Vancouver Whitecaps FC are facing a must win when they host Toronto FC on Wednesday night at BC place for the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinal. Whitecaps FC enter the second leg trailing 2-1 after dropping the opening match by that score last Wednesday at BMO field in Toronto where English international striker Jermain Defoe and United States national team midfielder Michael Bradley scored for the home side. However the Caps left with some hope after young striker Kekuta Manneh scored an all important road goal in added time that gives the locals a much better chance to advance on home turf. Toronto FC can advance with a 0-0 draw while the Caps can move on in the tournament and play for the Voyageurs cup with a 1-0 victory as the total away goals will decide the outcome.
Whitecaps FC coach Carl Robinson has confirmed he’ll be starting yet another young lineup on Wednesday, and that begins with 17 year old goalkeeper Marco Carducci receiving the second profesional start of his career, after making his debut in the opening leg. 21 year old midfielder and fellow Canadian Russell Teibert will also figure prominently in the match as the midfielder will wear the captains armband for the second straight leg. Another reason we’ll see many of the Caps veterans given a rest is because the club will be playing their fourth game in a twelve night span, however we’ll likely see a slightly more experienced lineup than last week because the team does have a bye on their MLS schedule for the upcoming weekend. The Caps have enjoyed a good run of play of late with two wins in their last two MLS outings which include a 3-2 home win over San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday May 3rd and their lates victory coming on the road this past Saturday where the visitors managed a 1-0 decision over the Columbus Crew.
Coach Robinson knows his squad needs to score and say’s they will be pushing the pace. “We will be going all in, we need to win the game obviously we’re one goal behind. Toronto are probably still favorites for the tie as they’ve said but we’ll have a go. Obviously scoring early is always nice but not conceeding is a big thing as well if we manage to get a goal somehow in the 90 minutes and we don’t conceed then we go thru with a tie. It’s about managing the game as well but we do want to score quite early if we can.”
Toronto FC took part in a training session on Tuesday afternoon in Vancouver that included all three of their Designated players, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Defoe and Brazilian striker Gilberto with all expected to see action.
Whitecaps FC will once again be without striker Darren Mattocks who’s still recovering from a hamstring injury suffered early in their Saturday May 3rd game against San Jose. It’s expected that fellow strikers Kekuta Manneh, Erik Hurtado and even recent call up Omar Salgado will see the lions share of minutes up front.
This will be the first Wednesday home match of the year for Whitecaps FC and with sunshine expected in the forecast, the roof will be open at BC Place for the first time this year.
Kickoff on Wednesday night is scheduled for just after 7:30 pm PT.