Vancouver Whitecaps (3-2-3, 1st in NASL Conference, USSF 2nd Division) at Toronto FC (5-4-1, 2nd in Eastern Conference, MLS) in Matchday 6 of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET at BMO Field.
All time record: Vancouver lead 2-1-2
Rogers Sportsnet East and West (Canada)
What’s at Stake?
Not a lot, except team and civic bragging rights. Toronto repeated as NCC champion with Vancouver’s draw at Montreal last week. With the Voyageurs Cup in the bag, Preki hinted that he would give some TFC Academy players valuable playing time to help assess their talent and the Academy’s progress. Both the playing time and rest for the starters will help the club as it heads into the second-third of the MLS season.
Vancouver’s hopes of winning its first NCC title were dashed, but Teitur Thordarson’s side will be out to send a message for next season when the club enters MLS. Despite the setback, the 'Caps still lead the NASL Conference and will look to this game to build positive momentum for the rest of the season.
The club recently broke out of its offensive doldrums with four goals in its last three games after three straight games without a goal. It will look to improve on a 2-1 loss at Rochester May 29 in the third game of a three-game road trip.
Both teams played to a scoreless draw at Burnaby, British Columbia on May 19 in a game Vancouver needed to stay close to Toronto. Vancouver came out with a sense of urgency and had the brunt of scoring opportunities, but couldn’t finish, indicative of their two previous matches that ended in scoreless draws. It was all the more discouraging as Toronto couldn’t penetrate the Whitecaps’ defense and opted to sit back on the tie rather than push for a winning goal.
Heroes and Villains
Vancouver’s defense vs. Dwayne De Rosario: Even a half off didn’t stop De Rosario from making an impact in TFC’s last game at San Jose last Saturday. De Ro continued his sensational season, scoring two goals off the bench. He may see limited time again in this game, but will still be a major threat when in the game.
Marcus Haber vs Toronto’s defense: Vancouver's big young striker had a strong game against Toronto in the team’s last meeting, but couldn’t finish his chances. Haber, a potential future Canadian international, should use his size to his advantage to create issues for Toronto’s defense. His battle with 6-foot-3 Toronto central defender Adrian Cann will be one to watch, but Toronto’s defense will have its hands full.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm”
De Rosario is the all-time leading scorer in the NCC’s three-year history with four goals
He said it
“We’ve had an academy here for a few years. It’s a good moment, if the moment comes for the payers to see where they are, to see where the program is. So I think everybody should be excited, we’re certainly excited that maybe at some point that we’d see some of these guys and they represent the club.” – Preki on the possibility of playing TFC Academy players against Vancouver.