HONOLULU, HAWAII – Vancouver Whitecaps FC held their first on-field training session in the Aloha State on Friday morning at the University of Hawaii.
Here are some news and notes from the day.
‘STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION’
David Edgar was a full participant on Friday and it was a welcome sight, indeed.
In December 2016, the Canadian centre back suffered a serious knee injury in a vehicle accident that kept him sidelined for the better part of 14 months. It’s been a long road to recovery, to say the least. And now, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Very happy, very emotional,” Edgar told whitecapsfc.com. “It’s been a lot of hard work getting to this point, it’s another step in the right direction … I’ve missed the game so much over this time off. I’ve grown to really, really love it and miss it and I’m grateful for this opportunity again.”
Edgar finds himself in a unique position this preseason.
At 30 years old, he’s one of the most experienced players in camp. On the other hand, he’s currently without a contract. But Edgar says fighting for a roster spot is a challenge he’s embracing.
“It’s a different scenario than I’ve ever been in,” Edgar said. “I’ve never really been on trial. It’s something I’m embracing. I owe the club for the faith they’ve put in me throughout the injury. I’m more determined than ever to come back fitter and stronger.”
Edgar is one of six training camp invitees currently with the ‘Caps in Hawaii (not including unsigned SuperDraft selections Justin Fiddes and Lucas Stauffer or the Residency foursome of Jefferson Alade, Simon Colyn, the youngest player in camp at 15 years old, Thomas Hasal, and Jake Ruby).
The latest invitee to join the team was experienced MLS right back Sean Franklin.
The 32-year-old, who arrived late Thursday and took part in Friday’s session, is a two-time MLS all-star and MLS Cup winner who spent the last four seasons with DC United.
One important aspect of these preseason trips is that they really help a team come together. That’s a must for the ‘Caps this year more than ever, considering all the new faces they have on the roster.
It’s only been a few days, but so far the trip appears to be serving its purpose in that regard.
“Everybody is happy,” Waston told whitecapsfc.com. “That’s the positive thing here. Even though we’re working very hard, we’re tired, we’re enjoying these hard sessions.”
And they’re enjoying each other’s company, too.
Waston, for his part, has been spending a lot of time with his new roommate Efrain Juarez.
“Effy is a great guy,” Waston said. “Since day one, we made a great connection. I played against him at U-17s and U-20s. Now, as a teammate he’s brilliant. We just like to make a lot of jokes and have a good time together.”
The 'Caps will play three matches in Hawaii next week before returning to Vancouver.