BURNABY, British Columbia – The Vancouver Whitecaps aren’t viewing this offseason as a vacation. With less than five months until the kick off of their first MLS season, the expansion side began a six-week offseason training camp on Monday on the campus of Simon Fraser University.
“I’m used to not having more than five, six weeks off,” head coach Teitur Thordason said. “If you want to develop and play at a high level, you have to train all year round.”
The practice sessions will be used to evaluate the remaining players from the club’s second-division roster, while also welcoming new trialists. Thordason has brought 20 players from last season’s roster to training camp.
“We have a small group now because we have some injury issues and we are waiting for some new players coming in,” Thordason explained.
Among those injuries were right back Wes Knight and winger Russell Teibert. Strikers Cody Arnoux and Cornelius Stewart were also absent. It remains unclear whether or not Arnoux will have to enter the MLS SuperDraft, while Stewart is on international duty with St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean Cup.
The camp will be injected with some new additions later in the month, when the Whitecaps select players in the MLS Expansion Draft on Nov. 24.
“Two days after the Expansion Draft we will be leaving for California,” Thordason said. “We hope to have most of the players there so we will have time to see them in a good environment training and playing some games.”
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