Pacific Set For Preseason Test Against Whitecaps Today
In a press release sent two hours later, Pacific FC confirmed that the two sides had received permission from the province to play at the University of British Columbia today at 2:00PM local time.
The Whitecaps first confirmed the fixture after it announced its US-based preseason plans, which include matches against Real Monarchs, Chicago Fire, and Indy Eleven (who recently acquired Canadians Aboubacar Sissoko and Jordan Hamilton).
We are fortunate to have an MLS team in such close proximity so we can meet up with them and keep our players training competitively. Our players are looking forward to sharing the pitch with them and having some fun and comradery.Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend
The Canadian Premier League itself has not made any public announcements about its own clubs beginning preseason training camps, though player movement indicates that nearly all domestic athletes appear to be on-site with their respective clubs, though things may be harder for international talent still out of the country.
The player availability for today’s scrimmage is currently unknown for either side.
Earlier this month, reigning Canadian Premier League champions Forge FC agreed to delay the belated 2020 Canadian Championship Final given that the club had yet to receive permission to train.
This will be the first match to ever take place between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Pacific FC, who are close geographical competitors – the latter of whom features several former Whitecaps Academy products in its roster while also being coached by former VWFC athlete Pa-Modou Kah.
The 40-year-old head coach recently signed a three-year contract extension with The Tridents following an Island Games Campaign that saw them finish in fourth place last season. With Kah stressing the importance of roster continuity, it’s no surprise that most of his roster has returned, with fresh faces coming in the form of former York United Captain Manny Aparicio along with Matteo Polisi, Kunle Dada-Luke, and Duran Lee.
It’ll be an interesting scrimmage for star Pacific FC midfielder Marco Bustos, a former Whitecaps athlete whom Kah states is capable of playing at the MLS level. If Michael Baldisimo hadn’t been on international duty, it could have also seem him square off against his brother Matthew Baldisimo.
Earlier this month, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos had stated that the club had reached out to CPL sides regarding preseason friendlies, though things couldn’t be worked at the time. Evidently, things have changed to allow for a last-minute scrimmage prior to the Whitecaps shifting their home base to the United States for the 2021 MLS season.
The Whitecaps have squared off against CPL opposition before, becoming the first team to lose to Canadian Premier League opposition when Cavalry FC knocked them out of the 2019 Canadian Championship over two legs.
It appears that this afternoon’s closed-door scrimmage will not be televised. It is not known if the results from the MLS-vs-CPL preseason test will be published.