VANCOUVER – Russell Teibert yearned to play in the Wednesday night’s second leg of the Amway Canadian Championships – and he did not disappoint.
The 22-year-old from Niagara Falls, Ont., who has been used mainly as a substitute lately, was named the game’s most valuable player as the Vancouver Whitecaps won their first Voyageurs Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Montreal Impact. The Whitecaps had finished as runner-ups in five of the previous six Canadian championships.
“Oh, man, it’s hard to put into words,” said Teibert, who joined the team’s residency program as a teenager in 2008. “I’ve been through too many heartbreaks with this tournament – disappointment for the fans, disappointment for us.
“As a Canadian, I wanted to win this trophy. I got the flag (after the game), I put it on my back because I’m proud to be Canadian. I want to play every game, but most importantly, I wanted to play this game. I wanted to win this trophy.”
Octavio Rivero and Tim Parker scored as Vancouver took the two-game series 4-2 on aggregate. The Impact had won the Canadian championship the past two years. The two teams played to a 2-2 first-leg draw on Aug. 12 in Montreal.
Rivero opened the scoring in the 39th minute – booting the ball home a split second before Christian Techera’s shot would have crossed the goal-line anyway. The goal spoiled a sensational effort by Montreal goalkeeper Eric Kronberg after he stopped Techera from point-blank range and then got back into position to stop the Whitecap speedster’s second attempt.
Parker headed home a Pedro Morales corner in the 53rd minute to spoil any hope of an Impact comeback.
Teibert was part of a sturdy Vancouver midfield that prevented Montreal from mounting any serious offensive charges. The Impact failed to put a single shot on target while making nine attempts during the game. The Whitecaps put seven of their 12 shots on target.
“It’s our time now and we showed that tonight,” said Teibert. “There was never any question that we were going to win this game.”
Unlike the first leg, Vancouver coach Carl Robinson went mainly with regulars, fielding 10 of the 11 starters from Saturday’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas. Teibert replaced defensive midfielder Matias Laba, who was rested.
Robinson said Teibert thoroughly deserved the MVP honours.
“I put Rusty in because this tournament means a lot to Canadian players, without a doubt, and I just sensed in training that he had a bit between his teeth,” said Robinson.
Montreal was reduced to 10 players for the last 60 minutes after defender Victor Cabrera received a pair of yellow cards for fouls on Rivero.
“(The loss) is hard to swallow – it’s just two different games,” said Montreal coach Frank Klopas, referring to the time before and after his club was left shorthanded. “It’s hard for me to understand. It’s a different game after that.”