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Whitecaps Friendly Preview and Open Thread

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BALTIMORE - JANUARY 13: A view of the jerseys of the Vancouver Whitecaps logo and table during the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore Maryland. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - JANUARY 13: A view of the jerseys of the Vancouver Whitecaps logo and table during the 2011 MLS SuperDraft on January 13 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore Maryland. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
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Call it a friendly; call it a preseason game; call it a scrimmage; call it whatever you like. It's the first game action for the 2011 squad (and hopefuls) who I'm sure will be happy to take a break from beating each other up to beat up someone else, and as a special bonus that someone else is a member of the Legendary Cascadia Rivalry™.

The match starts at 3pm local and the official site will be liveblogging the action. Feel free to use this as the game thread. Here are some storylines to consider during the action:

  • Roster Battles - Sigi has emphasized roster competition during this preseason, and with good reason. By my count there are only 4 positions of the 11 where we don't have a backup that's been at least a semi-regular MLS starter (those are GK, RB, LM, and CDM for those who want to check my math. And maybe 3 if you count Ianni as the CDM backup). Players are battling for starting spots, and behind them players are battling for backup spots, and behind them players are battling to make the Reserve team. This game should be a big showcase for players to make their mark.
  • Okoli - There have been rumblings with the words 'HGP signing' drifting around the Sounders newsosphere for the last couple of weeks and Okoli's Letter of Intent to Wake Forest (which had his verbal commitment) has yet to show up in a fax machine, as far as has been reported so far. It might seem slightly strange to sign a young player to a deal when the roster is already so deep, but he's definitely training with the senior team rather than with the Academy right now. If he makes an appearance in this game, that might be a hint at how seriously Sigi is looking at him.
  • Tetteh - The Sounders' freshly minted Generation Adidas signing plays as an attacking minded left back. Is his defense good enough to play LB in MLS, or does he make more sense as a backup for Zakuani further up the left sideline? Let's see where he plays (assuming he plays) today.
  • The Caps' attack - It's universally agreed that Vancouver is thin up front, especially since their first overall pick can't actually play for the team until near the end of the season. 86 Forever's Ben Massey has a post up today on that very topic. Today we'll get a first look at how potent (or not so much) they look in the offensive third

Have at it

Update 1: Starting lineup Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Danny Earls, Miguel Montano, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani, Mike Seamon, Fredy Montero, Mike Fucito. Interesting because it's kinda sorta a starting XI, but with Earls at LB, JKH not in, Montano on the right, and the Montecito pairing up top (and Seamon, who got added late).