Meeting in the finals of the Canadian championship is nothing new for Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have tangled for the right to hoist the Voyageurs Cup in each of the last three years. Even though Toronto FC has won all three of those meetings, one look at the MLS standings would suggest that it might just be the Whitecaps' year to break the hex and earn their first berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Whitecaps host the first leg of the Canadian championship at BC Place Wednesday night (10 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet), after resting a number of key players including Jay DeMerit and Camilo over the weekend in preparation for the domestic title series. Vancouver is 5-3-2 in league play and coasted by NASL side FC Edmonton to reach the final.
TFC, meanwhile, is 0-8-0 in league play, but non-MLS competition has provided a different story. The Reds are 2-1-3 outside of MLS this year, with both wins and two ties coming against MLS teams in the Los Angeles Galaxy and Montreal Impact in the CCL and the semifinals of this tournament, respectively.
TFC receive a boost by the return of Designated Player striker Danny Koevermans, who has missed time with a groin injury, but the Reds will be without DP midfielder Torsten Frings, who did not accompany the team to Vancouver with a shoulder injury.
This will also be the second championship that the two sides will have battled for this year, as they met in the finals of the preseason Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament, with Vancouver beating a reserve- and youth-laden Toronto side 1-0 on March 3.
Here are video previews from both teams ahead of the final:
Do you think TFC can stretch its run of Canadaian titles to four? Or is this the year Vancouver breaks through and wins it all?
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