Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whitecaps Training Notes - March 31st, 2011




The Vancouver Whitecaps FC only had training open for the media today for about 30-40 minutes. But some info gathered before we were politely asked to leave included that Jay DeMerit was wearing a track suit, running shoes and working out with the Whitecaps staff on the side, which included Michael Nanchoff and Shea Salinas.

At this point, Nanchoff are not playing this weekend, and DeMerit, depending on training tomorrow, is listed as 50/50. Salinas is also doubtful for minutes on Saturday. Earlier in the week Salinas told told me he is still feeling pain in the knee when kicking the ball.

Michael Boxall was missing from practice. He is sick and should be back tomorrow.

Davide Chiumiento is training with the squad, as is John Thorrington. No word on whether they are able to play on Saturday. It was suggested that Chiumiento will be able to see action on Wednesday against New England at the earliest.

Mouloud Akloul received a round of applause at the beginning of practice and pats on the back. Later that morning it was officially announced that he was signed to a Major League Soccer contract. He has been back training with the club and scrimmaging for the past few weeks but both Akloul and head coach Teitur Thordarson suggested it'll be a couple more weeks before he gets into a match. Which could either be a smoke screen or the truth. You can decide for yourselves.

Training returns on Friday at 10am. Sporting KC will hit the pitch at 1pm.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced Signing of centre back Mouloud Akloul

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that centre back Mouloud Akloul has been signed to the club’s Major League Soccer (MLS) roster. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

"Mouloud has done extremely well to overcome the unfortunate injury he suffered last season and be part of our MLS roster," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "We know Mouloud has many qualities as a centre back, but his determination to get himself fit again just shows how strong of a character he is. I'm very much looking forward to working with him this season."

Akloul, 28, joins Whitecaps FC's MLS roster after coming through a frustrating 2010 season with the Blue and White. After initially joining the club for last year's USSF D-2 Pro League campaign on April 8, the native of Lorient, France, suffered a fracture to his left ankle after scoring the match winner in his Vancouver debut on April 24, as the 'Caps defeated Athletic Club of St. Louis 1-0. Though the injury restricted the defender to just two appearances for the club last season, Akloul has since recovered to be become part of Vancouver's inaugural MLS season.

“I’m very happy to sign with Vancouver Whitecaps FC,” said Akloul. “It’s a beautiful city and a fantastic club. I look forward to showing everyone what I’m capable of this season.”

Prior to his spell in Vancouver, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound defender started his career with FC Lorient Bretagne Sud in his hometown of Lorient, France, before spending two seasons with Vannes Olympique Club. The centre back then had spells in Algeria with Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie and Mouloudia Olympique de Béjaïa before making a switch to the Middle East when he joined Al-Ittihad Kalba of the second-tier United Arab Emirates Football League Division 1 for the 2008-09 season.

Mouloud Akloul
Position: Defender
Height: 6-02
Weight: 185
Born: March 18, 1983, in Lorient, France
Hometown: Lorient, France
Citizenship: France / Algeria
Last Club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (USSF D-2)

Whitecaps FC return to Empire Field for a two-match home stand, beginning on Saturday, April 2, when the ‘Caps take on MLS Eastern Conference side Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. PT and is live on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. On Wednesday, April 6, Whitecaps FC host New England Revolution in MLS action. Kickoff of the midweek contest is set for 7 p.m. PT and will be live across Canada on TSN. Fans can also watch all of Whitecaps FC's MLS matches this season on their mobile devices through Bell, and can listen to matches live on TEAM 1410 radio and teamradio.ca.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whitecaps Single tickets Available For April 16/23 Matches




VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today individual match tickets for the April 16 and April 23 matches at Empire Field will go on sale Thursday, March 31 at 10 a.m. PT. Individual match tickets will range from $20 to $55 (including HST), plus applicable service charges and fees, and are available at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, online at Ticketmaster.ca or Charge-by-Phone: 1.855.6.GO-CAPS (1.855.646.2277).

“Single match tickets are a great way for uninitiated fans to experience a Major League Soccer match for the first time,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. “On March 19, both our team on the pitch and our supporters in the stands showed Empire Field will not be an easy place for teams to visit, but we’ll need continued support from our fans to maintain that reputation.”

Saturday, April 16, will see the Blue and White face the Los Angeles-based Chivas USA followed by 2010 MLS Cup finalists FC Dallas on Saturday, April 23.

Teitur Thordarson’s side began their inaugural Major League Soccer campaign on Saturday, March 19, at Empire Field earning a 4-2 victory over Toronto FC in front of a capacity crowd of more than 22,000. Following the opening match, the team travelled to Philadelphia, where they suffered a 1-0 defeat to the second year Philadelphia Union.

Whitecaps FC also announced today, in conjunction with the PNE, that after receiving feedback from supporters following the March 19 match, the gates to Empire Field will open 90 minutes prior to Saturday's 4:00 p.m. PT kickoff at 2:30 p.m. PT.

The early opening will give supporters a greater opportunity to enjoy the fan experience around the stadium, with earlier access to concessions, merchandise, and seating. Should the test run prove to be successful, both Whitecaps FC and the PNE will consider implementing an earlier opening for future matches at Empire Field.

DeMerit a Question Mark for Saturday's Tilt Against Sporting KC

Whitecaps Captain Jay DeMerit is expected to miss Saturday’s match against Sporting KC after pulling his groin while playing for the US National team.

DeMerit left Tuesday night’s friendly against Paraguay in the 42nd minute after taking a “knock”. US lost 1-0.

The ‘Caps Captain later tweeted “Disappointed to come off. Groin isn’t too serious but too early to tell how long. As Arnie would say, ILL BE BACK!”

DeMerit flies back to Vancouver today before getting checked out by the Whitecaps staff, who will determine his fitness and injury before deciding whether he can play on Saturday.

Whitecaps play host to Sporting KC Saturday at 4pm; Team 1410 has the call with the pre-match show at 2pm.

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.

FC Barcelona 2011 Tour

FC Barcelona will be traveling to the US this summer to play some friendlies. We knew about the Manchester United match, but some other matches are surfacing, or rumoured to be surfacing.

The club will begin in Europe against unknown opponents.  They will play two matches at Munich's Audi Cup on July 21 and 22, followed by a trip to Split, Croatia for a friendly July 25.

Along with the Manchester United match, other potential dates for FC Barcelona matches and opponents could be:

July 30 - Manchester United v. Barcelona (Washington, DC)
August 3 - AC Milan v. Barcelona (Miami, FL)
August 6 - America of Mexico v. Barcelona (Dallas, TX)

Complete Manchester United NA Tour

Manchester United will return to the USA in July for this summer's pre-season tour. The Reds will play five matches - three against MLS clubs in Boston, Seattle and Chicago, a meeting with the MLS All-Stars in New Jersey and finally a clash with Spanish giants Barcelona in Washington DC.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men kick-off the tour on 13 July against New England Revolution at the Gillette Stadium in Boston. Seven days later United face Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field and then head to Chicago to meet Chicago Fire at Soldier Field on 23 July.

USA Tour 2011
13 July v New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, Boston
20 July v Seattle Sounders, Qwest Field, Seattle
23 July v Chicago Fire, Soldier Field, Chicago
27 July v MLS All-Stars, Red Bull Arena, New Jersey
30 July v Barcelona, FedExField, Washington DC
Tickets: Information coming soon. Register for updates at www.manutd.com/tour2011

Sounders FC to Host Manchester United on July 20




RENTON, Wash. - Seattle Sounders FC will host Manchester United, winners of a record 11 English Premier League titles and three European championships, on Wednesday, July 20, on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, it was announced today. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (PT). The presenting partners for the Sounders FC international friendly match are AT&T and Samsung Mobile.

"Our fans deserve the best and we have provided a blockbuster match," said Sounders FC majority owner Joe Roth. "Manchester United is perhaps the most popular team on the planet and certainly one of most successful. Yet on this summer night the loudest roars of the crowd will be saved for the home side, Sounders FC. I imagine people from throughout the West will descend upon Seattle to see this match."

Managed by Sir Alex Ferguson since 1986, Man United features a star-studded lineup led by forward Wayne Rooney, defender Rio Ferdinand--both members of the English National Team--and other accomplished internationals such as Dimitar Berbatov, Nani, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) and legendary midfielder Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in English history.

The match is part of the Sounders FC full 18-match season ticket package. In anticipation of the demand for tickets, seating at Qwest Field will be expanded to include the upper bowl.

The Red Devils will be making their third trip to Seattle. They met Scotland's Celtic FC before a record Qwest Field crowd of 66,722 in 2003. In 1982 Man United faced the original North American Soccer League's Sounders in the EuroPac Cup tournament, losing to Seattle, 3-0.

Manchester United has lost only three times in 30 matches and currently leads the EPL by five points. It won three consecutive titles from 2007 to 2009 and is aiming for a record 19th top division title.

The first English team to win a European championship, United added its third in the 2008 UEFA Champions League and later that year claimed the FIFA Club World Cup. Manchester United is now through to the quarterfinal stage of this season's Champions League. United has won a record FA Cups and has advanced to the semifinal round of this year's tournament.

Fans have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the match prior to the public on-sale as part of a three match ticket package which includes Manchester United, June 23 vs. the New York Red Bulls and October 15 vs. the San Jose Earthquakes. Three game ticket packages are available by phone at 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at www.SoundersFC.com. Single game tickets exclusively for the Manchester United match will go on-sale Wednesday, June 1.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Full Time Podcast - March 27

Full Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show has a new podcast up! Information here!

You can also subscribe to Full Time on iTunes! Click here!

It's another jam packed edition of Full Time as Tyler Green & Mike Martignago break down the Vancouver Whitecaps weekend loss to the Philadelphia Union. They also look ahead to next week's contest against Sporting Kansas City.

They are joined by Whitecaps broadcaster Paul Dolan to not only talk about everything Whitecaps but also to look ahead to the Canadian Men's International friendly against Belarus.

Marc Rizzardo from Metrotown Physio joins the show to break down all the injuries from the beautiful game.

The boys also run down the Umbro European scoreboard and recap all the games from Euro 2012 qualyfing this weekend.

You can follow Full Time on Twitter & Facebook!

Full Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show airs every Sunday night. 9p-11p. Only on TEAM 1040 Sports Radio!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Canada U-20 announces CONCACAF roster

Canada has announced its roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship in Ciudad Guatemala. With less than 48 hours before Canada's opening match, coach Valerio Gazzola has selected his 20-player roster for the competition. This CONCACAF championship serves as the official qualification route for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011.

Canada’s preliminary round matches are 28 March against Guadeloupe (18.00 local / 20.00 ET / 17.00 PT) and 1 April against Costa Rica (18.00 local / 20.00 ET / 17.00 PT). The quarter-final matches are 5-6 April, the semi-final matches are 8 April, and the match for third place and championship final are 10 April. All matches will be broadcast live on CONCACAF.com. Fans can also follow the Canadian matches live via twitter.com/CanadaSoccerEN.

"We are ready to challenge for a FIFA U-20 World Cup spot," said coach Gazzola. "The players are upbeat and ready to play."

The Canadian squad features two returning players from the last championship in 2009 - goalkeeper Julien Latendresse Lévesque and midfielder Ethan Gage. Both players came up through Canada's National Training Centres and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC residency program before joining pro clubs in Europe. Latendresse Lévesque now plays for FC Energie Cottbus in Germany while Gage plays for Reading FC in England.

Latendresse Lévesque has the added experience of representing Canada at a CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship in 2007. Six other players on the 2011 squad represented Canada in 2009 at the CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship, including 2009 captain Russell Teibert. While 2011 captain Gage is the reigning Canadian U-20 Player of the Year (2010), the young Teibert is a former two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year (2008, 2009).

Canadian clubs Impact Montréal, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are all represented by players either on the first team or academy/residency squad. Along with Canada, players on this squad come from clubs in Germany, England, Hungary, Uruguay and USA.

While Canada, Costa Rica and Guadeloupe make up Group C of the competition, Cuba, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago make up Group D. After the preliminary phase, the first- and second-place teams from each group will cross-over to meet in the quarter-final phase. CONCACAF Group A features Guatemala, Honduras and Jamaica while Group B features USA, Panama and Suriname. Winners of the quarter-final phase will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011.

The only exception to the FIFA qualification scenario will be if Guadeloupe wins its quarter-final match. While Guadeloupe is an associate member of CONCACAF and eligible to win a CONCACAF championship, it is not a FIFA member and cannot qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. As such, should Guadeloupe advance into the CONCACAF final four, the following qualification scenario for teams 5-8 (those teams that lose their quarter-final match) will determine the fourth FIFA qualifier:
1. The Quarter-Final loser which earned the most points in the Group Stage (Preliminary Round).
2. If more than one team is tied for the most number of points, then a drawing of lots will be used.

To date, Canada has qualified for seven FIFA U-20 World Cups, including five of the last seven biennial competitions. This year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 runs 29 July to 20 August.

CANADA1- GK- Julien Latendresse Lévesque | GER / FC Energie Cottbus
2- CB- Tristan Grant | URU / Club Nacional
3- M/F- Ben Fisk | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
4- CB/RB- Doneil Henry | CAN / Toronto FC
5- CB- Derrick Bassi | Unattached / sans club
6- M- Matt Stinson | CAN / Toronto FC
7- M- Russell Teibert | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
8- M- Ethan Gage | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC
9- F- Stefan Cebara | HUN / Zalaegerszegi TE
10- M- Jonathan Osorio | URU / Club Nacional
11- M- John Pegg | USA / San Diego State University
12- F- Justin Maheu | GER / Fortuna Düsseldorf
13- D- Andres Fresenga | URU / Racing Club de Montevideo
14- F- Coulton Jackson | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
15- F- Massimo Mirabelli | CAN / Portugal FC
16- RB/CB- Roger Thompson | USA / University of Cincinnati
17- F- Lucas Cavallini | URU / Club Nacional
18- GK- Jordan Santiago | ENG / Cardiff City FC
19- F- Jordan Ongaro | USA / San Diego State University
20- RB/CB- Francesco Augustin | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal

CANADAHead of Delegation / Chef de délegation : John Knox
Head Coach / Entraîneur-chef : Valerio Gazzola
Assistant Coach / Entraîneur adjoint : Michael Findlay
Assistant Coach / Entraîneur adjoint : Carmine Isacco
Goalkeeper Coach / Entraîneur des gardiens : Rafael Carbajal
Fitness Coach / Préparateur physique : Paolo Pacione
Team Manager / Gérant d’équipe : Les Meszaros
Equipment / Gérant de l'équipement : Davide DeDonato
Doctor / Docteur : Dr. Taryn Taylor
Athletic Therapist / Thérapeute du sport : David Blatz
Athletic Therapist / Thérapeute du sport : Mike Derkach

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Whitecaps FC Fall 1-0 to Union

CHESTER, PA - Playing their first-ever away match in Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered a 1-0 defeat at Eastern Conference club Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon.
Guatemalan international Carlos Ruiz's first goal for the Union gave Philadelphia their second-straight victory of the season, though Whitecaps FC will look to the sending off of striker Eric Hassli for a second bookable offence as the turning point at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. Forced to play with ten men for the last third of the game, Vancouver worked hard to try and claim an away point, but instead, fell to their first defeat as an MLS club.

"I thought we played quite well today," Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson said after the match. "However, to lose a man like we did in the second half, that had a huge influence on the game. With ten men, we couldn't keep the ball up the pitch as we would have liked and struggled to attack as well as we did earlier in the game. I'm not unhappy with the way we played, just with the result. We had better chances than them in the first half and should have scored on those chances."

Playing in their all-blue kit for the first time, Thordarson made four changes to the line-up that started last weekend's MLS debut win over Toronto FC. Joe Cannon made his competitive debut in place of Jay Nolly, while Blake Wagner came in at left fullback, with Alain Rochat moving to centre back for the absent Jay DeMerit. Greg Janicki also made his Vancouver MLS debut in place of Michael Boxall. There was also a first MLS start for Nizar Khalfan on the right-hand side of midfield for the injured Davide Chiumiento. Union head coach Peter Nowak, meanwhile, gave striker Danny Mwanga the start in place of midfielder Justin Mapp.

Sunshine and a stiff breeze in Delaware County greeted both sets of players in this first-ever home opener for the Union at PPL Park, with a sold-out crowd of 18,591 taking in Saturday's match. What they saw was a solid first-half display from Vancouver, who created the majority of the goalscoring opportunities.

The game's first chance came after just 12 seconds, with youngster Russell Teibert rolling a shot just wide, while Whitecaps FC stand-in captain Terry Dunfield had a fierce shot blocked in front of the home side's goal by Union defender Jordan Harvey on three minutes.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, struggled to create chances against a well-organized Whitecaps FC backline in the first half. The Union's best chances drew offside decisions on Sebastien Le Toux on 19 minutes and experienced MLS campaigner Ruiz just before the break.

It was also a very physical first 45 minutes, with match referee Yader Reyes issuing five yellow cards. This included bookings to the Vancouver pair of Hassli and Khalfan.

The half ended with the 'Caps testing Union captain Faryd Mondragon with shots from Khalfan, Gershon Koffie, and Atiba Harris. Those efforts did not affect the scoreline, as both sides went to halftime goalless.

With the match well poised at the start of the second half, there was more purpose to both teams' play when action resumed. In particular, Philadelphia tried to take command of the contest, but Ruiz and Le Toux were off-target with free-kick opportunities on 49 and 52 minutes respectively.

Then the moment that changed the match for both clubs. On 57 minutes, Hassli's late challenge on Union defender Carlos Valdes resulted in a second booking and a red card from referee Reyes, with Vancouver forced to play the remainder of the game a man down.

Hassli's red card not only made the visitors' quest to claim a result on the road more challenging, it gave Philadelphia a new lease on life, as Nowak's side proceeded to push forward in search of a winning goal.

Ruiz had two fine chances to break the deadlock for the Union. On 65 minutes, Cannon made a brilliant save from the Central American's overhead kick after a Kyle Nakazawa swung Philadelphia's first corner of the game into the Whitecaps FC box. Eight minutes later, Ruiz could not keep his close-range chest control and strike on target after Union substitute Roger Torres played a fine ball forward to the striker.

As the pressure mounted, the Union finally made the breakthrough on 77 minutes. Stefani Migliorani's shot was inadvertently headed into the path of Le Toux by Janicki on the right-hand side of Vancouver's goal. The former Seattle Sounders FC man quickly played a pass across the edge of the six-yard box to Ruiz, who beat a diving Cannon for Philadelphia's match winner.

The goal forced the ten men of Whitecaps FC to press forward in search of an equalizer, but despite their best efforts and more than three minutes of time added on, it was Philadelphia that celebrated a second MLS win with their home fans.

Whitecaps FC will return home for their next two MLS matches, beginning with next Saturday's game against Sporting Kansas City at Empire Field. Philadelphia, meanwhile, head to Southern California for a meeting with Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

Scoring summary:
77' – PHI – Carlos Ruiz (Sebastien Le Toux)

Match Stats:
Shots: Philadelphia 11 - Vancouver 6
Shots on Goal: Philadelphia 4 - Vancouver 3
Saves: Philadelphia 3 - Vancouver 3
Fouls: Philadelphia 17 - Vancouver 22
Corners: Philadelphia 3 - Vancouver 3
Offsides: Philadelphia 3 - Vancouver 2

Cautions:
25’ - VAN – Eric Hassli
26’ – PHI – Kyle Nakazawa
31’ – PHI – Danny Califf
35’ – PHI – Danny Mwanga
45+’ – VAN – Nizar Khalfan
48’ – VAN – Alain Rochat
57’ – VAN – Eric Hassli

Ejections:
57’ – VAN – Eric Hassli

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Joe Cannon; 25.Jonathan Leathers, 14.Greg Janicki, 4.Alain Rochat, 19.Blake Wagner; 16.Nizar Khalfan (23.Long Tan 88’), 7.Terry Dunfield, 28.Gershon Koffie, 31.Russell Teibert (8.Wes Knight 65’); 9.Atiba Harris (37.Camilo Sanvezzo 83’), 29.Eric Hassli

Subs not used: 24.Brian Sylvestre, 3.Bilal Duckett, 12.Jeb Brovsky, 32.Kevin Harmse

Philadelphia Union
1.Faryd Mondragon; 25.Sheanon Williams, 5.Carlos Valdes, 4.Danny Califf, 2.Jordan Harvey (19.Jack McInerney 67’); 7.Brian Carroll, 9.Sebastien Le Toux, 6.Stefani Migliorani, 13.Kyle Nakazawa (8.Roger Torres 67’); 20.Carlos Ruiz, 10.Danny Mwanga (15.Gabriel Farfan 83’)

Subs not used: 24.Thorne Holder, 11.Levi Houapeu, 12.Chris Agorsor, 21.Michael Farfan

Friday, March 25, 2011

Whitecaps FC v Union Match Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC play against the Philadelphia Union this weekend in their first MLS away game. The ‘Caps will wear their white strip and Philly will dress in a dark blue with gold trim kit. Both teams are undefeated to start the season. Vancouver beat Toronto at home 4-1 while the Union beat Houston Dynamo 1-0 in Houston. This is the first time these two teams have met one another.

The Whitecaps will be without captain Jay DeMerit, who is on international duty with the USA and they will play Argentina in a friendly on Saturday in New York. DeMerit could remain with the US Squad until the middle of next week. Michael Boxall is in China as his New Zealand squad will face the Chinese on Friday. Boxall returns to Vancouver, arriving on Saturday night.

DeMerit and Boxall are both Centrebacks. Greg Janicki will slide into the line-up in the middle of defense. The options of who will pair with Janicki include moving Alain Rochat into the centre to pair or with Janicki, have Bilal Duckett start the game in the centre back position or have Kevin Harmse who has just signed with the Whitecaps and is currently on his way to Philadelphia (and arrives around 5pm PT) will slot into the middle with Janicki. Harmse played the full 90 minutes in Vancouver’s 2-1 loss to San Jose on Tuesday in the reserve league match.

Russell Teibert has been battling a right quad injury and should be in the line-up for the weekend, playing about 60-65 minutes as agreed upon by head coach Teitur Thordarson and Canada U-20 National team coach Valero Gazzola. Davide Chiumiento is out of the line-up and did not travel with the team. His spot on the right side will likely be taken up by Nizar Khalfan.

Jay Nolly picked up a bit of a knock in training on Friday and is questionable to start. Should he not be able to play, Joe Cannon will get his first start for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Cannon was on the bench for San Jose’s 2-1 win over Philadelphia last season but has never played against the 2nd year side.

In addition, with the absense of Jay DeMerit, Vancouver native Terry Dunfield will captain his side and put on the armband for the Whitecaps in Philadelphia. And honour Dunfield is very proud of.

Tyler Green’s predicted starting line-up:
GK – Joe Cannon
D (R-L) – Jonathan Leathers, Kevin Harmse, Greg Janicki, Alain Rochat
M (L-R) – Nizar Khalfan, Terry Dunfield, Gershon Koffie, Russell Teibert
F – Atiba Harris, Eric Hassli

Although Vancouver and Philadelphia have limited MLS experience, Atiba Harris has been particularly good against Philadelphia. Harris has scored 2 goals and added an assist in 2 games played against the Union. Sebastien Le Toux is a familiar name to Whitecaps FC fans. In 2007 and 2008, Le Toux scored three goals in games against Vancouver while playing for Seattle Sounders in United Soccer Leagues First Division action

For the Union, it is their 2011 home opener. They are a 2nd year expansion team and made a variety of changes from last year. They are tough defenders and Sebastien Le Toux, who scored 15 goals last season, is expected to pick up where he left off. Joining him up front is Carlos Ruiz. Who has the talent to score, and has in the past, but not in recent years. Danny Mwanga, last years #1 pick also has a nose for the net, scoring 7 goals last season.

The Union’s goalkeeper Faryn Mondragon is the biggest wildcard. At 39, he’s getting up there in age, but remember, some of the best ‘keepers in the MLS are over 40. Kasey Keller in Seattle is 41 and Pat Onstad in DC is 43. He wore the captain’s armband last weekend and has over 20 years of international experience playing for Colombia, starting in 1992. He was a teammate of Andres Escobar on the ill-fated 1994 Colombian team, he did not play in a match during that World Cup, but was there and experienced it.

Injury Report:
PHILADELPHIA UNION - QUESTIONABLE: DF Danny Califf (L knee meniscus);
PROBABLE: DF Juan Diego González (L hip flexor strain) …
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC - OUT: MF Michael Nanchoff (groin strain);
DOUBTFUL: MF Shea Salinas (R knee sprain); MF John Thorrington (R quad
strain); MF Davide Chiumiento (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF
Russell Teibert (R hamstring strain)


Philadelphia Probable starters:
GK – Faryn Mondragon
D (R-L) – Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey
M (R-L – Stefani Miglioranzi, Brian Carroll, Justin Mapp
F (R-L) – Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz


Overall Record v Philadelphia Teams
Vancouver has never lots to a Philadelphia based soccer team going 4W-0L, going back to the NASL days.

Date       Opponent Result   Attend. Location Vancouver Scorers
74.06.23 Philadelphia Atoms 1-0 SOW   8,816 Vancouver
76.07.30 Philadelphia Atoms 3-1 W    2,285 Philadelphia Budd, S Lenarduzzi, Silvester
79.05.18 Philadelphia Fury     2-0 W 18,293 Vancouver Hector, Whymark
80.05.14 Philadelphia Fury     1-0 OTW 2,454 Philadelphia Kember

The match kick-off is at 1pm and the TEAM 1410 pregame show is set for 11am. You can hear the match on TEAM1410 on online at http://www.teamradio.ca/

Kevin Harmse Returns to the Whitecaps




VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that defender/midfielder Kevin Harmse has been signed to the club’s Major League Soccer (MLS) roster. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Kevin is a physical player with MLS experience," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "It is important to have local players on the team, and he's a Vancouver boy, who has played on the top level."

This will be Harmse's second stint in Vancouver after originally being drafted in the first tound (10th overall) by Whitecaps FC in the 2003 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) Draft. Prior to originally signing with Whitecaps FC, however, the product of Coquitlam, BC, played two matches with Norwegian Premier League club Tromsø Idrettslag.

Following his time in Norway, Harmse returned to Vancouver and made his Whitecaps FC USL-1 debut against Edmonton Aviators on April 30, 2004. The defender/midfielder finished the 2004 season with 12 appearances, one goal, and one assist. In 2005, Harmse appeared in 29 of Whitecaps FC's 32 games for 2,328 minutes of action, recording one assist in the process. Following his first spell in Vancouver, Harmse joined FC Nitra of the Slovakian Superliga, where he started 12 of his 13 appearances with the club.

“Being able to play where I grew up is very exciting,” said Harmse. “I never imagined professional soccer being like this in Vancouver. To be playing for the club in their first MLS year is a great opportunity for me.”

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 26-year-old also brings three seasons of MLS experience to Thordarson’s squad. The defender/midfielder began his MLS career with Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 before moving on to play two seasons for Toronto FC. Midway through the 2009 campaign, Harmse was acquired by Chivas USA. Following the season, he was traded to Houston Dynamo but departed the club prior to the start of the 2010 season.

Internationally, Harmse has made nine appearances for Canada, including the country's run to the semifinals of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound defender/midfielder also spent time with Canada's U-23 Olympic team, making five appearance and scoring two goals. At the U-20 level, Harmse represented Canada at the 2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, helping his country reach the quarterfinals before falling 2-1 in extra time to eventual champions Spain.

Harmse will join Thordarson’s squad in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday and will be available for selection for Whitecaps FC's first-ever away match in MLS, as the ‘Caps take on Eastern Conference side Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Saturday, March 26. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PT and is live on Rogers Sportsnet One, TEAM 1410 radio, and teamradio.ca. Fans can also watch Saturday's game, and all of Whitecaps FC's MLS matches this season, on their Bell mobile devices.

Kevin Harmse
Position: Defender/Midfielder
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Born: July 4, 1984, in Johannesburg, South Africa
Hometown: Coquitlam, British Columbia
Last Club: Houston Dynamo (MLS)
Citizenship: Canadian

Omar Salgado is Available For Selection





VANCOUVER, BC - Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that Omar Salgado, the first overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, is now available for selection. Salgado’s International Transfer Certificate was recently approved by FIFA, the Canadian Soccer Association, and the United States Soccer Federation.

“I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to my club on the field and I will continue working hard, so that I am ready when that day comes.” said Salgado.

The 6-foot-4 striker is currently in camp with the United States U-20 national team, as it prepares for the 2011 CONACAF U-20 Championship, which takes place March 28 to April 10 in Guatemala. The tournament will determine the four nations that will participate in this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

"Omar is a great talent and will be an important player to the club," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "To have the news that he will be able to play from this point on is great for us, as Omar has already showed us that he can play on this level. I'm delighted for him and the club.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whitecaps Training Notes - March 23

Whitecaps got back to training today with the full squad, minus some key players. More on that in a moment. The Whitecaps head to Philly tomorrow. As for today, they closed practice for the final half hour in order for some privacy as they get set for the Philadelphia Union. So things we did learn from the practice or post practice is:

Russell Teibert is expected to travel away with the team, and play (potentialy up to 65 minutes) then join up with the U20 Canada squad as they prepare for the CONCACAF U20 Championships. Canada is looking to qualify for the U20 World Cup this summer. Teibert could be a big part of that squad and if he is a regular with the 'caps, a huge plus for that Canadian squad. Teibert says he's feeling good. HIs comments can be heard by clicking here.

Shea Salinas will not travel with the team. Head coach Teitur Thordarson told the media it is highly unlikely he'd be included on the trip. His post training comments can be heard by clicking here.

Davide Chiumiento could travel. Teitur was not specific but said he could take 1 or 2 extra guys on the trip just in case. (TG note: I would keep Davide in Vancouver to fully recover. The season is early on and no use in risking one of your top players to an extended stay on the injured list)

Jay DeMerit will likely make the US squad, which is announced tomorrow (Thursday), but if he doesn't, DeMerit will meet the team in Philly and would likely slot in on Saturday. Greg Janicki will start at the CB position with either Alain Rochat, Bilal Duckett or DeMerit or some other random possibility.


Terry Dunfield will captain the side with the absense of both DeMerit and other alternate captain John Thorrington. Dunfield is honoured and he will be a part of the Captains Comments on TEAM 1410 during the pre-match show on Saturday. That starts at 11am, while kickoff is at 1pm.

Check out Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show on the TEAM 1040 on Sunday at 9pm for a full recap of the Whitecaps v Union match on Saturday. You can also subscribe to the Full-Time podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chiumiento and Hassli make MLS Team of the Week




VANCOUVER, BC - After two outstanding performances, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced today that midfielder Davide Chiumiento and striker Eric Hassli have been named to the league's 'Team of the Week'.
The former Swiss Super League standouts made their MLS debuts in grand fashion by leading Whitecaps FC to a memorable 4-2 victory over Canadian arch-rivals Toronto FC at a sold-out Empire Field. Chiumiento set up a pair of goals, while Hassli scored twice.

The duo combined to make history when Hassli - the club’s first Designated Player - struck home the first MLS goal in franchise history after a fine cross in from Chiumiento.

Chiumiento also engineered the team’s second goal of the match, making a darting run up field before playing a beautiful through ball to Terry Dunfield to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.

Hassli then put the game out of reach in the 72nd minute when he raced down the field to finish off a feed from Wes Knight.

Joining Hassli as the week’s best forwards are Colorado Rapids striker Omar Cummings and Sporting Kansas City forward Omar Bravo, while Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman, New York Red Bulls' Teemu Tainio, and Los Angeles Galaxy's Juninho join Chiumiento on the list of selected midfielders. FC Dallas’ Zach Lloyd, Seattle Soundrs FC’s Jeff Parke, and Philadelphia Union’s Danny Califf round out the defence, while Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando was named the team's goalkeeper.

Whitecaps FC's next match is their first-ever away game in MLS, as they travel to Chester, Pennsylvania, to take on Eastern Conference side Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Saturday, March 26. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PT and is live on Rogers Sportsnet One, TEAM 1410 radio, and teamradio.ca. Fans can also watch Saturday's game, and all of Whitecaps FC's MLS matches this season, on their mobile devices through Bell

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sounders FC News & Notes - March 21, 2011




Sounders FC Seeks Fresh Start, First Win Versus Houston
FC returns home to face the Houston Dynamo under the Friday night lights. Kickoff is 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, and Fox Soccer will televise the match live.

If building anticipation makes for more euphoric celebration, Sounders FC (0-2-0) is due to send its already big and boisterous crowd into a frenzy. Seattle has applied plenty of attacking pressure in its first two outings only to come up empty handed in 1-nil losses to last season's conference champions, L.A. and New York.

It was a winter cold spell to which the Rave Green and its supporters are unaccustomed, having been unbeaten and un-scored upon previously in the month of March.

Houston (0-1-0), easily recognizable for its orange attire, has already played a few memorable matches against the Rave Green in a series which stands all square at 2-2-2 in MLS regular season and postseason play. It was against the Dynamo that Sounders FC secured its first comeback win in 2009, then just days later, a berth in its first U.S. Open Cup final with an extra time victory in the tournament semifinal. Houston extracted some revenge in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs, winning the aggregate series on an extra-time goal by former USL-1 Sounders striker Brian Ching.

Friday's match will be called by Arlo White on 97.3 KIRO FM and it can also be heard on La Gran D 99.3 FM.

Sounders FC travels to the Bay Area to face the San Jose Earthquakes on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. before hosting the Chicago Fire in its first afternoon game on April 9. Tickets are available at www.SoundersFC.com and by calling 877-MLS-GOAL.

· Reinforcements on the Way: Zakuani, Jaqua, Evans & Noonan on the Mend
· Youth Movement: Seattle Starts Six Players Ages 25 and Under
· Home Remedy: Rave Green Has Rebounded at Home in the Past
· Goals, Glorious Goals: Celebrations Await First Goals of 2011
· Life, Final Season Begins at 41: Penalty Save Just the Latest Keller Lore
· Montero, Jaqua Excel Against the Dynamo
· Argentine Midfielder Mauro Rosales Joins Seattle
· Midfielder Miguel Montaño Re-Signs, Keeper Josh Ford Signs
· Reserve League Schedule Announced
· Sounders FC Announces TV and Radio Schedule
· Throw-ins: Riley Surpasses 150

Reinforcements on the Way
Whereas the winter yielded little, spring promises much to those clad in green. Between offseason surgeries and injuries sustained in preseason, Seattle has been without several key performers so far. Winger Steve Zakuani, last year's co-scoring leader with 10 goals, missed the New York match and was less than full throttle against L.A. because of hip injury but figures to be back against Houston.

Among those who may also be available for selection are forward Nate Jaqua (hip), and midfielders Brad Evans (hamstring) and Pat Noonan (hip). Jaqua scored nine goals and nine assists in 2009, his last full season. Evans started 39 of the franchise's first 43 matches, and Noonan has scored 41 career goals. Central defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado has started and gone the full 90 in each of the first two games. Hurtado, a finalist for 2009 Defender of the Year, had missed the final 20 matches of 2010 with a torn ACL.

Youth Movement
Much like its nucleus of players, Sounders FC is a young club, learning, maturing and moving forward with each match. It's a formula which can produce a winning combination and solid foundation for years to come. But before that there can also come times of frustration.

In the first two matches its starting compliment of midfielders and forwards consisted entirely of players ages 25 and under: Osvaldo Alonso (25), Servando Carrasco (22), Alvaro Fernandez (25), Erik Friberg (25), Fredy Montero (23), O'Brian White (25) and Steve Zakuani (23). The group's average number of career MLS matches is 31.6 games. The youth movement extends beyond the starting XI; Sigi Schmid has brought off his bench both Lamar Neagle (23/2 MLS games) and Miguel Montano (19/7). Carrasco, Friberg and Neagle made their MLS debuts last week.

Home Remedy
Backed by the best and most plentiful fans in America, Sounders FC is coming to the best ground to turn things around. Only once has Seattle lost consecutive home matches and altogether its record on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field is 15-7-9, with a plus-16 goals differential. Since July 25 of last season, the club is 5-1-1 at home, the Galaxy loss having snapped a seven-game unbeaten run. Houston has yet to win in Seattle, going 0-3-1, including playoffs and cup ties.

It's How You Finish
While it's unwanted, the slow start can all be forgotten over the next 32 matches if Seattle finishes strong. In the magical first season, Sounders FC got off the mark with three straight wins. Last year it went 1-1-1. In both cases Seattle qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs but was eliminated in the first round. In each of those seasons the team that eventually raised the MLS Cup was a slow starter: Real Salt Lake began 3-6-3 in 2009 and Colorado went 3-3-1 in 2010.

Wanted: Goals, Glorious Goals
To capture the three points, of course, you must first put the ball in the net, and no one can argue that Sounders FC has not created its share of opportunities. Seattle has fired 21 shots, including 11 on goal and another against the frame. Historically, when the Rave Green gets on the scoresheet it is 26-6-12. The consecutive shutouts are the first in 21 games and there has only been one stretch of three consecutive scoreless games, that ending on August 8, 2009. In the three previous instances of consecutive games held scoreless, Sounders FC has ended the string by scoring multiple goals with an average of 2.3.

Life, Final Season Begins at 41
Off to an auspicious start this season is veteran backstop Kasey Keller. Now in his 20th and final professional season, Keller's string of shot-stopping feats seems to know no end. He made three full-stretch stops last week, including a saved penalty kick off New York's Thierry Henry. It was the second MLS penalty save for Keller, who at age 40 last season earned MLS Save of the Year and MLS All-Star accolades. Opponents have missed four of nine penalties against him overall. Now 41, he has started 61 of the team's 62 matches (57 in a row), posting 21 shutouts and allowing only 1.04 goals per game. Keller's first MLS assist came against Houston last season.

Excelling Against Houston
Some Sounders FC players have fared quite well in previous Houston matchups. Seattle's career scoring king Fredy Montero has scored the opening goal in both MLS home wins over the Dynamo, including a quick turn and finish from Keller's punt to put the Rave Green ahead in last year's 2-nil victory. Nate Jaqua, who played two seasons for Houston, delivered a last-minute, game-tying goal against his former team in the 2009 Open Cup semifinal and also scored in a 1-1 draw in Texas later that season. Patrick Ianni, another former Dynamo, scored the spectacular overhead winner at home in 2009 and Alvaro Fernandez opened his MLS scoring account with a late goal at home in 2010.

Beach Championships Begin in Brazil
The Beach Soccer Club World Cup are underway in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Sounders FC is battling to finish among the top four of its group to qualify for the knockout stage.

Seattle can clinch a place in Thursday's quarterfinals with either a draw or win against Brazil's Santos on Tuesday. Sounders FC earned its first win, 4-0 over Sporting Portugal, on Monday. Osmar Moreira put the Rave Green ahead in the second minute. Morerira and Francisco Cati each scored twice while keeper Nico Jung posted the shutout.

In its first game Seattle was beaten, 3-2, by Russia's Lokomotiv Moscow. Francisco Velasquez and Yuri Morales scored. On Sunday, Brazil's Corinthians edged Sounders FC on penalties (2-1) after the match ended 2-2. Seattle had taken a 2-nil lead on early goals from Morales and Cati.

Sounders FC is third in Group A with three points. Semifinal games will be played on Friday and the championship match on Saturday.

Series Notes
Sounders FC last met the Houston Dynamo in the 2011 preseason in Orlando. Seattle used two second-half goals to come-from-behind and draw with the Dynamo, 2-2, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on February 22. Fredy Montero converted a penalty kick after O'Brian White was fouled in the box and rookie Michael Tetteh netted the equalizer in the 70th minute. Cam Weaver and Brian Ching scored for Houston.

The sides are even at 2-2-2 in MLS regular season and postseason play. Next to the L.A. Galaxy, Sounders FC has played no opponent more than Houston (seven times in its first two seasons, including playoffs and cup). In 2010, Montero and Alvaro Fernandez scored in a 2-nil victory at Qwest Field while James Riley's goal wasn't enough in the second meeting when Seattle lost, 2-1, at Houston. The goal marked Riley's first tally since 2005 and he also assisted on Nate Jaqua's equalizer in 2009. Houston bounced Seattle from the 2009 MLS Cup playoffs behind Brian Ching's extra time goal and Seattle ousted Houston, 2-1, in the 2009 U.S. Open Cup.

Biggest Crowd Yet for First Kick
Sounders FC fans have filled the seats for 33 consecutive MLS regular season and postseason matches, and the gathering of 36,433 for First Kick 2011 versus the Galaxy was the biggest yet. Seattle again led the league in 2010, breaking its own attendance record by averaging 36,173.

Sounders FC Top Attendances
The top 10 attendances are as follows:
66,848 August 5, 2009 Seattle v Barcelona (friendly)
65,289 July 18, 2009 Seattle v Chelsea (friendly)
45,631 July 18, 2010 Seattle v Celtic (friendly)
41,047 October 12, 2010 Seattle v Chivas Guadalajara (friendly)
40,122 May 26, 2010 Seattle v Boca Juniors (friendly)
36,433 March 15, 2011 Seattle v Los Angeles
36,386 August 28, 2010 Seattle v Chicago
36,344 June 5, 2010 Seattle v New England
36,333 July 25, 2010 Seattle v Colorado
36,273 May 8, 2010 Seattle v Los Angeles

*46,011 November 22, 2009 MLS Cup (Real Salt Lake v L.A.)

About Houston
The Dynamo opened the 2011 MLS season with a 1-nil home loss to Philadelphia Union on Saturday. A goal by the visitors in the 5th minute proved to be the game-winner despite Houston's 14-7 advantage on shots (3-4 on goal).

In 2010, Houston missed the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since moving to Texas in 2006. The summer months proved challenging as the club went on a 10-game winless stretch (0-6-4) from May to August, followed by a four-game losing streak in September. Overall, Houston won just two games from May 22 to October 16 but ended the season with two straight wins. Last season, the Dynamo went 3-9-3 away from home with a -13 goal differential. The team ranked among MLS' top five in goals (5th with 38) and corner kicks (3rd with 152) in 2010.

Dynamo Notables
Houston's offense featured a balanced attack in 2010 with 15 different goal-scorers. Brian Ching, who missed the 2011 season opener with a hamstring injury, led the team with seven goals last season and scored on Seattle in preseason play. All-Star midfielder Brad Davis finished with 12 assists in 2010 (top five in MLS) and his five goals were second-most on the team. Forward Dominic Oduro emerged as a scoring threat with five goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Tally Hall made three saves on Saturday night. Hall started five games in 2010, posting one shutout with a 1.6 goals against average. He has just one win in his first six league starts, allowing nine goals. Backup keeper Tyler Deric, 22, was in net the last time the two teams met. Aside from Ching, Colin Clark (knee) and Francisco Navas Cobo (hamstring) were held out of Saturday's match.

SEA/HOU Connections
Houston features several personalities with Northwest ties, including two former A-League/USL-1 Sounders. Forward Cam Weaver was the Sounders' top scorer in 2005 as a rookie out of Seattle University. Weaver had helped the Redhawks win the NCAA Division II championship in 2004. Forward Brian Ching starred at Gonzaga and made the all-league team with the Sounders in 2002. Mike Chabala played his collegiate career at Washington. Goalkeeper Tally Hall is a native of Gig Harbor, Washington. Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo head coach, played for the Sounders' 1995 A-League championship team.

Two members of Sounders FC came north from Houston during the 2009 offseason. Nate Jaqua played parts of two seasons for the Dynamo, scoring 10 goals and six assists in 29 regular season appearances during 2007 and 2008. Jaqua, who came to Sounders FC via the expansion draft, scored two game-tying goals against the Dynamo in 2009. His 89th minute goal in the July 21 U.S. Open Cup semifinal sent the match into extra time and he also scored the 70th minute equalizer in an MLS meeting on August 23, 2009.

Patrick Ianni was obtained in a January 26 trade for a conditional pick in the 2010 SuperDraft. Ianni spent his first three pro seasons wearing orange, making 35 league appearances for the Dynamo from 2006-08. He scored the game-winner on a second-half overhead kick in a 2-1 Seattle home win on July 11, 2009.

Recap: Sounders FC 0, L.A. Galaxy 1 - March 15 - Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field
Juninho scored in the second half to give the Galaxy the win in MLS First Kick 2011. It was Seattle's third straight year being featured in the First Kick matchup, of which it had won both previous openers.

Fans contributed over $22,000 to the American Red Cross for Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief.

Sounders FC dropped its first home opener since entering the league in 2009 and fourth straight loss to L.A. in MLS regular season and postseason play.

The Galaxy got the game-winner in the 58th minute when, following a change of possession at midfield, Todd Dunivant fed Juninho and the young Brazilian fired a shot off the outstretched hands of Kasey Keller and into the back of the net from 20 yards out.

It was a match in which Seattle saw plenty of chances but could not finish. Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders made six saves on 11 Sounders FC shots.

Seattle almost equalized several times in the second half. In the 61st minute, Osvaldo Alonso sailed an open shot over the goal from the top of the box.O'Brian White narrowly missed from short range in the 72nd when he attempted to redirect a Steve Zakuani cross into the net but couldn't sneak it in the left corner of the goal. White led Sounders FC with four shots, the other three in the first half, two of which were on goal.

Fredy Montero had two of his three shots in the first half. In the ninth minute, he fired from outside the box but Saunders blocked it. A second attempt in the 32nd minute off an Alonso corner kick allowed Montero a chance from 10 yards but again Saunders saved.Erik Friberg was able to control a deflected Los Angeles clearance in the 43rd minute, only to miss the right corner from 18 yards.

L.A. registered 10 shots, with two on goal as Keller made one save on the night.

Recap: Sounders FC 0, New York Red Bulls 1 - March 19 - Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Juan Agudelo scored the game's lone goal with 20 minutes remaining as Seattle fell for the first time in New York.

Agudelo, 18, netted the winner in the 70th minute when he chased down a long ball from Teemu Tainio, shrugged off a challenge and struck it with the outside of his right foot and into the side netting. It was Agudelo's first career MLS goal.

Seattle conceded a penalty kick in the 8th minute after Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was whistled for a tackle on Agudelo in the box. Thierry Henry stepped up to the spot and hit a low strike to the right corner. Kasey Keller dived to his right and deflected the ball across the endline for a corner kick.

It was Keller's second penalty save in MLS play. He last saved a penalty kick against Real Salt Lake on September 9, 2010.

Sounders FC had several scoring opportunities, nearly equalizing in second-half stoppage time. Fredy Montero swung a free kick into the box that forced a save from goalkeeper Greg Sutton and Lamar Neagle's rebound attempt missed high.

Montero played a give-and-go with Alvaro Fernandez in the 39th minute but Montero's hard shot from the right side was blocked by Sutton.

Just before the halftime whistle, Montero beat a New York defender in the box but his shot from the endline hit the outside of the right post.

A pair of Sounders made their MLS debuts on Saturday night. Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales, who signed with the club on Friday, replaced Fernandez in the 68th minute and rookie Servando Carrasco, Seattle's third selection (27th overall) in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, started at central midfield.

Argentine Midfielder Mauro Rosales Joins Seattle
Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales signed and was added to the roster on the eve of the New York match and made his MLS debut against the Red Bulls. He first joined Sounders FC in late February during the club's preseason training in Florida.

Rosales, 30, has been capped 10 times (one goal) by Argentina and was a member of the gold-medal winning team at the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2001 FIFA U20 World Cup and the 2004 Copa America runners-up. He played the past four years for Buenos Aires giants River Plate.

Rosales scored 39 goals in 234 league matches for Newell's Old Boys, Ajax and River Plate.

Rosales has played nearly 400 matches over all competitions in South America and Europe. He was a member of two Ajax teams which twice won the Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup. Rosales played for River Plate when Los Millonarios claimed the 2008 Argentine Clausura.

Midfielder Miguel Montaño Re-Signs, Keeper Josh Ford Signs
Prior to First Kick Sounders FC made two roster moves, re-signing midfielder Miguel Montaño and signing goalkeeper Josh Ford. Montaño returns for his second season and Ford was Seattle's first pick and 11th overall in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft.

Montaño, 19, was first acquired by Sounders FC on loan from Argentina's Quilmes on April 30, 2010. He is the youngest player to appear in an MLS match for Seattle, making his debut against the L.A. Galaxy on May 8. He went on to appear in six league games, starting one, and collected two assists in U.S. Open Cup play. He contributed three assists during the 2011 preseason. Montaño appeared in 12 competitive matches altogether and also made his first appearance for the Colombia Under-20 National Team in 2010.

Ford 23, was a four-year starter at the University of Connecticut. He was named the 2010 Big East Goalkeeper of the Year and also earned first team College Soccer News All-American and All-Big East first team honors as a senior. Ford holds the Huskies' school record for career shutouts (50), consecutive starts (85) and wins (54).

Reserve League Schedule Announced
Major League Soccer is re-launching its Reserve League this year. The MLS Reserve League will provide essential developmental opportunities to players and is made possible by the growth of first team rosters from 24 in 2010 to 30 players in 2011. MLS clubs previously fielded reserve sides from 2005 through 2008, benefiting players such as 2010 Budweiser Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski (San Jose), Omar Cummings, Jeff Larentowicz, and Kosuke Kimura of the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids.

The new MLS Reserve League will be split into East, Central, and West divisions with teams facing each divisional opponent twice for a total of 10 games per team. Clubs may schedule additional games for their reserve squads against non-MLS opponents. The games featuring two MLS reserve teams begin March 20 and conclude October 16.

Seattle Sounders FC will play its first Reserve League game at San Jose on April 3. Seattle is scheduled to play five home matches at Starfire Stadium. The first home date is May 9 against Chivas USA. Sounders FC will also host the Portland Timbers (May 15), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (June 7), L.A. Galaxy (June 13) and the San Jose Earthquakes (October 11). The team's complete Reserve League schedule is at SoundersFC.com.

Sounders FC Announces TV and Radio Schedule
Sounders FC has announced the complete TV and radio schedule for the 2011 season, including 10 national television broadcasts.

All Sounders FC Major League Soccer (MLS) league matches not aired nationally will be carried live in high definition on KING-5 or KONG-6/16 with Arlo White calling the action. White returns for his second season as the "Voice of the Sounders FC" after spending the previous nine years with BBC Radio Sport in England. Former University of Washington soccer captain Erin Mayovsky joins the Sounders FC broadcast team, serving as sideline reporter and also providing pregame and halftime commentary. KING-5's Chris Egan hosts the Sounders FC pregame and halftime shows with Alan Hinton and Peter Fewing supplying insight. All locally broadcast matches will also be aired either live outside of Seattle or on a delayed basis throughout Northwest on FSN/ROOT SPORTS™ (Comcast channels 627 & 30).

KONG-TV airs Sounders FC Weekly every Sunday at 10:35 p.m., with the third season premier on Sunday, March 20. Andrea Nakano goes in-depth to bring fans all the news and insights on the team. Fans have the opportunity to submit questions to their favorite players on www.King5.com.

Ten Sounders FC Spanish language TV matches will be aired on THIS-TV/KOMO 4.2, Comcast channel 114, a Univision sister station. Play-by-play will be provided by Univision Seattle's Jamie Mendez. Joining him for color commentary and providing unique insight will be former USL Sounder Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar. Alcaraz-Cuellar provides six years of professional soccer experience in the Pacific Northwest.

News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM will carry 33 out of 34 matches on radio, including an increased one-hour postgame show on select matches with host Matt Johnson and analyst Jimmy Gabriel.

All 34 matches will be carried live on Spanish radio, with 27 on La Gran D 99.3 FM and seven broadcasted on ESPN Deportes. Rene Aleman, Noe Menendez and Victor Hernandez call the action for La Gran D 99.3 FM.

Throw-ins
A year ago on March 25, Sounders FC opened the 2010 MLS season by beating Philadelphia Union, 2-0...Right back James Riley played in his 150th career game against L.A...Back to back 29th birthdays this week: Jeff Parke on Wednesday, March 23, and assistant coach/scout Kurt Schmid on Thursday, March 24...David Estrada will be signing autographs and taking pictures at Seattle Bank in Bellevue (11120 NE 33rd Pl. Bellevue, WA 98004) on Tuesday, March 22 from 4-5 p.m. Fans can take photos and upload them to display on their debit cards...Patrick Ianni will be at the "Soccer Dreams" book launch event at Elliott Bay Books (Capitol Hill) on Sunday, March 27 from 1-2 p.m. "Soccer Dreams" is a children's book based on Sounders FC. A portion of the proceeds will be allocated to provide scholarships to local youth for the Sounders FC camps.

Whitecaps FC-Toronto FC Season Opener on TSN is the Most-Watched MLS Game Ever on Canadian television

Toronto, ON (March 21, 2011) – TSN scores a record audience in its inaugural game as the official broadcaster of Major League Soccer in Canada. The highly-anticipated Vancouver Whitecaps FC–Toronto FC season opening game on Saturday attracted an average audience of 289,000 viewers on TSN – making it the most watched MLS game ever on Canadian television.

The audience for the first-ever meeting between two Canadian MLS teams surpassed the previous MLS audience high set for a Toronto FC-Columbus Crew game in 2009 (261,000 viewers).

TSN’s audience for the historic game on Saturday was 53% higher than the Toronto FC’s broadcast debut on conventional television last season (April 25, 2010).

Overall, close to 1.4 million unique viewers tuned in at some point to TSN’s MLS coverage on a highly competitive day in sports broadcasting.

Playing in their first-ever MLS match, the Whitecaps FC defeated their Canadian rivals 4-2 in an entertaining game in front of a sold-out crowd at Empire Field in Vancouver.

TSN’s MLS coverage was led by play-by-play commentator Luke Wileman and colour analyst Jason deVos.

MLS ON TSN coverage continues with the Toronto FC home opener against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET live on TSN.

In total, TSN and TSN2 will broadcast 24 MLS regular season matches this year featuring Toronto FC and/or Vancouver Whitecaps FC, plus an additional 25 games showcasing non-Canadian clubs. TSN is also the official Canadian broadcaster of the MLS ALL-STAR GAME, MLS CUP playoff games and the highly-anticipated MLS CUP.

Whitecaps FC Training Notes - March 21, 2011

The Vancouver Whitecaps FC were back at training this afternoon as they prepare for the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. The 'Caps called up a few residency players to train with the group today. Those players along with some veterens will head to San Jose for the reserve game match tomorrow. Among the vets going, Joe Cannon will start in goal as he is trying to get back to fitness and will play on the same pitch that he broke his ankle at last season. Cannon speaks about the match tomorrow here. Kevin Harmse is on trial and will get a good look from the Whitecaps as the 'caps look to solidify a few positions and get guys some action. Harmse could potentially be a guy the Whitecaps look at to fill their need at centre back this weekend. Harmse is a versatile player that could fill a number of roles.

With the main squad, the Whitecaps will go against Philly on Saturday without the services of Jay DeMerit and Michael Boxall. DeMerit is with the US National Team while Boxall is headed to play for New Zealand against China. Boxall spoke about his bittersweet call-up here.The 'Caps now have one healthy centre back (Greg Janicki) in the line-up against Philly. They could move Alain Rochat to the middle and slide Blake Wagner onto that left side. Or the Whitecaps could sign Kevin Harmse and sit him at centre back with Janicki. Audio in the on-air folder of head coach Teitur Thordarson, who said they have some decisions to make. Hear Thorardson's comments by clicking here.

The Whitecaps could also be without their starting outside midfielders, Russell Teibert and Davide Chiumiento, both left Saturday's match with right hamstring injuries. Teibert is receiving treatment and will remain with the club for a few days. The 'Caps will decide what is best for him. He could play in the match on Saturday before reporting to Canada's under 20 squad. Chiumiento is also revieving treatment and depending on how he recovers could see action on Saturday aswell.
Injury boost as Shea Salinas, who today said he'll be 100% by weeks end as really wants to play against Philly, the team that put him in the expansion draft. He said he felt let down by the way the Union left him unprotected after telling him they were definitely protecting him. So he wants a little revenge. He could slot in the right side if Chiumiento can't go.

Tomorrow, the 'Caps will hold another training session at Empire Field.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Whitecaps FC 4 - 2 Toronto FC




VANCOUVER, BC - Playing in their first-ever match in Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC defeated Canadian arch-rivals Toronto FC 4-2 in the first-ever meeting between two Canadian MLS clubs on Bell Pitch at Empire Field on Saturday afternoon.

Designated Player Eric Hassli endeared himself to his new fans with two goals for the Blue and White, while Vancouver native Terry Dunfield and Expansion Draft pick Atiba Harris also found the scoresheet on another historic day for the 'Caps. Captain Dwayne De Rosario and Brazilian striker Maicon Santos replied for Toronto FC, but it was not enough to ruin Vancouver's special moment on the Pacific National Exhibition grounds in East Vancouver.

"We couldn't have asked for a better start to our life in MLS," a delighted Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson said after Saturday's season opener. "We scored four goals and created a lot of chances. We could have possibly scored some more goals, but to win 4-2 in our very first MLS game is a dream come true. I'm extremely happy with the players and with the team. I think we kept a good shape all the time, were disciplined, and worked extremely hard."

Both Thordarson and TFC head coach Aron Winter were making their MLS coaching debuts on Saturday. Vancouver started New Zealand international Michael Boxall alongside captain Jay DeMerit in the centre of their backline, while Davide Chiumiento and Russell Teibert started in the wide midfield positions. Harris and Hassli partnered each other in the 'Caps attack. TFC's 4-3-3 formation, meanwhile, was missing injured Canadian international Julian de Guzman.

With spring sunshine and a sold-out crowd of 22,592 generating plenty of excitement on this opening day, the first half did not disappoint the fans in attendance at Empire - nor soccer fans listening on the radio or watching on television across Canada. They saw was a pulsating first 45 minutes, with the home side making a valuable first impression.

As it was Vancouver's MLS baptism, it may have been little surprise to the home fans that the 'Caps looked a bit nervy in the opening exchanges, with goalkeeper Jay Nolly needing to make early saves from De Rosario, Dutchman Nick Soolsma, and Jacob Peterson.

Whitecaps FC's response lifted the crowd, with the talented Chiumiento forcing a corner with a deflected shot in front of Toronto FC's goal on eight minutes, while former FC Zurich players Alain Rochat and Hassli teamed up to create a chance for Vancouver, with Hassli's shot blocked away for another 'Caps corner. It was a sign of big things to come.

On 15 minutes, the moment that all Whitecaps FC fans had been waiting for arrived, as Hassli scored the club's first-ever goal in MLS. Terry Dunfield played a ball down the right flank to Chiumiento. The Swiss international's first-time cross deflected into the path of Hassli by strike partner Harris. Unmarked, the Frenchman's half-volley hit the inside of the far post and flew past TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei to make it 1-0 and send the home fans into raptures.

While celebrations could be seen throughout Empire, TFC quickly silenced the crowd with an equalizer from their talisman De Rosario five minutes later. Santos played a fine through ball to the Reds captain, who got behind Boxall. His right-footed finish flew past Nolly to make it 1-1. The goal was also historical for MLS, as it was the league's 8,000th goal of all time.

Yet, TFC's leveller was only a brief bit of disappointment for 'Caps fans. After Boxall almost made amends with a close-range header from a Teibert free kick, local hero Dunfield restored Vancouver's lead with a tight-angle finish on 26 minutes. Chiumiento came off his right flank and slipped a fine through ball to his fellow midfielder in the TFC box. Dunfield made no mistake to beat a helpless Frei for 2-1.

Chiumiento and Harris had more chances before the break, while Peterson forced a routine save from Nolly with an unchallenged header in the five minutes of time added on.

Thordarson replaced the entertaining Chiumiento with Nizar Khalfan after the Swiss playmaker had picked up a knock before halftime. To his credit, the Tanzanian international made a fine substitute appearance in what proved to be a more commanding Whitecaps FC performance in the second half, as Vancouver worked hard to extend their lead after the restart.

On 63 minutes, Harris made the breakthrough with Vancouver's third goal and his first competitive strike for the Blue and White. Teibert's corner from the right struck TFC defender Dan Gargan in the legs before landing nicely for Harris. With the visitors struggling to defend the set-piece, the former FC Dallas forward struck home for a 3-1 'Caps advantage.

That lead nearly increased three minutes later after Teibert sent Harris in on a breakaway, but Frei did well to block the St Kitts and Nevis international's goal-bound strike. The youngster Teibert had a sensational MLS debut, but a knock meant his day ended on 69 minutes, with Wes Knight replacing the talented Canadian teenager.

Knight did not take long to make an impact. On 72 minutes, more flowing play from the 'Caps saw Harris send Knight through after the substitute beat TFC's offside trap. In alone on Frei, the former College of Charleston standout unselfishly passed to a streaking Hassli, who finished with aplomb for his second goal of the match and a 4-1 Vancouver lead.

As Whitecaps FC fans seemed already assured that victory was theirs, Santos completed the scoring with a blistering finish for TFC two minutes later. The Brazilian's right-footed strike from the edge of Vancouver's box flew past a diving Nolly for take it 4-2.

Though matters were still a bit in the balance, De Rosario could not start a TFC comeback with an off-target free kick on 77 minutes. As the match entered four minutes of time added on, Whitecaps FC fans rose to their feet to salute their heroes on the pitch, with Thordarson's side proudly responding in kind at the final whistle.

With their first match under their belts, Whitecaps FC will now look ahead to their first-ever away match in MLS, as they visit Eastern Conference side Philadelphia Union next Saturday. Toronto FC now head home for their next league match, as they host Vancouver's MLS expansion cousins Portland Timbers at BMO Field next Saturday.

Scoring Summary:
15' - VAN - Eric Hassli (Atiba Harris)
20' - TOR - Dwayne De Rosario (Maicon Santos)
26' - VAN - Terry Dunfield (Davide Chiumiento)
64' - VAN - Atiba Harris
72' - VAN - Eric Hassli (Wes Knight)
74' - TOR - Maicon Santos (Gianluca Zavarise)

Match Stats:
Shots: Vancouver 18 - Toronto 11
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 10 - Toronto 8
Saves: Vancouver 6 - Toronto 6
Fouls: Vancouver 12 - Toronto 5
Corners: Vancouver 12 - Toronto 1
Offsides: Vancouver 2 - Toronto 1

Cautions:
27' - VAN - Terry Dunfield
31' - TOR - Nathan Sturgis
39' - VAN - Atiba Harris
44' - TOR - Dan Gargan
50' - VAN - Eric Hassli

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Jay Nolly; 25.Jonathan Leathers, 6.Jay DeMerit, 2.Michael Boxall, 4.Alain Rochat; 20.Davide Chiumiento (16.Nizar Khalfan 45'), 28.Gershon Koffie, 7.Terry Dunfield, 31.Russell Teibert (8.Wes Knight 69'); 9.Atiba Harris, 29.Eric Hassli (37.Camilo 83')

Subs not used: 1.Joe Cannon, 12.Jeb Brovsky, 14.Greg Janicki, 23.Long Tan

Toronto FC
24.Stefan Frei; 8.Dan Gargan, 20.Ty Harden, 3.Nana Attakora, 12.Adrian Cann; 11.Nathan Sturgis (28.Gianluca Zavarise 69'), 14.Dwayne De Rosario, 23.Jacob Peterson (19.Mikael Yourassowsky 71'); 33.Javier Martina, 29.Maicon Santos, 18.Nick Soolsma (13.Keith Makubuya 45')

Subs not used: 5.Ashtone Morgan, 16.Oscar Gordon, 26.Matt Gold, 30.Milos Kocic

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whitecaps v TFC Matchday Info







THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE THE MATCH

Tickets: Your ticket for the March 19 match is attached to your season ticket holder scarf. DO NOT REMOVE / DISCARD this sticker. You will not gain entry to Empire Field without the ticket/sticker.

Getting There: TransLink has significantly boosted service linking to Empire Field on match day, we recommend you consider transit when planning your trip to the match.
>Transportation information

Drums: Five thousand drums will be handed out to season ticket holders in various locations of Empire Field before the match begins. Drums will only be given to season ticket holders wearing a season ticket holder scarf. Quantities are limited so get there early to make sure you get one!
What to Wear: Join the sea of white - wear white! IMPORTANT: Empire Field can feel colder than the surrounding area. Wear layers – be prepared for sun, snow and rain.

Spectator Information: Check out the Match Day section of whitecapsfc.com to learn what you can and cannot bring into Empire Field, what food and beverage is offered at the concessions, where to purchase your official Whitecaps FC merchandise, and much more!

Last Minute Season Ticket Pick-Up: We strongly recommend that you make every effort to pick-up your season ticket packages before March 19 to avoid line-ups and having to take your season ticket packages into the first match. There will be last minute season ticket holder pick up on Miller Drive just before the North Gate at Empire Field from noon – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (see map below).

Note: Tickets will only be released to the primary account holder. Proper photo identification is required, preferably a driver's license. Please contact your account manager at 604.669.9283 by 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 18 if someone other than the primary account holder will be picking up your tickets.

Supporter Pledge: Your Club needs you. Come prepared to play your part.