Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
BC Place, 6:00 PM Eastern
Toronto FC have never beaten the Vancouver Whitecaps in a season opener, in fact the Whitecaps have won the first match in each of their MLS Seasons. In Vancouver's first ever game as a franchise in 2011, they defeated TFC 4-2 with a memorable opening goal from Terry Dunfield, and a brace from another future red: Eric Hassli. The match, played at Empire Field, would be Vancouver's only win in its first 15 MLS games.
A year later, Dunfield would be front and center, this time with Toronto FC, of the most memorable match the two have ever played in July of 2012. With Toronto up 2-1 in injury time, forward Darren Mattocks would score with a sensational leap over Logan Emory. However, on the last kick of the game Dunfield would head home the winner from a corner kick, providing a 3-2 victory over his former club.
The two sides would meet again at BC Place to kick off the 2013 season. Gershon Koffie would be the lone goalscorer this time, in a 1-0 victory for the Vancouver Whitecaps. This year is the first time since they will meet to kick off the season.
Last year's season opener for Toronto was one of the most memorable of the team's history. It was the debut of Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe, not the mention Julio Cesar, and there was hope that it would usher in a new era for the disgruntled club. Defoe had a pair of goals in a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders in Seattle and the day was filled with hope.
Toronto will hope their debut goes similarly this season, but that they are able to follow it up instead of turn it into a distant happy memory marred by a let down season that followed.
Waking The Red has plenty of pregame coverage which breaks down the match in depth. Are you smarter than Ryan Nelsen is back for the new season, a competition that lets you predict the results and scores of each an every Toronto FC match. James Grossi provides some insight on the Vancouver Whitecaps in part one and two of his Know your Enemy season. He also talks to our friends (?) from SB Nation's Vancouver Whitecaps blog, 86 Forever, about their perspective on the match. Finally, Michael Veenstra provides an insightful match preview to get you ready for the action.
Join in the comments section below as Toronto FC kick off the 2015 season with sights set on their first ever playoff berth?