October 18, 2008

Vancouver Whitecaps

On Thanksgiving weekend the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club faced the Puerto Rico Islanders in the USL First Division final. Although the Islanders were the higher ranked team based on regular season standings, the Whitecaps had been controversially chosen to host the final due to a more favourable bid. The pre-game ceremonies followed the traditional FIFA format, with both teams being accompanied by miniature soccer players as they came on to the field. After a scoreless first half, Vancouver took the lead early in the second before Puerto Rico equalized. Four minutes later the Whitecaps again took the lead off a header. They held on for the remaining few minutes, capturing their second USL title in 3 years but the first on home soil.

As the world's most popular sport soccer appeals to the lowest common denominator. There were no hooligans present at this game, only 5800 well behaved fans. After the final whistle blew, a slow and steady stream of ardent supporters (the "Westside Rowdies") ran onto the field. Eventually all the fans that were not sitting in the grandstand area congregated on the soccer ground as the Whitecaps accepted the championship trophy in front of them. There was much singing and merriment as one by one the players took their turn hoisting the trophy.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Puerto Rico Islanders 2:1
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC
Sunday, October 12, 2008


White is the colour,
Soccer is the game,
We're all together and winning is our aim,
So cheer us on through the sun and rain,
Because Whitecaps, Whitecaps is our name!

- Whitecaps theme song