Canadian Championship: Vancouver Whitecaps reach semifinals over York United

CanChamp 5.10.23

Vancouver Whitecaps FC are into the 2023 Canadian Championship semifinals, pulling away from lower-division side York United FC with a 4-1 victory Wednesday night while traveling cross-country for the midweek fixture.

Head coach Vanni Sartini’s team outpaced their Canadian Premier League foe during the second half, and now they’ll face Pacific FC (CPL) in the next round come late May.

The Whitecaps first tallied in the 64th minute when captain Russell Teibert's near-range shot clanked off the crossbar and into York’s Elijah Adekugbe before resulting in an own goal. Vancouver doubled their advantage in the 76th minute when in-form striker Simon Becher caught York goalkeeper Nikolaos Giantsopoulos off his line following a failed clearance, lobbing the ball into the open net.

Padding the scoreline in the 88th minute, Whitecaps forward Levonte Johnson made it 3-0 with a debut goal. The MLS SuperDraft selection, playing up from MLS NEXT Pro on a short-term agreement, scored from a tight angle on a fast break.

York pulled one back in the 90th minute through substitute Austin Ricci’s powerful distance shot, then Whitecaps veteran Julian Gressel's 92nd-minute penalty kick settled matters for good to end the scoring bonanza.


  • 64' - VAN - Elijah Adekugbe (OG) | WATCH
  • 76' - VAN - Simon Becher | WATCH
  • 88' - VAN - Levonte Johnson | WATCH
  • 90' - YRK - Austin Ricci | WATCH
  • 90+2' - VAN - Julian Gressel (PK) | WATCH

Three Things

  • BIG PICTURE: Vancouver, defending champions in the Canadian Championship, are two wins away from holding onto their domestic cup title. Most importantly, the Whitecaps will return to the Concacaf Champions League (2024 edition) if they complete the job in the weeks ahead. CF Montréal, who are on the other side of the bracket after defeating Toronto FC Tuesday night, are the toughest remaining competitor. 
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Levonte Johnson has impressed with Whitecaps FC 2 and seized his moment with a well-taken goal after subbing on in the 73rd minute.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Simon Becher proved a constant danger for the Whitecaps. When seeing an open net in the second half, his poacher’s instincts kicked in.

Next Up

  • VAN: Saturday, May 13 at Portland Timbers | 10:30 pm ET (MLS Season Pass) | MLS regular season
  • YRK: Sunday, May 14 at Pacific FC | 6:00 pm ET | Canadian Premier League