‘Caps fell to Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship Final. The former was particularly devastating.
After a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Empire Field, Eric Hassli put Vancouver ahead in the second leg at BMO Field only to see the match abandoned in the 60th minute due to lightning and unplayable field conditions. The match was eventually replayed, starting at 0-0, and TFC won 2-1.
WHAT IS THE AMWAY CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP?
The Amway Canadian Championship is a five-team tournament that crowns the top team in Canada. In addition to qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League, the winner also takes home the supporters-created Voyageurs Cup (which was first awarded in 2002).
Last year, the ‘Caps won their first-ever Voyageurs Cup after years of heartbreak, defeating Montreal 4-2 on aggregate in the tournament final.
This is the fifth time in six years Whitecaps FC will play in the tournament final.
Toronto FC are the most successful club in Canadian Championship history with four titles, but they haven’t lifted the trophy since 2012.
PREVIOUS WINNERS (RUNNER-UP)
*2008: Montreal Impact (Toronto FC)
*2009: Toronto FC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
*2010: Toronto FC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
2011: Toronto FC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
2012: Toronto FC (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
2013: Montreal Impact (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
2014: Montreal Impact (Toronto FC)
2015: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Montreal Impact)
*Round Robin Format
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