The Vancouver Whitecaps will open the 2020 Major League Soccer season at home against Sporting Kansas City, the league announced Thursday.
Vancouver and SKC are scheduled to meet at BC Place on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The Whitecaps will then travel to Los Angeles, where they will face the LA Galaxy on March 7.
It is the earliest regular-season opener in Vancouver history. It is, however, not the first time the Whitecaps will play a competitive fixture in February. On Feb. 22, 2017, the Whitecaps drew the New York Red Bulls away in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals — they would advance one week later with a 2-0 home win.
The 2020 version of the Whitecaps is somewhat removed from Champions League glory, however. Finishing last in the Western Conference in 2019, the ‘Caps are heading into year two of Marc Dos Santos’ rebuild of the club.
In November, the Whitecaps signed sporting director Axel Schuster. It was a widely anticipated move by the club, promising its fan-base a complete restructuring of the front-office in an effort to be more competitive in 2020. Those front-office changes have, however, not resulted in any player signings yet.
Instead, the ‘Caps offloaded defender Doneil Henry to Korean club Suwon Bluewings. The club is, however, expected to make player acquisitions in time for January’s training camp, which means there will be plenty of new faces in Whitecaps uniform when the team kicks off the 2020 campaign.
The Whitecaps sold out the last two home openers against the Montreal Impact in 2018 (2-1) and Minnesota United (2-3). The Whitecaps have opened every season in the MLS era of the club at home. Since the first season in MLS, Whitecaps have posted a 5-3-1 record in their regular-season home opener and have an all-time season opener record, dating back to the NASL days, of 23-16-5.