The Vancouver Whitecaps first wave of roster moves under new manager Marc Dos Santos came this week as it was announced on Tuesday that options had been picked up on seven players, while another nine would be packing their bags and leaving Vancouver.
Among those picked up were striker Erik Hurtado, midfielders Nicolas Mezquida, David Norman Jr., and Yordy Reyna, defenders Doneil Henry and Brett Levis, and goalkeeper Sean Melvin.
The club will be bidding adieu to striker Myer Bevan, midfielders Marvin Emnes and Aly Ghazal, defenders Jose Aja, Roberto Dominguez, and Aaron Maund, and goalkeepers Stefan Marinovic and Spencer Richey.
Last but certainly not least, the Whitecaps elected not to exercise the option on Brek “Public Enemy #1” Shea.Shea faced harsh criticism during his time in Vancouver largely surrounding status as a designated player (DP) in 2017, his salary and the complete and utter lack of return on investment.As the second highest paid Whitecaps player, Shea made 28 appearances and scored 3 goals during the 2018 season.He struggled to stay healthy throughout his two seasons in Vancouver and was not a regular starter under former club manager Carl Robinson.
The people of Vancouver have been rejoicing since the announcement that Brek was on his way out of town:
But there are many in the Twitter-verse who are hoping their teams pick up Shea in the offseason, including Minnesota United FC and his former clubs Orlando City FC and FC Dallas.Only time will tell if he lands back in the MLS but if Vancouver has any advice at all to offer the other teams in the league: Check yourself before you Brek yourself.
It’s been a tough few months in Whitecaps-land.With a record of 3-3-1 in MLS league play since the beginning of August, things don’t seem terribly dire on paper, but with the Vancouver Whitecaps currently sitting in 7th place in the West, it will be a nail-biter for the Supporters during the last six matches of the season while they await results from around the league to determine whether the Whitecaps make it into the 2018 playoffs.
The last eight matches have provided both unbelievably heart-wrenching lows and spectacular highs. From a déjà vu-inducing equalizing own goal from Doneil Henry in dying seconds in the home leg of the Voyageurs Cup against Toronto FC and a 5-2 shellacking at BMO Field that saw Toronto hoist the V-Cup for the third time in as many seasons, to a hard-fought 3 points won at Providence Park against Cascadian rivals, the Portland Timbers, and an epic 3-2 come-from-behind win in San Jose during the first of back-to-back fixtures against the Quakes, the Whitecaps may need to start printing a warning on their tickets for people with heart conditions.
The #RobboIn and #RobboOut camps have been out in full force this season, and the last few weeks have been no exception. There were rumblings in August that anything less than hoisting the Voyageurs Cup would seal Carl Robinson’s fate as Vancouver’s manager; however, the Alphonso Davies deal may have bought the gaffer his job until the end of the 2018 season.Heading into Cascadia derby weekend, Robinson was quoted as saying, “There’ll be freshness in the game, as with all derbies. Whenever you play Seattle or Portland there’ll be energy, mistakes, wrong decisions, and it’ll be down to the players as to who will win the game,”* a quote which hasn’t sat well with Caps’ fans.
This past Saturday, Seattle Sounders visited BC Place for one of Caps fans’ favourite weekends of the year: Cascadia derby weekend.For these matches, calendars have usually been cleared for months and the supporters’ pubs are fully booked with day-long reservations.But this year was different.With an abbreviated Cascadia schedule due to the addition of Los Angeles FC to the Western Conference, the Caps found themselves playing Seattle and Portland only twice this season.
These matches should have meant that much more yet the apathy Vancouver has been experiencing all year long continued to grow.The Supporters pubs were eerily quiet and events around match day were wholly uneventful.Fortunately, the lower bowl at BC Place was still sold out and there was a lot at stake: with a draw or a win, Seattle wins the coveted Cascadia Cup.
The first half saw two Seattle goals with Raúl Ruidíaz scoring for the Sounders in the 21st and 42nd minute.The Caps were able to claw back a goal with an incredible header from Kei Kamara but ultimately, the Caps fell short and the final score was 2-1 Seattle.
In terms of “worst case scenario” this was it for two of the three Cascadian teams as the Portland Timbers sent representatives to Vancouver to hand off the Cascadia Cup to the 2018 champions, the Seattle Sounders.
There is still ample opportunity over the next six weeks to make a smash-and-grab run at one of the Western Conference playoff spots but, as Robbo so aptly put it, it’ll be on the players on the pitch to want it enough to bring home as many of the available 18 points as possible.
Shortly after 11am PT this morning, the Vancouver Whitecaps announced that they had completed the record-breaking transfer of homegrown midfielder Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich, ending days of intense speculation about the 17-year-old wonder kid.
According to the Whitecaps’ media release, the deal itself contains “a fixed transfer fee and additional compensation that could total more than $22 million US, the most ever received by an MLS club in the league’s 23-year history.”Davies will remain with the Whitecaps until the end of the 2018 MLS season then will head to Bayern Munich in January 2019 when the international transfer window re-opens.
Of concern to many Caps’ fans and supporters is where the record-breaking transfer fee is going to go. At the recent Supporters’ Town Hall, Whitecaps co-owner, Jeff Mallett, shocked attendees with the information that the $2M US transfer fee obtained from Chilean side Colo-Colo for striker Octavio Rivero in 2016 had already been spent.
Mallett stated the money had been reinvested into the club, but for a side who has fallen to the lower half of league spending on players, this answer seemed unacceptable to supporters. In the team’s media release today, Mallet did indicate that “Our ownership group is committed to investing 100 percent of the funds back into the sporting side of the club” and there is little doubt the supporters intend to hold Whitecaps ownership accountable to that statement.
Today is a day Vancouver supporters have both been eagerly awaiting and utterly dreading. For those who spent sunny Sundays watching 15-year-old “Phonzie” at WFC2 matches out at Thunderbird Stadium, located on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus, to seeing his meteoric rise in the MLS, the moment is bittersweet.
So many of the supporters’ hopes for the Whitecaps team were on the shoulders of Alphonso Davies, and after what can only be called a frustrating season on the pitch, many are wondering where the organization goes next. For now, they have a few months to figure out how to say “Farewell Phonzie”.
The Vancouver Whitecaps‘ woes continued this weekend as they headed down the I-5 to face off against Cascadian rivals, the Seattle Sounders. Going into the first derby week of the 2018 season, and having lost four out of their last five matches, and dropping to what many consider their “rightful place” at 8th in the MLS West standings, the Caps needed a strong performance to keep their season, and hopes for bringing the Cascadia Cup home, alive.
Overshadowing one of the Whitecaps’ biggest clashes of the season came breaking news that 17-year-old home-grown sensation Alphonso Davies would not suit up for this match and that a transfer to Bayern Munich was imminent. All eyes were on “Phonzie” as the rumour mill had him set to break the MLS record for transfer fees and do it well ahead of his 18th birthday on November 2nd.
As for the match itself, the Caps struggled with their second new lineup of the week. An early penalty awarded to the Sounders as a result of a handball in the box from Doneil Henry sent Seattle up 1-0 in the 4th minute. Nicolás Lodeiro scored his second of the match in the 32′, sending a shot from distance past Stefan Marinovic, who has seemed to struggle since his return from injury on Wednesday in the Voyageurs Cup semi-finals where the Caps fell 1-0 to Montreal.
Discipline has been an ongoing issue with this Whitecaps side and that became ever apparent when, at 2-0 down, Caps’ midfielder Efraín Juárez took a yellow card in the 77′ for a challenge on double goal scorer Lodeiro. In a reaction Vancouver fans have become all too familiar with this season, Juárez lost his cool and charged at match official Chris Penso, bumping chests as they came face to face, which resulted in the midfielder being dealt an automatic red card.Juárez has since apologized to both the Whitecaps organization and the supporters, but many think the damage is already done and his time in Blue & White should be over.
The Caps face off against Montreal in the home leg of the Voyageurs Cup semi-finals with Montreal visiting BC Place this Wednesday.The organization has stated that one of their main goals this season is to bring both the Voyageurs Cup and the Cascadia Cup back home to Vancouver; two trophies on the line, three matches in 10 days and to date, zero goals to show for it. It’s safe to say Carl Robinson’s head is once again on the chopping block and if the Whitecaps fail to score at home and defeat Montreal to advance to the Voyageurs Cup Final, this may be the Welsh manager’s swan song.
In previous years, the Vancouver supporters used to plan their year’s travel schedules around these #CapsOnTour trips but the 2018 Caps’ season has left so many disenchanted about the team’s future, that less than one-third of available tickets were sold in the away supporters section at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.The Whitecaps are losing the battle to apathy amongst the Vancouver supporters.
My VWFC-Sounders experience was a little different than those that traveled. I waltzed into Blarney Stone moments after kickoff, barely having glanced at the lineup, and was more preoccupied with what I had to do after the game was over than watching the game itself.
My VWFC-Sounders experience was a little different than those that traveled. I waltzed into Blarney Stone moments after kickoff, barely having glanced at the lineup, and was more preoccupied with what I had to do after the game was over than watching the game itself.
To say it’s been a trying few months to be a Vancouver Whitecaps supporter would be a bit of an understatement. After falling 6-0 to Sporting Kansas City on April 20th, a loss that led to their supporters to “Demand Better”, the Caps appeared to finally be finding their footing, going 3-1-4, scoring 16 goals (2nd in the MLS), creating 95 chances (most in the MLS), and 2 MLS Player of the Week honours (Techera & Davies) with 6 matches unbeaten (including back-to-back wins.) The supporters were starting to let their guard down, the fiery pitchfork-wielding anger from April far off in the distance.
Then the Whitecaps reminded us just how quickly things can change.
On June 23rd, the Philadelphia Union put 4 unanswered goals past an undisciplined Whitecaps side, a side that, for the second time this season, was down to 9 men before the final whistle was blown. The glaring discipline issues this team has been rife with all season were once again highlighted for the entire league to see. The calls for #RobboOut were back with a vengeance, coming fast and furious on social media and had many wondering what the Supporters’ Town Hall, scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th, was going to hold.
The Supporters’ Town Hall was born out of the “We Demand Better” statement released in April 2018. In response to the statement, the Whitecaps front office had asked what they could do for the supporters. While there were many ways that question could have been answered, the first step became a Town Hall that would see the Caps’ brass come out to the Southsiders’ supporters pub and answer questions from members of the three Vancouver SGs: the Southsiders, Curva Collective, and Rain City Brigade.
It was a feat in and of itself to have the likes of Club President and Whitecaps legend Bobby Lenarduzzi, Chief Operating Officer Rachel Lewis, Vice President of Soccer Operations Greg Anderson, and of course, Manager Carl Robinson on the panel for this event, but the day before the Philly match, the supporters received word that Jeff Mallett, from the Whitecaps ownership group, had added his name to the list of panelists. For the first time in the MLS era, the Whitecaps supporters would get an audience with the people making the big decisions for their Club and be able to ask the tough questions.
Without going into the nitty-gritty details of the Town Hall, I will say it closed with each panelist offering their rationale for why each supporter should stick with the team, renew their season tickets for next year and continue to chant and cheer themselves hoarse on match days. Then the team went on to lose 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids. On Canada Day. At home. To a team who, until then, had only secured one point on the road this season.
The Whitecaps were without Yordy Reyna and Jose Aja, who were serving their match suspension after taking red cards during the match against Philly, and Cristian Techera who was serving the first of his three-match ban for “offensive, discriminatory language” used during the Union match. It’s difficult to ascertain whether any of those three would have been the difference maker in the Canada Day match because it didn’t matter: the team’s complete lack of discipline had resulted in the Whitecaps dropping a valuable three points yet again.
The pitchforks have been sharpened, the supporters are more displeased (and vocal!) than ever about the direction in which their team is headed and the calls for change rage on.
Rule #1 of the Southsiders is “Always support the Caps” and while the frustration with the Whitecaps organization reaches its boiling point, I encourage our supporters to continue the productive dialogue that began back in April, the one that reaches far beyond #RobboOut and seeks more from the Whitecaps organization as a whole.
Continue to stand and sing for the boys in Blue & White, cheer them on to victory…while holding the organization accountable and demanding better.
After a record breaking 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, the Vancouver Whitecaps faced the second seeded Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference semi-finals. First leg was played at home and resulted in a 0-0 draw. The game was frustrating and intense.
When the lineup was announced, you could tell we were playing defensively since away goals are weighted more than home goals in aggregate scoring. The Whitecaps had some really great chances. I sit near the away team’s support section and boy were they annoying =). Seattle also had their fair amount of chances including an almost own goal from our very own Kendall Waston.
The game was physical right away and the ref let them play. There was a lot of players “down”. Just to give you an idea, with a 0-0 draw the second half had at least 6 mins of extra time. 6 MINUTES. Most of this time came from a little kerfuffle in the 83rd minute, involving most, if not all, of both sides. It was a heated game with added frustration of playoffs. The ref wasn’t consistent, Seattle is defending the Cup, and these two teams have been rivals for a while now. Emotions were being felt.
Near the end of the game, we made some offensive changes bringing in Yordy Reyna and Nico Mezquida. Expect to see a more offensive lineup for Thursday, the 2nd game. Though, word on the street is that Reyna and Techera are still “touch and go’ according to the Whitecaps website. Seattle will also see the return of Clint Dempsey coming off a red card suspension.
Whitecaps lost 3-0 on their last visit to their rivals. Seattle is a hometown team who set a “franchise record this year for the fewest home losses in a season” according to the Sounder’s website.
One away goal from the Whitecaps could curtail the Sounders and pressure them to produce 2 goals. There are many scenarios that could play out in the second game, but one thing is certain, there will be only one team moving on. We need to, more now than ever, to #Riseupraincity
If you’ve ever been to a match when the Cascadia Cup is on the line, you never forget it.
Long-time Timbers Army members tell stories of the first Cascadia Cup matches early in the A-League/USL era, when supporters of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, and Portland Timbers all agreed to pitch in to buy a trophy to honor whichever Cascadia team had the best regular season record among the three. They can tell you why you should never pick the Cup up by the handles, and about how league and schedule changes have forced supporters from all three clubs to come to agreement on how to handle unbalanced schedules and other hiccups in the past.
In the MLS era, I remember when something like 1500 of us went to Seattle in October 2012 with the chance to win the Cup–and instead got spanked 3-0. I remember when hundreds of us then trekked to Vancouver two weeks later to christen the newly renovated BC Place, and Jack Jewsbury blasted a ball from distance to give us a 1-0 victory and our first Cascadia Cup in the MLS era.
As in years past, if there is ever a Cascadia Cup match where the trophy is on the line, representatives from supporters of the potential winner of the Cup must be in attendance, even if their team isn’t playing. And representatives of those in possession of the Cup must also be in attendance when the Cup is on the line, even if their team isn’t playing. When we had to surrender the Cup in 2011, representatives of the Timbers Army had to drive to Canada to hand it over to either Seattle or Vancouver, depending on the outcome of their match. In 2012, turnabout was fair play, and Seattle had to drive to Canada to hand the trophy over to us.
This year, Portland has had several chances to seal the deal. Vancouver brought the trophy down to a Portland-Seattle game in case we won the game and the Cup (we didn’t); Portland supporters had to go to a Vancouver-Seattle game in case they drew and we won the Cup (we didn’t); and Seattle had to come to Portland for our final match against Vancouver in case we drew or lost, which would have meant Seattle winning the Cup (they didn’t). In the end, all three supporter groups traveled to matches played by two teams they didn’t support, all for naught and all because of the Cascadia Cup. It was standard Cascadia Cup drama.
And it was glorious.
Of course, since it was a Cascadia Cup match, I was already a wreck well before the game. And not only was the Cup on the line: a win would put us into first place in the West and give us a first round bye. With the Sounders playing hapless Colorado, a tie or a loss would almost certainly put us into third or fourth place, with the insult-to-injury of losing the Cup to hated rivals in Seattle, followed by a midweek play-in game on little rest.
Superstitious to the last, I baked the same fanladen treats I’ve been baking since our home game winning streak began in August. I wore the same USL Timbers earrings I wear to every home game. And I was still sure how this script would go. I figured that, as a former Whitecaps player, Darren Mattocks would score the early goal to punish Vancouver and get our hopes up; and that Fredy Montero, recently acquired by the Whitecaps, a long-time former Sounders player and hated rival, would crush our spirits with a late equalizer. I hoped for the best and prepared myself for the worst.
As I expected, we went with the same lineup we’d used against DC United. Both teams looked to be pretty stingy early on, so it wasn’t surprising that the first score came off a set piece. Kendall Waston punished Larrys Mabiala in the 29′ with a beautiful header off a free kick. I groaned, expecting Vancouver to be sensible and pack in the defense.
But then a funny thing happened. The Timbers started flying into the box, and the Whitecaps were unable to respond. Just three minutes after the Waston header, David Guzman took a deep free kick from just past the center circle and Aly Ghazal headed it out the back unnecessarily. This set up a corner kick for Guzman, who sent it to the top left corner of the box to Darlington Nagbe. Whitecaps keeper Stefan Marinovic was barely able to bat away Nagbe’s curling shot; unfortunately for Marinovic, he batted it to the waiting feet of Liam Ridgewell, who stretched out just enough to tap it across the goal and into the net to tie the game:
The rest of the half, the Timbers were on the front foot, as they say, continuing to press. I kept waiting for the boys to falter and suffer from a counterattack but it never really materialized. And then three minutes into the half a beautiful team goal involving Nagbe, Sebastian Blanco, Vytautas Andriuškevičius, and Mattocks put us ahead 2-1 to stay:
Vancouver battled hard in the last few minutes but to no avail, and when the final whistle sounded the unbelievable had become reality: we had won the West and the Cup.
Sebastian Blanco had an excellent game. I know some people grumbled that he took shots that were off the mark, but the truth is that his work rate is incredible, he is starting to team well with others, and those shots he took wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t worked so hard to get the opportunities in the first place.
Darren Mattocks is playing well(!). At the start of the season, I would not have guessed that I’d consider preferring to start Mattocks up top over Fanendo Adi going into the playoffs; but here we are.
Alvas Powell didn’t make any fatal errors. ‘Nuf said.
Off the Pitch
Surprising absolutely nobody, Diego Valeri was the hands down winner of the Supporters Player of the Year award. We are ready to build the statue any time, folks.
A collaboration by official reporters of MLSFemale @MLSFemale
With Major League Soccer, there is no greater prize than the MLS Cup. Twelve teams, 6 from each conference, are vying for the chance to lift the ultimate prize of the league’s 22nd season. Here’s a quick rundown from our MLSFemale squad:
Toronto FC: AND NOW YOU’RE GUNNA BELIEVE US, we’ve gone and won the league! Suffice it to say the city of Toronto is over the moon with our accomplishments this season and we are looking forward to what we hope is a great playoff run. Michael Bradley succinctly put our season in summation by saying “…we went after every game from 1 to 34 like it was the only thing that mattered.” (source)
I think they can be proud that they never really wavered on that goal and it paid off. As a member of the Kings in the North, one of the official protectors of the Supporters’ Shield during it’s stay in Toronto, I look forward to spending some time up close and personal with it.
Our playoff future looks bright; one is left hoping that we take that same winning mentality into the playoffs and consider every opponent and every game with care. Finishing off the regular season at Atlanta was also a good test for us to end on. Fresh to the league, they were the one team I felt we hadn’t had a proper chance to sound out back in April. Having seen their house and how they feel about our players (your hate makes them strong, our love makes them unstoppable), I now feel confident that Toronto FC has the arsenal to make a successful playoff run. And as Giovinco has shown, this team is ready for whatever is thrown at them. So bring on our second (okay fine, third) go at it, we’re here to win it all!
*NYCFC: Not gonna lie: this team gets measurably better every year. With head coach Patrick Vieira, the Pigeons have made it to their 1st MLS post season in style, with a bye for the knockout round. Legend David Villa and newcomer Jack Harrison, as well as the rest of the squad, are going to face their first opponents well rested and ready for a run. Just how far can the boys in blue go their first time out?
Chicago Fire: Nine months ago Fire fans were excited for the club’s new signings– with Dax McCarty, Juninho, Niko, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, certainly the Men in Red wouldn’t finish last place again – would they?
By early June, fans knew that not only were the Chicago Fire going to dig themselves out from the bottom of the table, but the likelihood that they would be playoff contenders looked promising.
David Accam, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juninho, amongst others have been battling injuries, just returned from injury, or will return from injury for the playoffs. Is the squad recovering at the appropriate time? With key players on the bench over the last couple of months, other players gained experience – this will certainly help strengthen roster options when Veljko Paunovic looks to his bench for substitution options.
Who will get the nod for the goalkeeper position? Matt Lampson, who has been with the team since February of 2016 and a total of 34 games played for the Fire? Or will Richard Sanchez start in net after only recently signing with the Fire?
We supporters are excited for the playoffs, for the opportunities that lie ahead, and for a home game, but we’re also realistic, especially after the last two unfortunate seasons.
Atlanta United: Well, here we are…The new kids in the league are in the playoffs. A 4th place finish to the regular season is better than where I thought we’d be at the beginning of the season. This gives us home field advantage for Thursday’s knockout round game – and home field advantage in Mercedes-Benz Stadium could be significant. We’ve also won both games against Columbus (#SaveTheCrew!) earlier this season – although we did lose to them in the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup in February.
This team is much stronger now. They’ve now had an entire season to get to know each other. We have a solid starting lineup – even with a few subs because of injuries. And with over 70,000 people expected at the game on Thursday to cheer them on, I think Atlanta United has a really good chance at hoisting that cup in December.
The boys are ready for this. Atlanta is ready for this.
Columbus Crew:In the middle of the season, the Crew was struggling and looked unlikely to make the playoffs, but Berhalter seems to have the magic touch with his team at the end of the season.The tie against NYCFC took the Crew’s unbeaten streak to 10.It kept the team in the 5th spot while a win could’ve put them in 2nd place.
The team is dealing with a lot of distractions with a fan base who passionately loves them and is distraught that an owner would take them away.(#savethecrew)However, if the team can keep their form and absorb the passion the fans are showing them, they actually have a chance against Atlanta.Although, it will be a tough away game.The fans really need them to win, so we have a home playoff game to show how much we love the players.
New York Red Bulls: Whew! Just made it in under the wire. But RBNY is in the playoffs for the 8th season in a row. Always the bridesmaid, RBNY is the only MLS 1.0 team (originally the NY/NJ Metrostars) never to lift the MLS Cup. Coach Jesse Marsch has said that the team has been the favorite during the playoffs to no avail and that it’s time to be underdog.
I’m expecting a solid performance from Tyler Adams and the rest of the back line as well as more attacking from Daniel Royer. Defender Aurelien Collin has been working his way back to full health, and Jesse hopes to be able to bring him back into the 18. Dax McCarty and the Chicago Fire are the first obstacle in the knockout round, and another edition of the Hudson River Derby is practically guaranteed after that. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth having ever is. Fight Together.
Portland Timbers: It is not an overstatement to say that for the Timbers this Sunday’s game was the most important game of the year up to this point. The Cascadia Cup was on the line, as was the chance to win the conference and a first round bye.
With a Portland win, they have won the West and a first round bye. They also take back the Cascadia Cup, the coveted supporter-owned trophy awarded to whichever northwest team has the best finish among the three Cascadia-area squads. If Portland had tied or lost, Seattle would have taken the Cup, and Portland would almost certainly have dropped to third or fourth place, hosting a midweek knockout round game.
As I expected, Attinella remained in goal, with Vytas and Powell on the wings, and Mattocks up top as we wait for Fanendo Adi to be match fit. And with PTFC’s Mattocks being a former Whitecaps player there was plenty of opportunity for a knife-twisting match finish as he gave us the go-ahead goal to seal the deal. Now we wait to see who makes it out of the knockout round.
Seattle Sounders: It is finally time to defend our cup.This year has been such an up and down year.There are days where we look like the team from last year’s run.And then there are games where we look like a team that hasn’t even played together before.
The game against FC Dallas gives me hope that maybe we are turning a corner.With a win on Sunday gives us a much needed bye.This will give the team time to heal up.I can’t wait for this run at the MLS cup.I really hope the top team in the East loses so we can host the cup this year!!
Vancouver Whitecaps: The Whitecaps were able to pull themselves above the red line in a very decisive way, landing themselves in 3rd place in the Western conference after flirting with the top spot for a hot minute. They will meet the San Jose Earthquakes in the knockout round at home in Vancouver. This is a decided advantage for the Whitecaps, as BC Place has been a fortress for the team this season.
*Houston Dynamo: The Dynamo played VERY well at home this year, giving up only one game at home at BBVA during the regular season. And they have to be looking forward to the opportunity to take on Sporting KC again, having just beaten them at home less than two weeks ago and drawing them in Kansas City shortly thereafter. If they manage to pull it off, their next opponent will be one of the top two finishers in the West, Portland or Seattle.
Sporting KC: I am not pleased with how this season ended, and I am not pleased that Sporting fell from 1st to 5th in the West over the last third of the season. If we’re going to make it anywhere in the playoffs we have to do one thing…score goals. It seems like that should be pretty easy, but obviously it’s not since SKC scored just 3 goals in their last 5 games.
If the Sporting team from the beginning of the season comes back then we could be in good shape, but the run will be hard since we have no home field advantage. Hopefully, with this being the third game against Houston in a two week span we’ll have them figured out. Sporting, don’t make this city regret all the energy you put into the US Open Cup. We need some of that magic for the playoffs.
*San Jose Earthquakes: The Quakes had a wild finish to the regular season, with the winning goal coming three minutes into stoppage time against expansion side Minnesota United. Now they travel to Canada on only three days rest for a single game elimination round. They may still manage the upset against a Whitecaps squad that is struggling to put games away at precisely the wrong time in the season.
If San Jose can pull it off, they will face Portland in a conference semifinal, a team they’ve beaten at home twice during the regular season.
(Teams marked with a * do not have an official reporter from MLSFemale. If you support any of these teams, find your inner reporter and contact us!)
As the season closes in, the Vancouver Whitecaps have wound their way through almost every spot in the standings. Considering this, their play has also represented all of these standings. We have seen them go toe-to-toe with New York City FC, summoning a fire within that brought even the harshest winds to their adversaries. We have also seen them struggle with chemistry, an ever changing starting lineup, and missing PKs that should have been meticulously placed in one of the four corners of the net.
As the San Jose Earthquakes came to town, we once again saw the on again, off again Whitecaps. With a rather slow and unenthusiastic beginning to the game, we saw a goal from Yordy Reyna (Rayna Terror we call them) in the 29th minute that catalysed the entire team. The effect was immediate, the goal was a team effort touching almost all positions on the pitch.
Most of the game was mediocre by the Whitecaps, though we saw some great attacking plays that just didn’t fall. For me, someone who loves to see some playmaking, I felt like we put more pressure on their back end with runs and finding space rather than our usual long ball over the top that gets sent right back. Honestly, I like the way the attacking half was playing.
The Quakes came back with a goal in the 77th min by Valeri Qazaishvili. A devastating blow to the ‘Caps ability to clinch first place in the West.
Most of what we talk about happens to be goals, so I wanted to give a shout out to Andrew Tarbell and Stefan Marinović who were both magnificent in goal. It really was a delight to watch them both.
Now we work to defeat the Portland Timbers who are going to go in strong in this last game of the regular season. So much rides on this last game. Pride in rival games, first place, and home field advantage going into the playoffs. We need the mids to be stronger, faster, and more accurate with their ball skills. We need the forwards to continue firing at the net. We need to defeat the Timbers! It’s time to #riseupraincity
The Vancouver Whitecaps fall to New England Revolution in the last game of their road trip. Bringing back 4 points over the 3 game trip, they head into Pride night, which is a breath of fresh air.
Other than the game loss, the team suffers a player loss with Matias Laba being out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
The Whitecaps are a team on the cusp of making the playoffs. Though, I can tell you that their hot and cold mentality will not cut it when teams see the playoffs in sight.
They played with the most heart against New York City FC. Over the summer they have had some encouraging wins, like the 4-0 victory over FC Dallas. The road trip was ended with a mediocre show in a loss to the Revolution. What we need now is consistency.
Laba’s injury, a pair of newbies, and the perks of – finally – being home.
We need Fredy Montero to make the best of the chances he is given. We need to play with the fire and heart we have seen shine through on rare occasions. We need the backs to make runs, we need to see the field and we need them to want it.
Hopefully our hometown crowd can add a little fuel to the fire. Wouldn’t it be great to see #raincity in the playoffs.
Welcome again to Aly Ghazal, Aaron Maund, and Stefan Marinovic.
#riseupraincity Glad the smoke from wildfires is gone and glad that you are coming home.