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  • Whitecaps 2012 Schedule Throws Up Excitement And Disappointments


    After weeks of speculation and anticipation, Vancouver Whitecaps' MLS schedule for 2012 has been announced.

    It's somewhat of a mixed bag for fans, with a lot of excitement and some disappointments thrown in there, especially concerning kick off times for some of the games.

    The fixtures most Caps fans were waiting to hear were for the Cascadia Cup games. And the big news is that all six of Vancouver's games against their Cascadian rivals will take place on a Saturday. Excellent stuff.


    Vancouver is at home to Seattle twice and away to Portland twice.

    ccs-123494-140264011232_thumb.jpgFor the Caps FO, this is probably ticketing gold, judging by how many Sounders fans made the trip north to the game at Empire last season. For fans looking forward to travelling down for an extra Seattle away game, well, we'll just have to wait until the playoffs!

    Seattle come a calling on May 19th and September 29th.

    Both games have bizarre kick off times, presumably for TV, with the first match kicking off at a horrendous 1pm in the afternoon as it currently stands. Not great for the Sounders fans making the trip north, especially on Victoria Day weekend. The second match has a 6pm kick off.

    August throws up a nice away trip double header as the Caps travel to Seattle on Saturday 18th and Portland the week after.

    Going to be another fantastic trip down the Oregon coast for the AFTN crew around those two games. Hopefully Portland doesn't have the unbearable sweltering heat that it did for our August trip last year.

    Primetime summer is going to add to the expense, and create possible logistical problems, for many fans wanting to make the trips down from Vancouver.

    Again the Seattle game has a 1pm kick off, majorly inconveniencing fans having to endure a border crossing during the main holiday season. Let's just hope that the Sounders don't try to invoke their nonsensical pre-game arrival times for visiting fans, as even more will just ignore them than those (myself included) who did this year.

    The second away trip to Portland takes place on May 26th, which is one of the best times of the year to head down and see all that Oregon has to offer in my opinion.

    Vancouver play host to the Timbers only trip to BC Place in the penultimate game of the regular season on October 20th.

    That game has the potential to be an all-time classic, as there could be Cascadian Cup and MLS playoff hopes on the line for both teams.

    Sadly it has another horrendous 1pm kick off scheduled, against causing major problems for the travelling Timbers Army.

    Kick off times aside, I'm already excited about these six matches.

    Other games of note...

    Our Canadian MLS match ups will see Montreal coming for 'First Kick' on March 10th (as we already knew) and a disappointing midweek trek to Toronto on Wednesday July 11th.

    Not an ideal day for Caps fans looking to travel east, but it could have an added bonus if you wanted to take in the next Vancouver game three days later.

    If Whitecaps fans want to say goodbye in person to Jay Nolly, then they're going to have to travel to do it. The Caps only play Chicago once this year and it will be away from home at Toyota Park on Saturday July 14th.

    A Toronto/Chicago double header anyone? Yeah, probably not.

    These two games fall into an absolutely horrendous five game road trip for the Caps between June 23rd and July 14th.

    This includes two trips to LA, for matches against both the Galaxy and Chivas.

    Prior to this crazy stretch, the Caps have a three game home stand in June.

    There is another four game away trip between August 18th and September 15th, but at least with the trips to Seattle and Portland in that one, some fans will still see their team in action.

    This time away from BC Place is then followed by four home games in a row. Baffling, but possibly great news for a late playoff push, as this means that the Caps will play four of their last five games at home. It could be telling and the ultimate decider as to whether we make the playoffs or not.

    Overall, it's a real mixed bag.

    The joy of having all the Cascadia Cup games on a Saturday is tempered a little by the kick off times and primetime holiday travelling.

    Long spells at home and on the road can make or break the Whitecaps' season.

    I'd much rather have the final run-in that we do than be away for most of it mind you. Although, will we see this reversed for 2013?

    All of this will take a few days to sink in for everyone, but at least we can get our holiday plans and time off work booked now.

    It may not be the best schedule we could have hoped for, but at least we have it early enough this year for fans all round the League to make it work the best it can for them.

    The full Whitecaps 2012 schedule can be found <a href="http://www.whitecapsfc.com/schedule" target="_blank">HERE</a>.

    Can't wait now for it all to begin.


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