Whitecaps, Toronto FC to usher in 2013 MLS season

Two Canadian teams will help kick off the 2013 Major League Soccer season on March 2 when the Vancouver Whitecaps host Toronto FC.
It will be an all-Canadian matchup on March 2 when the Vancouver Whitecaps host Toronto FC to open the 2013 Major League Soccer season. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Toronto FC's elusive search for a Major League Soccer win will resume March 2 in Vancouver as the 2013 season kicks off.

By that stage it will be almost eight months since its last league victory — a 2-1 decision over the visiting Colorado Rapids on July 18. Toronto, which managed just five wins in 2012, finished the season on an 0-10-4 slide.

Vancouver (11-13-10) ended its 2012 season on a loss — 2-1 to the eventual champion Los Angeles Galaxy — but still made history as the first Canadian side to make the playoffs.

The Whitecaps are unbeaten (2-0-4) at home against Toronto, although the two teams have never played a league match at B.C. Place Stadium. Toronto holds an overall series edge at 5-3-5.

In one of five other season openers on March 2, the Montreal Impact (12-16-6) visit Seattle to play the Sounders for the first time at CenturyLink Field.

The league announced the first three weeks of its 2013 schedule on Tuesday. The remainder will be released later. Each of the 19 clubs will play a 34-game regular season.

In Week 2, Toronto will host Sporting Kansas City on March 9 in a venue to be determined later, likely the Rogers Centre with the weather a possible threat for BMO Field.

Big O to host 2 games

Week 3 sees Toronto visit Montreal for a March 16 game at Olympic Stadium. The Impact will play twice under the dome before shifting to Saputo Stadium.

TFC has been busy since the end of its dismal 5-21-8 season with 10 players exiting and defender Danny Califf, goalie Joe Bendik and forward Justin Braun joining the team.

The Whitecaps have seen six players leave while adding Brazilian forward Paulo Junior through the league re-entry process.

Four players have moved on from the Impact so far in the off-season.

The other March 2 openers are Sporting Kansas City at Philadelphia, Colorado at Dallas, D.C. United at Houston and Columbus at Chivas USA.

On March 3, it's Chicago at the Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls at Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake at San Jose.

The MLS pre-season opens in late January.

Montreal and Toronto will both take part in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament in February in Orlando, Fla.