Toronto FC will look to bounce back from their 4-2 defeat to C.F. Montreal when they take on another fellow Canadian side, the Vancouver Whitecaps, in their second game of the new MLS season this weekend.
Saturday’s encounter will be the 30th meeting in history between the two clubs, with Toronto eyeing a 14th victory against their western rivals.
Since Vancouver’s inaugural MLS campaign in 2011, a number of players have represented both teams during their professional careers, but who exactly has donned the kits of Canada’s first two MLS franchises.
Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto: 2016-2018, Vancouver: 2019-Present)
Prior to joining TFC in 2016, the Canadian international had played his soccer in Finland, Romania, Norway, Turkey and Israel. Ricketts scored his first goal for Toronto in his second game for the club and ultimately went on to net a total 16 goals in 66 appearances.
Following his release in 2018, Ricketts added yet another European club to his CV as he joined Lithuanian side Sūduva before making a move back to Canada almost seven months later. The striker signed for the Vancouver Whitecaps and has since scored three goals in 24 games. While the veteran has been a huge boost inside the Vancouver locker room, his time out west has been plagued with injuries and the forward will likely remain out when his current side takes on his former employers on Saturday.
Doneil Henry (Toronto: 2010-2014, Vancouver: 2018-2019)
A TFC academy product, Henry worked his way into the Toronto first team between 2010 and 2014, but was then sold to Cypriot club Apollon Limassol. The Canadian International was loaned back to TFC shortly after his departure before he made a move to English Premier League side West Ham United in 2015. His one appearance for the Hammers came in a UEFA Europa League qualifying game against Romanian side FC Astra.
Henry never played in the Premier League and spent almost all of his time in West London out on loan. Ahead of the 2018 MLS season, Henry returned home to Canada and signed for the Whitecaps. After making 42 appearances between 2018 and 2019, the centre-back was sold to the Suwon Samsung Bluewings in South Korea where he is still contracted to this day.
Robert Earnshaw (Toronto: 2013, Vancouver: 2015)
The former Welsh international joined Toronto FC ahead of the 2013 season after spending almost the entirety of his career in the United Kingdom (Earnshaw went on loan to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2012). After just eight TFC goals in 27 games, Earnshaw made a move back to England just over a year after landing in Toronto.
A short-term spell with Blackpool was then followed by a return to MLS with Earnshaw signing for the Chicago Fire on a free transfer. Seven months later, the striker found himself back in Canada, this time with Vancouver, who he spent just under a year with. The Welshman then hung up his boots in January 2016 and has since coached the Whitecaps’ U-14 Pre-Residency team and USL side Fresno FC.
Steven Beitashour (Vancouver: 2014-2015, Toronto: 2016-2017)
The American-born Iranian began his MLS journey with San Jose, and after making just under 100 league appearances there, Beitashour was sold to Vancouver in 2014. In two seasons, the defender made 58 appearances before getting traded to TFC ahead of the 2016 campaign.
Betiashour played 10 more games in Toronto than in Vancouver, and also picked up an MLS Cup winners medal in 2017. Following the domestic treble, he signed for LAFC ahead of their inaugural MLS campaign and lasted two years in California before joining the Colorado Rapids in September 2020.
Terry Dunfield (Vancouver: 2010-2011, Toronto: 2011-2013)
WTR Weekly’s special guest this week started his career in England, where he played for Manchester City, Bury, Macclesfield Town and Shrewsbury Town. In December 2010, he returned to Vancouver, the city he was born in, to be a part of the Whitecaps’ inaugural MLS squad.
In July 2011, Dunfield was traded to Toronto and became a fan favourite during his two years with The Reds. He most notably won TFC’s Player of the Year award in 2012, as well as a Canadian Championship winners medal that same season. The midfielder was waived by the club in June 2013 and concluded his playing career with stints at Oldham Athletic, Ross County and Toronto Atomic FC. Today, Dunfield is the current head coach of TFC’s U-14 side.
Eric Hassli (Vancouver: 2011-2012, Toronto: 2012)
The Frenchman spent the bulk of his career in Switzerland before joining Vancouver in 2011. Hassli is in the Whitecaps’ history books as not only their first ever designated player, but also their first ever MLS goalscorer, as he bagged the opener in Vancouver’s 4-2 win over TFC on March 19th, 2011. Few could also forget his specular volley against the Seattle Sounders in 2011, as well as his Puskas nominated goal in the 2012 Canadian Championship final first leg against Toronto.
One and a half years after signing for the Whitecaps, Hassli was traded to TFC, but he failed to have the same impact in Toronto as he did in Vancouver. The forward was then joined FC Dallas in February 2013, which was ultimately the last MLS team he played for in his career.
Adrian Cann (Vancouver: 2006-2008, Toronto: 2010-2012)
Cann started his time a professional with the Colorado Rapids, but was released mid-way through his debut season. He then joined the Montreal Impact where he played 22 games before signing for the Whitecaps in 2006. Still a USL side at the time, Cann lasted two years in Vancouver and helped the side win the USL First Division Championship during his first year at the club.
The Thornhill-born defender’s next move was to Danish side Esbjerg in 2008, but he only managed 12 total Danish Superliga appearances. A move back to Canada then followed, this time to TFC. Cann played 52 times for Toronto and picked up three Canadian Championship winners medals during his three seasons with The Reds.
Srdjan Djekanovic (Vancouver: 2005-2006, Toronto: 2007, Vancouver: 2008)
The Serbian-born Canadian holds a place in Canadian soccer history as the first player to play for Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. His journey in Canada began in British Columbia as he played two seasons in university with the UBC Thunderbirds while being signed to the Whitecaps at the same time.
Djekanovic then signed for TFC in 2007 and made a handful of appearances during their inaugural MLS campaign. At the end of the season, the keeper returned to UBC, won a national championship, and then signed another deal with the Whitecaps, who were still in the USL at the time. A short spell there was then followed by a move to Montreal, which was the last stop of his professional career.
Kevin Harmse (Vancouver: 2004-2005, Toronto: 2008-2009, Vancouver: 2011)
Having trained with Bayern Munich and Benfica in the early days of his career, Harmse played his soccer in Norway before signing for Vancouver in 2004. He was a vital figure in the Whitecaps’ defence, but ended up moving back to Europe in 2006, where he played one season with Slovakian side Nitra.
A return to North America followed as he signed for the LA Galaxy in 2007. After one year in California, he was traded to Toronto where he played 28 MLS games and won the Canadian Championship in 2009. Harmse was then traded to Chivas USA just over a year later, and after not playing a single game for the former MLS side, Harmse returned to Vancouver, but only played three times for the Whitecaps prior to getting waived three months after re-signing.
Diaz Kambere (Vancouver: 2006-2008, Toronto: 2008)
Kambere’s “time” with TFC was forgetful to say the least. Before that though, the Ugandan-Canadian began his career in with Vancouver and helped his side win the USL First Division in 2008.
Mid-way through his championship-winning season with the Whitecaps, Kambere signed a one-day contract with TFC to play in their MLS clash with Chivas USA. Nine of Toronto’s first team players were out on international duty, so Kambere started the game, but was substituted in the 63rd minute as The Reds lost 3-1.
Rick Titus (Vancouver: 2000-2001, Toronto: 2008)
Despite playing indoor and amateur soccer for most of his career, Titus did play for Vancouver right when the club formally changed their name from the 86ers to the Whitecaps. He signed for them in 2000 before making his way into the MLS with the Colorado Rapids in 2002.
So when did he play for Toronto FC? Like Kambere, Titus was signed on a one-day contract for TFC’s game against Chivas. Since he wanted to protect his amateur status, Titus opted not to get paid for his one TFC appearance.
Tony Tchani (Toronto: 2011, Vancouver: 2017)
The midfielder has represented both the United States and Cameroon at the international level and in between the most successful period of his career with the Columbus Crew, Tchani played for TFC in 2011 and Vancouver in 2017.
Tchani was only in Toronto for just over three months where he played 17 times, scoring once. He then flourished in Columbus for five full seasons and after making 145 first team appearances, was traded to the Whitecaps in March 2017. He spent just one year in Vancouver, but he would return to Canada once more as he played the final year of his career with FC Edmonton in the CPL.
Matías Laba (Toronto: 2013, Vancouver: 2014-2017)
Laba signed for TFC from Argentinos Juniors in 2013 as a designated player. The holding midfielder scored once in 16 MLS games in what was his only season in red.
Following the DP signings of Michael Bradley, Gilberto and Jermain Defoe, the Argentine was traded to Vancouver and went on to play over 100 league games for the Whitecaps. At the end of the 2017 campaign, Laba returned to Argentina for a year, but today he plays his soccer in Chile for Unión La Calera.
Aaron Maund (Toronto: 2012, Vancouver: 2017-2018)
A 12th overall pick by TFC, Maund made 15 MLS appearances in 2012 before being traded to Real Salt Lake at the end of the campaign. The American defender spent four and a half years in Utah before and was then moved to Vancouver in August 2017.
After featuring 12 times in the league for the Whitecaps, Maund was released in 2018 and has since been with the Charlotte Independence in the USL.
Chris Pozniak (Toronto: 2007, Vancouver: 2008-2010)
Five years in Sweden and Norway was then followed by a transfer to TFC ahead of the club’s debut MLS season. The now retired defender lasted just one year in Toronto as he was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2007 Expansion Draft before getting traded to Chivas USA in March 2008.
Pozniak then signed for the Whitecaps two months later after playing just four MLS games with Chivas. The trend of short spells at North American clubs continued as he was released by Vancouver just a couple of months after signing. He did in fact return to BC following one year with Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership, but he once again failed to make an impact in Vancouver.
Marco Reda (Toronto: 2007, Vancouver: 2009)
Like many other players on this list, Reda spent time in Scandinavia before returning to North America. The former Canadian international signed for TFC alongside Pozniak and like his fellow defender, was released at the end of the club’s inaugural MLS campaign.
One year with the Charleston Battery was then followed by one season with the Whitecaps in 2009, where he played a total of 17 games before retiring that same year.