'Caps off to Portland for Rose City Invitational

VANCOUVER, BC – With the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season now just two weeks away, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are off to Portland, Oregon today for the final leg of their preseason campaign.

The ‘Caps will play three matches at Portland’s Providence Park (formerly known as JELD-WEN Field) over the next week as part of the Timbers’ annual Rose City Invitational preseason tournament. Their first match is set for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. PT against Jamaican National Premier League Side Portmore United.

In addition to Portmore United, Carl Robinson’s side will also meet Western Conference rival San Jose Earthquakes and host Portland Timbers in the four-team competition.

All three matches will be live on TEAM 1410 sports radio and streamed on whitecapsfc.com.

Date Opponent Location Time
Sunday, February 23 Portmore United FC Providence Park 2:30 p.m. PT
Wednesday, February 26 San Jose Earthquakes Providence Park 5 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 1 Portland Timbers Providence Park 5 p.m. PT

The 2014 Rose City Invitational will mark Vancouver’s second trip of the preseason, after spending 10 days in Casa Grande, Arizona earlier this month. The ‘Caps played three exhibition matches in Arizona – a 3-2 win over North American Soccer League side Indy Eleven followed by back-to-back 2-1 defeats to Sounders FC.

Following their camp in Casa Grande, the ‘Caps came away with a 1-0 win over the University of Victoria Vikes in the annual friendly between the two teams. A 90th-minute tally by 19-year-old Andre Lewis secured the victory for Vancouver, who outshot their Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) opponents by a 21-4 margin.

Lewis also scored a 90th-minute winner in Vancouver’s Blue and White intrasquad match on Wednesday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Veteran midfielder Matt Watson and rookie striker Mamadou Diouf scored the other goals in a 2-1 victory for Team Blue.

Robinson is bringing a total of 33 players to Portland, including recently-acquired goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghithe ‘Caps signed the former Chicago Fire and Inter Milan youth goalkeeper on Tuesday

Two more players who could make their preseason debut for the Blue and White in Portland are second-year striker/winger Kekuta Manneh, who returned to full training last week and participated in Wednesday’s intrasquad match, and striker Kenny Miller, who is currently recovering from a quad injury.

Whitecaps FC travel roster
Goalkeepers: Marco Carducci, David Ousted, Paolo Tornaghi, Nolan Wirth
Defenders: Sam Adekugbe, Steven Beitashour, Christian Dean, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Andy O’Brien, Ethen Sampson
Midfielders: Bryce Alderson, Mehdi Ballouchy, Marco Bustos, Sebastián Fernández, Ben Fisk, Kianz Froese, Michael Kafari, Gershon Koffie, Andre Lewis, Adam Mena, Nicolás Mezquida, Mitch Piraux, Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert, Matt Watson
Strikers: Erik Hurtado, Darren Mattocks, Kekuta Manneh, Kenny Miller, Omar Salgado

News and notes:
- Residency players Marco Bustos, Kianz Froese, Mitch Piraux and Nolan Wirth will play in the Whitecaps FC Residency U-18 match Saturday in Portland. They will remain with the first team in Portland until Friday, February 28, when they will return to Vancouver in advance of a pair of weekend Residency home matches.

- Aminu Abdallah and Mamadou Diouf will remain in Vancouver until receipt of their visas.

- Jackson Farmer and Marlon Ramirez have stayed in Vancouver while Whitecaps FC and USL PRO affiliate Charleston Battery coordinate the loan paperwork.

- Midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, whose MLS rights are held by Whitecaps FC, is currently training with New England Revolution.

- Right back Solomon Kwambe and goalkeeper Simon Thomas have both completed their training camp invites.

Whitecaps FC begin their 2014 MLS season on March 8 versus New York Red Bulls at BC Place. Season tickets start at just $349, subject to applicable fees. The 'Caps also offer a flexible range of ticket products, including half-season tickets ($244), 5-packs ($149), student season tickets ($199), and a youth soccer half-season ticket ($100). For more information on all Whitecaps FC ticket options, call 604.669.9283 ext. 2 or visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.