As has become the tradition to start the past few MLS regular seasons, the Vancouver Whitecaps will travel down to Portland Oregon to take part in the preseason Simple Invitational from February 21st to February 27th. The Whitecaps will open the tournament against MLS side Chicago Fire on February 21st (2:30 pm), followed by a game against host Portland Timbers on February 24th (7:30 pm), and conclude against NASL club Minnesota United FC on February 27th (2:30 pm).
This is not the first year that the Vancouver Whitecaps have taken part in Portland's preseason tournament. You may recall that they went 2-0-1 last year with wins over Portland and Norwegian club Stabaek and a draw against returning Chicago Fire. The year previous, the Whitecaps again finished 2-0-1 with wins against Jamaican club Portmore United and MLS side San Jose Earthquake, and a draw against host Portland Timbers. You may also recall that there have been fiery moments in this tournament in years past, with a battle of words regarding dirty play between Robbo and Porter. I suspect that this year's version of the tournament should be just as spirited with Portland being crowned MLS Cup Champions two weeks ago and Vancouver trying to assert their superiority over their Cascadia rival early. If drawn together during CONCACAF, this could be the first of many meetings between the two this year. We can only hope.
Tickets are now open to the general public at www.timbers.com and start at $10.
Finally, in addition to their participation in the Simple Invitational, the Vancouver Whitecaps will spend the first half of February in Arizona. They will begin their preseason on February 3rd against Seattle Sounders, continue with a match against San Jose Earthquakes February 6th, concluding with a game against Houston Dynamo on February 9th.
2016 Whitecaps FC Preseason Schedule
- February 3: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 4 p.m. PT, Grandstand Field (Desert Friendlies)
- February 6: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 4 p.m. PT, Grandstand Field (Desert Friendlies)
- February 9: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 5 p.m. PT, North Stadium (Desert Friendlies)
- February 21: Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 2:30 p.m PT, Providence Park (Simple Invitational)
- February 24: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m. PT, Providence Park (Simple Invitational)
- February 27: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Minnesota United FC, 2:30 p.m. PT, Providence Park (Simple Invitational)