TUCSON, ARIZONA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC held their final training session in Tucson on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s preseason scrimmage vs. Houston Dynamo (5 p.m. PT on whitecapsfc.com). Here are some news and notes from the day:
NEXT UP: HOUSTON
Tuesday’s match vs. Houston will be divided into four, 30-minute quarters.
Some players will play 60 minutes, others will play 45 or just 30 – depending on where they’re at physically. The good thing is that Vancouver now has its full contingent of players in Tucson with everyone returning from international duty – minus Darren Mattocks, who has returned to Jamaica to be with his partner for the birth of their first child.
Also of note, Christian Bolanos and Pedro Morales are expected to make their preseason debuts on Tuesday. Both players trained in full today – as did Kekuta Manneh, who left
with a knock after scoring the game-winner.
“He’s had a lingering ankle problem since last year,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said of Manneh. “It clears up a little bit and then he tends to get a little niggle in it. We’ve just been very cautious with Kekuta because we know he’s an important player for us. He’ll get some more minutes tomorrow. It’s a gradual build up for him. It’s nice for him to get a goal the other day, but we know he can do that. At the moment it’s just about trying to keep him as healthy as we can.”
PEREZ FITTING RIGHT IN
It’s been about five days since Blas Perez joined the ‘Caps in Tucson as a training camp invitee. And he’s already fitting right in – despite his history as a member of FC Dallas.
On Saturday, Perez picked up an assist in his first preseason appearance with the club. So he’s already making an impact on the pitch.
Off the pitch, Robinson said the guys “absolutely love him to bits.”
“He’s a bit of joker,” Robinson said. “So he mixes in with the jokers we already have in the team, but he does his work. He’s a good finisher, we know that. There’s been no problems whatsoever with Blas.”
When asked for an update on Perez’s status with the team, Robinson said to “watch this space.”
SOCCER TENNIS IN THE SUN
MLSsoccer.com was on hand on Monday to film a fun Costa Rica vs. Uruguay soccer tennis match. It was Kendall Waston, Christian Bolanos and Jordan Smith vs. Nicolas Mezquida, Octavio Rivero, and Cristian Techera.
Perez, who hails from Panama, got his hands on a mic and decided he would be the referee. He, Pa-Modou Kah, and Gershon Koffie then got in on the fun, as you can see below.
For all the latest news on the team's 10-day training camp in Tucson, visit whitecapsfc.com/2016-preseason-tucson. And click here to find out how you can cheer on the ‘Caps, in person, at the 2016 Major League Soccer Preseason in Tucson.
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