Whitecaps All Access
I’m C-Mac here’s your weekly Caps’ Report. The Vancouver Whitecaps are still jubilant following their 1-0 weekend road win, which was their first ever in MLS. Though the team was frequently outplayed in terms of possession, they held well to their structure and managed to eke out a morale boosting win despite last minute adjustments for personnel and tactics.
On Saturday evening, March 24th, Vancouver entertains DC United which has started poorly with a 1-0 loss at home to Sporting Kansas City, followed last week by a 3-1 defeat to the LA Galaxy.
Check in Friday for the game preview.
The Whitecaps got great news today with the announcement from the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) that both Bryce Alderson and Russell Teibert have made the final 20 man roster for the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament. The regional qualifier will take place from March 22nd to April 2nd.
Both young players are fringe members of the main ‘Caps squad but hold great promise for the future. The experience they will gain from involvement in this event will build their confidence.
Teibert has served previously on the U-23 roster, but this will be the first time that Alderson, who is one of the two youngest members at 18 years old, has cracked the line-up.
Martin Rennie has spoken glowingly of both young players to date, particularly Alderson, and having two local lads do so well indicates that the Whitecaps youth development program is reaping its own rewards.
This can only in turn help the team attract more of Canada’s brightest young talent to the program.
As we saw on the weekend, Joe Cannon suffered what appeared to be a thigh strain during match action, and now Darren Mattocks appears to have injured himself in some kind of kitchen based accident on Monday evening.
He has reportedly burned his upper arm and shoulder while preparing food.
Both players continue to be assessed with their return to play yet to be announced.
Key midfielder John Thorrington also remains on the injured list.
Watching the Wave (Editorial)
Vancouver’s rampant makeover in the off-season has helped the team get off to a terrific start with victories in both their initial home and road starts.
The roster is now full of flexible players who have responded well to Coach Martin Rennie’s attacking tactical formation.
The forwards have benefited from the inclusion of French star Sebastien Le Toux who has struck up a keen understanding early on with countryman Eric Hassli.
Le Toux’s two play has helped bridge the attacking talents of the forwards with responsible play marking back. And this pick-up is not the only one as well that has been rewarded.
In particular, the re-structured defence has responded well to the addition of Argentinian Martin Bonjour and Korean star YP Lee. Their international background has meshed well with established MLS starts Jay DeMerit and Alain Rochat to form a solid, communicative brick wall.
The focus for the rest of the season should be on building a midfield on par with the units flanking it.
The last game for this area was not as strong as the opening match of the season, so Martin Rennie will either have to accelerate the development of the players he has, or look to make a couple of further midfield acquisitions to meet the high standards of the likes of Le Toux and YP Lee.