The Vancouver Whitecaps will begin their 2019 Major League Soccer season on March 2, at BC Place, against Minnesota United FC. Of their 17 home matches, 11 will occur on Saturdays, with three Friday matches, two Wednesday matches, and one Sunday match; with their only Sunday match being the last day of the regular season (October 6th) against Real Salt Lake.
Their first home Wednesday match, against LAFC on April 17th, will be preceded by April 12th at Chicago and followed April 20th at Orlando, while their second Wednesday home match May 15th against Atlanta United will be followed by an away match at Sporting Kansas City on April 18th. In other words, the Whitecaps have tough away matches/travel around their Wednesday matches.
Their road schedule consists of 10 Saturday matches, four Wednesday matches, two Fridays, and one Sunday. Like with their home schedule, their home Wednesday matches are bookended by transcontinental flights. Their first Wednesday match, May 22nd, is at New York, before traveling back to Vancouver for a match against FC Dallas three days later. In mid July, they go Vancouver (13th), Boston (July 17th), Vancouver (July 20th). While a trip to Montreal on August 28th starts on August 24th in San Jose and ends on August 31st at Vancouver.
Needless to say, the long flights means that Marc Dos Santos will have to rely heavily on rotating the squad at different points this season; something that might be a concern given the lack of players thus far.
There are some notable dates on the schedule this season.
The Whitecaps will play their only match against expansion club FC Cincinnati (also known as Whitecaps East) on August 3rd in Cincinnati. Later that month, on August 31st, Vancouver will celebrate their 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl victory against New York Cosmos against New York City FC; almost 40 years to the day of their victory.
There will be four Cascadia Cup matches this season, with Vancouver playing their home matches first; March 30th against Seattle and May 10th against Portland. They will then travel to Seattle on June 29th and close out in Portland on August 10th.
MLS will take a break from June 14th to June 21st for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while for the first time (I believe) the Whitecaps will not play during any FIFA international matchday window!
Finally, the 2019 Canadian Championship will be announced at a later date.
There you have it. What the Vancouver Whitecaps 2019 MLS season looks like. What are your thoughts? Good schedule? Difficult schedule? Any concerns?