Vancouver Whitecaps Round-up
The Vancouver Whitecaps are still steamed over their unfortunate exit from the Amway Canadian Championships at the hands (err, feet actually) of Toronto FC a week ago.
There was some small consolation with yet another come from behind effort, that this time provided a late draw (1-1) with regional rival Portland. But the team has gone without a win for five games now.
On Saturday evening, June 2nd, Vancouver opens a three game home stand with a contest against the Houston Dynamo, the finalist that lost out to the LA Galaxy in last year’s MLS Cup.
Houston sits sixth at present in the Eastern Conference.
There are a number of internationals taking place with the end of the European league season, and also with a series of friendly matches prior to the impending Euros 2012 tournament. None of the Whitecaps prominent players will be absent though.
Atiba Harris underwent successful surgery for a meniscus tear in his right knee. It is hoped he may recover to play again by the end of the summer. Third string ‘keeper Brian Sylvestre has also undergone knee surgery recently.
Watching the Wave (Editorial)
It is an astonishing statistic but the Vancouver Whitecaps played a wearying eight games in May, with a full MLS slate and four matches in the Canadian Championships for the Voyageurs Cup and its Champions berth.
The month’s mixed results clearly demonstrated the importance of establishing a deeper squad.
The team did fairly well in the Voyageurs Cup play, blowing out Edmonton, before taking the two legged Toronto final down to the last 8 minutes before finally succumbing to TFC.
The month also started off well in MLS with an unexpected 2-1 win over San Jose, before a 4-1 thrashing by New England.
However, the Whitecaps did recover somewhat to draw with both Cascadia rivals, Seattle and Portland.
Management and Coach Martin Rennie have worked hard to increase the team’s depth, evidenced by the arrival of players such as Sebastien Le Toux.
The injection of more talent has also provided excitement with some late game goals to extract results. Vancouver also sits fifth currently in the Western Conference, with a game or two in hand on other teams.
But, weaknesses remain and the team must continue to strive for improvements in their player procurement and development.
The arrival soon of ex-Aston Villa midfielder Barry Robson cannot come soon enough, and that is great news, but more talent is eagerly anticipated in future.