Training Impact Whitecaps BC Place
Charles William / Impact de Montréal

Preview: The Impact plays its inaugural game in Major League Soccer in Vancouver on Saturday

Montreal Impact @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Saturday, March 10, 2012, 6pm (ET)
BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
Television : TSN, RDS
Radio: CJAD 800

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Following months of anticipation, the Montreal Impact will finally play its first ever game in MLS on Saturday, against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at BC Place in Vancouver, beginning at 6 pm ET. The game will be broadcast live on TSN and RDS, as well as on CJAD 800 radio.

The team arrived in Vancouver Thursday night, and then trained at BC Place Friday afternoon.

“Our focus from the start was to make sure we kept things moving along in camp,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “Now, with just a few hours before game time, the players are ready to go. Everyone understands the importance of this historic game.”

“It’s good to finally get the season started,” said team captain Davy Arnaud, who played the last 10 seasons in Kansas City. “We’re ready for it. The atmosphere within the team is good. We are starting the season off with a rivalry game, so it’s going to be a tough one right off the bat.”

“I try to look at tomorrow’s game just like any other, but it was a little weird when I got off the bus and looked around as a visiting player,” said defender Jeb Brovsky, who played with the Whitecaps last season. “I’m excited to finally start the season.”

“Getting on the pitch here today, seeing what the field was like probably helped to get some of the nerves out of the system,” said midfielder Patrice Bernier, who will be playing his first game ever in MLS and his first in an Impact uniform since 2002. “There is history between these two clubs and it now moves to another level. We saw that it was going to be a tough game when we played them in Florida.”

Game Notes

  • The Impact concluded training camp with a record of six wins, three losses and seven ties. The Whitecaps blanked the Impact 3-0 in their meeting at the Disney Classic in Orlando, Florida.
  • It’s the second time ever that these two clubs meet in a season opener, the first in Major League Soccer. The first matchup was won by Vancouver 1-0 (Sebrango 33’), while in second division, at Swangard Stadium, on April 12, 2008.
  • In 2011, the Whitecaps won their inaugural game 4-2 against Toronto FC, at Empire Field, in Vancouver.
  • Defender Jeb Brovsky played 24 games with the Whitecaps in 2011, 16 as a starter, after being selected by the club in the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
  • Impact assistant coach Denis Hamlett held the same position for the Whitecaps last season.
  • Three Impact players have played over 100 games in MLS: Davy Arnaud (240), Justin Mapp (221) and Shavar Thomas (170).
  • Forward Justin Braun needs four more games to hit the 100-match played mark in MLS.
  • Whitecaps defender Alain Rochat was born in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. He was raised and played most of his career in Switzerland.
  • This will also be the first game of the season for the Whitecaps; their second year in MLS. In 2011, the club won its first game of the season 4-2 versus Toronto FC, at Empire Field, in Vancouver.

James and Haworth with the U23 Canadian National Team

Impact forwards Evan James and Carl Haworth were selected to the U23 Canadian National Team training camp, being held from March 13 to 20 in Sunrise, Florida.

Both players took part in the last invitational camp held in Arizona, in January. James was selected by the Impact in the first round, first overall, in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, and then signed a professional contract with the club on March 3. Haworth was selected in the fourth round of the Supplemental Draft.

Eight CONCACAF nations, including Canada and the U.S., will take part in a qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games in London, 2012. The tournament will be held in Nashville, Carson and Kansas City, from March 22 to 26.

Next Game

The Impact will be back in Montreal Sunday and will play its home opener at Olympic Stadium on March 17, against the Chicago Fire, at 2pm (ET).

The Impact announced Friday that over 45,000 tickets have been sold for the historic game.

Season tickets are available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual tickets for the home opener and all five games presented at Olympic Stadium are also available through the Admission network.

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