It’s been a busy few days for the Whitecaps FC organization spanning new kits, new signings, and the kick-off of the Simple Invitational. In today’s ‘Whitecaps News Grab,’ Northern Starting XI will catch you up on all the ‘Caps news you may have missed.
Whitecaps FC 2 set preseason schedule
On Sunday, Whitecaps FC 2, the new reserve team playing in the USL, unveiled their preseason schedule for their inaugural season. In preparation for their games they will be training at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West from Monday to Friday, 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. To kick off their season, the baby ‘Caps are playing an intrasquad friendly on the 28th at 6 P.M. in Burnaby. It’ll be the first test for the new signings and the trialists fighting to earn a spot. On March 9th, WFC2 will be getting their first taste of their home ground, playing against grounds-mates the UBC Thunderbirds. After the warm-up against the university boys, the team will play in their first Cascadia derby match on the 15th, travelling down to Seattle to take on the Sounders FC 2. It will be an exciting match for fans on both sides, as the two squads preview the coming USL season. Finally, they’ll finish off their preseason against another pair of university teams, Simon Fraser University, where head coach Alan Koch used to coach, and Oregon State. The Whitecaps’ reserves will have an exciting preseason ahead.
Whitecaps kick-off the Simple Invitational with a win
On Sunday, the senior squad vanquished the Timbers in Providence Park in their first match of the Simple Invitational. New ‘Cap and former Timber Pa-Modou Kah taunted his old club, scoring the only goal of the game in the 31st minute. However, most fans watching the game would be hard-pressed to call it a ‘friendly match’ due to eight yellow cards and two reds that were shown over the course of the match. Because of the two reds shown to the Timbers, they’ll be missing Rodney Wallace and Liam Ridgewell for their second match against the Fire.
The Whitecaps fielded their strongest team of the preseason so far, with the starting XI all likely to feature in the opening game of the MLS season against Toronto FC. Because of the win the ‘Caps immediately jumped to first place in the Simple Invitational standings, after the Chicago Fire and Staebek draw earlier in the evening. The next game for the boys in blue will be against Staebek on Wednesday night at 5 P.M.
New 2015 kit revealed on Monday
On Monday, the Whitecaps made waves in the MLS world after releasing their new primary kit for the 2015 season. Replacing the diagonal stripes of the past two years, the new kit features peaks on the upper chest symbolizing water and mountains, two geographic features that Vancouver does not have in short supply. It also showcases the new MLS crest for the Whitecaps on both sleeves, replacing the old MLS crest and Canadian flag. The loss of the Canadian flag is a shame due to the uniqueness of it in a league with seventeen American teams, but the new MLS logo is a pleasant change after the past one. Bell is still featured as the kit sponsor.
Deybi Flores on loan from Honduran side
Earlier today, the ‘Caps announced a new loanee by the name of Deybi Flores. The eighteen-year-old Honduran was loaned from Club Deportivo Motagua of the Honduran league, with a transfer option attached. Flores, who has been capped by the Honduras U-20 squad, was part of the team that competed in the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, and qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He plays as box-to-box midfielder, and will be another infusion of Central American youth to the Whitecaps this year. Deybi also has quite the imposing frame at 6’0”, providing more height to an already tall squad.
Baby ‘Caps sign another 3
Vancouver soccer fans rejoiced today as three new Vancouver boys were signed to Whitecaps FC 2. New draft pick and former SFU player, Jovan Blagojevic, was one of the three signed. Blagojevic will surely be familiar to head coach, Alan Koch, due to their time at SFU together. At the age of 23, the midfielder/striker will bring experience to a youthful WFC2 team, while still maintaining the youth to make the step up to the main club if he succeeds.
The Whitecaps’ reserve team also signed two players coming from within their own youth ranks. Brett Levis, a 21-year-old midfielder, joined the squad from the U-23 team, and Chris Seban, joined as a defender from the Residency at only 19 years of age.
The abundance of young Canadians WFC2 has been signing is a good sign for the future of the Canadian men’s national team, and the Whitecaps organization as a whole. Expect great things from the three new signings.