Team photo - hawaii - beach
Farhan Devji/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Day 1 in Hawaii: Beach sessions, birthday celebrations, and more

HONOLULU, HAWAII – Day one in Hawaii: check.

Here’s an inside look at the last 24 hours for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who arrived in Honolulu late Wednesday for a 10-day camp that will include their first preseason fixtures of 2018.

Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT

One last training session in Vancouver before departing for Hawaii.

After training, Carl Robinson talks to local media and confirms the ‘Caps are still looking to bolster the roster ahead of their season opener on March 4.

“We’re still looking at three or four players in certain positions and obviously we’d have to make one or two moves out,” Robinson said. “We’re constantly looking.”

4 p.m. PT

Players start filing into YVR.

Meanwhile, a few of us have been scheming with a fine gentleman named Kenny from Air Canada, who is going to help us prank rookie Justin Fiddes. Kenny deserves an Oscar for this performance – and Kei Kamara was a great supporting actor.

Kudos to Fiddes for taking it like a champ.

5:45 p.m. PT

Wheels up!

We’re officially off to the Aloha State. I’m seated next to new Whitecaps FC midfielder Efrain Juarez. Naturally, I mention the Vancouver rain to start conversation, but Juarez tells me he actually doesn’t mind the rain – or the cold. He’s played in Scotland, after all!

Juarez says he’s already loving life in Vancouver. Now he’s just waiting for his wife and son to arrive after the team returns from Hawaii to find a place and truly settle down.

In the meantime: “Lots of Facetime.”

Thursday at 12:15 a.m. PT (10:15 p.m. in Hawaii)

Aloha!

We touch down in Honolulu and hop on a bus for a 30-minute ride to the hotel, where we head straight into the meal room for a (very) late dinner. I bump into Yohan Mollo, who made the trip with Whitecaps FC as a training camp invitee after having his contract with Fulham FC of the English Football League Championship mutually terminated on Tuesday.

Mollo, who flew from London to Vancouver and then met up with the team at YVR, tells us he slept a grand total of 30 minutes the previous night.

Bet he’ll sleep well tonight.

Thursday at 11:45 a.m. PT in Hawaii

The players head out to the beach for a light recovery/regeneration session after the long travel day. Towards the end of the session, they all gather around and toss Aly Ghazal into the water – today is his 26th birthday. Not a bad place to celebrate it.

Meanwhile, Alphonso Davies makes a new friend. 

Check back Friday for updates from the first training day in Hawaii!