by Courtesy of USL, Special to FoxSoccer.com

Updated: October 6, 2008, 4:51 PM EST

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United Soccer Leagues announced that the Vancouver Whitecaps will play host to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the 2008 USL First Division Championship match Sunday, October 12 at 7:00 pm ET.

The game will be carried live on Fox Soccer Channel.

In their three meetings earlier this season, the Islanders were a mere one goal better than Vancouver with a 0-0 draw on the road August 17, a 1-1 draw at home August 31 and a 1-0 victory at home September 5.

The Islanders victory was the first in nine all-time meetings between the two sides. Vancouver leads the all-time series with a record of 4-0-4, including a mark of 2-0-2 at home. The Whitecaps, however, have not been able to beat Puerto Rico since posting a 3-1 road win August 4 of 2006, going 0-1-4 since.

Both clubs rallied from first leg deficits in the USL-1 Semifinals as the home sides continued to remain unbeaten through 10 matches in the postseason. Vancouver rallied from a 1-0 hole to down Montreal 2-1 and Puerto Rico topped Rochester 3-2 in series overtime, erasing a two-goal difference from their opener in Rochester.

The championship game is the second appearance in three years for the Whitecaps, who captured the 2006 USL-1 title in Rochester after a lengthy history of failing to even reach the final, bowing out in five times in their 11 previous playoff appearances. Last season Vancouver was eliminated in the first round by regional rival Portland.

Puerto Rico advanced to the final for the first time in its brief five-year history. The club narrowly missed the championship last year, falling to the eventual champion Seattle Sounders in the USL-1 Semifinals via penalty kicks 4-2 after playing to a 3-3 draw in the series in which each club posted 2-1 results on the road.

The USL First Division Championship banquet, featuring the presentation of league honors for the season will take place Saturday, October 11.

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Edwin Jusino
Director Ejecutivo de FutbolBoricua.net. Actualmente estudiante de Historia de las Américas en programa combinado Maestría/PhD de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto Metropolitano. Lleva más de una década cubriendo el fútbol de Puerto Rico. Actualmente está trabajando su disertación doctoral sobre el pasado presidente de la FPF, el Dr. Roberto Monroig. Hincha del Club Atlético de Madrid y de la Selección Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. Puede contactarle via twitter o Instagram en @erjusinoa