PORTLAND, OREGON – It’s almost here.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC are set to open their 2015 MLS regular season campaign in just over a week’s time, when they host Toronto FC on March 7 at BC Place (tickets: whitecapsfc.com/tickets).
But first, there’s one more preseason test to go.
The ‘Caps will conclude their preseason schedule on Saturday against Eastern Conference side Chicago Fire, who they will meet again next month in their second match of the season. Kickoff for Saturday’s match is set for 2:30 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland – the match will be streamed live on whitecapsfc.com and air on TSN 1410 radio.
“With a mind on Toronto, I’ll try to play a strong team,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson told reporters. “Will that consist of the team I played against Portland? I’m not sure yet. Because one or two of them have knocks so we’ll wait and see. And two or three of the young kids were outstanding (on Wednesday) so don’t be surprised if you see one or two of them.”
Whitecaps FC opened the Simple Invitational with a 1-0 win over Portland Timbers on Sunday, before defeating Norwegian side Stabæk 3-2 with a younger group on Wednesday. Striker Darren Mattocks scored his first two goals of the preseason in the Stabæk match.
The Fire, meanwhile, drew both of their first two matches – 0-0 with Stabæk and 1-1 with Portland.
As a result, the ‘Caps will finish as the top team in Portland’s preseason tournament for the second straight year – regardless of Saturday’s results.
“Winning is a habit,” Robinson said. “Say what you want, whether it means anything or not. I want to win everything I’m involved in, whether it’s a game of cards, a game of darts, or heads or tails. So anytime you get a chance to win something, you want to try and take it.”
That’s why the team is approaching Saturday’s match against Chicago with the same mentality, especially since it’s their final tune-up before First Kick.
“I want to see the same kind of intensity from our side that we saw against Portland,” goalkeeper David Ousted told whitecapsfc.com. “I still want to see us sticking in tackles and playing like we really want to win it. That intensity we need from day one if we want to go to where we want to go. It’s definitely going to be important that we get up to that level again.”
Whitecaps FC enter Saturday’s contest with a 4W-2L-1D preseason record. Ten different players have scored for Whitecaps FC in the preseason – striker Octavio Rivero is leading the way with three goals an assist.
On the other hand, Chicago have drawn three of their four preseason fixtures. Their only other result was a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.
Participate in the best sporting experience in Vancouver! The 2015 Whitecaps FC season kicks off on March 7 versus Toronto FC at BC Place. Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are now on sale. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, Student Half-Season Tickets, and a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket. For more information on 2015 Season Tickets, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.