After disposing of the Ottawa Fury in the first round of the Amway Canadian Championship, albiet, just barely, the Vancouver Whitecaps are ready to take on Toronto FC in the first leg of the final on Tuesday, at BMO field in Toronto. If you need a refresher on the Fury series,WhitecapsFC.com has a really cool video up.
The Whitecaps are the defending ACC champs, but history is in the favor of TFC. The Whitecaps have a paltry 2-4-6 record against Toronto in ACC play, and Toronto have won the trophy a record four times.
The latest meeting between the clubs, a regular season match on May 14th, saw the Whitecaps win 4-3.
Who Gets In?
The Whitecaps have a busy stretch of soccer; They played on Saturday, losing to the New England Revolution, they take on Toronto FC on Tuesday, and they cap the week off with another regular season match on Saturday versus the Philadelphia Union.
For Carl Robinson, a compact schedule generally means plenty of minutes for the youngsters. The biggest question heading into the first leg is, what type of lineup will Robinson field against TFC? Will Robinson save his veterans for this weekend, or will he place higher priority on the ACC match?
I think it's likely we see Alphonso Davies back in the lineup, as well as Canadian Russell Teibert. Ben McKendry is another candidate to get some playing time, and I think Robinson might rest guys like Christian Bolanos and Blas Perez, who are coming off plenty of travel and may need some more rest.
The Whitecaps did announce their roster on Monday, adding Bolanos, Perez and Kendall Waston. They also called up Alphonso Davies.
The full roster:
Goalkeepers (2): David Ousted, Paolo Tornaghi
Defenders (8): Sam Adekugbe, Fraser Aird, Jordan Harvey, Pa-Modou Kah, Tim Parker, Cole Seiler, Jordan Smith, Kendall Waston
Midfielders (10): Christian Bolaños, Alphonso Davies, Andrew Jacobson, Matias Laba, Kekuta Manneh, Ben McKendry, Nicolás Mezquida, Pedro Morales, Cristian Techera, Russell Teibert
Strikers (3): Erik Hurtado, Blas Pérez, Octavio Rivero
The Road Has Not Been Kind
The Whitecaps have been a rather weak road team thus far in 2016, going a dismal 2-5 away from the confines of BC Place. With that being said, Toronto FC haven't been all that impressive at BMO field, sporting a middling 2-1-2 record. The Whitecaps will host the second leg on Wednesday, June 29th.
While Toronto has the star player in Sebastian Giovinco, the Whitecaps have scored more goals as a team, 24 compared to TFC's 15. Toronto has the advantage on the backline though, having surrendered only 15 goals this year, compared to the Whitecaps and their rather large figure of 27.