After nearly a two-month hiatus, Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (0W-1L-1D) return to action in the MLS Reserve League, as they travel down Interstate 5 to take on Seattle Sounders FC reserves (4W-0L-0D) at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Washington, on Tuesday evening. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT.
The 'Caps reserves go into Tuesday’s match facing a tough test against an undefeated Sounders FC second string. Whitecaps FC reserves last played on April 17 against Chivas USA reserves in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw. Omar Salgado scored his first goal on his reserve team debut on Bell Pitch at Empire Field.
The lengthy break between MLS Reserve League games has allowed coaching staff and management time to carefully consider their 16-man roster, with Tuesday's match likely to be a well-contested Pacific Northwest derby affair. Included in the reserve team squad after four members of Whitecaps FC Residency in goalkeeper Callum Irving, defender La'Vere Corbin-Ong, and strikers Caleb Clarke and Ben Fisk.
Whitecaps FC assistant coach Colin Miller hopes that like Salgado, other young 'Caps players take advantage of the opportunity that reserve team action provides. "I'm hoping we get a hungry reaction from the players," he told whitecapsfc.com. "We've got a relatively strong team that is going down to Seattle, as well as some talented young lads. More importantly than the result, we’re looking for a positive performance, a real positive attitude from the players, and a desire to be a part of the side going back down to Seattle this weekend with the first team."
Sounders FC reserves come into the match having notched four straight victories to start the season, with their most recent being a 2-0 win over Pacific Northwest rivals Portland Timbers reserves on May 30. Goalkeeper Terry Boss made two saves for his second shutout of the year, while Servando Carrasco and David Estrada had the goals for Seattle. Tuesday's clash is sure to set the stage for the big Cascadia Cup showdown between Whitecaps FC and Sounders FC at Seattle's Qwest Field on Saturday night.
This weekend's Major League Soccer derby clash is on in which many of these reserve team players have a shot at suiting up for. "The coaching staff has spoken about how the first team is expected to play now and that will start with the reserve guys," said Miller. "They will get the same information as the first team guys and we'll go from there."
WHITECAPS FC RESERVES – SQUAD AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – JUNE 7, 2011
GOALKEEPERS - Callum Irving, Jay Nolly
DEFENDERS - La'Vere Corbin-Ong, Kevin Harmse, Greg Janicki, Wes Knight, Blake Wagner
MIDFIELDERS - Jeb Brovsky, Alexandre Morfaw, Michael Nanchoff, Russell Teibert, Pete Vagenas
STRIKERS - Caleb Clarke, Ben Fisk, Omar Salgado, Long Tan