Jon Szekeres of Eighty Six Forever and myself exchange Three Key Points for the respective teams we cover as the Montreal Impact host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Stade Saputo. Canadian honor and a trophy is in play with the first leg coming up this Wednesday at 19:30 EST.
My fancy point of view can be read right ------> here.
Last year, the Whitecaps had a chance to take the Canadian Championship to Vancouver in just their second year of MLS play. It would have been a great story, and it was a match they were heavily favored in. Vancouver was in a playoff spot, while Toronto had yet to win a match all season; however, we all know how it turned out. Now Vancouver enters as the underdog, taking on a club that has put a solid season together so far. The 'Caps have been inconsistent, and if the playoffs started today, they'd be on the outside looking in. Therefore, it would make it that much sweeter if they could find a way to win the whole damn thing. Can the Whitecaps finally win a meaningful match?
Which leads me to my next point; Can the Whitecaps be clutch? It's an odd question because we are talking about a team here, not one man. However, the Whitecaps have proven in their short MLS lives that they have a proficiency for choking. They needed to win a few key matches to make the playoffs last year and what happened? They squeaked through when Dallas couldn't lost their way out. Last season, they were taking on a poor Toronto FC club in the Amway Canadian Championship. They had two tries to lay a beating down on their Canadian rival; they drew one and lost one. Finally, they had a one goal lead against the LA Galaxy, in a playoff match, with a relatively healthy squad. They lost. Is it a trend, or can the 'Caps finally come through in the clutch?
In one of their best matches as a franchise, the Whitecaps finally bested their Western Conference foe the LA Galaxy on the weekend, 3-1. It was the first win in franchise history against the Galaxy, and the 'Caps did it with style. Two goals from the young Canadian Russell Teibert, with Darren Mattocks shaking off his scoring slump and adding the insurance marker near the end of the match. Now, what can the 'Caps do with their new found swagger and confidence? Will they be able to ride the wave and drown the Impact, or will it prove to simply be an apparition, a glimmer of hope and nothing more? The 'Caps couldn't have asked for a bigger boost to go into the Canadian Championship on; lets see if they squander it.