Saturday, March 19, 2011
Arrived in Vancouver last night for the Vancouver Whitecaps inaugural MLS game against FC Toronto this weekend. Picked up our rental car and made our way to Oceanpoint, where we got settled for the night.

Woke up this morning to a grey overcast sky - it looks like the rain will hold off. Around lunch time, we put on the new scarves the Whitecaps had sent us for their inaugural season and then we headed out for a bite to eat at White Spot in West Vancouver before game time at 3.30 pm. 

Following an excellent lunch of Tuscan chicken pasta, chicken fingers and fries, and several butterscotch milkshakes, it was time to move on to Empire Field to get ready for the game.

We arrived to a very large, noisy and happy crowd of Whitecaps supporters. The fans were lined up way down Hastings Street with many of them singing Whitecaps songs developed by the Southsiders supporters club over the years. We parked the car and joined the line-up to get into the stadium, just as a long procession of fans from the Southsiders club marched past us in full colour and full song. It was really neat to see the excitement building.

As we entered the stadium, we were each given a Whitecaps drum and  we made our way to the Whitecaps store to buy our supporters shirts and souvenirs. With kick-off approaching, we went to our seats and joined the other 23,000 excited fans for the pre-game celebrations. The crowd went particularly crazy when Steve Nash came onto the field. By this time, the grey skies from the morning had long passed and the field was bathed in brilliant sunshine. It turned out to be a beautiful spring afternoon. 

After the national anthem, the game started and the teams looked quite even until Vancouver scored their very first MLS goal at the 15 minute mark - a beauty from Eric Hassli. The place went wild and hundreds of people started throwing the white rain panchos they were given to wear on to the pitch. After a five minute delay to clean up the field, the game restarted and Toronto came back to tie things up five minutes later with a goal from Dwayne De Rosario. Shortly after that, Vancouver took the lead again with a goal from Terry Dunfield.

After their second goal, Vancouver never looked back and completely dominated Toronto for the rest of the game. The Whitecaps scored two more goals - one from Atiba Harris (our brother from another mother!) and a second from Eric Hassli. Toronto got a late goal but it was too little too late and Vancouver had sealed the win. A historic day of football for Vancouver and hopefully a sign of many fun years to come. We had a fantastic time and can’t wait to go to our next game. Go Whitecaps!

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