Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver Maxime Crépeau’

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VANCOUVER, B.C – After a terrific first season in Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper, Max Crépeau is determined to show that he can be even better next season. 2019 was a challenging season for 8-16-10 Whitecaps FC, but Crépeau was a bright spot. He kept Vancouver in several matches they had no business being in.

The 2019 BMO Whitecaps FC Player of the Year, set personal MLS career highs with 26 games started, seven wins, five clean sheets, and 114 saves. On August 24, Crépeau’s set an MLS record by making 16 saves in a match.

When Whitecaps FC kicked off training camp, Crépeau wasn’t a sure fire lock to be the number one goalkeeper in Vancouver. Zac MacMath was in contention, but it was Crépeau who quickly showed his talents and solidified his role as the number one.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Manager, Marc Dos Santos believes in Crépeau, and he wants to see him continue to push himself next season. In a competitive league like MLS, Crépeau will have to show that he can shine even brighter in 2020.

“He needs to challenge himself to stay at that level and keep pushing to play at that level,” Dos Santos explained. “If we were a playoff team, he would have been in the top three goalkeepers of MLS, in my opinion. He’s somebody that pushes himself a lot. He’s a goalkeeper with a lot of good qualities. He’s good at coming out on crosses, good shot-stopper, and good with his feet.

He needs to continue doing what he’s done this year, and keep it in a steady way. His last two years, if you’re talking about 2018, and being USL Goalkeeper of the Year, and 2019, being a key player for our club. If he continues in that path, he’s going to have a great future.”

Heading into his second full season in MLS, Crépeau wants to show that he isn’t just a flash in the pan. The best keepers in the world are able to take their game to another level. They’re always striving to be better each season.

What’s the secret for Crépeau next season?

“Yeah, you said it. The secret is to be consistent.” Crépeau explained.

“This upcoming year, I think is the consistency,” Crépeau shared with Har Journalist. “I need to erase those little mistakes in the game, that can’t happen a few times in the season. To become the face of this team as well. I know the mentality the core group wants to be. They want to have a good identity on and off. I can be one of those guys to lead people, to achieve that. It depends on how willing the group will be to come together in January, and February. I can be a guy that can step up in moments and talks through to have higher standards with the club.”

As well as consistency, part of being an elite shot-stopper means having that drive, and determination to succeed. Crépeau has an off the chart compete level that brings out the best in him.

Whether it’s a match, training, or just working out, he wants to excel.

Crépeau’s teammates know just what kind of competitor they have in net.

“Yeah, he’s a great professional,” Jake Nerwinski revealed. “He comes out here and he’s pissed off that he just lost a small sided game. I don’t think he’s over it yet. I think that shows his character, will, and drive. This is was his first year in MLS, and I think he’s still got a lot more to go, he’s still learning. He’s going to build off of this.”

If the Greenfield Park, Quebec native, is going to pick off where he left off, he’s going to need more help.

In 34 games, Whitecaps FC scored 37 goals, while surrendering 59 goals against.

Unless you’re Carey Price, it’s hard to win when you’re keeper has to keep a clean sheet.

“Yeah, he was huge this year,” Nerwinski said. “He was our most valuable player and we gave him that award, he deserves it. We hope that we don’t have to rely on a goalie like that. I think he doesn’t want to be relied on like that as well. He knows that he’s a big deal to this team. I think going forward we want to make it a little bit easier on him.”

As Whitecaps FC look to improve the team during the off-season, goalkeeper is one position where Vancouver doesn’t have to worry about. Max Crépeau is ready to lead Vancouver on and off the pitch next season.

 

 

 

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – As the MLS season draws closer to an end, teams are jockeying for key playoff positioning in both conferences. Whitecaps FC will not be heading to the playoffs. Instead of a potential run to the MLS Cup, Vancouver has taken on a spoiler role.

Whitecaps FC will head to California this weekend for a Sunday afternoon battle against the LA Galaxy, at Dignity Health Sports Park. Vancouver comes into the match riding a two-match unbeaten streak. A 2-1 win over Houston, and a 1-1 draw vs Columbus Crew SC significantly struck a blow to the playoff aspirations of both clubs.

“It’s kind of a positive note that we screwed with Columbus, and Houston,” Whitecaps FC’s Max Crépeau told reporters on Tuesday. “Honestly, if you can knock someone out, you do it. It’s good to actually get points.”

Vancouver’s number one goalkeeper has missed the previous two matches. Crépeau has been nursing a right ankle sprain. He picked up the knock earlier this month, while on international duty with Canada. Although he wasn’t healthy enough to start on Saturday he was able to back up, Zac MacMath.

Heading into Whitecaps FC’s final road trip of the season, Crépeau is good to go.

“I am, I am,” Crépeau beamed. “Life is good, if you see me in training, it’s because I’m 100%. Obviously it was a little bit of work to do on it, because it happened Friday, before the Cuba game. Now I feel really good.”

The 15-13-3, LA Galaxy currently sit 4th in the western conference with 48 points. Back to back, home victories over Sporting Kansas City, and the Montreal Impact have the Galaxy rounding into form.

If Whitecaps FC are going to disrupt the Galaxy’s momentum, it starts with containing the one and only, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. A task, that’s a lot easier said than done.

The imposing Swedish striker was a handful when Vancouver and LA met earlier this season. Ibrahimovic had a goal, and an assist in a 2-0 win over Whitecaps FC on April 5, at B.C. Place.

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If Vancouver is going to earn another result, they’ll have to stop more than just Ibra.

“Zlatan, even this weekend against Montreal, he’s really dangerous,” Crépeau said. “There’s good players around him too. Sometimes we focus too much on this guy, and we don’t even focus on the other guys. They have a lot of quality around him. We’ve seen it this weekend, he created two good chances for his team, just because he has the ball, and others get free.”

“I expect that Zlatan is going to be up to the task.”

In his first full season as a number one keeper, Crépeau has posted a 6-12-6 record. He has five clean sheets, and his 107 saves, are 4th highest in Major League Soccer.

The Greenfield, Park native, has saved Whitecaps FC’s bacon on numerous occasions this season.

Vancouver’s 7-15-10 record could have been much worse without Crépeau in net.

Having watched his teammates earn results against teams fighting for their playoff lives, Crépeau is eager to potentially return to take on the Galaxy. It would mean a great deal to finish the season on a high note.

“I’m with the boys, I’m with the group,” Crépeau said. “I want us to win, I want us to win the last two games.”

“Now it’s about doing the same with the Galaxy,” Crépeau talked about playing spoiler. “They’re in a tough spot, that they need to win everything. After that it’s finishing off against the last game against Salt Lake.”

Whitecaps FC will be ‘California Dreaming’ of an upset over Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy. The pressure is squarely on the LA Galaxy, Vancouver has nothing to lose.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to action on Wednesday, August 28 against arch rival the Montreal Impact. The mid-week clash between the Canadian clubs, is a match Max Crépeau has had circled on his calendar all season.

The Montreal, native, will get a chance to play his former team for the first time, in front of family and friends at Stade Saputo. Growing up in Greenfield Park, Crépeau, is expecting to have a vocal crowd of 200 supporters cheering him on, including his beloved grandma.

“I feel great about it,” Crépeau explained to Har Journalist. “It’s nice for a player to go back home and play against his former team. I think it’s a feeling that every player has. It’s fun to get back to a familiar environment where I grew up. After that, it’s business, and getting the job done in Montreal.”

The 25-year-old, did his best to get the job done on Saturday, in San Jose when Vancouver fell 3-1 to the Earthquakes. Crépeau set an MLS record with 16 saves. Whitecaps FC were under siege for much of the match, Crépeau was kept busy facing 43 shot attempts.

His stellar performance helped him earn a spot on the MLS Team of the Week.

As he gets set to play Montreal, Crépeau reflected on is time with the Impact.

“I have a lot of respect for the organization,” Crépeau acknowledged. “They gave me a chance of having a first contract. I grew up in the system of the academy. I know how it is there, and I’m grateful that they believed in me in the first place. I respect the organization, but I’m truly happy to be here (Vancouver) now. The page is turned, and it’s better here, than it was there.”

Why is it better?

“That’s a good question,” Crépeau said. “It’s better on my side because I have the confidence of an organization, which didn’t happen before. It means a lot where you can actually develop yourself, and reach a higher level when you have the confidence of an organization.”

It’s hard to excel in any sports environment without confidence, and support. If Crépeau was going to take the next step in his development, he needed a clean break from the Impact, and an opportunity to compete as top keeper.

His 2018 loan move to the Ottawa Fury helped him show himself, and Montreal, that he was ready for another challenge, and a bigger opportunity to showcase his blossoming talents.

Crépeau, was able to find that on the west coast with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

“Before Ottawa, I asked to move,” Crépeau, explained. “There was some back and forth. We didn’t know what the situation for a few weeks. There was the option to go to Ottawa which was a great move for me, because I needed games. I needed to start somewhere. Ottawa was great. I think my mindset was the same, to leave the club. I felt like that was the best move for me, for my career. It ended up being here (Vancouver), and it was fantastic after that.”

As he heads back toLa Belle Province’, Crépeau hasn’t forgot about his roots. Montreal will always be his home. That’s where he grew to love football, and playing in goal. It’s not hard to see where Crépeau’s tenacious and determined attitude comes from.

Growing up on the South Shore, Crépeau’s idol was a goalkeeper of a different variety. A bleu-blanc-rouge protecting of the net that has paid the Price in the biggest of games.

“In Canada, we always do the comparisons of hockey and soccer,” Crépeau explained. “The fact is being alone. He’s alone in his blue crease, and I’m alone in my box. It’s a mindset that all goalkeepers have, that they need to focus on themselves to bring the best out of them.

Carey Price is a great example where he has been always on top of his game. He’s been so calm and focused. He inspires his co-workers. When I was young, I grew up watching the Montreal Canadiens, and Carey Price. He’s been an icon, I’ve been watching for years.”

Having both played in the bubbling cauldron of Montreal, Crépeau, and Price are well accustomed to the constant exposure, and expectations one receives in Montreal. As intense as Vancouver can get, nothing beats the massive pressure of playing in Montreal.

“Montreal fans no matter what sport are very passionate,” Crépeau, explained. “They will live highs and lows like crazy. They live the highs really high, and the lows, really low. If you have a bad game, you’re getting buried. If you have an amazing game, you’re the best guy in the whole world. They’re really intense but it’s part of the Montreal culture.”

In what has been a bleak 2019 campaign for Whitecaps FC, Crépeau has been on top of his game throughout. In 22 games, Crépeau has earned 5 clean sheets, and made 98 saves. He ranks third in MLS in saves.

Crépeau has earned all of Vancouver’s 6 wins this season.

If not for the heroics of Max Crépeau, Whitecaps FC would be on the receiving end of many lopsided score-lines. Crépeau has been the Team MVP, no question about it.

“You know, if I saved a ball, I’m happy,” Crépeau laughed. “If it hits my face, arms, foot, whatever, I’m happy. You don’t really choose which part of your body you’re going to make the save. You just react to it.”

Whitecaps FC have been carried by Crépeau, and now it’s time for his teammates to return the favour by helping him earn a result against Montreal. While it’s special time for Crépeau, just imagine how special it would be to earn a win on Wednesday.

“It’s three points,” Crépeau, said. “After that, it’s more the emotional aspect of it. Of course it’ll be nice, but I approach it the same as every game.”

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in the win column as they prepare for a two game road trip that will see them play San Jose, and Montreal. Vancouver visits the Earthquakes on Saturday, August 24, before flying across the continent to play the Impact on Wednesday, August 28.

As we enter the dog days of summer, MLS has billed the third week of August as ‘MLS Rivalry Week’. A few exciting rivalries feature teams that just hate to play against each other.

Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact at BMO Field.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium.

Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United FC at Exploria Stadium.

FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew SC at Nippert Stadium.

FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo at Toyota Stadium.

Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park.

Los Angeles Football Club vs LA Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium.

If you are wondering who Vancouver Whitecaps FC will battle this week, you can look no further than forever rival, and arch nemesis…. San Jose Earthquakes.

The Quakes and Caps are not rivals, they’re two teams without a dance partner. While geographical proximity creates some rivalries, this battle is completely MLS manufactured.

“Now, they can call it whatever they want between Vancouver and San Jose. I wouldn’t call it a rivalry.” Coach Marc Dos Santos explained to reporters on Tuesday.

Whitecaps FC’s true rivalries feature Cascadia Cup neighbours, Seattle, and Portland. If you’re looking for Canadian battle lines, it’s Toronto and Montreal. There is no banter and bragging rights when San Jose comes up on the fixture list.

“Yeah, Montreal – Vancouver, Toronto – Vancouver, Vancouver – Portland, Vancouver – Seattle. That’s the real rivalries,” Dos Santos explained.”

Whitecaps FC’s Max Crepeau, has some unfinished business with the Earthquakes. San Jose beat Whitecaps FC handily on July 20. The Caps keeper would like to return the favour and keep Vancouver’s slim playoff chances alive.

“I still have it in the back of my head,” Crepeau said. ‘The 3-1 game we had at home against San Jose. Now it’s about doing the same thing at their house, it’s payback. That’s my mindset, we need to get points. They beat us at home, and now we have to do the same thing at their house.”

Whether it’s a top rival or not, Whitecaps FC’s Derek Cornelius doesn’t change his approach. He wants all three points. The Canadian international will leave the rivalry chatter to the supporters, and pundits. He just wants to focus on football.

“I mean it’s new to me.” Cornelius said. “I’ve been told, the big rivalries are Seattle, Portland and so on. Yeah, it’s new to me. I approach every game, the same way, whether it’s a rivalry or if it’s just another game. I try to approach it with the same mindset, competitiveness, and willingness to win. The rivalry stuff is more so for the media. When you play professional sports, no matter what game it is, you want to win.”

As Vancouver gets set to head out on the road, they could have an extra offensive boost. Michaell Chirinos trained with his new team on Tuesday morning. The 24-year-old had been stuck in Mexico awaiting his visa and international transfer certificate. Chirinos was acquired on loan from Club Deportivo Olympia on August 6.

“Michaell finally arrived,” Dos Santos said. “He was tired today. He arrived very late but he wanted to train to try to get that travel out of the legs. He needs a second wind right now. He needs to train. Hopefully he’s going to be an option for this trip.”

Whitecaps FC have built some confidence following a one-nil victory at home to D.C. United. It’s now time to continue with that momentum against rivals, San Jose, and Montreal.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs San Jose Earthquakes at B.C. Place on July 20, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – The San Jose Earthquakes added to Vancouver’s misery with a 3-1 victory over Whitecaps FC. Chris Wondolowski, Vako, and Magnus Eriksson each scored to counter an opening first half tally from Doneil Henry. A crowd of 17,558 went home disappointed as Whitecaps FC are now winless in nine matches across all competitions.

“I thought that in the locker room before the game, we looked very motivated to play the game,” Coach Marc Dos Santos said. “I felt that in the first fifteen minutes, we came out and we were aggressive. We got the first goal, I felt good about the start. When we conceded the two goals, mentally, it’s hard, right now, for us. To get a reaction there, it’s hard. It gives us also, a lot of answers for the future.”

Whitecaps FC slump to 4-11-8 on the campaign, and remain at the bottom of the western conference with 20 points. Vancouver has been outscored 17 – 2 in their last five MLS matches. You have to go back to May 25, 2019 for Vancouver’s last MLS victory.

“At the end of the day, we deserved to lose. They were the better team.” Dos Santos said.

A resurgent Earthquakes squad jump up to 10-7-4 with 34 points.

Second year winger, Magnus Eriksson, spoke about San Jose’s bounce back season.

“We have a coach that believes in us,” Eriksson explained to Har Journalist. “I think that’s really really important. A whole coaching staff that believes in what we’re doing. Believes in us as players, humans, which is really important. I think that I speak for a lot of guys, we feel like we’re on the right track this year. I think everybody has enjoyed it a lot this year. We needed it, after last year.”

Whitecaps FC got an early lead thanks to a quality finish from centre-back, Doneil Henry. Yordy Reyna sent in a free kick, that San Jose had trouble clearing. Henry broke free, and curled home his third goal of the season to put Vancouver ahead 1-0, just 7′ minutes in.

San Jose quickly answered back with a goal of their own in the 17′ minute. Vancouver’s back-four was caught ball watching, and Max Crepeau was hung out to dry. Cristian Espinoza sent in a cross that was fumbled by Whitecaps FC.

Vako was in perfect position to score his sixth goal of the season.

A calamity of errors ensued for the home-side, and San Jose was able to capitalized to take a 2-1 lead. Vako fired a shot off the post that hit Crepeau in the backside. The Caps keeper scrambled back to scoop the ball out of the goal-mouth. Chris Wondolowski converted on the vacated Vancouver net to put the visitors ahead in the 34′ minute.

San Jose scored an insurance marker in the 78′ off a lovely display of build up from Eriksson, and Espinoza. The Swedish international, had all sorts of time and space to blast his shot past Crepeau to give the Earthquakes a 3-1 advantage.

If not for Crepeau’s eight saves on the night, Whitecaps FC could have been blown out at home. The Caps shot-stopper kept his side in the match for as long as he could.

“We know it’s not good enough,” Crepeau said. “We all know it, we’re not hiding, we all know it, everyone deserves better from this club. We need to be better, bottom line.”

Despite trailing by just a goal for much of the match, Vancouver never looked like a side that was going to threaten the Earthquakes. Whitecaps FC scored first, but San Jose remained focused, and quickly took over. Vancouver’s confidence is too easily shaken, and they aren’t equipped with overcoming adversity. San Jose took all three points.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos speaks to reporters on July 20, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

“It looks like we’re off of the playoff spot,” Dos Santos said. “It’s much more difficult right now, but mathematically everything is still on. When it comes to the Canadian Championship, it’s another competition that we’re in, and we want to try and move forward in it.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Max Crepeau; Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski; Jon Erice(C), Inbeom; Russell Teibert, 70 (Felipe) Yordy Reyna, Lass Bangoura, 62 (Joaquin Ardaiz); Fredy Montero, 76 (Theo Bair). 4-2-3-1

San Jose Earthquakes Starting XI: Daniel Vega; Nick Lima, Florian Jungwirth, Harold Cummings, Tommy Thompson; Jackson Yueill, Judson; Valeri Qazaishvilli, Magnus Eriksson, Cristian Espinoza, 82 (Paul Marie); Chris Wondolowski, 74 (Danny Hoesen). 4-2-3-1

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VANCOUVER, B.C – The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7. Fans from around the world will be tuning in for a month of fantastic women’s football. Twenty-four teams will compete in France, for a chance to hoist the World Cup on July 7, in Lyon.

Canada will take on Group E opponents, Cameroon, New Zealand, and the Netherlands in Montpellier (June 10), Grenoble (June 15), Reims (June 20). There will be a sense of familiarity for no.5 ranked Canada, who also faced New Zealand and the Netherlands when Canada hosted the 2015 World Cup. Canada earned a draw vs both countries.

Just like fans across the country, Vancouver Whitecaps FC players will be cheering on Canada. Many Whitecaps FC players know the Canada’s women’s national team, and have met, trained, and been in the same environment representing Canada.

While on an MLS Gold Cup break, several Whitecaps FC players shared their thoughts on Canada’s chances at the World Cup, and the brilliance that is, Christine Sinclair.

“Yeah, I support them,” Doneil Henry explained to Har Journalist. “I love our women’s national team. Jordyn Huitema, just signed at PSG, and (Janine) Beckie at Man City. We have some really talented women on the national team. I’m excited to see them continue to go far. Knowing that John (Herdman) has a lot of history with the women’s side, and the respect that he has for them. I just wish them the best. I just know that they’ll do us all proud.”

“They’re a great team,” Russell Teibert said. “From what I know, from Canada Soccer, they’re going to be a hard working team. They’re going to do everything possible to keep Canada at the top of women’s soccer. We’re familiar with the team, because John (Herdman) was the women’s national team coach. I think we’re all together as a family in Canada Soccer.”

“They’ll get out of it (Group E) for sure,” Max Crepeau predicted. “No pressure on the women’s team, but they’re really really good, honestly. In the last few years, they’ve been dominate, I’m pretty confident that we’ll get out of the group. I hope they go to the semis, but one game, at a time.”

“I’ve been in the Whitecaps program since I was fifteen ” Theo Bair revealed. “I made some friends at school along the way. Elite Girls players, Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, and Jayde Riviere. All three, really good players, promising players for Canada, and my good friends. I’ve seen all of them work, not only on the field, but off the field. They’re great athletes, people, great students, and I think that applies both ways.”

Christine Sinclair is arguably the greatest professional football player Canada has ever had. As she closes in on U.S. Soccer great, Abby Wambach’s, all-time goal-scoring record of 184 goals. Whitecaps FC players can’t wait to see Sinclair make history and set the record. It’s quite likely that Sinclair won’t remain on her 181 goal total for very long.

“Sincy’s been doing it forever,” Henry said. “Since I was a young one with Toronto, I’ve been seeing her score goals, everywhere, at every stage. I can’t wait for her to beat it, because she’s definitely going to do it.”

“I just think she’s the best Canadian soccer player,” Derek Cornelius added. “She carries herself very well. She’s a good role model for a lot of the ladies coming up. She just leads our country in the right way, and of course she’s a great soccer player.”

“I think it’s going to happen,” Brett Levis said with confidence. “I think it would be huge for soccer players all over Canada, for us to hold a record like that. It’s pretty unbelievable.”

“The killer instinct,” Crepeau said of Sinclair. “You have half a chance and you create a goal out of it. This is why she’s on top of the list for sure.”

As we witnessed four years ago, Canada’s women’s national team has the ability to capture the entire country from coast to coast. Canada is in with a real shout to make some damage at the World Cup. Twenty-three players will represent the red and white in France. Whitecaps FC players will be among the biggest supporters of the women’s team.

“We love our women’s national team,” Henry beamed. “While the men were in a slump for a very long time, the women have held the country really proud. The women are great. They’re tenacious. I think we’re definitely one of the few nations on the women’s side who can definitely win it.”

“Absolutely, I’ll follow,” Teibert said. “I’m a big supporter of Canada Soccer. I was a big supporter of the women’s team when they were here. I really enjoyed going to watch the games at B.C. Place.”

“I’m excited, I think it’s a very exciting team,” Levis explained. “I know they have a lot of young players. They’ve got some Whitecaps REX Girls players, hopefully they get their opportunity. It’s always fun to see the country rally around when the World Cup comes around. I’m just excited to watch.”

“As long as they played united,” Bair explained. “They’re a very strong group. I’ll tune in when I can, as long as I don’t have training. I’ll try to watch them because I want to support them.”

The football world, isn’t all that big. When Canada is on the biggest stage, they can know that there will be support in all corners of the country. Whitecaps FC players want to see them do well and succeed. Canada Soccer is one big family.

 

 

 

 

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s going to be an all Canadian battle on Friday night at B.C. Place as Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on bitter rivals, Toronto FC. Vancouver will be looking to continue their recent run of form with a victory over a 5-6-2, (17 points) Toronto FC squad that’s winless in their last five matches (0-4-1).

Vancouver has picked up valuable points over Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas. Whitecaps FC have 17 points, from a 4-6-5 record this season, and they’ll be looking to head into the MLS Gold Cup break on a high.

Even with the Canadian Championship, Vancouver and Toronto don’t play each other often enough. When they do get together, there’s always fireworks, and plenty of bragging rights, for several Canadians from ‘The Big Smoke’.

“It’s important, we want to finish off strong,” Ajax, Ontario native, Derek Cornelius explained to Har Journalist. “We want to end this difficult stretch on the right foot. Yeah, it’s my hometown, so of course I want to do well, and get the three points for the club.”

Vancouver goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau, is locked in and playing some of the best football of his career. Crepeau has solidified his role as a number one MLS shot-stopper, and he has recently come up with several quality saves of the spectacular variety.

The 25-year-old, Crepeau, relishes the opportunity to go up against a versatile Toronto FC side that features the ever dangerous Jozy Altidore, and first-year MLS magician, Alejandro Pozuelo. The dynamic duo lead Toronto’s offence with five goals each.

“Toronto is a team that’s been successful over the years,” Crepeau told Har Journalist following training. “They went to the cup final. Toronto is a team that can play with both systems. They can play 3-5-2, 4-3-3, and 4-4-2. They’re a good team, and we just have to maintain them, and we’ll be good.”

Vancouver skipper, Jon Erice, knows just what kind of exceptional talent, Altidore brings to a pitch. The former La Liga talent was a young prospect with Villarreal, when Erice first had a glimpse of his future potential.

“I saw Jozy Altidore when he was young, and playing in Spain,” Erice revealed. “He’s improved a lot, he’s a very very strong guy, strong player. A quality player. Michael Bradley, is one of the best players in MLS. One of the best midfielders, and we know him very well. They are a very good team, not only these two guys, and Pozuelo. They have a lot of good players.”

Whitecaps FC will be without the services of Brampton, Ontario native, Doneil Henry. The avid Toronto Raptors supporter will miss his second consecutive match with a left hamstring strain. Striker Joaquin Ardaiz, and winger, Lass Bangoura will also be unavailable. However, left-back, Ali Adnan, and winger Yordy Reyna are in contention.

Toronto FC also faces an injury crisis. Jonathan Osorio (hip / groin), Michael Bradley (hamstring), and Auro (hamstring) are all listed as questionable. It’s uncertain if any of the trio will travel to Vancouver today. Despite facing a depleted roster, Whitecaps FC coach Marc Dos Santos, isn’t about to underestimate Toronto FC.

“We know what we want to do,” Dos Santos explained. “I believe that there are seven to ten teams in the league that are just kind of vintage, top teams. Toronto is part of that group. How they invest, the fans, the fact that in the last three years, they went to two MLS Cup finals. Eight of the eleven starters are the core that went to the final. I know what they’re about. We’re always going to respect an opponent like Toronto. It’s going to be a tough game regardless of who comes here.”

While there might not be an edge on paper for either side. Vancouver can boast an advantage by just being at home. MLS western conference teams are on a fantastic run of form against their eastern conference foes. Western teams are 11-0-2 in their last thirteen matches against the east.

Might there be a new west coast v east coast beef underway on the pitch?

“It would be unfair for me to say that the western is stronger,” Dos Santos pondered. “I think that maybe in this moment right now, the teams of the west are just in a better form. Maybe travel affects, I’m not sure. It doesn’t mean that at any moment, teams like Atlanta have a lot of quality in their roster. New York Red Bulls can jump and become stronger.”

Whitecaps FC will be looking to jump all over a Toronto FC side that hasn’t found their stride in 2019. Vancouver’s key off-season pieces are finally starting to clicking, and the club looks to be finding some consistency. The centre of the universe could be in for tough night.