by Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
February 5, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – VICTORIA – The highly anticipated Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and Major League Soccer (MLS) friendly featuring hosts, the UVic Vikes, and Vancouver-based Whitecaps FC will take place February 16 at Centennial Stadium at 2 p.m.
This will be the third-straight and ninth overall match up between the men’s soccer squads that have met all but one year (2011) since 2005.
The friendly match follows a fall season that saw the 11-5-1 Vikes finish sixth in the Canada West conference. Two Vikes led the team in scoring with 11 goals including fourth year Cameron Stokes and Whitecaps FC development product Cam Hundal. This will be the last Vikes and ‘Caps match up for seven Vikes in their fourth and fifth year, all of who were a part of the 2011 CIS national championship-winning team.
“Hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC is always an anticipated and exciting atmosphere for the island’s soccer community,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. “Island fans will have the opportunity to see both our Vikes side and also the talents of Whitecaps FC, who will just be starting up their MLS season.”
A bolstered Whitecaps FC line up will entertain the island crowd including captain Jay DeMerit, a United States international that played every match of his country’s campaign at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The 2012 MLS All-Star will also be joined by team mate Nigel Reo-Coker who represented England at the U-21 level and captained the English clubs Wimbledon FC, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United.
“Since the original Whitecaps, the club has enjoyed fantastic support from fans in Victoria and all across Vancouver Island,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi. “The annual match against the UVic Vikes is always a highlight of our preseason and an important tradition.”
Canadian international Russell Teibert will also be on Whitecaps FC’s travelling list. Teibert led Vancouver last season with nine assists, a record for the MLS club. Add on the talents of 2011 MLS SuperDraft first overall selection and former USA U-20 international Omar Salgado, as well as 2012 MLS SuperDraft second overall selection and Jamaican international, Darren Mattocks, and the crowds will for sure be in for a treat.
At least five Vikes have previously played professional soccer with Whitecaps FC including Jamie Lowery, Chris and Nico Craveiro, Geordie Lyall and current men’s soccer coach Wilson. In fact, the Vikes head coach was an original member of the North American Soccer League Whitecaps, having played four seasons in Vancouver from 1974 to 1977.
The preseason friendly on Vancouver Island will be Whitecaps FC’s lone match in British Columbia before the club kicks off their 40th anniversary and fourth season in MLS on Saturday, March 8 at BC Place against reigning MLS Supporters Shield winners New York Red Bulls.
Last year, Whitecaps FC defeated the Vikes 3-0 in front of 2,600 fans at Centennial Stadium. Since 2005, Vancouver holds the edge with a 6-1-1 overall record against UVic.
The game will kick off on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. at UVic’s Centennial Stadium. Parking in the adjacent lots is free and tickets for the match will be sold in advance as well as at the gate.
Pre-sale tickets will be sold online and through the UVic Box Office until noon on Feb. 14. Pre-sale prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $7 for youth (age 7-14). Children six and under are free.
In addition, Lower Island Soccer Association group rates with a 25% discount are available for sale until Feb. 12 at noon only through Ms. Janine Prince at email@example.com or 250-472-4772.
Ticket sales at the gate will open at 1 p.m. and will be priced at $18 for adults, $13 for seniors and students and $10 for youth age 7-14. Proceeds from the event will go towards an annual athletic financial award in the Whitecaps FC name supporting the Vikes soccer programs.
To purchase pre-sale tickets online visit tickets.uvic.ca or call 250-721-8480. For all other ticket and game information please visit govikesgo.com/whitecaps.
All media must be separately accredited and requests can be made through Ali Lee, Vikes Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-721-8410.
The Vikes vs. Whitecaps FC event is proudly supported by presenting partner Victoria Highlanders FC.