Match Preview - VAN vs. MTL

Canadian talent on display when 'Caps host new-look CF Montréal

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. CF Montréal
MLS Regular Season - Week 4
Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 12:08 p.m. PT
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT
TV: CTV, TSN1/4, TVA Sports - RADIO: AM730

MARATHON CONTINUES: After springing off the blocks to start the season, the marathon continues as the first month of the 'Caps 34-game schedule wraps up with an all-Canadian clash against CF Montréal. Whitecaps FC have been gradual with incorporating their various roster pieces, with box-to-box midfielder Caio Alexandre making his first MLS start behind striker Lucas Cavallini last Sunday. Erik Godoy and Leonard Owusu continue to work their way back, hoping to provide additional options as head coach Marc Dos Santos fits the different pieces together for the long haul.

MAXIMUM RETURNS: Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who turns 27 on Tuesday, has left no doubt that he is all the way back from a thumb injury that sidelined him for much of last season. Already with a clean sheet to start his year, Crepeau collected five saves against Colorado Rapids in Week 3, with a number coming in spectacular fashion. A Montreal Impact Academy product, he faces his former club for only the second time since joining Whitecaps FC. Likewise, Dos Santos goes up against his former team, having spent five years with Montréal, including his time as the first-team head coach from 2009 to 2011. 

NEW LOOK RIVALS: Lining up opposite the 'Caps are a familiar foe with a rebranded look. CF Montréal enter the match undefeated (consecutive draws following a season-opening win), led by first-year MLS head coach Wilfried Nancy. Rommell Quioto is the feature man up top for Montréal, with former 'Caps forward Erik Hurtado likely complementing the Honduran as the replacement for the injured Mason Toye. The 'Caps centre back pairing in the first three weeks has been 22-year old Ranko Veselinovic and 10th-year pro Andy Rose, a combination of youth and experience. US MNT midfielder Djordje Mihailovic, age 22, is the key offseason acquisition for Montréal following four seasons with Chicago Fire FC, where he developed in his youth. 

CANADIAN PIPELINE: Plenty of Canadian talent will be on display when the two clubs take to the pitch at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.  Whitecaps FC and CF Montréal were the two most represented clubs in the most recent Canadian national team competitions at both the senior and U-23 level. Each club sent three players to the MNT for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers last March - Cavallini, Crepeau, and Cristian Gutierrez for the 'Caps, and Kamal Miller, Samuel Piette, and Joel Waterman for Montréal. At the recent Concacaf Olympic qualifiers, Whitecaps FC players Theo Bair, Michael Baldisimo, Derek Cornelius, Patrick Metcalfe, and Ryan Raposo teamed up with four U-23 players from Montréal in Zorhan Bassong, Zachary Brault-Guillard, James Pantemis, and Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla.

AVAILABILITY REPORT

Injured
Michael Baldisimo: Questionable - right ankle sprain suffered on April 28 in training, return to match status is day-to-day
Erik Godoy: Questionable - right calf strain suffered vs. Real Monarchs on April 6, return to match status is day-to-day

Awaiting visa approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Ali Adnan: training in Vancouver, BC

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Russell Teibert's next appearance will be his 222nd for VWFC across all competitions, landing him in the top 10 in club history, tied with Paul Dolan. Last week, he made his 143rd start in MLS regular season play, passing David Ousted for sole second among all VWFC players. Jordan Harvey has 169.

Jake Nerwinski's next appearance will be his 100th in all MLS competitions, including MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage and Playoffs. In Week 2, he made his 100th start for VWFC across all first-team competitions.

LAST SEASON

2020
August 25 at Stade Saputo (MTL 2:0 VAN)
September 13 at BC Place (VAN 2:4 MTL)
September 16 at BC Place (VAN 3:1 MTL)

VWFC and CF Montréal squared off three times during the Canadian phase of the MLS continuation of play in 2020, with the 'Caps emerging victorious in the final meeting. The three-game series was a contentious affair, seeing three red cards handed out in the two matches at BC Place, which marked the last pair of fixtures the 'Caps have played in Vancouver. Saturday is their only meeting in 2021.

CONNECTIONS WITH CF MONTRÉAL

Formerly with Montreal Impact
Head coach Marc Dos Santos ('07-'11), born in Montreal
CSL affiliate Trois-Rivieres Attak head coach ('07-08): 31W-8L-14D across all competitions, '07 Open Canada Cup champion, '08 CSL National Division champion
First team assistant coach ('08): Canadian Championship winner 
First team head coach ('09-'11): 35W-33L-20D across all competitions, '09 USL First Division champion
Montreal native, along with brother and assistant Phillip 

Goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha ('05-'17)
Pre-MLS: '04 A-League champions, '05-'06 USL regular season champions, as well as '09 USL First Division champions under Marc Dos Santos
MLS: '13-'14 Canadian Championships, and runner-up finish in the 2014-15 Concacaf Champions League
Helped establish the Montreal Impact Soccer Schools Advanced Centre for Goalkeepers

Maxime Crépeau ('10-'18), born in Greenfield Park
Joined Impact Academy in '10, became fourth HG player in Impact club history in '13
First team '13-'18: 
'15-'16 (on loan with FC Montreal): 30 GP, 30 GS, 6W-20L-4D, 3 SO in USL
'17: 3 GS, 3 GP 0W-3L-0D in MLS; 4 GP, 4 GS, 1W-2L-1D in CC 
'18 (on loan with Ottawa Fury FC): 31 GP, 31 GS, 12W-13L-6D, 15 SO, Goalkeeper of the Year in USL Championship;
4 GP, 4 GS, 2W-2L-0D, 2 SO in CC

Erik Hurtado on VAN (‘13-’18)
Selected by VAN fifth overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft
MLS RS: 105 GP, 47 GS, 12 G, 10 A
MLS PO: 1 GP, 1 GS, 1 G
CC: 12 GP, 5 GS, 2 G, 1 A
CCL: 5 GP, 5 GS, 2 G, 2 A

Concacaf Champions League
Rommell Quioto featured for Honduran Liga Nacional side C.D. Olimpia when they faced Whitecaps FC in the group stage of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. Quioto suffered a fractured rib and collapsed lung injury in the match at BC Place after colliding with then-‘Caps goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi, forcing him to stay behind in Vancouver while getting treatment. A number of VWFC players visited the sidelined player at the hospital, and Quioto, once discharged, paid a visit to the ’Caps training centre.

Former teammates
Maxime Crepeau and Youssef Dahha with Clément Bayiha on USL side Ottawa Fury FC (’18)
Ryan Raposo with Kamal Miller at Syracuse ('18)
Assistant coach Ricardo Clark with Rommell Quioto ('17 as players), and with Aljaž Struna ('20 with Clark as youth coach) at Houston Dynamo

British Columbia
Joel Waterman was born in Langley and played youth soccer at Aldergrove Youth SC, Langley United, and Surrey United. He played university soccer at Trinity Western University. 

Quebec
Cristian Gutierrez was born to Chilean parents in Greenfield Park. He moved to Santiago, Chile at age three.

Canadian national team
Senior players: 
VAN: Theo Bair, Lucas Cavallini, Derek Cornelius, Maxime Crépeau, Cristian Gutierrez, Tosaint Ricketts, Russell Teibert
MTL: Zorhan Bassong, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Kamal Miller, Samuel Piette, Ballou Tabla
Youth:
VAN: Michael Baldisimo, Matteo Campagna, Simon Colyn, Gianfranco Facchineri, Kamron Habibullah, Thomas Hasal, Damiano Pecile, Ryan Raposo
MTL: Jean-Aniel Assi, Clément Bayiha, Sebastian Breza, Karifa Yao, Keesean Ferdinand, Mathieu Choinière, Tomas Giraldo, James Pantemis, Nathan-Dylan Saliba, Rida Zouhir

Argentina
Erik Godoy, Emanuel Maciel, and Joaquín Torres

England
Andy Rose (born in Australia) and Luis Binks

Nigeria
David Egbo and Sunusi Ibrahim

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