Whitecaps FC had at best a mixed results down in the desert. They scored two goals, while keeping a clean sheet against New England. They drew one apiece with San Jose. And they lost by one to Western Conference newcomers Houston Dynamo. Of course at this time of year, results count for nothing.
You can win handily, and get thoroughly outplayed. Or you might find yourself having a terrific night, but not get the result. The management isn't looking at the numbers, only the performances. It's the perfect time to experiment, as Carl Robinson did with four trialists. Of the quartet, only Robert Earnshaw made the trip back to Cascadia.
On Friday, he got to enjoy his first taste of training at Thunderbird Stadium. While it remains to be seen whether or not he will earn a contract for himself, he did no harm that with his efforts today.
His potential strike partner, Octavio Rivero, was on hand and looked every bit the Young Designated Player. His finishing was sharp and he looked to get on the end of every ball, even those he probably had no right to be.
Marco Bustos looks to be in fine form, getting involved in some surprisingly tough tackles, and even scored a stunning header. In these early days, it's up to the youngsters to make a mark for themselves. Tim Parker continues to impress. While he may be destined for the United League, a few more efforts like today might see him challenge for a place in the starting eleven.
Veterans Mauro Rosales and Jordan Harvey know their place in the squad is assured, but they took nothing for granted, being good role models for their younger teammates.
As for injuries, Andre Lewis, who spent most of last season with the Charleston Battery, and Marco Carducci have been doing light work in a bid to fit for the start of the season.