Thursday, June 30, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus TFC

The Whitecaps decide ahead of their match with TFC to ‘manage’ their lineup by making eight changes to the starting eleven.  While if it wasn’t for an ill-advised tackle by Greg Janicki, that led to a penalty kick, the Caps were close to getting a result against TFC due to their opposition’s lack of quality.  However they were on the negative side of a 1-0 result and are at the bottom of the MLS table with 14 points.


Eric Hassli- The French striker came off the bench at halftime when it seemed like the Caps had a chance at getting a result.  The service was lacking and Hassli did not attempt a shot on goal but he did make some good plays including a deep cross that almost found Khalfan at the side of the net. GRADE:  B-

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reserve Team Unable To Secure Result Against TFC

The Whitecaps clearly had their sights set towards the weekend match as they put out a reserve team to face TFC and lost 1-0 at BMO Field.  There were a total of eight changes made to the line-up that played and lost to Sporting Kansas City last weekend.  The lone goal was scored by Nick Soolsma who converted a penalty kick after he was fouled by defender Greg Janicki.

The only players that were carry overs in the starting eleven included rookies Michael Boxall, Jeb Brovsky, and veteran Shea Salinas.  The line-up included three teenagers (Salgado, Teibert, and Koffie) as well as four players (Nolly, Wagner, Knight, and Janicki) who were Whitecaps for the full 2010 season in Division 2. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TFC vs WhitecapsFC Match Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps face their Canadian rivals, TFC, for the third time this year, fourth time unofficially with the last match abandoned due to rain and pitch issues.  Both teams will face each other Saturday as well to make up for their rained out game earlier in the year.  With so much fixture congestion and injury issues for bothe teams the starting eleven will be up in the air until near gametime.

MLS Power Rankings: Week 15

The Seattle Sounders may be the hottest team in the league on a three game winning streak but its very hard to unseat a team that earned a road point without Donovan or Beckham.  Then during the game lost their starting goalkeeper to injury, their backup to a red card and played the second half with a man down and a 5'9" forward Mike Magee in goal.  No major risers this week with Sporting KC rising two spots while New York fell three spots after a loss and draw this past week.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (1)
Record:  9W-2L-8D
Last Week: 0-0 Draw at San Jose Earthquakes
Next Week:  July 4 vs Seattle Sounders
No Donovan, Beckham and no goalkeeper for a half and Galaxy still earn a point.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Residency Players Make History At U17 World Cup

The Canadian national team enjoyed their best run at the U17 World Cup, getting two results out of three games, but were unable to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.  For the Whitecaps and their residency program it was a coming out party as four of the five players on the team had significant contributions for their country on the world stage.  Two of their players, Captain Bryce Alderson and Yassin Essa, were singled out as impact players for Canada in this tournament and potentially in the future.

Named the U17 captain for Canada, Bryce Alderson led the team with his play in the central midfield as he displayed long stretches of quality in the three group games.  The Ontario native is a box to box midfielder who excelled at tackling the ball away from the opposition, maintaining possession and then moving forward with his excellent distribution.  Jason DeVos, who covered the tournament for CBC, tweeted that Alderson could be the next Atiba Hutchinson which was high praise indeed.  In the game against England he set up Keven Aleman for a shot on net which led to Canada’s first goal.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Sporting KC

The Whitecaps seemed like they were going carrying momentum from draw with Seattle and last week’s win over Philadelphia but it was not to be as almost the entire team came out flat to begin the game.  While they did open the scoring against the run of play, with Camilo’s header off a free kick, the pressure that Sporting KC applied was relentless.  The game also changed when at halftime it was learned that both Jay DeMerit and Davide Chiumiento had suffered 1st half injuries that made leave at the break.

Disclaimer:  These are not the typical 1-10 scale that players are usually rated with.


Eric Hassli- Another good performance by the designated player could have been better if he received any decent service.  Hassli had to create his own opportunities coming close to tying the game earlier in the second half but was thwarted by Nielsen. He did try to make a difference by coming back and clearing the ball out of the box off of a corner kick.  GRADE:  B

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Caps Complete 1st Half Of Season With Loss

The Whitecaps could not take advantage of a Sporting Kansas City club that played their third game in seven days and made a number of changes as they fell 2-1 at Livestrong Park to end the first half of their initial MLS season with a loss.  While they may have lost the game, Vancouver’s bigger loss may have been Jay DeMerit who left that game at halftime with another potential groin injury.  For the second straight game the Caps opened the scoring on the road looking for their first win away from Empire but after a couple of breakdowns allowed a chance at a result to slip away.  The scoring was opened by Camilo in the first half but Sporting responded with a penalty kick by Omar Bravo and the winner by Julio Cesar late in the first half.

It was mentioned that Tom Soehn stated before the game on the TSN broadcast that because the KC team was playing their third game in seven days that the Caps would be going after the supposed tired club.  Apparently the home squad didn’t get that memo as they came flying at the Whitecaps especially in the first ten minutes which included a point blank save by Joe Cannon.  Then against the run of play a free kick by Davide Chiumiento found Camilo in the box and the diminutive Brazilian flicked the ball past Jimmy Nielsen for the opening score.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Whitecaps FC Versus Sporting KC Match Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps return to the road and visit Sporting Kansas City, for the second time this year, at Livestrong Park.  It was an unforgettable first meeting for the team and its supporters dunned the “Miracle on Hastings” as the Whitecaps came back from a three goal deficit, including scoring two in injury time, to steal a point.  The Caps hope they can victimize the Kansas City side and surprise many with their first win on the road this season.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (2)
Record:  9W-2L-7D
Last Week: 3-1 Win at Colorado Rapids
Next Week:  June 25 at San Jose Earthquakes
Convincing win on the road for team without Donovan and Ricketts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Philadephia Union

While the Whitecaps provided their fans a lot of offense in its first victory on opening day, it was a complete overall effort in all the thirds that led to the 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union.  While it was a spectacular shot by Rochat that opened the score, the run by Chiumiento to set up the goal was just as exciting and highlight worthy.  It could have a win by a bigger margin if the shots by the players, especially Hassli, had been more on target.

Disclaimer:  These are not the typical 1-10 scale that players are usually rated with.


Davide Chiumiento- Playing in his fourth match as a withdrawn striker Chiumiento had his best performance in his new role setting up the only goal as he picked up the ball at the center line, then cut across the field to find Rochat.  He seemed to be all over the field and if his teammates could have finished the Swiss playmaker could have had a couple of more assists.  Chiumiento is also proving not to be a liability on the defensive side as his work rate on that side of the ball is steadily improving. GRADE:  A-

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Caps Claim Three Points With Victory Over Union

It took almost three months but the Whitecaps were able to duplicate their victory from opening day with a 1-0 result against the Philadelphia Union.  Building on the draw from last week in Seattle the Whitecaps continued their strong possession and tight defensive play in their return match versus the Eastern Conference contender.  The Whitecaps scored inside of the of first fifteen minutes for the first time this season and it was their earliest goal since the opener as Rochat opened the score in the 12th minute.

Immediately the Whitecaps went into keeping possession of the ball as they passed it around but did not have a great push forward until the 11th minute.  That was when Chiumiento picked up the ball from the half line and proceeded down the sideline when he changed direction and cut across the field.  After a quick touch to Hassli, who slid it right back, Chiumiento continued his run across the field when he set the ball up for Rochat who curled the ball towards the far post into the back of the net. 

Whitecaps FC vs Philadelphia Union Match Preview

The Whitecaps return home after a three game road trip to face the Philadelphia Union for the second time this season.  Their first meeting saw the Caps lose with a late goal from Carlos Ruiz after being reduced to ten men after Eric Hassli received his second yellow card of the match.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Camilo On The Way Out?

The transfer season for most leagues are less than a month away from opening and the reports are escalating to a fever pitch.  Normally the majority of discussions are associated with the major European clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea or Barcelona raiding the smaller clubs but today there was a report of a team coming after Whitecap striker Camilo.  There was a report earlier today of a club from Kuwait, Al-Qadsiya, making an offer of about $500,000 for the Brazilian striker.

After playing 2010 in Maltese and Korean leagues, Camilo was brought over on a trial in the preseason and earned a MLS contract with his strong play.  He burst onto the MLS scene in his first start against Sporting KC when he dramatically scored two goals in injury time to earn the team a draw.  While he has only scored two since that game, Camilo has also earned three penalty kicks which were all converted by Eric Hassli.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Caps Bring Former Hotspur Academy Player On Trial

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced that they have brought in defender Cian Hughton, formerly of Lincoln City, to trial with the club.  Hughton, son of the former Newcastle manager and Tottenham player Chris Hughton, plays the full back position.  Before signing with Lincoln City in 2009 he spent his early days in the Tottenham Academy and making appearances for the Republic of Ireland youth squads.
Originally signed to a six month contract at the beginning of the 2009 season, Hughton flourished under manager and former English international Chris Sutton and earned himself an eighteen month extension.  He was rated as one of the better players on the 2009/10 squad, one that included Canadian international Gavin McCallum, scoring four times in 38 appearances.

Monday, June 13, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 13

It was a week of role reversals as many teams at the top of the table had disappointing results and teams at the bottom impressed with their matches.  New York, the only team in last week's top 5 to get max points, move back to the top of the rankings.  Besides than the Red Bulls, other big risers were KC, Colorado, San Jose and Houston while FC Dallas and DC United slid the most.

1. New York Red Bulls (5)
Record:  5W-2L-7D
Last Week:  2-1 Win vs New England Revolution
Next Week:  June 10 at Portland Timbers
Red Bulls get top spot by default as the only team in the top to get max points last week.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Seattle Sounders

It may have been another draw for the Whitecaps as they faced the Sounders at Qwest Field but there were definite signs of improvement that can be carried over for the rest of the season.  While the Caps did go from a one goal lead to being down a goal in a four minute period, the team showed get resolve by moving quickly down the field and then Hassli scoring the equalizer on one of the best goals scored this season.  The match ended in a draw with the Whitecaps getting a positive result on the road at Qwest Field to open the MLS version of the Cascadia Rivalry.

Disclaimer:  These are not the typical 1-10 scale that players are usually rated with.


Eric Hassli- Even before his strike to tie the score, Hassli was having a fantastic game scoring a cheeky penalty in the first half.  He had great touch and held the ball well waiting for his teammates but everyone will remember this performance for the second goal which is being labeled as the goal of the year so far.  GRADE:  A

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wondergoal Capped Off The Renewal Of Cascadia Derby

There was no shortage of fireworks as the Vancouver Whitecaps met their longtime rivals, the Seattle Sounders, for the 112th time ending the match in a 2-2 draw.  It looked like a devastating result for the Caps as they allowed the Sounders to score within a few minutes to take a one goal lead before Eric Hassli scored a goal for the ages to secure a point at Qwest Field.  In the first half Hassli opened the score with a penalty kick that was earned after Camilo was fouled in the box by Alonso of the Sounders.

There was a definite difference in the opening minutes of the match as the Caps pressed the Sounders from the beginning of the whistle.  In the first fifteen minutes of the match the Caps came close on a couple of chances as first Camilo, from thirty yards out, forced Kasey Keller into making a good save and then a couple of minutes later Salinas was sent in alone but put the shot wide of the post.  About five minutes later Joe Cannon was forced into a nice save as he tipped a shot from Osvaldo Alonso over the bar.

The Goal

No words can describe this strike by Hassli.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Seattle Sounders vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders have met 111 times over two eras (74-83 and 94-08) and now meet again as the Cascadia clubs renew their rivalry at Qwest Field on Saturday.  Over the years the Whitecaps held the advantage in the NASL days while Seattle had a better head to head record in the USL.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Soehn Replaces Thordarson On The Hot Seat

The firing of head coach Teitur Thordarson came as a surprise to most following the Whitecaps and MLS as it’s very rare for an expansion team to fire anyone during their first year.  What made it more shocking is that there were no whispers that Thordarson was even on the hot seat.  The organization at the press conference named their Director of soccer operations Tom Soehn as their interim choice for the remainder of the season.  While many assume that Soehn will return to his front office position once the season ends which will allow him to search for a coach, it may be that Soehn is now on the hot seat for both of his current positions.

The Whitecaps organization has already proven that they are very impatient when it comes to making changes to the technical staff.  Prior to the start of the season they offered their head coach a one year contract with option and then only gave Thordarson twelve games before letting him go.  With the change at the head coach spot it is Soehn now in charge and of course he was the one who made the calls and assembled the players on this roster. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

There was very little movement in the rankings this week in MLS as out of ten games in league play there were only four victories posted.  Biggest movers were Chivas, Real Salt Lake and  San Jose as those teams rose two spots with their victories.  All the losing teams, this week, were listed out of the ten MLS playoff spots and only slid down a maximum one spot because lack of quality around of the other teams in the bottom half of the standings.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (1)
Record:  8W-2L-6D
Last Week: 0-0 Draw vs DC United
Next Week:  June 11 vs Toronto FC
Galaxy have 4 straight cleansheets as they continue their 7 game unbeaten streak

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Real Salt Lake

Even if there was no mid-week match prior their tilt with RSL and they had their DP Eric Hassli available to the starting eleven, there would’ve been little chance to post a victory at Rio Tinto stadium.  It certainly did not help that this was their second match of the week and Hassli was unavailable but the Vancouver players needed to show more of an effort and that was more troubling.  After playing the poor man’s Real Salt Lake, with former assistant Robin Fraser coaching Chivas, the Whitecaps met the real thing and could overcome all the lost possession.


Camilo- The Whitecaps returned Camilo to the striker position with Hassli on suspension and he did not get the service in the right positions.  At the half he was switched to wing but it did not change anything as the Brazilian could not get the ball in the right spots to make things difficult for the opposition’s defenders.  He will most likely return to wing with Hassli's return to the starting eleven next week.  GRADE:  B-

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Whitecaps Lack Form On Pitch As They Drop Another Game

The Vancouver Whitecaps did what twenty-nine of the last thirty visitors to Rio Tinto Stadium did which was to leave Utah without a victory.  Of course the Caps could not come up with any result as they fell to Real Salt Lake 2-0 to extend their winless streak to thirteen games.  However it wasn’t the score line that was troubling it was the uninspired way the team in white performed on the pitch that was more troubling. 

The club was completely dominated in the possession stat by Real Salt Lake as the visitors had barely over thirty percent possession in the match.  This started almost immediately in the first half as RSL rarely gave the ball and when the Whitecaps started stringing a few passes together and close to the box, the player with the ball would be surrounded by multiple players.  RSL continued their domination of the Whitecaps in possession, 70%, when it finally paid off for them as Alexandre, who may have been offside, got through the backline and deposited the ball into the back of the net.  While the Caps would have a chance once in a while, they were really no danger to Real Salt Lake in the final third.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Vs Chivas USA

The Vancouver Whitecaps entered their game against Chivas USA with hopes that the coaching and philosophy change would turn the fortunes of the club around.  However it was similar story as the Caps could not bury their chances which allowed Chivas to take the lead early in the second half.  Luckily for the Caps they were able to score one of their own to draw the game and earn the single point.  Of course who knows what could have happened if Hassli’s tackle wasn’t deemed a straight red card.


Eric Hassli- After making it through so many games with rarely giving away a foul, it seemed like Hassli was behind his rash of cards but he received a red for a late challenge with about twenty to go in the match.  While the call was harsh, it was an unnecessary tackle in the final third and Hassli can’t put the referee in that position.  Before the sending off the Frenchman was very dangerous as he hit the bar in the first and a back heel pass eventually led to Camilo’s goal.   GRADE:  B

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Different Characters But Same Plot For Whitecaps

The Whitecaps came into the mid-week game with a new coach, a new formation and several line-up changes including a couple of debuts but the story remained the same as they drew Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center 1-1.  In his initial match as the Vancouver’s head man Tom Soehn employed a 4-4-1-1 formation with Chiumiento playing behind Hassli and Camilo on the left wing.  In addition to Joe  Cannon taking over in goal, there were a couple of players who made their debut this season as Bilal Duckett came in at right back and Alex Morfaw took Terry Dunfield’s spot in the central midfield. 

The match kicked and for the first twenty minutes or so it was clear that the player for the Caps were still assimilating to the new system as they were unable to build up any play.  The chances for the Whitecaps started after the thirty minute mark when Hassli was sent in alone but could not get off a quality shot as it was directed wide.  After Chiumiento missed on a chance, Hassli almost put the Caps ahead with a curling strike that beat the Chivas goalkeeper but hit the bar.  Despite being dominated by Chivas for possession in the first half it was the Whitecaps with the best chances but they were unable to score going into the half.

Dunfield's Strike Helps Canada Draw With Ecuador

In only his third cap with the national team, Terry Dunfield scored his first international goal for Canada as the Vancouver Whitecap helped his country draw with Ecuador2-2 at BMO Field in Toronto.   The Canadians opened the scoring on Dunfield's goal before allowing the South Americans to take the lead in the second half.  The tying score came on a very unusual play as a quick free kick found Tosaint Rickets free in the box in injury time as Canada were able to pull out a result.

After a little time of getting settled in to the match the Canadians opened the score as Burnaby’s Josh Simpson slid the ball to Dunfield who after a touch fired a striker into the top corner and then ran to the Voyageur’s supporters section.  Later in the half, Real Salt Lake’s Will Johnson missed a sitter into an open net which would have put Canada up by two.  Canada’s newly minted goalkeeper Milan Borjan made a couple of impressive saves to preserve the lead going into the half.  As for Dunfield, he ended his day with a hard tackle which earned him a yellow card late in the first half as he was substituted for Julian de Guzman at halftime.