MLS Soccer: Whitecaps
Welcome to the first edition of the weekly Whitecaps overview. This feature will seek to highlight important facts for our beloved Vancouver soccer team as they seek to return a senior level championship to the Lower Mainland for the first time since the NASL title of the early ‘80s (not to slight the USL triumphs of 2006 & 2008).
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In its previous match on Sep. 17t, the Whitecaps were absolutely manhandled by the LA Galaxy, a team that is running at full capacity during its present winning streak. The Whitecaps looked like a youth team for much of the match, undone by the clever movement of the Galaxy forwards and midfielders with support from their well-organized defence.
Vancouver is matched up with the Seattle Sounders, their closest neighbour and historical rival, and a team that is flying high right now. Despite the fact that the Whitecaps are essentially relegated to playing out the string with the absolute faintest of playoff hopes, Bobby Lenarduzzi and the rest of the organization will be keen to obtain a good result and to be a thorn in the Sounders side, while also continuing to stir interest in the fledgling Vancouver franchise. Perhaps Eric Hassli may have another wonder goal up his sleeve to revive memories of his thunderbolt from the far right of the 18 yard box, back across his body into the far left corner of the net.
With no immediate international matches pending (until the first week of October) the players are free to focus on closing out their MLS season.
The injury list for the ‘Caps is relatively short, with Atiba Harris the only significant name that will definitely miss this weekend’s match through injury. Although the injury situation is clearing up, it should be noted that defender Alain Rochat will also miss out on Saturday due to an over accumulation of cautions.
Watching the Wave (Editorial)
This section will be reserved for more in depth team issues, providing opinion pieces on developments with the team, including playing style, personnel decisions and progress towards that first MLS championship.
From time to time special articles in greater detail will focus on more complex aspects of the Whitecaps.
Stay tuned for a feature on the direction management should take as the ‘Caps prepare for their second season next year.