The Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps have enough early training-camp issues that they’ve decided to extend their season-opening friendly to 135 minutes.
The clubs have agreed to play three 45-minute periods in their first Desert Friendly, scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday in Tucson, Arizona. The match will be streamed live at SoundersFC.com.
The extra time should allow more work for a Sounders roster that has grown to 40 players. That includes Panamanian central defender Roberto Chen, who joined the camp Monday but remains unsigned.
“We’re happy to have Roberto here,” coach Sigi Schmid said on the club website. “He’s a player that we’ve had our eye on for a while. … We’ll see how he does this week and then make a decision.”
Chen, 21, made his debut with the Panama senior national team in 2011. He was recently released from Spanish club Malaga, where he rarely played over three seasons and was loaned out twice.
Other central defenders in camp include incumbent starter Chad Marshall and recently re-signed veteran Zach Scott. Projected starter Roman Torres, also of Panama, is expended to return from a knee injury around midseason.
An unexpected addition to the Arizona roster is central defender Brad Evans who on Monday was returned from the United States national team after suffering tightness in his hamstring after the 3-2 win against Iceland on Sunday.
Recently signed homegrown forward Jordan Morris will remain with the national team in California through a Friday friendly with Canada.
Seattle’s Desert Friendlies continue with a 6 p.m. Saturday match against the Portland Timbers and conclude at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 against Mexican team Celaya FC.