Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that Marius Rovde has been named the club's goalkeeper coach, while former Whitecaps FC defender Rick Celebrini has been added to the club's Major League Soccer staff as a physiotherapist consultant. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Rovde joins Whitecaps FC after a recent spell working with goalkeepers in Southern Ontario. A professional goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach for more than two decades, the native of Trondheim, Norway, began his soccer career with hometown club Rosenborg Ballklub (BK) in 1987. Rovde's playing career included spells in Norway's top-flight Eliteserien with Stabaek IF, Lillestrom SK, and Hamarkameratene (HamKam), as well as spells in Scotland with Ayr United FC and Motherwell FC. He also had a brief stint in English League One with Welsh outfit Wrexham AFC. His coaching career includes spells in Norway and Scotland before serving as director of goalkeepers with the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation from 2008 to 2011. He also worked as head goalkeeper coach at Trinidad & Tobago's Joe Public FC.
Celebrini returns to Whitecaps FC as a physiotherapist consultant. From 1992 to 1996, the native of Burnaby, BC, made a total of 31 appearances as a defender when the club was then known as Vancouver 86ers. Following his career in professional soccer, Celebrini has since enjoyed a distinguished career as a sports and orthopaedic physical therapist in the province of British Columbia after graduating with a degree in physical therapy education from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1992. As a therapist and consultant, Celebrini worked with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Canadian Soccer Association, the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and the NHL Players Association. He also served as the sport science director for BC Soccer and is the co-founder of the Athletic Movement Retraining and Conditioning program (AMRC). Last year, Celebrini served in the prestigious role of chief physical therapist at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and was the manager of medical services for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). He recently completed his doctorate (PhD) in Rehabilitation Sciences at UBC.
Whitecaps FC return home on Saturday afternoon, July 30, for their first competitive MLS meeting versus LA Galaxy. The 'Caps and Galaxy previously played each other in two exhibition matches in 2007 and 2008. On November 7, 2007, a crowd of 48,172 fans filled BC Place to see the 'Caps draw 0-0 with Los Angeles, while on May 13, 2008, Vancouver defeated the Galaxy 2-1 in front of 37,104 fans at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
A Whitecaps FC MLS record of more than 25,000 tickets have already been sold for Saturday’s tilt against LA Galaxy on Bell Pitch at Empire Field. A limited number of tickets are still available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at ticketmaster.ca, or Charge-by-Phone at 1.855.6.GO-CAPS.