HONOLULU, HAWAII – Vancouver Whitecaps FC will play their first preseason match of 2019 on Friday night, facing Japanese side V-Varen Nagasaki in the Pacific Rim Cup. The match will kick off at 10:15 p.m. PT (8:15 p.m. local) at Aloha Stadium and streaming information will be available on whitecapsfc.com.
“Every player is going to play 45 minutes only,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “The same thing is going to happen the other game. Then we’ll start giving 60, 70, 90s moving forward. What we want to see is how much are we growing in our tactical principles? How much are we growing as a team? Can we play the game even if it’s not for three points but with the mentality of a three-point game? That’s what we’re looking for.”
The ‘Caps, who have been training in Hawaii since last Friday, had a 50-minute intrasquad match last Sunday to ramp up their preseason preparations. Yordy Reyna scored the game’s lone goal.
A total of 12 Whitecaps FC Academy products are with the ‘Caps in Hawaii, including eight players currently a part of the club’s Academy and development team.
The only first-team players not on the trip are midfielders Michael Baldisimo and Russell Teibert, who are in Vancouver rehabbing injuries, and newcomers Hwang In-beom, Jasser Khmiri, and Lucas Venuto, who have yet to join the team.
The winner of Friday’s match will play either MLS club Real Salt Lake or Tohoku Member-of-Society Soccer League side Iwaki FC in the Pacific Rim Cup final on Sunday at 7:15 p.m. PT, following the third-place match at 4:30 p.m. PT.
“We’re looking forward to it," said Whitecaps FC defender Doneil Henry. "We’ve been training really hard. It’s good competition. I remember last year we played the Japanese team, it was really fast-paced. It will be good to get the fitness in, to get 45 minutes under our belts, and to just keep looking forward to where we want to be in three or four weeks.”
Whitecaps FC open the 2019 MLS regular season against Minnesota United FC on March 2 at BC Place. Visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets for ticket information.