Whitecaps work on Teitur Tuesday

Whitecaps getting their kicks


By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS



Spring is less than two months away, but it seemed a lot closer yesterday when the Vancouver Whitecaps trained under brilliant blue skies on the FieldTurf at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.




It was the United Soccer Leagues' First Division squad's first practice with new head coach Teitur Thordarson. Whitecaps are training outdoors twice a week and undergoing strength and conditioning sessions twice a week at adjacent Burnaby 8-Rinks. The mini-camp is to prepare for training camp, which opens March 3. Regular season kicks off April 12 when the Montreal Impact visit Swangard Stadium.




Jeff Clarke, Eduardo Sebrango and Jason Jordan are among six Whitecaps'



veterans in camp. The rest are either members of the Whitecaps' youth residency program or free agents like striker Masami Sato, a veteran of Japan's J-League.




Icelander Thordarson, who was hired in December, was in Baltimore at last week's MLS combine to scout prospects. New player signings are expected to begin this week.




New 'Caps goalie

By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS




Here comes "Nolly the Goalie."




The newest Vancouver Whitecaps' signee is ex-Major League Soccer backup netminder Jay Nolly.




The 26-year-old Orlando, Fla.-native spent 2005 and 2006 with Real Salt Lake before joining D.C. United last year. His only 2007 start was a 2-1 loss to his former team on June 23.




The Whitecaps went through four goalkeepers last season, none of whom remains with the club.




Lutz Pfannenstiel and Richard Goddard were released after vying to fill the spot vacated last June by Tony Caig. Ex-Newcastle United FC backup Caig led Vancouver to its first USL championship in 2006, but suddenly quit the club to return to England. Matt Nelson became the No. 1 keeper in August, on loan from second division Harrisburg City Islanders.




"We actually had talks with Matt Nelson but he wanted to go on to other places and that was the end of it," said Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson.




Thordarson is trying out University of B.C. product Serge Djekanovic during the Whitecaps' midwinter mini-camp. Vancouver sent Djekanovic to Toronto FC last season, but Thordarson hopes he will return.




"He is a local guy and I like him a lot," Thordarson said.