Under the big lights at B.C. Place, the Montreal Impact will play its first ever game in Major League Soccer against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday (6 pm ET; TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US), a game that will be filled with pressure and excitement.
These two teams share a rich Canadian rivalry in North American soccer, having played some big games over that time. We take a look back at some of the recent matchups between the teams from La Belle Province and Beautiful British Columbia.
2011 Canadian Championships
The last time the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC met in a meaningful game was in the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championships. The Whitecaps took the first leg at Stade Saputo by a 1-0 score on a goal by midfielder Terry Dunfield. In the second leg, the Impact went ahead 1-0 on a goal by Ali Gerba from the penalty spot. After 90 minutes, the aggregate score was 1-1, which forced extra time at B.C. Place. Mouloud Akloul scored the decisive goal in the 113th minute for the Whitecaps, eliminating the Impact from the competition.
2009 USL Championship Season
The Impact went undefeated against the Vancouver Whitecaps on its way to its third playoff championship in 2009. In the three matchups during the regular season, the Impact won 2-1, 2-1, and 1-0, with midfielder Rocco Placentino recording a goal and two assists over that span. The Impact went on to beat the Whitecaps in the championship game by a 6-3 aggregate score, off the strength of a goal and an assist from forwards Roberto Brown and Peter Byers.
The 2008 playoffs
The Whitecaps enjoyed the bulk of the success in 2008, beating the Impact two out of three matches by a 1-0 score, on goals by then former Impact players Eduardo Sebrango and Charles Gbeke. Looking to avenge the season series in the playoffs, the Impact won the home game at Stade Saputo 1-0, but fell to Vancouver in the return leg 2-0, with the winning goal coming off of the foot of, you guessed it, Sebrango once again.
2008 Canadian Championships
In the first ever Canadian Championships, the Montreal Impact beat the Whitecaps by an aggregate score of 4-0, with the home-and-away games ending in an identical 2-0 score. The Impact road the wave of those two wins to the first ever appearance by a Canadian team in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, and the only one by a second division side. Current Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello played all 90 minutes of the first leg.