FC Edmonton confirms Commonwealth as venue for Whitecaps’ ACC match

Kyle Porter, once a Whitecap, now an Eddie

FC Edmonton has yet to announce where it will play its NASL home games, but the club confirmed Thursday evening that it will contest its Amway Canadian Championship match opener at Commonwealth Stadium.

As The 11 has been reporting since late in 2011, FC Edmonton will play the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first round of the Amway Canadian Championship. Toronto FC will face Montreal in other semifinal. The opening legs have been backed up to May 2 and 9, to ensure TFC is clear of commitments in case it goes deep into the 2012 CONCACAF Champions League.

FCE will host the Whitecaps May 2; no kickoff time has been announced. But, with two western teams contesting the match, FCE shouldn’t have to deal with an early kickoff like it did last season, when it faced Toronto FC in the first round. To satisfy the Toronto TV market, FC Edmonton’s then-named Nutrilite Canadian Championship match was held at 6 p.m.,which made it a brutal task for the front office to sell tickets. With Montreal-Toronto and Vancouver-Edmonton as the matchups, the games should dovetail nicely for a TV doubleheader.

And, The 11 can announce that it is working with FC Edmonton to stage a supporters’ match — with proceeds going to charity — on May 2. We invite Vancouver and Edmonton supporters who wish to take part to contact The 11 through the website or to let us know via our Facebook page (LINK HERE).

Ticket information for the Edmonton leg should be available soon — possibly as early as Friday.

Last year, Edmonton's early kickoff time hurt the team's gate at Commonwealth Stadium. PHOTO: JOHN TURNER

A match-up between Vancouver and Edmonton provides many interesting storylines: FCE features many Canadian players who are former members of the Whitecaps’ residency, such as defenders Antonio Rago and Paul Hamilton, and forward Kyle Porter. Certainly, a little revenge will be on the minds of the FCE players now that the game has been made official.

No matter what deal FCE makes for a stadium this season, Commonwealth has to be the venue for the ACC because Canadian Soccer Association rules don’t allow for matches to be contested on fields that have football lines or other sports’ markings on the field.

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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.