Jaime Peters

Preview: Whitecaps FC take on Arizona Sahuaros

In the final game of their training camp in Arizona, Whitecaps FC come up against local outfit Arizona Sahuaros on Monday evening. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. PT at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. Follow @WhitecapsMatch for live updates.


The ‘Caps are coming off another impressive performance, beating a strong Houston Dynamo side 2-1 on Saturday. The squad now turn their attention to Monday's match against Arizona Suaharos in hopes of rounding off their trip to Arizona by making it three wins out of three.

Head coach Martin Rennie is expected to name a younger side for the match.

There will be several trialists hoping to impress Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie, while the match also presents an opportunity for some already on the roster to press their claim for more first team minutes.

“We’re looking forward to seeing some players that haven’t really played too much yet on this trip. It gives us a good chance to evaluate them in a game situation after watching them in training,” said Rennie. “We’re looking forward to seeing if the players can implement the things that we’ve worked on with them for the last few days, just like we’ve seen with the other groups who’ve been playing."

Whitecaps FC fly back to Vancouver on Wednesday to continue their preseason preparations.


A former member of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the Sahuaros have several MLS-level alumni with Justin Meram of Columbus Crew and Nick DeLeon of D.C. United both having previously played for the Phoenix-based team. Roger Espinoza, who played for Sporting Kansas City and recently signed for English Premier League team Wigan Athletic, also started out with the Sahuaros in 2006.


The ‘Caps played the Sahuaros in a preseason friendly in 2011 ahead of their inaugural MLS season. Current Vancouver stars Camilo and Omar Salgado scored in a 6-1 romp.


Following the annual trip to Arizona, players will return to Vancouver on February 8 for a few days of training back at Burnaby Lake West. The team will then head to Charleston, South Carolina, for the Carolina Challenge Cup where they will play a series of matches against Charleston Battery (February 16), Houston Dynamo (February 20), and Chicago Fire (February 23), as well as a friendly against College of Charleston (February 17). The preseason schedule will then wrap up with a trip to Cary, North Carolina, for a match against Carolina RailHawks (February 24).