Season opener this Saturday

Vancouver Whitecaps FC begin the defence of their United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) title when they host Charleston Battery at Swangard Stadium on Saturday evening. Kick off for the 2009 season opener is 7:00 p.m. PDT. Led by Icelandic head coach Teitur Thordarson, the Whitecaps claimed their second USL-1 championship title in three seasons when they defeated Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 at Swangard on October 12, 2008. In his first season in charge of the men's team, Thordarson led the Whitecaps to a second-place finish in the USL-1 standings with a record of 15W-7L-8D – one point behind Commissioner's Cup winners (regular season champions) Puerto Rico.
Local media preview the Whitecaps upcoming season: The Vancouver Sun: Whitecaps want to take fans, and a winning tradition with them as they move their team to the next level 24 Hours: Champs ready for new season The Province: Faith, salvation and the Gospel according to Ansu Caps trade brains for youth, speed After injury, team resorts to 'Plan A' Only truth here is his ability to play MLS suspension hands Parke second headache this week One on one with Teitur Thordarson Thordarson keeps looking for the right combo CTV: Also, make sure to check out this feature piece on the Whitecaps trip to Tanzania by CTV British Columbia's Jason Pires, with video provided by Bob Mackin, 24 Hours Vancouver - CLICK HERE
The 2009 season also marks 35 years since the Whitecaps played their inaugural season of the defunct North American Soccer League (NASL). To celebrate the club's history, the Whitecaps are holding a number of events throughout the year and selling special merchandise during their home matches at Swangard. The first 1,000 fans to arrive for Saturday's match will also receive the first edition of the special 35 Years Player Cards, present by Shaw TV, with the first card being Bob Lenarduzzi. There are less than 1,000 tickets available for Saturday's season opener versus Charleston. Whitecaps individual match tickets start at just $19 and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres or by clicking here.