Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Montreal Impact | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Remi Garde - Montreal Impact - on the sideline while coaching Aston Villa

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 1
BC Place - Vancouver
6:00 pm ET – March 4, 2018
WATCH: TSN 1/3 (in Canada)

Oh Canada! Two Canadian teams, on opposite coasts, both looking to get a leg up on the 2018 season —and looking for season-long consistency after offseason roster turnover — when they meet at BC Place Sunday.

In Kei Kamara Carl Robinson trusts to fill the goal-scoring shoes of Fredy Montero, whose 13 goals a year ago was good for second all-time in Vancouver Whitecaps' MLS history behind Camilo Sanvezzo’s 22 in 2013.

While in Montreal, the Remi Garde-era officially kicks off with the Impact looking younger in a busy offseason for the former Lyon boss, who is banking on box-to-box midfielder Saphir Taider to have an instant impact.

Vancouver Whitecaps

The good news for the Whitecaps is there are terrific ball winners on both sides of the field in the newly-acquired Kamara (nine goals in 16 all-time appearances vs. Montreal) up front and the steady force of Kendall Watson in the back.

There’s also the addition of Mexican veteran Efrain Juarez, who should help anchor the midfield and, as he proved in last year’s Gold Cup and in the preseason, Alphonso Davies is worth the price of admission. But the drama surrounding the reported trade demands of central defender Tim Parker has been the dark cloud hovering over BC Place.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: Aly Ghazal (hamstring), Doneil Henry (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Stefan Marinovic — Jake Nerwinski, Kendall Watson, Tim Parker, Marcel de Jong — Russell Teibert, Efrain Juarez — Cristian Techera, Yordy Reyna, Alphonso Davies — Kei Kamara

Montreal Impact 

Remi Garde has a reputation for developing young talent and that was a big part of his restructuring project in the offseason with Taider and 20-year-old Jeisson Vargas the cream of the crop. However the team was dealt a blow when another key signing — French center back Zakaria Diallo — reportedly suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon which could sideline him for much, if not all, of the 2018 season.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: D - Zakaria Diallo (ruptured Achilles tendon), F - Anthony Jackson-Hamel (torn hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: Evan Bush — Chris Duvall, Victor Cabrera, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz — Samuel Piette, Saphir Taider — Raheem Edwards, Jeisson Vargas, Ignacio Piatti — Matteo Mancosu

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 10 goals … Impact 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 1
  • At Vancouver: Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals … Impact 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
  • Last meeting at Vancouver: Montreal 3, Vancouver 2 (March 6, 2016)


Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Jon Freemon