Shaqiri shines as Chicago Fire torch Vancouver Whitecaps for 3-1 win
VANCOUVER — A split focus may have been the undoing of the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. Coming into a game against the Chicago Fire at B.C. Place, the 'Caps had an opportunity to inch closer to a playoff position in Major League Soccer's Western Conference. At the same time, the club knew another big test looms — a matchup with Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship final on Tuesday. While Toronto took a dominant 4-0 victory in league play on Saturday, the Whitecaps (7-10-5) dropped an ugly 3-1 decision to the surging Fire (7-10-5). "Tonight was our worst performance of the season," said Vanni Sartini, Vancouver's head coach.
Vancouver Whitecaps coach Vanni Sartini pulled off his shirt and ran onto the BC Place field in celebration after his club won the 2022 Canadian Championship final on a penalty kick shoot-out victory over Toronto FC on Tuesday night.
The ’Caps went a perfect 5-5 in penalty kicks with Tristan Blackmon taking the final shot to win it for Vancouver, sending the crowd of 24,307 into ecstasy. It was the second Canadian Championship title for the Whitecaps who have now qualified for the 2023 Concacaf Champions League. The only TFC player to miss on the penalty kicks was midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who happens to be the all-time leading scorer in Canadian Championship history. The Brampton native was the third to kick for Toronto and hit the goal post.
Toronto FC hoping to carry momentum from Saturday's win into Voyageurs Cup final
Vancouver residents like to brag about the ocean and the mountains and the all abundant trees that are there to be hugged. And hugging is something the Toronto FC players hope to do at BC Place on Tuesday night. But not trees. It’s a record ninth Voyageurs Cup the Reds are hoping to wrap their arms around. “Huge game,” said TFC captain Michael Bradley. “A Final. (We’ll) spill everything to win another trophy.” TFC has won the Canadian And hugging is something the Toronto FC players hope to do at BC Place on Tuesday night. But not trees. It’s a record ninth Voyageurs Cup the Reds are hoping to wrap their arms around.
Toronto won the 2020 Voyageurs Cup in June (a competition that was postponed for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic) in penalty kicks over Forge FC in Hamilton.
The two sides fought to a 1-1 draw in regulation time. Brian White scored in the 19th minute to put Vancouver ahead 1-0 and centre back Lukas MacNaughton scored his first goal for TFC when he headed a perfect cross from Federico Bernardeschi into the goal after a corner kick with 15 minutes left in the game to tie it 1-1.
TFC coach Bob Bradley started all three new Italian internationals in the match, Lorenzo Insigne, Bernardeschi and Domenic Criscito. It could have been fatigue, the artificial turf or a lack of games recently, but the big Italian three was not as dynamic at BC Place as it was in Saturday’s match in the 4-0 victory over Charlotte FC when Insigne and Bernardeschi made their Reds debuts, though both attacking juggernauts ramped up the pressure in the second half.
Blackmon scores, Vancouver Whitecaps win Canadian Championship on penalties
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps earned some redemption on Tuesday. After years of struggling in the Canadian Championship, the club finally lifted the Voyageurs Cup after beating Toronto FC in the final. Winning the tournament has long been a goal for the Whitecaps, said head coach Vanni Sartini. "We said from Day 1 that the Canadian Championship was one of our important trophies. We didn't do well in the previous years. And it means everything because we are a very good team," he said after his side beat Toronto 5-3 on penalties. "So today, we will remind everyone that we are 100 per cent a very good team. We are not the team who's considered an elite killer.
Insigne was finally taken out of the game in 87th minute, clearly a tough decision for Bradley as he didn’t want to overplay him. On the other hand, with penalty kicks looming, the Italian winger would have been a huge weapon for Toronto. As TFC trailed after the first half against Vancouver, Bradley felt compelled to keep Insigne and Bernardeschi on the field likely longer than he wanted to as Toronto plays New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday night — a crucial match as the Revs are one of six teams standing between Toronto and a playoff spot.
Bradley was without new midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, who picked up an injury in Saturday’s match against Charlotte. Jayden Nelson was inserted into the starting XI in Kaye’s place.
Toronto has won a record eight cup titles, but couldn’t add a ninth on Tuesday night on the west coast.
Review says Canada Soccer mishandled sexual harassment allegations against coach
TORONTO — An independent review has concluded that Canada Soccer "mishandled" sexual harassment allegations in 2008 against then under-20 women's coach Bob Birarda, who is currently awaiting sentencing on sexual assault charges. The 125-page report by McLaren Global Sport Solutions, commissioned by Canada Soccer, paints a picture of a governing body "described by many as being dysfunctional and inefficient," with "significant leadership upheaval and transition at the highest levels" in 2007 and 2008.
Vancouver played with home field confidence right off that bat while TFC certainly did not seem to carry the same swagger from Saturday’s win over Charlotte though it held a huge edge in possession in the first half.
TFC keeper Alex Bono made a good save seconds into the game on a Lucas Cavallini try in front of the goal. Cavallini, a Toronto native, left the game in the 73rd minute and played well, at both ends of the field.
White scored his goal after Ryan Gauld made a excellent cross to the far side of the goal and White headed it in past Bono from the left side of the six yard box.
Bono made a second good save on Hamilton native Ryan Raposo in the 29th minute after another good set-up by Gauld. Raposo just missed putting the Whitecaps ahead 2-0 in the added time in first half when he right-footed a cross from Andrés Cubas towards the far post but just missed.
Toronto forward Jayden Nelson just missed from close in early in the second half as TFC continued to dominated possession in the second half, though the Whitecaps did a commendable job shutting down the Reds in the final third.
TFC’s perseverance paid off when MacNaughton tied it 1-1 in the 75th with a header right in front of the Vancouver goal after the world-class cross by Bernarndeschi.
Bono made a huge save on Vancouver substitute Tosaint Ricketts in the 80th minute when a lunging save to keep the match tied after a great pass in front from White.
Cavallini scores, short-handed Whitecaps snatch dramatic 2-1 win over Dynamo .
VANCOUVER — It wasn't exactly the way Vanni Sartini drew it up, but the Vancouver Whitecaps still captured three points in dramatic fashion on Friday. The 2-1 victory over the visiting Houston Dynamo is exactly the kind of result the 'Caps will need in order to secure a playoff berth, the head coach said. “If we win the playoffs, it’s all because of this win," Sartini said. "It’s a very important game. Because we go from zero to three points that allow us to stay on the course.” The 'Caps (8-10-6) came into the game short-handed after a COVID-19 outbreak forced six players into Major League Soccer's health and safety protocols on Thursday.