Preview: Preseason schedule continues for Whitecaps FC on Sunday against Sounders FC
CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA — After falling 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC on Thursday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will get a second crack at their Cascadia rival on Sunday morning in their third match of the preseason.
Kickoff for Sunday's match is set for 10:30 a.m. PT at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona. The match will be streamed online at whitecapsfc.com and fans can follow live updates @WhitecapsFC.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Highlights: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-2 Indy Eleven
Sunday's rematch with Sounders FC will be Vancouver's final game of their Arizona preseason leg — and third of seven preseason matches leading up to MLS First Kick on March 8. The 'Caps opened their 2014 preseason campaign on Wednesday with a 3-2 win over North American Soccer League expansion club Indy Eleven.
Omar Salgado, who had two second-half goals, and U-23 midfielder Ben Fisk provided the scoring for Vancouver. Centre back duo Christian Dean and Jackson Farmer were also impressive, playing the full 90 minutes and limiting Indy Eleven to just two shots on target.
The 'Caps returned to the pitch at Grande Sports World the following morning for a tilt with Sounders FC. After fielding a squad composed mainly of Residency players, trialists, and recent draft picks against Indy Eleven, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson selected a more experienced lineup for the match against Seattle.
Goalkeeper David Ousted, defender Jay DeMerit, and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker each made their first appearances of the preseason — as did recent Uruguayan additions Sebastien Fernandez and Nicolas Mezquida.
Unfortunately for the Blue and White, the Sounders scored two early first-half goals and a stunning half-volley by Erik Hurtado in the second half wasn't enough to prevent Vancouver from suffering their first defeat of the preseason.
On Sunday, the 'Caps will be without Residency quintet Marco Bustos, Jackson Farmer, Kianz Froese, and Mitch Piraux, who left Arizona on Friday to join their U-18 teammates for a pair of weekend USSDA matches.
Also of note, Kekuta Manneh (hamstring) and Kenny Miller (quad) participated in the warmup Saturday afternoon followed by individual work with the club's trainers. Robinson said he's hopeful both players will be able to train at some point next week.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Highlights: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-2 Seattle Sounders FC
Vancouver's Cascadia rival is off to a 2W-0L-0D start in their 2014 preseason campaign. Sounders FC won both of their matches by a 2-1 margin — first against San Jose Earthquakes and then most recently against the 'Caps on Thursday at Grande Sports World.
Striker Obafemi Martins scored both of Seattle's goals in their first match, while midfielder Fabio Pereira and striker Kevin Parsemain provided the scoring against Whitecaps FC.
Defender Dylan Remick has also been an early standout, registering an assist in both matches.
The Sounders will meet Portland Timbers on Saturday night in Tucson, where they have been training since late last week, before hosting the Blue and White on Sunday morning.
After Sunday's contest, the 'Caps will return to Casa Grande for a few days of training before flying back to Vancouver on Wednesday. Their next preseason match is set for February 16 against the University of Victoria Vikes at Centennial Stadium in Victoria. They will then play three final preseason matches at the end of the month as part of the Rose City Invitational in Portland.
Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.