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Whitecaps to kick off opener vs. Toronto FC

West meets East as the Whitecaps FC open their inaugural Major League Soccer season at home March 19 against Toronto FC.

West meets East as the Whitecaps FC open their inaugural Major League Soccer season at home March 19 against Toronto FC.

“We're very excited,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi, “to be able to open our MLS
campaign against our Canadian rival.”

Using Vancouver's relationship with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs as example, Lenarduzzi said he expects the Whitecaps to follow in the Canucks footsteps and beat the Torontonians.

“We have played (Toronto) six times over the course of the last three years and have been fairly successful.”

In their past six matches, Vancouver posted the winning record against Toronto, coming up with two wins, one loss and three ties.

While Lenarduzzi doesn’t expect the game with Toronto to boost ticket sales — saying they’re well on their way to hitting the sales mark — he does credit the selection as a booster for national soccer interest.

“It will help to heighten the profile of the sport right across the country.”

However, Lenarduzzi admits that despite soccer’s good chances of finding its own place in major league sports, overthrowing the nation’s top sport is unlikely.

“Nothing will be the new hockey,” Lenarduzzi said. “This is a hockey town.”

 
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