Whitecaps FC keeper Joe Cannon

Whitecaps FC set for preseason tilt versus Seattle Sounders FC

CASA GRANDE, AZ - Playing their first training match of the 2012 preseason, Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. PT.

Follow Monday's training match @WhitecapsFC

Two weeks into preparations for their second season in Major League Soccer, a re-tooled Whitecaps FC squad have been put through their paces by head coach Martin Rennie and his staff. With several new players joining the Blue and White this off-season, the ‘Caps will get the opportunity to test themselves against their Cascadia Cup rivals to start the third week of preseason.

With both clubs currently looking at a large group of players, Monday’s preseason battle between these Interstate 5 adversaries will be played over 120 minutes of action. This will include two conventional halves of 45 minutes, plus an additional 30-minute period. The match format will allow Rennie and his Sounders FC counterpart, Sigi Schmid, to play many of the players they have in camp.

Seattle have been at Grande Sports World for nearly a week and are working on incorporating several new faces into their squad for their fourth MLS season, which begins early this year with CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action versus Mexico’s Club Santos Laguna on March 7 and 14.

Monday's match will be the sixth preseason encounter between these Pacific Northwest foes since Sounders FC became an MLS club in 2009. In preparation for their inaugural MLS campaign last year, Whitecaps FC played Seattle in two preseason encounters. Just over a year ago, Vancouver fell 1-0 to Sounders FC in a 105-minute training match in Casa Grande, Arizona, on February 4, 2011, before the ‘Caps earned a 3-2 win over Seattle at the Cascadia Summit in Tukwila, Washington, March 6, 2011. In Whitecaps FC’s final season at the North American second division level in 2010, Sounders FC defeated Vancouver 3-2 at Grande Sports World on February 11 before playing to a goalless draw at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, on March 6, 2010. In 2009, Sounders FC claimed a convincing 4-0 win over Whitecaps FC in a closed-door friendly at Seattle's CenturyLink Field on February 22.

Monday’s game is the first of seven preseason friendlies that Whitecaps FC will play over the next month. The schedule includes an away encounter versus reigning Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions University of Victoria Vikes on Sunday, February 19, and three matches in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Rennie’s squad conclude their preseason schedule when they visit his former club in North American Soccer League outfit Carolina RailHawks on Sunday, March 4.

Whitecaps FC 2012 Major League Soccer season tickets start at $329, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, including loge seats and suites, call 604.669.9283 or visit whitecapsfc.com/protect.