The Vancouver Whitecaps released their 2019 MLS regular season schedule on Monday, and at this point, we may know more about the opponents than the home team.
After imploding emotionally in the second half of last season, the Whitecaps blew up their roster this winter. Gone are a number of familiar faces, including team captain Kendall Waston, star player Alphonso Davies, top goal scorer Kei Kamara, among many others.
It was a necessary step for a club with a divided locker room.
New manager Marc Dos Santos has been tasked with rebuilding the roster, which he began doing last month. Expect many more moves to come before the 2019 season kicks off.
Until then, let’s take a look at their opponents.
The Whitecaps will start and end their season at home, beginning with a visit from Minnesota United FC on March 2 and ending with Real Salt Lake on October 6.
The last game of the MLS regular season is 22 days earlier than last year, and that’s by design. All teams will continue to play a 34-game regular season, but the league has moved to a more compact schedule, allowing the MLS Cup to be handed out a month earlier than normal.
The majority of Whitecaps home games will take place on Saturday (11), with matches also occurring on Friday (3), Wednesday (2), and Sunday (1).
- MLS makes major changes to its clunky playoff format
- Whitecaps trade captain Kendall Waston for a record fee
- Alphonso Davies returns to Vancouver with Canadian men's national team this spring
Star players visiting Vancouver
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is scheduled to play his first-ever match in Vancouver when LA Galaxy visits on April 5. The 37-year-old soccer star proved there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank last season, scoring 22 goals in 27 matches.
Another legend of the sport, Wayne Rooney is scheduled to visit with DC United on August 17. The former England captain scored 12 goals in 20 matches last year.
While star players have sometimes skipped playing in Vancouver in the past, both Ibrahimovic and Rooney played games on turf last season.
Rival team visits
Vancouver’s Cascadia rivals will visit early this season, as the Seattle Sounders come to BC Place on March 30, while the Portland Timbers play on May 10.
Toronto FC makes their lone visit to Vancouver on May 31.
The Whitecaps visit Seattle on June 29 and Portland on August 10, both conveniently on Saturdays.
Other notable matches
Kendall Waston won’t make an awkward visit to Vancouver this year, after expressing his desire to leave town. He’s now with expansion FC Cincinnati, who play the Whitecaps in Ohio for their lone match on August 3.
MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC visit BC Place on May 15.
The Whitecaps will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl championship when New York City FC visits on August 31.
Full 2019 MLS regular season schedule
|Sat, Mar 2||Vancouver||Minnesota||3:00 PM|
|Sat, Mar 9||Salt Lake||Vancouver||3:00 PM|
|Sat, Mar 16||Houston||Vancouver||12:00 PM|
|Sat, Mar 30||Vancouver||Seattle||7:00 PM|
|Fri, Apr 5||Vancouver||LA Galaxy||7:00 PM|
|Fri, Apr 12||Chicago||Vancouver||5:30 PM|
|Wed, Apr 17||Vancouver||LAFC||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Apr 20||Orlando||Vancouver||12:00 PM|
|Sat, Apr 27||Vancouver||Philadelphia||2:00 PM|
|Fri, May 3||Colorado||Vancouver||6:00 PM|
|Fri, May 10||Vancouver||Portland||7:00 PM|
|Wed, May 15||Vancouver||Atlanta||7:00 PM|
|Sat, May 18||Kansas City||Vancouver||5:30 PM|
|Wed, May 22||NY Red Bulls||Vancouver||5:00 PM|
|Sat, May 25||Vancouver||Dallas||4:00 PM|
|Fri, May 31||Vancouver||Toronto||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Jun 22||Vancouver||Colorado||7:00 PM|
|Wed, Jun 26||Dallas||Vancouver||6:00 PM|
|Sat, Jun 29||Seattle||Vancouver||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Jul 6||LAFC||Vancouver||7:30 PM|
|Sat, Jul 13||Vancouver||Kansas City||7:00 PM|
|Wed, Jul 17||New England||Vancouver||4:00 PM|
|Sat, Jul 20||Vancouver||San Jose||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Jul 27||Minnesota||Vancouver||5:00 PM|
|Sat, Aug 3||Cincinnati||Vancouver||4:30 PM|
|Sat, Aug 10||Portland||Vancouver||8:00 PM|
|Sat, Aug 17||Vancouver||DC||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Aug 24||San Jose||Vancouver||7:00 PM|
|Wed, Aug 28||Montreal||Vancouver||5:00 PM|
|Sat, Aug 31||Vancouver||NYCFC||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Sep 14||Vancouver||Houston||7:00 PM|
|Sat, Sep 21||Vancouver||Columbus||2:00 PM|
|Sun, Sep 29||LA Galaxy||Vancouver||4:30 PM|
|Sun, Oct 6||Vancouver||Salt Lake||1:00 PM|