CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA — After a day in which Vancouver Whitecaps FC had a match in the morning, training session in the afternoon, and meetings throughout the day, the boys were given a much-deserved day off on Friday in Casa Grande, Arizona.
"After eight days of good solid work, I think this is only the second day they've had off, which is important at this time," Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told whitecapsfc.com. "If you evaluate the amount of training load we've put on the guys … we just felt it was right to let them recuperate and give them a little bit of time to team bond as well. That's important as we evolve this squad and bring in new faces."
As usual, the day started off with a team breakfast in the banquet hall. On this day, however, it was followed by a special performance from the rookies.
The first group of rookies, comprised of Jordan Cyrus, Christian Dean, Adam Mena, Michael Kafari and MacKenzie Pridham, sung some Spice Girls and R. Kelly for the rest of the team while showing off their dance moves.
Suffice to say, both performances will not soon be forgotten.
"Both groups were great," said Robinson. "I think Jackson Farmer and Marco Bustos took it to another level. They upset a few of the senior players and they certainly put the boot into the coaching staff as well but it's all in good spirits."
Andy O'Brien tees off at Francisco Grande Golf Club
After breakfast, some players hopped on a bus for a day of shopping, while others stuck around the resort for some R and R and/or ping pong.
In the early afternoon, four of the Residency players - Bustos, Farmer, Kianz Froese, and Mitch Piraux - left camp to join their U-18 teammates for a pair of USSDA matches in California,
There were also a few groups who took to the links at the Francisco Grande Golf Club, which is located just steps away from the players' lodging.
Whitecaps FC's goalkeeper union of David Ousted, Simon Thomas, Patrick McLain, and Marius Rovde made up the first group, while Ben Fisk, Andy O'Brien and a few members of the first-team staff followed suit.
"It was David and I against Patrick and Simon, the seniors against the juniors," Rovde told whitecapsfc.com. "Of course, the seniors won the game. After nine holes almost, it was over. The young boys were dead. And then we had the internal battle in the end, me and David. I was one up until the last hole and then he caught me so we called it a draw."
"I think David has far too much time on his hands," Rovde said of Ousted, who shot a 76. "He's a very good golfer. But now he has twins coming so I will probably beat him because he won't be able to play golf anymore."
The 'Caps are back to work on Saturday with a morning training session and afternoon gym session, before concluding the Arizona leg of preseason games with a rematch against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.
Kickoff is set for 10:30 a.m. PT at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona. The match will be streamed live on whitecapsfc.com.
Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.