Posts Tagged ‘Jake Nerwinski Vancouver’

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VANCOUVER, B.C – After a terrific first season in Major League Soccer, Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper, Max Crépeau is determined to show that he can be even better next season. 2019 was a challenging season for 8-16-10 Whitecaps FC, but Crépeau was a bright spot. He kept Vancouver in several matches they had no business being in.

The 2019 BMO Whitecaps FC Player of the Year, set personal MLS career highs with 26 games started, seven wins, five clean sheets, and 114 saves. On August 24, Crépeau’s set an MLS record by making 16 saves in a match.

When Whitecaps FC kicked off training camp, Crépeau wasn’t a sure fire lock to be the number one goalkeeper in Vancouver. Zac MacMath was in contention, but it was Crépeau who quickly showed his talents and solidified his role as the number one.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Manager, Marc Dos Santos believes in Crépeau, and he wants to see him continue to push himself next season. In a competitive league like MLS, Crépeau will have to show that he can shine even brighter in 2020.

“He needs to challenge himself to stay at that level and keep pushing to play at that level,” Dos Santos explained. “If we were a playoff team, he would have been in the top three goalkeepers of MLS, in my opinion. He’s somebody that pushes himself a lot. He’s a goalkeeper with a lot of good qualities. He’s good at coming out on crosses, good shot-stopper, and good with his feet.

He needs to continue doing what he’s done this year, and keep it in a steady way. His last two years, if you’re talking about 2018, and being USL Goalkeeper of the Year, and 2019, being a key player for our club. If he continues in that path, he’s going to have a great future.”

Heading into his second full season in MLS, Crépeau wants to show that he isn’t just a flash in the pan. The best keepers in the world are able to take their game to another level. They’re always striving to be better each season.

What’s the secret for Crépeau next season?

“Yeah, you said it. The secret is to be consistent.” Crépeau explained.

“This upcoming year, I think is the consistency,” Crépeau shared with Har Journalist. “I need to erase those little mistakes in the game, that can’t happen a few times in the season. To become the face of this team as well. I know the mentality the core group wants to be. They want to have a good identity on and off. I can be one of those guys to lead people, to achieve that. It depends on how willing the group will be to come together in January, and February. I can be a guy that can step up in moments and talks through to have higher standards with the club.”

As well as consistency, part of being an elite shot-stopper means having that drive, and determination to succeed. Crépeau has an off the chart compete level that brings out the best in him.

Whether it’s a match, training, or just working out, he wants to excel.

Crépeau’s teammates know just what kind of competitor they have in net.

“Yeah, he’s a great professional,” Jake Nerwinski revealed. “He comes out here and he’s pissed off that he just lost a small sided game. I don’t think he’s over it yet. I think that shows his character, will, and drive. This is was his first year in MLS, and I think he’s still got a lot more to go, he’s still learning. He’s going to build off of this.”

If the Greenfield Park, Quebec native, is going to pick off where he left off, he’s going to need more help.

In 34 games, Whitecaps FC scored 37 goals, while surrendering 59 goals against.

Unless you’re Carey Price, it’s hard to win when you’re keeper has to keep a clean sheet.

“Yeah, he was huge this year,” Nerwinski said. “He was our most valuable player and we gave him that award, he deserves it. We hope that we don’t have to rely on a goalie like that. I think he doesn’t want to be relied on like that as well. He knows that he’s a big deal to this team. I think going forward we want to make it a little bit easier on him.”

As Whitecaps FC look to improve the team during the off-season, goalkeeper is one position where Vancouver doesn’t have to worry about. Max Crépeau is ready to lead Vancouver on and off the pitch next season.

 

 

 

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s been three weeks since Whitecaps FC’s season concluded, and the team is already looking forward to the future. In a flurry of activity last week, Whitecaps FC picked up three player options, while also saying goodbye to seven players..

Jake Nerwinski had his option picked up, and he will be back for the 2020 campaign.

“Yeah, I’m happy,” Nerwinski explained to Har Journalist following training on Tuesday. “This is the first club that I’ve been at professionally. It means a lot that they value me as a player, want me back, and see growth in me. I’m in their plans going forward. It means a lot. I want to see this club succeed.”

In his third full season with Vancouver, Nerwinski started 24 games, and he scored his first career MLS goal.

It wasn’t an ideal season for Whitecaps FC. Vancouver finished with an 8-16-10 record, and last place in the western conference. The tactical adjustment period for Nerwinski and his teammates under first year MLS head coach, Marc Dos Santos was a battle. Vancouver struggled with consistency, chemistry, and building confidence.

Having gone through ups and downs this season, Nerwinski believes next season will be better.

“I always have room for improvement in my game.” Nerwinski explained. “I have a lot of things that I want to work on. I want to work on getting forward more effectively. I didn’t think I did that well this year. I know it was tough with how our season went. I think that I could be more effective like I was in my first year. As the season went on, I was a lot better defensively. I want to keep growing in that respect, because, defence first for a right back. I want to be able to lock down my side.”

The former University of Connecticut standout, made 19 appearances in his 2017 rookie campaign, and picked up five assists. Nerwinski was an offensive threat on the right flank under former Whitecaps FC Manager, Carl Robinson.

Heading into his second season with Marc Dos Santos, Nerwinski feels he has a better understanding of what the coaching staff wants to do tactically.

“It was definitely a completely new system from my first two years,” Nerwinski talked tactics. “I think it was a little bit of a learning curve. I think as the season went on, they were very good with helping me out. Going over film and seeing what I can do better. After a while, I definitely started to get it. There’s always still room for improvement.”

The process to re-up Nerwinski for the following season was a speedy operation.

“It was done pretty quick,” Nerwinski said. “Right after the season ended. I met with Marc (Dos Santos), and Greg (Anderson). They said that they were picking up my option. They wanted me to be a part of the team next year. They see me as part of the future going forward.”

In the world of professional sports, job security comes and goes. You can be comfortable one day, and packing up your belongings and moving to a new city, the next day. That’s what former Whitecaps FC players, Brett Levis, Scott Sutter, Sean Melvin, and Brendan McDonough are facing. Nerwinski is glad to have his future sorted for next season.

“A lot of options were declined,” Nerwinski said. “You never really know if you’re safe or not. I’ve had conversations with Marc, prior to the end of the season, they were all good ones. I wasn’t worrying too much, but you can never be too sure.”

It’s been a fantastic few weeks for the Lawrenceville, New Jersey native.

Nerwinski proposed to his long time partner, Allie Auletta. They’re planning a lovely wee holiday across the pond, he has a new contract, and his beloved Oakland Raiders are in the hunt for a AFC playoff spot.

“I’m going to finish training here, and then I’m going to go home to New Jersey for a month and a half. Then a little vacation with my fioncee. It’ll be nice. We’re going to Ireland for 12 days. Beautiful Ireland, in December. I’m making my missus happy.”

Everything, is coming up, Jake Nerwinski.

“My birthday was last week, so it’s been a big month for me,” Nerwinski laughed. “The Raiders aren’t terrible, so it’s going pretty well right now. I have nothing really to complain about. All good on my end.”

The 25-year-old, Nerwinski, knows he isn’t going anywhere, he can put down roots in Vancouver.

In terms of buying a house in Vancouver, that’s still a bit of a challenge.

“I have not bought a house. In Vancouver? C’mon, you know how much I make.”

“I’m saving as much as I can right now.”

Heading into next season, Nerwinski is due a pay increase from his 2019 salary of $124,125.

“That’s public knowledge, so yes, I do have a bit of a pay raise.”

On and off the pitch, Jake Nerwinski has a promising future ahead of him. He’ll enjoy some rest, and relaxation with his bride to be, and he will be ready to help Vancouver Whitecaps FC strive forward next season.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my story on who is expected to return next season for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and who’s likely to headed in another direction.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – The NFL’s 100th season kicked off last week with expectations, and excitement that give every fan belief that their team will win Super Bowl LIV in Miami, on February 2, 2020.

As anticipation was building, and well before Antonio Brown circus, U.S. Soccer’s Carli Lloyd made headlines by kicking a 55-yard field goal during a joint session between Philadelphia Eagles, and Baltimore Ravens on August 20, in Philadelphia.

The two-time FIFA World Cup, and Olympic Gold medal winner earned praise for her precise accuracy, and composure.

Life as a kicker in the NFL has it’s ups, and downs. One day, you’re a hero like New Orleans Saints kicker, Wil Lutz, and the next day you’re a kicker for the Chicago Bears.

Being a kicker in the NFL is not for the faint of heart. You have to have ice in your veins. Amongst all the noise, wind, or a bad snap, you have to kick like your life depends on it.

The Sky Blue FC captain, has proved throughout her career with U.S. Soccer that she can deliver in the crunch. The two-time ‘FIFA World Player of the Year’ knows what it takes to compete under pressure in a packed stadium full of fans.

The 37-year-old, product from Delran, could be gearing up for an opportunity to kick in the NFL.

Lawrenceville, New Jersey, native, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Jake Nerwinski supports Lloyd.

“I saw her when she hit a 55-yard (kick),” Nerwinski told Har Journalist following training in Vancouver on Tuesday. “I think that would be incredible if she could make it. She’s got to be able to do it under pressure with guys coming at her.”

“Hey, if she can kick it, why not?”

As a profesional soccer player, you might think that it’s a smooth transition switching over to attempt to kick a field goal through the uprights, but you would be wrong. Nerwinski has tried both, and he knows where his bread is buttered.

“I think she’s got a good, strong foot, she knows where to hit the ball. It’s definitely different, kicking from a soccer ball, to a football,” Nerwinski pondered. “I’ve tried to do it before with field goals, and I can definitely hit a soccer ball further.”

The turnover for life as a kicker in the NFL is relatively high. An unhappy New York Jets fan base was already clamouring for Lloyd to replace kicker Kaare Vedvik, who struggled in the Jets 17-16 Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

The 25-year-old, Vedvik, was waived by the Jets on Tuesday.

Although, Nerwinski doesn’t personally know Lloyd, he still has a connection to ‘The Garden State’ native.

“I know her cousin,” Nerwinski revealed. “I played against her cousin in high school growing up. His name is Mike Fornaro. He used to be on our rival high school team. He used to mark me. He’s a good player. I went to Notre Dame High School, and he went to Steinert (High School). It’s a big rivalry in Mercer County. We always won.”

Growing up, Nerwinski wasn’t a Jets, Giants, or Eagles fan. Kevin Nerwinski always made sure to cheer for the Oakland Raiders, and Jake followed suit.

The 24-year-old, closely followed the Raiders off-season drama with now former, wide receiver, Antonio Brown.

“If he doesn’t want to be on our team, we don’t want him,” Nerwinski explained. “I think we had a great performance last night, as everybody saw. I think Tyrell Williams is going to be a key player, he doesn’t need AB anymore. He’s the number one guy, and I think we’ve got a lot of good stuff going forward.”

The Raiders certainly didn’t need AB during a 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos on ‘Monday Night Football.’

It’s early but there is indeed optimism within Raiders Nation.

Did AB orchestrate a move out of Oakland to join the Super Champion, New England Patriots?

“I think after he lost his guaranteed money, he was gone no matter what,” Nerwinski said. “He lost $30 million, so what’s the point of him staying. I think that was kind of a mutual thing, where they fined him, they wanted him to leave, and they knew he would want to leave.”

Nerwinski, was forced to leave Whitecaps FC’s 3-1 loss on August 31 vs New York City FC. An ankle sprain has kept Nerwinski on the sidelines as Vancouver gets set to host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, September 14 at B.C. Place.

“It’s doing a lot better, I’ve had a whole week and a half of recovery inside with the trainers. This is my first day out, and I feel good. I think I’m probably another week away. I think when it first happened, I thought the worst, but after two days, it started to loosen up. I was able to move it a lot better. I started jogging today, and I feel good.”

Nerwinski will be looking to kick things into high gear as Whitecaps FC wind down the season with four matches remaining. There will be plenty of time for Nerwinski to kick back and follow the Raiders, and Carli Lloyd.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos at B.C. Place. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER B.C – Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, it did. Canadian Premier League side, Cavalry FC made history by knocking off Whitecaps FC in the Canadian Championship quarterfinals.

Vancouver has not won a football match since May 25. It’s a stretch that has seen them go winless in ten matches across all competitions. They aren’t scoring, defending, or playing as a team.

It feels like anything that could go wrong, has, or will go wrong.

“To be honest with you, if I can put it very raw, and direct. The month of July has been a nightmare, it’s just been a nightmare in everything.” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters at Vancouver International Airport before the team departed for Minnesota.

The simplest of passes aren’t connecting, players aren’t hustling back on defence, and there seems to be no offensive structure when the team looks to move forward. Shoulders are slumped, fingers are being pointed, and frustration levels are rising.

The notion of whether or not the players have tuned out Marc Dos Santos is an inevitable question. The team isn’t performing, and the message isn’t getting through to his players.

“I don’t know, you have to ask them.” Dos Santos told Har Journalist. “I don’t feel that, but you have to ask them.”

If Dos Santos isn’t able to help guide his squad of players that he brought in during a hectic offseason, that leaves little chance the players will find a winning formula.

A fired up, and visibly frustrated Jake Nerwinski, simply doesn’t have all the answers.

“I’m not the coach, so I’m not the guy that’s going to give you guys all the tactics, and the players to play. I think it comes down to a mentality, and it’s a desire to win, a desire to get out of this slump, to stop the losing from two months. That’s what it is.”

Leading goal-scorer Fredy Montero, and skipper Jon Erice, were both left out of the eighteen for Vancouver’s exit from the Canadian Championship. Dos Santos had to fill a Canadian roster quota for the competition. Having players who have played in Europe, and are earning $968,000 (Montero), and $752,364 (Erice) sitting up in the press box certainly sends a message to them and the rest of the team.

The effort that’s been delivered hasn’t been good enough all around. However, how many times can you pull the ‘press box benching card’ before the locker room, and players switch off, if they haven’t already.

With eleven matches to go, Whitecaps FC’s season has the potential to plummet further.

“I think sitting them, and now there’s a message, it’s not about that,” Dos Santos explained. “These guys are 32-years old, it’s players that have experience. We have a game in Minnesota where Fredy is going to play, it’s not about that. It’s about me being challenged right now as a coach to motivate a group. We’re all in this together.”

Whitecaps FC’s Andy Rose is one of the few players on the team with MLS experience. Rose spent four seasons with Seattle Sounders FC. He is well versed in the ups, and downs that MLS brings. If Vancouver isn’t all pulling in the right direction, it’s hard to get traction and go on a run of form. Whitecaps FC just haven’t been on the same page.

“There’s not many players in the locker room throughout this last month and a half that can really look at themselves and feel proud. Feel like they’ve done themselves justice. Individually you have to look deep.” Rose said.

“The fans can critique how I play, my skill, and if I make mistakes on the ball,” Nerwinski spoke honestly. “I hope they can never critique my heart, and my passion when I step on the field.”

It was expected that Vancouver Whitecaps FC would stand pat during the MLS transfer window that remains open until August 8, but things have changed. Needing to find a jolt of energy, and someone who can provide a boost, Vancouver are expected to make some type of move.

Whitecaps FC made a multi-million dollar transfer offer for South Korean international, Ui-jo Hwang. The attempts to bring the striker to Vancouver fell through because he wanted to play in Europe. Ui-jo moved to Ligue 1 side, Bordeaux.

It won’t be a flashy name, or someone that’s going to put the team on his back. It’s quite possible Vancouver will make a move just wake the team up, and try to kick them into first gear.

“Sometimes you need a little bit of new blood in the locker room to allow you to get a spark.” Dos Santos said.

“We’re trying in this transfer window to make something happen still in the next 7-8 days.”

“Am I optimistic… I think something is going to happen, but when our side already commits to we want to do it, and we’re kind of waiting for the other side, it’s tough to tell you if I’m one-hundred percent optimistic or not.”

The 4-11-8 Whitecaps FC take on 10-7-4 Minnesota United FC on Saturday night at Allianz Field. ‘The Loons’ defeated Vancouver 3-2 at B.C. Place in the MLS season opener on March 2. Vancouver will be looking to right the ship, and find momentum in Minnesota.

Whitecaps FC will hope to halt a five-match MLS losing skid that’s seen them outscored 17-2. The road hasn’t been kind to Vancouver. Whitecaps FC sport a 1-6-4 record away from B.C. Place. Five of the next six matches are on the road.

“It’s times like these when a lot of people are talking in and outside of the arena,” Rose added. “We totally understand that. We understand the fans mentality through stretches likes this. It’s important that the entire group sticks together through this and fight our way out of it.”

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Winless in six matches, Whitecaps FC are back in action on Saturday night at B.C. Place as they take on Sporting Kansas City, (5-7-7, 22-points). Vancouver, (4-8–8, 20-points) will be looking to break out of a slump that hasn’t seen them earn a victory since May 25. Four draws, and two losses, in all competitions has the Caps floundering.

“We have to grow offensively,” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters on Friday. “It’s been a stretch of a lot of draws. It’s also a stretch that we don’t lose much, but we tied too many. Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll be able to get back to a win.”

It’s a stretch to say Whitecaps FC have played consistent, solid football. They haven’t. A 6-1 shellacking from LAFC on July 6, was indicative of a team without confidence, that struggles to compete with top spending MLS teams.

Whitecaps FC have shown quality character, charisma, and structure, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to wins. Vancouver desperately needs a difference maker. Someone who can lead the team offensively, and create goals from nothing. It’s not enough to play solid defence, and hope to nic a goal in transition off the counter.

Players like Jake Nerwinski, aren’t waiting for someone to come in and save the season. If Vancouver is going to climb out of 11th spot in the western conference, it will have to come from within.

“We can’t really dwell on that,” Nerwinski was asked about the winless streak. “We can’t think that it’s a must win. We can’t keep that in the back of our minds. We just have to go out, and play free. We need to do the things that we plan to do right. We need to be strong defensively, and we need to score a few goals.”

The MLS transfer window opened on July 8. There are plenty of areas where Vancouver could look to make an addition. The transfer of Alphonso Davies to FC Bayern Munich brought in a MLS record (at the time) $22 million. Whitecaps FC need to splash some cash, bring in a quality signing, who can score goals immediately.

“It’s important to get better players here,” Dos Santos explained to Har Journalist. “I don’t know what you mean by splash…”

A name, someone who can make a difference right away.

“Yeah, it’s hard for us right now,” Dos Santos added. “It’s hard to bring in a big name, somebody that’s going to make a difference right away.”

Whitecaps FC were linked to 33-year-old Costa Rican international Bryan Ruiz, during the offseason. When asked in February, Dos Santos quickly put water on those rumours.

“Bryan Ruiz, I’ll say this,” Dos Santos said. “If he was mentioned, congrats to the agent because he’s trying to finally to do something with Bryan in MLS, probably. I never spoke with the agent, and I never spoke with Bryan, and only if somebody in the club spoke without me knowing, but I don’t think it’s the case. That’s a total lie. It’s not true.”

There is only one true, and tested way to build confidence, and turn around a winless streak.

Win.

Vancouver knows what they have to do. It’s just a matter of going out, and getting the job done.

“By doing the little things a little bit better,” Dos Santos explained. “By defending better, creating. It was just one game, I would tell you, we were totally out of it. It was against LAFC. We have to defend much better than we did in L.A.”

The urgency on improving the club with a summer signing should be now. The dog days are here, and Whitecaps FC should look at making a summer signing splash, before the season is completely lost.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert. Photo: Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Whitecaps FC are back on the road, as the team gets set for a pair of matches away from B.C. Place. Vancouver will take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, May 18, and then it’s a battle against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, May 22.

Vancouver is coming off a 1-0 loss to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday night at B.C. Place. At the minute, Whitecaps FC sit 8th in the western conference with a record of 3-6-3, 12-points. Sporting Kansas City remain in 11th position with a 10-points, from a 2-4-4 record. The home side will be looking to snap an eight-match winless streak.

Whitecaps FC are no strangers to long distance travel. Playing on the west coast often means long road trips across the continent. Vancouver has already had three trips into the central and eastern time zones, traveling to Houston, Chicago, and Orlando. That often requires flying commercial with a layover before reaching the final designation.

Over the years, players have developed a flying routine. Some players prefer the window seat, over the aisle, and almost no player wants to be stuck in the dreaded middle seat.

“I love the aisle, so I can get up and go to the bathroom when I feel like it.” Fredy Montero explained.

“I’m an aisle guy,” Jake Nerwinski said. “I like to be able to get out. I like to lean my legs out into the aisle a little bit.”

“If it’s a long trip, I like the aisle,” Russell Teibert revealed. “If it’s quick trip, which we rarely have here in Vancouver, I like the window.”

“My favourite situation is a nice aisle seat, and I sleep as much as possible,” Andy Rose revealed. “Our last plane trip, we were on United, and we had a couple of Premier League games on, which was great. That’s probably the ideal situation. A good sleep, good book, and time to relax.”

“I’m always window seat,” Doneil Henry admitted. “I don’t like to be bothered, I don’t like to be bumped by carts when I’m in the aisle seat. Put me by the window, and I just sleep.”

“Middle, love the middle,” Scott Sutter joked. “I love being crammed in. No, no. Aisle all day, I prefer the aisle, I like to stretch my legs a little bit.”

There are a variety of choices to pass the time away on a long flights. You can try and get some kip, read a book, play cards, listen to music, watch a movie, or talk to your seat mate. Athletes usually like to rest up, relax, and watch a movie.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC players are no different.

“Watch movies, that I can’t watch at home with my kids,” Felipe told reporters at Vancouver International Airport. “I like to be quiet, watch movies, and enjoy myself. Anything on iTunes, and Netflix.”

“Mostly watch films, and see what new films are out,” Sutter said. “I’ve got my iPad, and a good book at the moment.”

“Soccer books, at the moment I’m reading a great book about Barcelona,” Rose explained. “That’s incredibly interesting. I read a lot about different coaches, managers, player autobiographies, all those sorts of things.”

“I try to sleep,” Nerwinski added. “I try to rest as much as I can. When I get a little stiff, I usually do a little walking down the aisle, until a flight attendant will yell at me to sit down. I watch Netflix. Right now I’m watching Designated Survivor, it’s pretty good.”

“Sleep, I like to sleep,” Henry said. “I don’t do anything other than sleep. Sometimes I download a couple of Netflix. I’ve been watching Imposters. I’m on the second season.”

“I don’t sleep, that’s for sure,” Montero revealed. “I get nervous when the plane is shaking, for those two seconds, five seconds. I’m praying about it, because I honestly don’t like it. Most of the time, I watch movies, read books, and talk to my teammates.”

There’s always one individual who is persistent in chatting up his teammates while they’re doing their own thing. If there’s a lengthy travel day ahead for Whitecaps FC, there’s one player that teammates would prefer they don’t sit beside.

“Ali (Adnan), Ali’s annoying.” Henry said.

“Normally I sleep, but Ali (Adnan) has been bothering me on the flights,” Teibert explained. “He likes to take pictures of me. I’ve kind of got to sleep with one eye open, now.”

“Joaquin (Ardaiz).” Nerwinski revealed. “I’ve sat next to him two or three times. He loves the middle (seat), which is a very odd thing. He likes to talk to everybody. If you sit next to him, you’re not going to get much sleep.”

“Yeah, Fredy Montero. He just does not shut-up on the flights,” Sutter laughed. “It’s crazy, he just wants to speak about everything. No, no, he’s great. If I can choose anyone, it would be next to Fredy.”

“Fortunately, we’re all sort of spread out on the plane,” Rose revealed. “I think we do a great job of trying to get away from the middle seats. Usually you’re sat by yourself. A few guys like to play cards together, and what not. For the most part, so far, I haven’t been hassled.”

Whitecaps FC will look to re-group in the friendly skies as they prepare for a week on the road. Vancouver will stay and train in Kansas City following Saturday’s match at Children’s Mercy Park. Vancouver will fly home on Thursday, May 23.