The league has done a good job spreading out the games of interest.
The only negative is that Vancouver will only face Montreal and Toronto once each, removing the thrill of a pair of home and home Canuck series.
New coach Martin Rennie’s boys open up the new MLS season with a bang as they will face new national rival Montreal at home, in the Impact’s inaugural season in the top tier of North American soccer.
Much like last year, when Vancouver hosted Toronto FC to start the year, the MLS schedule makers have made a smart decision to stoke the fires of Canadian rivalries immediately.
This game allows the ‘Caps to potentially take advantage of the still forming Montreal squad, and hopefully will be a decent shot at three points to kick off the year right against the poutine loving easterners.
Potentially it would also allow recently crowned 1st and 2nd overall Superdraft selections Andrew Wenger and Darren Mattocks to face each other for the first time as professionals.
Unfortunately, there will be no visit by Toronto FC this year (barring a cup draw), so ‘Caps fans will lamentably only have the chance to abuse their TFC opponents and their red clad supporters online, rather than in person for 2012.
Northwest rivals Seattle, Portland and Van city face each other three times each. The Sounders come calling on May 19th and September 29th, while ‘Caps fans can make the short drive down the I5 on August 18th to CenturyLink Field.
May 26th and August 25th see visits to Portland and their delicious food cart city, while the Timbers will be here October 20th for Vancouver’s last regular schedule home date, hopefully with playoff implications for both second year teams.
The MLS champs LA Galaxy host Vancouver on June 23rd, with Beckham’s boys coming up to the lower mainland on July 18th. Hopefully, the ex-Manchester United star will be healthy for his appearance here.
The Whitecaps also will benefit from a money spinning visit by the New York Red Bulls on June 20th, with their French star Thierry Henry who is currently on a loan spell with his old Premier League club Arsenal.
The regular campaign concludes with the Whitecaps on the road to Real Salt Lake. If Vancouver gets off to a good start, and the new additions appear promising, their impressive new venue at BC Place should lend itself to some memorable nights.
The full 2012 Whitecaps FC Schedule will be posted HERE shortly.