Vancouver Whitecaps Round-up
The Vancouver Whitecaps put up a good fight but lost out to Real Salt Lake on the road in a close 2-1 decision on July 27th. The highlight for the ‘Caps was yet another goal for rookie phenom Darren Mattocks, who has forced himself into the number one striker role for Vancouver.
Van City hosts Real in the back end of a home and home series on Saturday August 11th, following a two week break.
There was no action on this front this past week for any of Vancouver’s players.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the acquisition of centre back Andy O’Brien from English League Championship side Leeds United AFC – pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and Visa.
Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Forward Omar Salgado remains out long term with a foot fracture.
Watching the Wave (Editorial)
The current two week break has come at an absolutely vital time for Vancouver as they continue to sit fourth in the MLS Western Conference standings as the once far off playoffs start to come more clearly into focus.
This is a crucial time for the team to rest and focus on training designed to further integrate their three newcomers in Scottish midfielder Barry Robson, Jamaican winger Dane Richards and another Scot in the latest arrival, forward Kenny Miller.
The resurgent LA Galaxy are a mere one point back of the Whitecaps and even Chivas USA could catch Vancouver as they are eight points back, but with 3 games in hand.
The Whitecaps squad will need to have faith and an intimate understanding of each other’s games and the team system if they want to assure their first ever post-season opportunity.
It is unusual for a team to have undergone so much change in key personnel as the ‘Caps have seen this year (including the losses of such previous mainstays as Davide Chiumiento, Eric Hassli and Sebastien Le Toux) and these two weeks off could serve the purpose of a second training camp.
The pressure is now on Coach Martin Rennie to use this time to its maximum benefit if Vancouver is to hold on to their prize.