Just as the snow returned to Vancouver on Thursday, Whitecaps FC returned to sunny Arizona for the second phase of their preseason training camp.
Teitur Thordarson's squad arrived on Tuesday and trained on Wednesday at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. After a full-team practice in the morning, the non-starters returned to the pitch for a second session in the afternoon, while the starters rested ahead Friday's training match.
Fans can follow this weekend's training matches @WhitecapsFC or on the club's Facebook page through our Twitter link. Video updates and match reports will be available on whitecapsfc.com following every match.
The 'Caps will play three games this weekend, starting Friday when they take on Chivas USA at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. On Saturday, they'll take on the United States U-18 national team at the Westside Complex in Avondale, Arizona. The final match will be closed to the public, as the Blue and White line up against Los Angeles Galaxy on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. All three matches will begin at 10 a.m. PT.
Thordarson looks forward to continuing preparations for the season opener versus Toronto FC on Saturday, March 19. The Icelandic coach says that the results of the matches are not paramount, but it is important that his players maintain a competitive focus throughout the preseason.
"We continue to work on tactical things especially, and we want to see that we are progressing with these things in the games," said Thordarson of the team’s preseason. "We understand that things do not always go as well as you want, but we always want to have the instinct of winning."
Vancouver netted some impressive results on their last trip to Arizona. The ‘Caps each defeated 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalists Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew by scorelines of 2-1, while losing narrowly to Interstate 5 rivals Seattle Sounders FC 1-0.
Joining training camp is 22-year-old Brazilian trialist Camilo da Silva Sanvezzo. The 5-foot-7 striker last played with Gyeongnam FC in the Korean Professional Football League (K-League).
Also with the squad are Cameroonian midfielder Alexandre Morfaw and Kosovo-born Swiss youngster Bedri Gashi, who missed the last Arizona trip due to injury. Rookie midfielder Michael Nanchoff, meanwhile, remains in Vancouver, as he continues to recover from an injury concern. Also absent is Whitecaps FC Residency product Kyle Porter. The Canadian youth international is currently on trial with Canadian rivals Montreal Impact.