The first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship kicks off tonight in Toronto as TFC takes on the Vancouver Whitecaps in what will surely be a heated match up with plenty of history to back it up.
Although thousands of kilometers separate these 2 Canadian rivals, distance certainly doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. In terms of league play, Toronto and Vancouver have only played each other 7 times, with the 2 sides bitterly splitting the matches 3 wins a piece and 1 draw. Things are fairly lopsided when it comes to the Voyageur’s Cup however.
Toronto FC has won this tournament 4 times in its history - four consecutive times to be exact. All 4 championships for TFC were won with Vancouver as runner up in one way or another (the format changed in 2010 from a 3 team home and away series to a 5 team knockout tournament as it exists now) the most notable of which was the legendary “Miracle in Montreal”. The Whitecaps’ history of 5 consecutive runner up finishes ended in 2014 as the team struggled but rebounded in 2015 to claim their first ever domestic championship title.
If history is any indication of what we can expect, it’ll be a hard fought final round with the Reds having the edge. However, with TFC missing 2 of their DPs, they’ll have to heavily rely on their young Canadian players as they did against Montreal in the semi-final where they were all stand outs. But the Whitecaps are certainly no pushovers in this tournament just as they are not in MLS league play.
Vancouver has really come into their own in an extremely difficult Western Conference, making playoff appearances years in a row. A verytechnical and well managed side by former TFC midfielder Carl Robinson, the Whitecaps will more than likely field a squad that will push for away goals in anticipation of a scrappy final leg at home in Vancouver next week when TFC should be at full strength.
The Whitecaps come into tonight’s match looking to reverse history in a tournament where they have never beaten TFC, while the Reds hope that history is on their side. Regardless of the result, these rivals are sure to provide an emotional final definitely worth watching. Tonight’s match kicks off at 7:30pm Eastern time and can be seen on MLS Live.