VANCOUVER, B.C. – End the season in style and do it with a win against the defending MLS Cup champions.
That’s the goal for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they face the playoff-bound Colorado Rapids at BC Place on Saturday (7 pm ET; watch LIVE online).
And why not?
In the last two games at their new home the ‘Caps have looked a different animal. First, defeating Real Salt Lake 3-0 on Oct. 6 and then taking down D.C. United 2-1 on Oct. 12 – a result which played a big part in derailing that club’s playoff ambitions.
“We’ve put two games together here – Salt Lake and D.C. – that we’re pretty proud of the performance and the result,” John Thorrington told WhitecapsFC.com after training this week. “This gives us one last chance to thank the fans for their incredible support through what’s been an, at times, frustrating season. So if we can come out and show the fire, passion and commitment we showed in the previous two games at BC Place and get a result, that would be fantastic for us and the fans.”
Thorrington, who was happy to help play spoiler in that match against D.C., is hoping his side can send the Rapids into the playoffs on a losing note.
“Colorado will be wanting to head into the playoffs with a win,” Thorrington said. “They’re a very good team. As everybody knows, they won [MLS Cup] last year. It’s pretty much the same team they’ll be bringing here on Saturday, so if we can get the fans behind us and show the passion and commitment we’ve shown in the [last two home games], we’ll be OK.”
The club is calling Saturday’s match “Fan Appreciation Day,” and what better way than to part ways for the fall with a win?
“When you have that kind of support, it makes you want to keep coming into work, and giving them what they want, and that’s a good result,” captain Jay DeMerit said. “If we can do that to finish the season, that would be ideal.”
As ever, the action in the stands at BC Place promises to be just as interesting, as members of the Southsiders supporters group plan to dress up for the finale and have promised to sing “Auld Lang Syne” at the 90-minute mark.
“It’s a somewhat of a tradition with a lot of clubs across the UK, especially at the lower levels,” Southsiders president John Knox said. “They pick one match through the season and everybody shows up dressed up in either a ridiculously formal outfit or a zany costume.
“With the way our schedule works out here in Canada, the end of our season happens to be close to Halloween,” Knox continued. “We thought it would be neat if we started this tradition in Vancouver, where the last match of every season is going to be our costume day. I guess in the UK they call it fancy dress day, which doesn’t really translate as well over here, but the meaning of it is basically that it’s our day to go out and have fun no matter what the score or how the season’s gone.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.