BY MARC WEBER
Geordie Lyall would love to get off the substitutes bench tonight. He's also ecstatic just to be on it.
The Whitecaps defender makes his season debut in the 18-man roster tonight. Lyall's been rehabilitating since December ankle surgery. He's coming off the most frustrating season of his career, limited to eight appearances with a variety of leg issues related to his lower back.
"This is important," Lyall said of being back in the 18. "Once you start slipping away from all the road trips and team camaraderie, you start to think, 'Is this all worthwhile, all this physiotherapy?'
"Fortunately it's gone a lot better in the last month and hopefully I can take part in every game from here to the end of the season."
Coach Teitur Thordarson is clearly a huge Lyall fan. He started the 32-year-old every chance he could last season and re-signed him.
Lyall played around 35 minutes for the Whitecaps' USL Premier Development League team on Sunday and Thordarson said he wouldn't hesitate to use him for 30 minutes against Montreal.
"That's what we might need out of him, because Montreal has very good speed on the flanks and we struggled badly with that last year," the coach said. "We have that [speed] now with Wes Knight, who is also very fast. Geordie, when he's healthy, we know what he can bring."
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