Whitecaps spark soccer season

By the end of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s two-day soccer camp in Nanaimo next month, the players will be pretty tired. But they’ll find a second wind, and they’ll be all the more prepared for the coming season.

The Whitecaps are bringing back their camp to Beban Park’s Gyro Youth Sports Fields on Sept. 10-11. In recent years the ’Caps have held one-day camps, but the extra day makes for better pacing, said camp manager Sam Lenarduzzi.

“We can spread out the learning, in a sense,” he said. “We can concentrate a bit more on each of the soccer disciplines.”

Lenarduzzi said he’s seen renewed interest in the camps since the Whitecaps moved up to Major League Soccer. The ’Caps have hit the big time, and they treat the youngsters accordingly.

“What we’re trying to do is give each of these kids a piece of what professional [soccer] is all about,” Lenarduzzi said. “Camp is very structured. The drills are set almost exactly the same as if you went to a Whitecaps practice.”

Camp costs $129 and runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Players of any skill level in the U7-U14 age groups can participate. To register, visit or call 1-778-330-1354.

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