For the first time ever, the Caps enter the Amway Championship, or as I'll be referring to it, the Voyageurs Cup, as the holders for the right to enter the 2017/2018 CONCACAF Champions League. Yes, the draw for this current season just happened, but that's not important. This is also Ottawa's first venture in the Voyageurs Cup against an MLS side as they managed to beat FC Edmonton in the play-in game. It'll be hard to know how either team will react in the first half.
One major change to the competition this year: the 3 MLS teams will be allowed to use players from their USL affiliate, meaning I expect to see a number of WFC2 regulars on Wednesday.
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It's hard to know exactly who Robbo will play, but we do know the following: Bolanos, Waston and Perez will all not be figuring into this round as they're away at the Copa America. I also do not expect to see Ousted, Harvey or Morales on Wednesday. What exactly does that leave the Caps? If any remembers the first leg of the 2014 Voyageurs Cup, it was a squad that better resembled a high school or college team. While I don't expect to see that young of a squad, it was pretty much been revealed that 15 year old Alphonso Davies will factor in at some point. If that name sounds familiar to you, he spent the entire pre-season, including the Simple Invitational in Portland, with the first team.
I won't even venture a guess as to the starting 11, except to say that Paolo Tornaghi will probably be in net. The Caps announced a roster mixed with young guns and experienced vets, with only Alphonso Davies as the only call up from WFC2, as Carducci, McKendry and Seiler are all on MLS contracts, but yet to see any MLS minutes. With the MLS on hiatus for the Copa America, could we see a strong team in Leg 2? Stay tuned next week to find out.
As for the opposition, the Ottawa Fury, most fans will only recognize a few names: Kyle Porter and Jonny Steele (former Whitecaps), Julian de Guzman (former TFC, and current MNT), and Marcel de Jong (former SKC and current MNT). Some of you may recognize some other names, but you probably follow NASL. JdG and MdJ will both be with CMNT, leaving Steele and Porter as names that will ring a bell.
You can expect Ottawa to be fired up and ready to play as this is their chance to show the country what they're capable of against supposedly higher competition. As for the Caps, I expect a youthful squad, however, within that squad will be guys who have played some minutes in MLS. This should be an interesting test for coach Paul Daglish as his team has a trip to St Petersburg to take on Tampa Bay a couple days later.