MONTREAL IMPACT vs. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS
STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Quebec
May 15, 2013 (Amway Canadian Championship Final, Leg 1)
7:30 pm (Sportsnet, TVA in Canada)
The Montreal Impact will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first leg of the aggregate goal home and away Amway Canadian Championship final series this Wednesday at 7:30pm (ET) at Stade Saputo.
Aside from national bragging rights, thee tournament decides Canada's representative in the next CONCACAF Champions League. Through the first five editions of the Amway Canadian Championship, the Montreal Impact were the inaugural champions in 2008, with Toronto FC winning the tournament from 2009 to 2012.
The return leg of the series is set for May 29, at BC Place in Vancouver.
In their MLS debut in 2012, Montreal fell 2-0 to Whitecaps FC at BC Place. This was the last time the two Canadian sides met but the rivalry between Whitecaps FC and the Impact stretches back nearly two decades. Between 1993 and 2012, the two clubs met 56 times, with the majority of those games coming at the North American second division level. The Impact lead the all-time series of results with a 29W-17L-10D record. This includes an all-time record of 14W-8L-6D for the Impact in Montreal.
Whitecaps FC do have the upper hand in Canadian Championship action, having not lost against the Quebec outfit since 2008. Vancouver now have an overall record of 3W-2L-3D against Montreal in the ACC including a 2W-1L-1D matches at Stade Saputo.
How they got here
Both Whitecaps FC and Montreal won their way to the finals with two-legged semifinal wins against FC Edmonton and Toronto FC respectively. Vancouver won 3-2 away before seeing out the tie with a comfortable 2-0 victory at BC Place to record a 5-2 aggregate victory. Montreal Impact did things the hard way, losing 2-0 away to Toronto FC before putting in an impressive performance at Stade Saputo, beating TFC 6-0 to go through 6-2 on aggregate.
Montreal Impact news
The Impact will play on Wednesday its 100th game (51-26-22) at Stade Saputo, including 72 regular-season games (first and second division), six playoff games, eight Canadian championship games, four CONCACAF Champions League games and six international friendlies.
The Impact are still undefeated in six home games this season, including four wins and one tie in regular-season play, as well as one win in the Amway Canadian Championship.
The Montreal Impact came from behind to qualify for the final series thanks to a 6-0 victory over Toronto FC at Stade Saputo on Wednesday, May 1. With the lopsided victory, the Impact won the two game aggregate series 6-2 after falling to TFC 2-0 in Toronto exactly one week prior in the first leg.
Forwards Marco Di Vaio (two goals and two assists), Daniele Paponi, Andrew Wenger, Justin Mapp and Andres Romero all scored in the win, while goalkeeper Evan Bush recorded the shutout.
Striker Marco Di Vaio needs one goal to tie the Canadian Championship record for most goals in a tournament, held by Dwayne De Rosario (2009) and Maicon Santos (2011) with three. Di Vaio is also one assist away from the Canadian Championship record for most assists in a tournament, held by Davide Chiumento (2012) and Joao Plata (2011) with three.
In its last matchup, the Impact bested Real Salt Lake 3-2 in MLS action last Saturday, after falling behind on two separate occasions. Matteo Ferrari scored the game-winning goal for the home side in stoppage time.
Vancouver Whitecaps news
Competing in their third successive ACC final since the tournament changed to a knockout format, Whitecaps FC will be keen to end on the winner’s podium after finishing as runners-up each of the past four years.
After successfully navigating the semifinal against FC Edmonton, Vancouver will look to repeat the feat by dispatching Montreal Impact over the course of the two-legged final.
Canadian Championship history is on Vancouver’s side as Whitecaps FC are undefeated in their last six meetings with Montreal in the competition, stretching back to 2008, with an overall 3W-2L-3D record. It should be noted that the first six meetings were held while both teams were in the North American second division, while in 2011 Whitecaps FC were an MLS squad and Montreal were still in the second division. This will be the first matchup with both clubs playing as MLS squads.
The ‘Caps go into Wednesday’s match on a high after defeating two-time MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy for the first time on Saturday with a 3-1 win at BC Place. Canadian Russell Teibert was the hero with his first two professional goals while Darren Mattocks finished the scoring with his second goal of the season.
With a full fixture list in the month of May, head coach Martin Rennie may look to rotate his squad before the clash against Cascadian rivals Portland Timbers this coming Saturday at BC Place.
Captain Jay DeMerit continues to be out indefinitely with a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Kenny Miller, Camilo and Daigo Kobayashi stayed behind in Vancouver to recuperate from their respective injuries.