VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC kick off their quest for the Voyagers Cup against Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League this Wednesday, July 10 at Calgary’s Spruce Meadows.
Even though this is the first ever meeting between the two teams, there’s more in common than meets the eye. No less than six Calvary FC players have spent time with the ‘Caps, while assistant coach Martin Nash is fifth all-time for Whitecaps FC in matches played (285), and third in assists (48) behind only club legends Carl Valentine (69) and Bob Lenarduzzi (64).
As for their head coach, Tommy Wheeldon Jr., he never played for Vancouver. But he does have a history with the Blue & White …
It’s a little known fact that Wheeldon Jr. was shown a red card while playing against the ‘Caps.
Let’s take you back to 2003.
Whitecaps FC blew out their home-opener at Swangard Stadium with a 6-0 win over Calgary Storm in the United Soccer League (USL). The result was the ‘Caps second highest scoring home-opener at the time, topped only by a 7-3 win over Calgary Strikers of the Canadian Soccer League in 1989.
It was a frustrating day for Calgary. They were 3-0 down after only 23 minutes, and speedy ‘Caps winger Alfredo Valente had set-up the last two goals.
Moments after the third goal, Wheeldon Jr. was ejected from the match for an aggressive tackle on Valente, who would go on to tally a third assist in that match.
It didn’t make matters any better that his father, Tommy Wheeldon Sr., was watching from the sidelines as head coach of the Storm.
Fast-forward 16 years and Wheeldon Jr. has followed in his father’s footsteps as head coach of Calgary’s new professional soccer team. Plus, the Wheeldon family legacy in Calgary has expanded. Current defender Jonathan ‘Jay’ Wheeldon, Wheeldon Jr.’s brother, has made eight appearances under his older sibling as a starting centre back for Cavalry FC this season.
Who knows what will happen when the 'Caps take on the the Wheeldons in this year’s Canadian Championship?
Catch the first leg this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. PT live on OneSoccer, and get your tickets for the return leg at BC Place on Wednesday, July 24.