BURNABY, BC - The 2013 Whitecaps FC preseason training camp officially kicked off at Burnaby Lake West on Monday in cold and foggy conditions, with a large contingent of media on hand to watch. The first session was an opportunity for most players to get reacquainted with each other, as well as to meet some new faces – some who have already been added to the roster and others who are looking to earn their spot.
Players training with the ‘Caps for the first time included new centre back Brad Rusin and SuperDraft picks Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado. A number of unsigned players were also at practice on Monday, including Re-Entry draft pick-up Paulo Jr., Kenyan midfielder Crispin Olando, and MLS-experienced strikers Tom Heinemann and Corey Hertzog.
There will be another new face joining the fold at training this week as Canadian international defender/midfielder Jaime Peters arrives in Vancouver Monday night.
The 25-year-old former Ipswich Town player will go through his medical on Tuesday before attending training. Whether or not he can prove to add a new dimension to the ‘Caps will be an interesting storyline as preseason progresses.
There were a few players who were not on the training field. Omar Salgado continues his recovery from last year’s foot injury and will be working with the club’s sports science team off the pitch. Bryce Alderson was also absent from training with a sore knee and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Andy O’Brien left training early with a minor ankle sprain, as did trialist Dever Orgill who is expected to receive treatment on a sore right heel for the remainder of the week.
Russell Teibert was also missing, as were trialists Andres Fresenga, Evan James, and Simon Thomas, as all four are currently with away at training camp with the Canadian men’s national team. Experienced keeper Joe Cannon and defender Martin Bonjour were also absent on Monday due to personal reasons.
The big news of the day was the departure of midfielder Barry Robson, who moved on from the club by mutual decision.
As far as what happened on the field, the coaching staff eased the squad into training with a light workout that consisted of small-sided games and some crossing and finishing.
Watch the video to hear from head coach Martin Rennie, new centre back Rusin, SuperDraft picks Manneh and Hurtado, striker Kenny Miller, and captain Jay DeMerit.
Plus, get Jay's opinion on The Province reporter Marc Weber's new shoes.
PLAYERS INFORMATION - updated January 21:
The 2013 preseason roster includes 36 players, including 23 players under contract.
Major League Soccer experience
- 2011: 8 had MLS experience
- 2012: 19 had MLS experience
- 2013: 24 have MLS experience
- 13 different birth countries represented: Argentina (1), Brazil (2), Canada (10), England (2), The Gambia (1), Ghana (1), Jamaica (2), Japan (1), Kenya (1), Scotland (1), South Korea (1), Trinidad & Tobago (1), and United States (10)
- 4 signed to roster – Alderson, Clarke, Rochat, and Teibert
- 6 trialists – Fisk, Fresenga, James, Lensky, Peters, and Thomas
- 2 trainees – Melvin and Wiebe
- 8 signed to roster - Cannon, DeMerit, Harvey, Hurtado, Klazura, Knighton, Rusin, and Salgado
- 2 trialist – Hertzog and Heinemann
- 5 goalkeepers
- 11 defenders
- 13 midfielders
- 7 forwards
Whitecaps FC 2013 preseason roster - subject to change:
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