The Vancouver Whitecaps have been among the top drawing teams in MLS this year with an average attendance of 19,987 during their first year in the league. But when they play Toronto FC in the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championships on Wednesday, they will probably be doing it in front of their smallest crowd of the season. The announced attendance may be solid since this is part of the season-ticket package, but there's likely going to be a lot of no-shows as they are also playing the match opposite the Vancouver Canucks, who are facing the San Jose Sharks in the NHL's Western Conference finals.
With hockey still very much national sport in Canada, even the prospect of seeing the country's two top teams square off for the national championship in soccer is probably not going to be enough. That has prompted 86 Forever to make a call to Whitecaps fans to be prepared to make up the difference:
Well, the rest of us will just have to be twice as loud, then. This isn't a crisis. This is, arguably, not even a problem. It's the inescapable reality of playing soccer in Canada in this country for at least the next generation.