Ailing Caps look to youth - The Province

Experience is all the more valuable on trip to Seattle

Steve Ewen
The Province

Martin Nash's leadership duties ratchet up tonight. His comments Tuesday suggest he's more than ready for the extra responsibility.

And the Whitecaps' 32-year-old midfielder will likely have some fresh-faced teammates on the visit to the Seattle Sounders.

Not only is leading scorer Eddy Sebrango suspended, but coach Teitur Thordarson said Tuesday defender Geordie Lyall (hamstring) and midfielder/defenders Steve Kindel (knee) and Jeff Clarke (hamstring) will be out.

That's a combined 40 seasons of USL First Division experience.

Nash, a 12-year veteran of the circuit and eight-season Whitecap, was saying all the right things, though. Especially in regards to Sebrango, who has 10 of Vancouver's 25 goals.

Sebrango, renowned for his fitness, is Vancouver's oldest player at 35. He missed 12 games last year with a foot injury.

"Eddy has managed to stay healthy and that's huge for us," said Nash. "Maybe [this] is a good break for him. He has a played a lot this season."

Thordarson said Charles Gbeke, 30, and Nicholas Addlery, 26, will get the start up the front.

He wouldn't go into the remainder of the roster, but it could be youthful.

When Clarke, 30, came up lame 30 minutes in against the Puerto Rico Islanders on Sunday, rookie defender Mason Trafford, 21, moved into his spot.

Vancouver (11-6-5) is three points in back of the front-running Islanders (12-6-5) with a game in hand.

Vancouver has eight games left in the regular season.

Seattle (8-8-8) is tied for fourth. They have one more goal than Vancouver this year; they've given up four more.

The top seven teams make the playoffs, with No. 1 receiving an opening-round bye.

"It's going to be a tough game," said Nash. "We can't give Seattle time and space. They have some skilled guys who will take advantage of that."

© The Vancouver Province 2008