Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Voyageurs Cup Final Time! Can TFC Threepeat?
Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps ~ 10pm ET ~ BC Place ~ TSN1/4
Voyageurs Cup time! Wheeeee!!! It’s the magic of the cup and we love it. The Voyageurs Cup is truly one of our favourite times of the season, the cup competition (though small, for now) is just so much fun, the energy’s different, the new focus on Canadian players adds another level of excitement and well, it’s ours. I could continue to gush – as I often do when it comes to the V Cup – about the awesomeness and why we all love it, but if you’re reading this then you already know.
Tonight’s match is the fifth time that Toronto FC and the Whitecaps have played in the Voyageurs Cup final, and each time Toronto has come out on top – the most memorable for many fans being back in 2011 when the home leg at BMO Field had to be called due to torrential rains and lightening; I swear it took two days for my things to dry. But there always seems to be something when these two teams come together to contest for the cup and while advancing smoothly for TFC would be welcome, who isn’t secretly hoping for some weird calamity, just to keep up with tradition. Just me? Come on…
TFC have an five game unbeaten streak (through all competitions) on the line as they work to regain form and their season, whereas Vancouver have been stumbling of late – wunderkind Alphonso Davies or not. Neither team is suffering from any new injuries, and both will have most of their players available for tonight’s match. Toronto did leave Sebastian Giovinco behind (being rested before this weekend’s pizza rats match I presume), though Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and the rest of the usual first team players seem to have travelled. Also interestingly enough, it appears that Tsubasa Endoh is back with TFC:
— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) August 8, 2018
So that’s weird thing number one…Other roster certainties – Chris Mavinga will play as he’s suspended for Sunday’s match, and I’d expect to see Jordan Hamilton and probably Liam Fraser out on the pitch with Jonathan Osorio to start for the Canadian contingent. Of course it’s possible that Vanney puts out a couple more of the kids (maybe Ayo, Telfer or Chappers) in the early goings.
- Mark the hell out of Alphonso Davies – it’s not rocket science, don’t let him get an open look.
- Doneil Henry – which Doneil will we see? Does playing against his old team bring back old habits (one can hope) – though I wish nothing but the best for him, in this instance some defending chaos would be welcome.
- Jozy – he’s back! (but not in pog form), will he again anger the Vancouver faithful by scoring?
- Oso – as per our friend the stats guy Martyn Bailey, if he scores a brace tonight he’ll take the lead for TFC in scoring Voyageurs Cup goals. He’s been almost scoring at will and that would be all kinds of delightful.
- What kind of goal scoring celebration does Kei Kamara have planned?
It’s never easy to peg how these games will go, the first leg is often a more cautious affair – at least from the visitors – as the teams are feeling each other out and trying to gain any kind of advantage for the second leg. As Toronto as getting back into form (and getting healthy), they’re more likely to not just sit back and let Vancouver take the game to them. However this will likely be a lower scoring affair (even though I was wildly optimistic on this week’s podcast predicting a 2-1 TFC win), as neither team wants to give up the advantage before the all to play for match next week here in Toronto. It’s the cup, anything can – and often does – happen.