Bad memories for Whitecaps in TO
Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. (WHITECAPS FC FILE PHOTO)
For two of the past three years, when the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC met in the Amway Canadian Championship, it was for the Voyageurs Cup. This time around, it'll simply be for the chance to get to that title matchup.
The two sides face each other in the first leg of the semifinals Wednesday at BMO Field in Toronto — a place that brings back bad memories for a club that has suffered some heartbreak battling for a championship they have yet to win.
In 2011, when the tournament switched to a new format, there was the controversial first leg that had to be abandoned due to lightning and unplayable field conditions. It was eventually rescheduled and started from 0-0, despite the Whitecaps having had a 1-0 lead.
In 2012, the match saw a skirmish and a pair of red cards that brought both sides down to 10 men. Toronto ended up winning the game 1-0 and 2-1 on aggregate. Last year, Vancouver — who have been runner-ups five times — fell in the final to the Montreal Impact, who are playing FC Edmonton in the other semifinal this year.
But this year, it's a new coach in Carl Robinson, and Vancouver will feature more Canadian content with rookie goalkeeper Marco Carducci and midfielder Bryce Alderson.
The second leg goes the following Wednesday at BC Place. The winner of the tournament will represent Canada and earn a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.