What ended up being a long day started at the Vancouver airport around noon, as Whitecaps FC players and staff began to meet at the US Airways desk. Team manager Joe Jesseau, head equipment manager Ed Georgica, and assistant equipment manager Andrew Lichtenfels were there early and they organized everything, making life very easy for the players.
My man, videographer Zac Ratcliffe, was straight out with the camera ready to capture any and every interesting moment. In fact, he got in trouble for trying to film in customs. That must have brought back nightmares for Englishman Matt Watson, who told me of his horror stories every time he encounters customs.
On the flight, I had a chance to sit beside Jun Marques Davidson. In speaking with him, I learnt a lot about his home country Japan and the many beautiful places to visit before he got into his book about the late Steve Jobs. Interesting enough, defender Michael Boxall was also reading the same biography.
When we arrived in Arizona, we were greeted by four Korean media members, as they followed Young-Pyo Lee’s every move. As usual, Lee took this all in good stride.
After a 45-minute journey by bus to the Francisco Grande hotel & resort in Casa Grande, Arizona, we had time to drop our bags in our room and head straight for a team meal. The room was relatively quiet, as the players tucked into some fine food, including a little dessert when the coaching staff was not looking.
Around ten hours after meeting at the airport, Martin Rennie addressed the players on expectations for the preseason and upcoming year, then he bid them a good night as went to relax in their room (some with new teammates) and get some much needed rest before an early start in the morning.
Whitecaps FC 2012 Major League Soccer season tickets start at $329, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, including loge seats and suites, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.