Whitecaps FC start preseason training next week

Whitecaps FC set to train at Empire

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the preliminary plans for their 2011 Major League Soccer preseason, highlighted by two trips to Arizona and the Cascadia Summit Series in Washington. Whitecaps FC kickoff their inaugural season in MLS on Saturday, March 19, against Canadian rivals Toronto FC at Empire Field.

"The next two months will be critical, as we shape our roster for the exciting campaign ahead of us,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. “I expect preseason to be competitive and productive, as we build towards our first regular season match in March."            

With approximately two months remaining until the club’s inaugural MLS match on March 19, the club will begin on-field training at Empire Field in Vancouver, BC, on Monday, January 24. In addition to signed players, the camp will include players recently selected in the MLS 2011 SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft, as well as several trialists.

The ‘Caps will then leave for an 11-day camp at the Grande Sports World complex in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Friday, January 28. This will include at least two training matches - Tuesday, February 1, versus Real Salt Lake and Tuesday, February 8, versus Columbus Crew. Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew are preparing for their two-match quarterfinal series in the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League, which will take place on February 22 and March 1.

After a brief stint back in Vancouver, the ‘Caps will return to the Grand Canyon State, but this time for a training spell at Reach 11 in Phoenix, Arizona, from Wednesday, February 16, to Monday, February 28. During this time, the ’Caps will take on Chivas USA on Friday, February 18. Whitecaps will return home for a couple training session before heading down the I-5 for on March 3 for a four-day camp at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.

The remainder of the preseason schedule, including additional preseason training matches, will be confirmed shortly. The complete MLS regular season schedule will be announced at a later date.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - 2011 Preseason Schedule (subject to change)

January 24 – 27:                 Training at Empire Field – Vancouver, BC
January 28 – February 9:    Preseason trip #1 at Grande Sports World
                                               ·   Real Salt Lake – February 1 - Casa Grande, AZ
                                               ·   Seattle Sounders FC – February 4 - Casa Grande, AZ
                                               ·   Columbus Crew – February 8 at Reach 11 - Phoenix, AZ
February 10 – 15:                Training at Empire Field – Vancouver, BC
February 16 – 28:                Preseason trip #2 at Reach 11
                                               ·   Chivas USA – February 18 at Grande Sports World - Casa Grande, AZ
                                               ·   US U-18 – February 19 at Westside Complex - Acondale, AZ
                                               ·   LA Galaxy – February 20 at Arizona State U. - Tempe, AZ
                                               ·   LA Galaxy – February 22 at Reach 11 - Phoenix, AZ
March 2:                              Training at Empire Field – Vancouver, BC
March 3 – 6:                        Preseason trip #3 – Tukwila, Washington
                                             ·       Portland – March 5
                                             ·       Seattle – March 6
March 19:                            First Kick: Whitecaps FC vs TFC at Empire Field – Vancouver, BC

Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer 2011 season tickets start at a base price of $319, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order, and more than 60 per cent of seats are available for less than $31 per game. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, suites, and loge boxes, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com.

About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver.