Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whitecaps Training notes - March 29th, 2011

The Whitecaps had another training session today, their first after the 1-0 loss to Philadelphia Union this past weekend. The Whitecaps are preparing for Sporting KC and a stretch of 3 matches in 8 days, incuding a Wednesday home tilt against New England and an away match the following Sunday against Houston.

Missing from training today were Blake Wagner, who went home with the flu. Atiba Harris, who did a training session in the locker room on the stationary bike.

Training on the side included Shea Salinas, still recovering from the knee injury. Davide Chiumiento, as he struggles with a quad injury and Michael Nanchoff, who is recovering from a groin strain. John Thorrington did work with both the first team and on the side with the conditioning staff.

3 Questions leading up to the Saturday match against Sporting Kansas City:

  • With Russell Teibert at the U-20 CONCACAF Championships... who will play the left side. The logical choice seems to be Blake Wagner. Michael Nanchoff would be a man that could do it, but he likely won't be available as he is still recovering from injury. Could someone like Long Tan slot into that role. That will be a question that may only be answered on Saturday.

  • Does Nizar Khalfan play the right side again or do you the Whitecaps give someone else an opportunity? concensus is that Khalfan has a fairly poor or average game on Saturday. In my opinion (Tyler Green), I feel like it was a tremendous opportunity to take the job and run with it. He failed to do that. Davide Chiumiento is still struggling with a quad injury and likely won' tbe ready to go on Saturday, probably Wednesday is a better estimate, and there is no reason to rush him back this early in the season. Shea Salinas could slide into that role soon, but like Chiumiento, he isn't quite ready, and again, with it early in the season, no need to rush a player back. So is it going to be Khalfan or could they give Wes Knight an opportunity? I would be tempted to either give Knight a chance or make it clear to Khalfan he has an opportunity and he needs to either come up with a masterful performance or it may be a while before he takes the field again in a starting role.

  • Who partners with Atiba Harris? Camilo Sanvezzo is a likely choice, another option would be Long Tan. Sanvezzo is the obvious choice, playing in an attacking midfield role. Using speed and skill to his adventage and playing off the big and physical Harris.

The Whitecaps will take Wednesday off from training and get back on the pitch on Thursday.

Other Notes:

With the announcement that Seattle will be hosting a match against Manchester United, the Whitecaps and others have been fielding questions about whether or not United will be making an appearance up in Vancouver. The short answer is no. The long answer is that the Whitecaps are working on bringing a team to Vancouver to play an international friendly. How big that club will be is up for debate. One could say a team like Ajax, who are playing Portland are big, others will say no, it's a small club. You could argue that Newcastle, who are playing Sporting KC are big because they are a Premier League side are big. Others again, would say that they are only okay. It'll be interesting to see who the 'caps can bring in and if they do, when the official announcement will be made. Other teams that will or may be in North America include: FC Barcelona (Who play Manchester United at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins), AC Milan, Newcastle and Club America.

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