by Ali Lee
February 13, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC (ISN) – Vancouver Whitecaps FC continue preseason preparations on Sunday, February 16 as they travel to Vancouver Island to face the University of Victoria Vikes.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. PT at Centennial Stadium. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as Whitecaps FC players will hold an autograph session on the concourse from 12 to 12:30 p.m. PT.
This will be the ninth annual match between the two sides dating back to 2005, with the ‘Caps holding a 6W-1L-1D record. Last year’s match at Centennial Stadium drew a crowd of over 2,600 fans, with the Blue and White coming away with a 3-0 win.
Youth players from the Whitecaps FC Island Academy will also be in attendance to watch the ‘Caps first team. For more information on joining the Island Academy, visit whitecapsfc.com/islandacademy.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Whitecaps FC are fresh off of a nine-day training camp in Casa Grande, Arizona, which included three preseason matches. First up was a 3-2 victory over North American Soccer League side Indy Eleven thanks to two second-half goals from Omar Salgado. Next came a pair of closely contested 2-1 defeats against Seattle Sounders FC. Erik Hurtado scored for the ‘Caps in the first match while Carlyle Mitchell headed home a corner kick in the second encounter.
As the ‘Caps play their fourth official preseason match this weekend, head coach Carl Robinson will bring his full squad to Victoria, pending the health of each player.
“It’s important for us to visit our fans on the island and give them the opportunity to see our first-team players,” said Robinson. “This match will give us that chance, provided each player is fit to play.”
Sunday’s preliminary roster will include:
Goalkeepers: Marco Carducci, David Ousted
Defenders: Sam Adekugbe, Steven Beitashour, Christian Dean, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell, Andy O’Brien, Ethen Sampson
Midfielders: Bryce Alderson, Sebastián Fernández, Ben Fisk, Michael Kafari, Gershon Koffie, Andre Lewis, Nicolás Mezquida, Nigel Reo-Coker, Russell Teibert, Matt Watson
Strikers: Mamadou Diouf, Erik Hurtado, Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Omar Salgado
UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA VIKES
The Vikes are coming off a 2013 season that saw them finish sixth in the Canada West conference with a 11W-5L-1D record. Two Vikes led the team with 11 goals, including fourth-year player Cameron Stokes and Whitecaps FC U-23 midfielder Cam Hundal.
Sunday will be a big event for the Victoria community, as they welcome the only Major League Soccer club in Western Canada.
“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.”
No less than 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.
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.
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. 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.
Parking in the lots adjacent to Centennial Stadium will be free.
Following Sunday’s match, the ‘Caps will return to training at UBC before departing to Portland, Oregon for the Rose City Invitational. Their first match will be on Sunday, February 23 against Jamaican side Portmore United, followed by a match against MLS side San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, February 26. The ‘Caps then wrap up the tournament against hosts Portland Timbers on Saturday, March 1. All matches will be played at Providence Park (formerly JELD-WEN Field).
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.