MONTREAL --≠ It's been almost a year, but the 6-1 defeat the Impact suffered at the hands of Toronto FC is still fresh in the minds of Vancouver Whitecaps fans.
The Toronto team had to beat the Impact by four goals in the final game of the Canadian Championship to claim the title from Vancouver and move on to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Accused of holding back several of his starting players during that game, Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos made some enemies in Vancouver. There's no doubt he'll get a reminder from the fans on hand in Swangard Stadium on Wednesday night for the second game of the 2010 Canadian Championship.
"There's a rivalry between the two clubs because of what happened last year," Dos Santos admitted. "We're not well loved by the crowd in Vancouver, but once the referee blows the whistle it's a 90-minute match." Regardless of what kind of welcome the Impact gets in Vancouver, the team has its work cut out. After its 2-0 loss to Toronto FC last Wednesday, the Montreal club will attempt to put itself on the scoreboard for the first time this tournament.
"We're starting the tournament with our two biggest challenges, but we know that if we get the three points on Wednesday, we'll be back in a good position knowing that the next two games will be played at home," said Impact midfielder David Testo.
The game also marks the first matchup between the two clubs since last year's USL First Division championship final, which the Impact won 6-3 on aggregate goals.
"We've already won over there and we know that we can do it again. It's going to be a short-lived match," said Dos Santos, who will also have to make do with a reduced lineup.
Montreal forward Eduardo Sebrango is suffering from a leg injury and defender Stefano Pesoli is out on a hurt ankle and neither will be going to B.C. with their team.
Add to that the Canadian Soccer Association's suspension of Impact forward Roberto Brown who is also due to miss the trip out west.