HomeCombat SportsWhitecaps Unveil The 2021 Schedule: Home Games In The Distance?

Whitecaps Unveil The 2021 Schedule: Home Games In The Distance?

The Vancouver Whitecaps unveiled the 2021 schedule in fun fashion on Twitter. As is the case with teams in the social media era, it is only right to release your schedule in some kind of “The Office,” “Friends,” or, in this case, the phone screen montage…

We already knew the first two weeks of the Whitecaps’ schedule. They start off the season against the Portland Timbers in Utah on April 18th before a trip down to Florida to take on Toronto FC on April 24th. Now, the full 34 games are out, including when the international breaks are set. For the full-team MLS schedule, click here.

Vancouver will play a majority of its matches against teams in the West. The expectations are the second week against TFC and May 8th, when they host the rebranded CF Montreal. The only other scheduled games for Rio Tinto Stadium for the Whitecaps are May 2nd, when they host the Colorado Rapids, and June 23rd, when they host the L.A. Galaxy.

Vancouver has 13 of its last 17 home games slated from July 7th to decision day on November 7th. This is in the hopes of playing back in Canada at B.C. Place Stadium. In previous media, Axel Schuster mentioned that the team had booked three months down in Utah (April, May, and June) and would try to return home in July. With vaccinations rolling out across Canada and the United States, they hope the border restrictions will be eased by this time.

Other notable games in the Whitecaps schedule will be the Cascadia Battles. Vancouver kicks things off against the Timbers before playing them two more times. Portland will travel to Utah again on Friday, September 10th, before the Whitecaps will be the road team for a weekday clash on Wednesday, October 20th. Vancouver will also play the Seattle Sounders 3 times this season, starting with June 26th and September 15th in the Emerald City. The teams will finish the season on November 7th, “Decision Day” in Vancouver.

The schedule has been regionalized to a certain point for the MLS 2021 season. Vancouver will only play two eastern teams but will play 8 teams in the west 3 times. Unfortunately for the Whitecaps, those teams are; Portland, Seattle, L.A. Galaxy, LAFC, San Jose Earthquake, Minnesota United FC, Real Salt Lake, and Houston Dynamo. They round out the schedule with 2 against the Rapids, FC Dallas, Sporting KC, and the new expansion team Austin FC. They will host them on July 28th before traveling to the new Q2 Stadium on August 18th.

Vancouver will have one guaranteed fan for this game, as I needed to find out if #CapsOnTour Kris would check this stadium off his bucket list early.

Whitecaps Unveil The 2021 Schedule and International Breaks

The Whitecaps unveiled the 2021 schedule, and the MLS unveiled their plans for international breaks. With so many Whitecaps players being an option for national team duty, the dates are more critical than ever this year. Head coach Marc Dos Santos Spoke about it at media on Wednesday, March 24th,

“We’re catching up in a lot of things in the CONCACAF, in the National teams… I was laughing with Lucas (Cavallini), we were talking before he left for the national team. And we spoke about this year you might play more games for Canada than for the Whitecaps.” He would continue talking about the need for depth this year more than ever, “That’s why we are working on having at least two very good players in each position.”

The season will see 4 lengthy international breaks of 9 days or over in 2021. There will be a 26-day break from May 2nd to June 18th for World Cup CONCACAF Qualifying and 9 days from July 7th to 17th for the Gold Cup (This could be an issue for the Whitecaps). August 28th to September 10th for the World Cup Qualifying, and finally, 14 days from October 2nd to 17th. The Gold Cup runs from July 10th to August 1, so if Canada makes a run, the Whitecaps could be without Maxime Crepeau, Lucas Cavallini, and possibly others.

The Whitecaps could also be without even more Canadian Men’s U23 team players qualifying for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. The top 2 from 8 teams will move on to the games and the National squad is primed to move to the Semi’s later in the week. Depth will be necessary this season at all positions. “Maybe we should just sign 11 players,” Said Marc Dos Santos when asked about having more than one perceived starter at some positions. There will be lots to navigate this season, both on and off the field. The Canadian Championship will be figured out at a later date for the Canadian teams.

Head Coach Marc Dos Santos Media Availability

Head Coach Marc Dos Santos was made available to the media on Wednesday, March 24th, after announcing the schedule. He was asked about a variety of things, including the logistical difficulties of relocating to Utah. “We’re moving to Salt Lake, and he’s coming [along] with a backpack, he doesn’t care if he plays in Salt Lake right now, of course, he wants to play in front of our fans but it’s an easy process for him, single guys it’s easier.”

More difficulties would come with players with families, including fur families, as MDS would continue, “Then we have the single guys that have the dog, the dog is a process. We have the married guys that have kids and dogs, and animals, and even where do they park their car in Vancouver. There [are] so many details that are admin people have been monsters in a good way and dealing with all of this…There were players that it was non-negotiable the family aspect. They go to Salt Lake if their family goes to Salt Lake.”

Marc also spoke about the depth of the team and the plans for various players this year. One of the players asked about it was Jasser Khmiri, who had his first year hampered by injury before starting to get into his groove last year. He had this to say about Jasser,

“We got Jasser in a very good moment. Before he took the plane to come here in 2019 he was in a great moment with the U20 team in Tunisia, he was in a great moment in his club. There was interest in clubs from France for Jasser but the setback in 2019 with the problem in his knee that we had to correct from the start was a big process… We think he needs a game, we think he needs to be on the market.” Loan options could be in Jasser’s future.

On the challenges of training camp this season with so many players away on international duty, “We are working more with our academy players than our first team players. So [is] that ideal for preparation? No, absolutely not. The exciting part is refreshing when we can arrive at Salt Lake and that group finally is going to come more and more together.”

“I feel it’s always very high, the effort and the commitment and professionalism of everyone is always very good. But in moments, the quality of some exercise s like a roller coaster, you know that sometimes like with the lack of combinations still because it’s still all the new group. I am looking forward as a coach just to get to the point when all the roster is together and working together, and this is not soon, unfortunately.”

With the long layoff before the Whitecaps unveiled the 2021 schedule, Marc asked if fan engagement would suffer once they returned home. “No, no chance because our fans are emotional in a good way. We keep on receiving messages. Sometimes I’m stopped in the street by fans and there is a concern and connection.” Fans hope to be allowed back into the stadium to some extent when the team returns to Vancouver in July.

The full squad will not be available for Marc Dos Santos until April or even later. Hopefully, they can all get up to speed for the April 18th opener of the 2021 MLS season.

Sports Talk Lines 2021 Vancouver Whitecaps Coverage

The Whitecaps unveiled the 2021 schedule, which will begin in Utah and hopefully end in Vancouver. I will have you covered all year, from pre-game to post-game to everything in between. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0, and check out the Sports Talk Line Website for the latest articles about your Vancouver Whitecaps.

Remember to tune into The Unnamed Sports Show every week, as I will be bringing on more guests to cover MLS and the team. I will also be giving you one-on-one interviews again, like last season, so subscribe to The Sports Talk Line YouTube Channel. Here is the full media availability from Marc Dos Santos if you missed it. Unveil The 2021 Schedule

Astha Pandit
Astha Pandit
Astha Pandit is an SEO Generalist. The SEO Generalist ensures the website's technical infrastructure is optimized for search engine crawling and indexing. The Technical SEO Specialist will work closely with the development team to implement technical SEO recommendations and collaborate with other SEO team members to execute the organization's SEO strategy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular