BURNABY, BC – Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) returned to training on Wednesday at Fortius Field as they prepare for an exciting USL challenge on Saturday. All eyes will be on the 'Caps match as they travel to face Phoenix Rising FC in Didier Drogba's debut.
Below are a few news and notes from the day.
With the first team on a bye for the international break, a number of players from the squad have been given a few days off to recharge the batteries and prepare for a busy summer ahead.
However both Bernie Ibini and Sam Adekugbe were out training with the ‘Caps USL side on Wednesday, working their way back from prior hamstring strains as they near full fitness. Ibini is looking towards a first team debut after being acquired just prior to the close of the recent transfer window.
MYER BEVAN’S ARRIVAL
Another new player set to join the club next week is New Zealand U-20 national team striker Myer Bevan.
The Kiwi was instrumental in his club’s run to the Round of 16 in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, scoring two goals in a 3-1 win over Honduras.
“I was really excited for him,” noted WFC2 head coach Rich Fagan. “He had a great World Cup. In all the games he played in, he made a difference. He was a little bit unlucky at times, but I think he made the most of that opportunity.”
CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE
A number of USL players were recently given the opportunity to join the first team for the Canadian Championship, and Fagan says that he’s already seeing the benefits.
“You can see there’s just a little bit more professionalism in the way they’ve approached training, games, and their mentality. So that experience is invaluable.”
In the first leg, Sem de Wit started and played 90 minutes in the 2-1 win, while Deklan Wynne came in as a second half substitute. Gloire Amanda, Matthew Baldisimo, David Norman Jr., and Sean Melvin were also part of the team.
For Fagan himself, he also had the opportunity to work closely with the first team staff in the Canadian Championship, assisting with match preparation and being on the bench for both legs.
“Robbo’s been really good about involving us and incorporating our staff into what he’s doing. It was a great experience for myself and the WFC2 staff.”
Whitecaps FC Residency graduate Daniel Sagno was also out training with the team.
The product of Winnipeg, Manitoba just finished his freshman year of NCAA soccer playing at San Diego State University.
“I’ve missed everyone, it’s good to be back,” said Sagno.
In his freshman season, Sagno played 13 matches as the Aztecs finished third in the Pac-12 and made it to the NCAA Tournament.
Another former Residency player was out training with the team, Ethan Gage. The Cochrane, Alberta native originally joined the program in 2007, then went on to play with the first team, who were in the USL First Division at the time.
Among his most memorable moments was winning the 2008 USL First Division championship as a 17-year-old with Whitecaps FC at Swangard Stadium, and also scoring a goal against Montreal Impact in the 2009 Canadian Championship.
He later moved to Reading in the English Championship, followed by spells with Nyköping in Sweden and Bærum SK in Sweden.
He’s currently without a club after recovering from knee surgery last spring. In the meantime, he’s keeping sharp with the ‘Caps.