The Vancouver Whitecaps predictably taking two defenders in the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft last week, signified the ‘general’ end of the offseason and the transition to preparing to get on the field for the 2018 season.
This week, players began to arrive in Vancouver, with one of the many new additions, Kei Kamara, taking to Twitter to welcome the new draftees, but also to let them know their place on the squad! A side note, like with Spencer Richey, I highly recommend you all follow Kamara on Twitter. Not only because he is a Whitecaps player and thus you SHOULD be following them, but also because he will keep you laughing and show you the light-hearted side of his personality.
With so many new additions to the club, and several key subtractions, there will be plenty of competition for places in the Starting XI. In addition, there is suspicion that the Carl Robinson will be transitioning to a 3-5-2 (or some variant) this season, which could suggest even more changes to the Starting XI.
Last season, the Whitecaps began early with three matches at the end of January in Wales, before concluding with three matches at the Simple Invitational in Portland. With no CONCACAF Champions League matches this preseason, and no Simple Invitational, due to renovations at Providence Park, Robinson decided to take the club to sunnier locations this preseason.
Vancouver will begin their preseason in Honolulu, participating in the Pacific Rim Cup. They will play their first match on Thursday February 8th, against Iwaki FC, followed by a Saturday February 10th match against either Sapporo Hokkaido or Columbus Crew.
The Whitecaps will then travel to Las Vegas and face new USL squad Lights FC on Saturday February 17th. Maybe we will get to see Freddy Adu suit up for Las Vegas.
The club will then conclude their preseason with two matches in sunny California. First, they will face newcomer LAFC on Sunday February 18th. Hopefully Harvey and Beitashour will have an opportunity to play in that match against their former mates. Second, the Caps will compete against LA Galaxy on Saturday February 24th.
After their matches in Los Angeles, the Caps will return to BC Place to begin their 2018 MLS season on Sunday March 4th against Canadian rival Montreal Impact.
Thursday February 8th (7:00 pm PST): Iwaki FC, Honolulu HI
Saturday February 10th (7:00 pm or 10:00 pm PST): Columbus Crew or Hokkaido Sapporo, Honolulu HI
Saturday February 17th (8:00 pm PST): Las Vegas Lights FC, Las Vegas, NV
Sunday, February 18th (5:00 pm PST): LA Football Club, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday February 24th (7:00 pm PST): LA Galaxy, Carson, CA