Caig departs for U.K.

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Tony Caig has mysteriously left the Caps' cage.

The Vancouver Whitecaps' goalkeeper, who was instrumental in the 2006 USL First Division championship, flew home to England yesterday afternoon.

Whitecaps' president Bob Lenarduzzi revealed yesterday that Caig told coach Bob Lilley six weeks ago that he would depart for "personal reasons." Neither Lenarduzzi nor Lilley would elaborate. Caig could not be reached for comment.

The 33-year-old former Newcastle United backup joined Vancouver in 2006 and went 10-5-8 with seven shutouts. He allowed just one goal in five playoff games. He was 6-2-3 with a trio of shutouts after playing every minute of 2007.

Richard Goddard is expected to debut Friday in Miami when Vancouver begins a six-game road trip, with Tyler Baldock as backup.

Lenarduzzi said the 'Caps are talking with Mark Howard, who was released this month by Wales' Cardiff City. The Whitecaps will retain Caig's rights until the end of the season. Lenarduzzi said it's possible that he could return if his personal situation is resolved.

Meanwhile, Geordie Lyall has rejoined Vancouver after an 11-game stint with Walsall FC. Lyall, 30, was voted USL First Division defender of the year in 2006.


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