Come one, come all to the Vancouver Whitecaps' midseason friendly against the middling/occasional relegation battlers Crystal Palace. The stakes have never been lower and the ticket prices have never been higher.
All kidding aside, the game presents a few interesting talking points.
#1 The Alphonso Davies Hype Train
At this point, it's unclear whether he'll play a part in the match, but you have to feel that in a game being played purely for its own spectacle, the introduction of "The Kid" is inevitable. Davies' star is on the rise. Apparently, even the Palace boss has caught wind of Vancouver's newest signing
Alan Pardew: "I'm looking forward to seeing their talent. I understand there's a 15-year-old."— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 18, 2016
Robbo: "Stay away." ✋#VWFCvCPFC
#2 Introducing... David Edgar
One of the newest Caps will likely see some time on the pitch against Palace, giving fans (hopefully) a bit more optimism about the increase in Vancouver's Canadian contingent after a
less than stellar worryingly bad debut for Marcel De Jong last week. Edgar has been described as an intelligent player who directs traffic well, which is exactly what the Caps seem to be lacking in their backline. His match fitness is questionable but expect to see him on the pitch for at least a few minutes.
#3 From Thunderbird Stadium to BC Place...
A quartet of Thundercaps will make the trek over from UBC to play a part in the friendly. Sem de Wit, Brett Levis, Kyle Grieg, and Daniel Haber have all been loaned up to the first team and will be looking to impress Carl Robinson. Whitecaps 2 have been performing fantastically well and are battling for the top spots in USL since the season began. It will be intriguing to see if that team success translates into strong individual performances.
#4 The Crowd
There are a lot (check out the interactive seat map) of tickets still unsold and the prices aren't exactly enticing. To get into the stands tonight will set you back at least $40, and that's just for the "cheap" seats. Rumours abound that the funds from this game will help to finance a big DP striker, but it's hard to see much of a profit in hordes of empty seats. Perhaps a late surge in sales will save the day, but I can't image the names of Yannick Bolasie, Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend will inspire the average Vancouverite to splurge $140 on a pair of tickets.
Prediction: Whitecaps 1-2 Crystal Palace
What are your thoughts on the match? Will you be there? Is it a fun opportunity or a waste of the team's time? Leave it all in the comments below.