Day 1 at Francisco Grande Resort in Casa Grade, AZ

An eventful first day in Casa Grande

CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA – There were three new faces on the pitch today at Whitecaps FC preseason camp, each looking to impress the ‘Caps coaching staff and make this year’s MLS squad. Midfielders Patrick Cregg and Floyd Franks along with defender Victor Turcios joined in on what was a very lively and intense session.

Cregg is a 25-year-old Irishman who last played for English League One club Bury FC. Franks is a 27-year-old American who Martin Rennie is quite familiar with, having coached him with Carolina RailHawks the past two seasons. Turcios, meanwhile, is a 23-year-old defender who last played for Club Deportivo Águila in his native El Salvador.

With a full boat of talent, Rennie and his staff worked on team shape and chemistry, while continuing to strengthen the players’ fitness. I know it is still early in preseason, but there were many impressive performances, as the competition for places was again very evident.

There was more good news too, as the ‘Caps announced yesterday the acquisition of Sebastian Le Toux, who was the second most productive player in the league the past two MLS seasons in terms of combined goals and assists (25 goals and 20 assists), barely behind Dwayne De Rosario (31 goals and 15 assists).

Additional good news came in the form of having the club’s first Player of the Year in the MLS era – and last year’s recipient of the Domenic Mobilio Golden Boot as top goalscorer – Camilo Sanvezzo put pen to paper on a new deal. The Brazilian, who finished tied for fifth in goals overall in the league last season (12), was a very happy man.

Lastly, but certainly not least, our 2011 Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero award winner, defender Alain Rochat, was celebrating his birthday today. If he was hoping for some special treatment at training today, it never materialized. But he’s not usually the type to make a fuss, hence the unsung hero award.

All in all, it was an eventful day, and another step closer to an eventful season.

CLICK HERE for photos from Day 1 in Casa Grande, Arizona

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