Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whitecaps offseason training and Player substractions

For Immediate Release: October 19, 2010


VANCOUVER, BC – Having completed their final season at the second division level in North America, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will continue on-field preparations and player evaluations for their inaugural season in Major League Soccer – the top tier in Canada and the United States – with a six-week fall/winter training program. The training camp will commence on Monday, November 1, and conclude on Friday, December 10.

Whitecaps FC will take part in morning on-field training sessions at the Whitecaps Training Centre on the campus of Simon Fraser University, as well as strength and conditioning sessions at Burnaby 8-Rinks for the first four weeks. During the camp, the roster will see an injection of new players, as the club will select 10 players in the MLS Expansion Draft on Wednesday, November 24. Two days later, players and staff will then travel south to California, for the final two weeks of the camp.

"This training program will be extremely beneficial in our preparations for next season, as we transition to Major League Soccer," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "The early start will give our players a strong physical foundation and will allow us to begin our first season in MLS at peak form."

Players and staff will then take a six-week break for the remainder of December and the holiday season before reporting to pre-season training camp in January 2011. Whitecaps FC have until the MLS roster compliance date, which has yet to be set by the league, to finalize their roster.

Meanwhile, Whitecaps FC also confirmed today that the club will not offer contracts to goalkeeper Dan Pelc, defenders Nelson Akwari, Zurab Tsiskaridze, and Chris Williams, midfielder Alex Elliott, as well as striker Jonathan McDonald.

"We are very thankful for the fine contribution, both on the pitch and in the community, all of these players made in 2010 and wish them the best in their future endeavours," added Thordarson.

Pelc, 24, arrived in Vancouver last winter from Canadian Soccer League side Serbian White Eagles. The native of Hamilton, Ontario, did not see any first-team action, but made six appearances in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League and registered a goals-against average of 1.83.

Akwari, 28, joined the 'Caps last January from former USL First Division club Charleston Battery. The native of Houston, Texas, started all 27 of his appearances for 2,430 minutes of action, scoring one goal and recording one assist.

Elliott, 23, joined the club midway through the 2010 season following a spell in Germany. The native of Vancouver, BC, started two of his 10 Whitecaps FC appearances for 260 minutes of action.

Tsiskaridze, 24, arrived in Vancouver after spending the 2009 season with Miami FC. The Georgian-born defender started 25 of his 31 appearances for 2,172 minutes of action, recording one assist in the process.

Williams, 29, joined the 'Caps from Charleston Battery in November 2009. The native of Toronto, Ontario, started nine of his 17 appearances for 955 minutes of action.

McDonald, 22, arrived in the summer from his native Costa Rica. The former Club Sport Herediano striker started one of his seven Whitecaps FC appearances for 220 minutes of action.

Whitecaps FC fans can purchase 2011 MLS season tickets by putting down a $50 deposit. MLS season ticket prices start at $319, and will include a minimum of 17 matches throughout the season. For additional information about MLS season ticket deposits, please visit vancouvermls2011.com.

About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2011, Whitecaps FC will begin their inaugural season in Major League Soccer at Empire Field before moving into the new BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver. For additional information on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, visit whitecapsfc.com.

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