The Vancouver Whitecaps will return to the pitch for a match that matters in just 15 days, becoming the first pro team in the city to do so since the pandemic shut down sports in March. The schedule has been released for the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, with Vancouver beginning group stage play against FC Dallas on July 9.
All tournament matches will take place at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, without fans in attendance. Players and staff will be kept in a bubble environment for the duration of the tournament, with everyone staying at secured hotels on the Disney World property.
The Whitecaps have been training together as a team at their UBC practice facility since June 15, and will leave for Orlando on July 1. Vancouver is grouped with FC Dallas, the San Jose Earthquakes, and Seattle Sounders FC in a World Cup style tournament.
All three of the Whitecaps’ group stage matches will be broadcasted on TSN, with each beginning at 7:30 pm PT:
- Thursday, July 9: Whitecaps FC vs FC Dallas
- Wednesday, July 15: Whitecaps FC vs San Jose Earthquakes
- Monday, July 20: Whitecaps FC vs Seattle Sounders FC
“We feel it’s a very balanced group,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “The first match has a lot of importance to set the tone to qualify to the knockout stage, but we also understand that each game in the group phase counts in the regular season standings. I like that we have four to five days between games, which will allow for good recovery and preparation.
“Everyone is in a good frame of mind as we continue to train in Vancouver. We have already played one intra-squad match at a very high level, and will play one more before we depart for Florida next week.”