It was the end of the first week and the Whitecaps players experienced the best and worst of preseason training. The session began with a dreaded variation on the beep test which was called the yo-yo test and then ended with three 11v11 mini games.
The endurance test was won once again by Russell Teibert who beat out trialist Bilal Duckett with room to spare. John Thorrington was the last veteran to be removed from the test while YP Lee surprised with his fitness on his second day as he outlasted many of the younger players.
After the grueling test the players were able to play 11v11 which were split into three 20 minute games and saw a rotation of players. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw with Mattocks converting on Chiumiento free kick and then Lee Nguyen placing a shot over the outstretched hands of Brad Knighton. The second game had the Blue team defeat the Yellow team1-0 as Camilo headed in a cross from Micheal Nanchoff. The tired legs showed in the third match which ended in a scoreless draw and very few opportunities for scores.
There were some very impressive performances in these scrimmages especially considering it was only the first week of training. John Thorrington looked like a man possessed in the middle of the park and if he can stay healthy could be a major factor for the Whitecaps in their second season. Considering it was only his second day in camp YP Lee displayed some of the world class skills that many have doubted were still there. He had good vision and was strong on the ball going either way and will be a massive upgrade on the right back roulette that the club had last year.
A trio of young wingers also showed how dangerous they could be as Nguyen, Nanchoff and Teibert looked the part attacking the net. In addition to returnees Koffie and Thorrington, newcomers Matt Watson and Jun Marques Davidson showed they have the bite needed in the central midfield. The most impressive residency player was Ben Fisk playing wide on the left side while supplemental pick Greg Klazura was a surprise with his attacking ability as a left back.
There weren’t many players that looked out of place considering the team was only together for five days. The player now get the weekend off before having one more session at Burnaby Lakes before switching their camp to Arizona.