Sunday, July 31, 2011

Caps Draw Galaxy In Reserve League

After losing to the senior squad 4-0 the night before, the Whitecaps reserve squad drew 2-2 with the Galaxy reserves.  The visitors jumped out to a two goal lead with goals in the 31st and 51st minute as it looked like it would be a repeat of the previous night.  Then residency regulars helped bring the Caps back with two goals eleven minutes apart, both coming from the boot of Long Tan. 

There were a couple of intriguing players in the starting eleven as often injured John Thorrington got a start and played only twenty minutes before being taken off for Alex Morfaw.  Homegrown product Russell Teibert played out of position as the left winger moved to the backline at the left back position.  In addition to those two players, Bilal Duckett played as a center back for the majority of the game before coming off in the 89th minute.

Within two minutes of coming onto the pitch, Ben Fisk was able to find Tan at the far post to bring the Caps within one goal.  The tying goal came eleven minutes later as Morfaw was able to spring Tan with a through ball and the Chinese International made no mistake.  The Whitecaps now have two points in five reserve matches as they have a record of three losses and two draws.  The reserve squad will now face Cascadia rival the Seattle Sounders on August 9th in the MLS reserve league.

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus LA Galaxy

For sixty minutes the Whitecaps went toe to toe with the top team in MLS and came within a few inches from taking the lead before it fell apart for them.  A slip by Boxall and a lazy handball in the box by new acquisition Jordan Harvey put the Caps down by two.  Tom Soehn decided to go with three at the back in order to get close the gap in the game but we`re unable to handle the Galaxy counter attack and the rout was on.


Eric Hassli- Vancouver’s designated player did everything he could to set up a goal including mixing it up in the box with the Galaxy defenders.  Hassli’s cross, early in the match, almost setup an early goal while he continued good play holding up the ball and finding teammates.  GRADE:  B+

Camilo- This was a game where Camilo’s lack of defensive awareness hurt the Whitecaps in their own half of the pitch as he was unable to offer support to the defenders.  He was dangerous in the final third and almost converted a free kick but was robbed by the Galaxy goalkeeper.  GRADE:  B

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Galaxy Make Caps Pay For Missed Chances

While the Vancouver Whitecaps weren’t as bad as the score line indicated, they still lacked quality as the home side were thrashed by the league leading LA Galaxy 4-0 in front of the biggest gathering this season at Empire Field.  Similar to the majority of defeats and some draws, it was a storyline of the Whitecaps unable to finish early chances and succumbing to silly mistakes which allowed the team to lose points.  It was the first time the Caps allowed four goals this season but while it was the team’s worst defeat of the year, by goal margin, it was not their worst performance.

This match saw a new formation on display by the Caps as they rolled out a 4-4-2(diamond) setup with Chiumiento playing as the attacking midfielder and Koffie playing as the holding midfielder.  It was working for thirty plus minutes as the Whitecaps brought wave after wave of attack with the chances falling to new acquisition Mustapha Jarju.  Unfortunately for the home team those opportunities consistently missed the mark either wide of the post or sailing over the net.  It was then the Whitecaps turn to survive as the Galaxy had three glorious chances to take the lead in a span of three minutes but Joe Cannon was able to stop of two of them and the third just missed the net.

Friday, July 29, 2011

LA Galaxy vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview

After a ten day break the Vancouver Whitecaps return to action to face the MLS leading Los Angeles Galaxy at Empire Field.  The Galaxy come north of the border, without Beckham, on a thirteen game unbeaten streak while the Whitecaps are still looking their third victory.  While it is the first matchup in league action, the two clubs have played friendlies in the past.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Caps Release Two Defenders

A couple of weeks into the transfer season and the Vancouver Whitecaps made a couple moves to create some room on their roster for potential additions.  The club announced that defenders Mouloud Akloul and Blake Wagner were placed on waivers, and if not picked up by another MLS team, they will be released from their contracts.  The moves open up two spots on the roster including an international spot but doesn’t free up any money on their salary cap as both were waived after July 1st.

Coming through the French youth system, Akloul went abroad spending his time in Algeria and UAE before signing with Whitecaps in April of 2010.  His season did not last long as 21 minutes into his debut he fractured his ankle while scoring a goal in front of the home crowd.  While going through rehab and multiple surgeries, Akloul quickly became a fan favourite despite playing a limited time on the pitch.  After finally getting medical clearance he was one of the last additions to the roster before the season started.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hassli Named To MLS All-Star Roster

The Vancouver Whitecaps learned that their designated player Eric Hassli was named to the MLS All-Star roster as an inactive player.  Hassli was voted onto the roster by his fellow players and is joined by five other players.  The French striker is currently tied for fourth in MLS scoring with eight goals and has been a YouTube sensation after scoring an unbelievable goal against Sounders.  While it is highly unlikely that Hassli will see any playing time against Manchester United, he does become the first Whitecap to be named to an MLS all-star team.

It has been an up and down season for the striker who leads the club in goals with nine goals in all competitions.  He also has accumulated a high number of cautions, including the MLS leader in game suspensions.  Recently, Hassli has become accustomed to the MLS rules and been avoiding run ins with the referees.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 19

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (1)
Record:  11W-2L-9D
Last Week: 1-0 Win vs Columbus Crew
Next Week:  July 30 at Vancouver Whitecaps
Galaxy will face Caps without Beckham and possibly Donovan

2. Real Salt Lake (3)
Record: 9W-3L-6D
Last Week:  4-0 Win vs San Jose Earthquakes
Next Week:  July 30 vs Columbus Crew
RSL blasts Quakes and now host Crew

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus San Jose Earthquakes

The Vancouver Whitecaps travelled to California hoping to snap their losing streak and to pick up their first road victory.  While a draw was not the result the club was hoping for, it is a good starting point that could lead the Caps into turning around a poor season.  It was the best game collectively for the midfielders while the makeshift backline had one of their worst performances as a group.


Eric Hassli- With so many eyes on the debut of the Caps newest DP, it was Hassli who stole the show with a brace that brought the Caps to level terms twice.  There is no doubt that the Frenchman is becoming a proven MLS goalscorer as he has a nose for the net and can finish his chances.  GRADE: A-

Davide Chiumiento- After missing the last few games with a hamstring injury, Chiumiento came on for Jarju as a sub in the second half.  There was no signs of rust as the Caps top playmaker looked dangerous playing in a withdrawn role including when he found Salinas down the wing which would lead to the second goal.  GRADE: B

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whitecaps Battle Back Twice To Draw San Jose

While Vancouver’s newest designated player, Mustapha Jarju, made his debut for the Caps it was their original one who made the imprint on the match as Eric Hassli’s brace brought the Caps back twice for a 2-2 draw with San Jose.  The Whitecaps were able to pick up the point despite a shaky performance from a make shift backline missing three starters.  The Earthquakes took the lead at the start of both halves with goals by 2010 MLS golden boot winner Chris Wondolowski but the game was also tied twice with the two goals by Hassli.

The team looked very flat to start the game and it showed quickly on the scoreboard as Chris Wondolowski was able to stay onside and beat Cannon one on one.  As the game progressed the Caps started connecting better with Jarju getting his first opportunity to score in MLS but he sailed the ball just over the bar.  The Whitecaps started getting stronger as the half progressed and were rewarded for it as Shea Salinas sent in Hassli alone and after a few touches the French striker blasted the ball past Busch into the back of the net before halftime.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

San Jose Earthquakes vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps travel to Northern California to face the San Jose Earthquakes for the second time this season.  In their previous matchup at Empire it was a late goal by Davide Chiumineto that salvaged a point for the Caps.  Both teams are looking to break streaks as the Caps have lost four in a row while the Earthquakes have not won a game in six games.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Whitecaps Drop Friendly to Machester City

The Vancouver Whitecaps were able to get a full 90 minutes against Manchester City but lost the match 2-1 on a very poor turf.  There was some doubt that the game would not be able to go through as it was only a few hours before the scheduled start when confirmation that the match would be played.  While, the Whitecaps opened the scoring on a deflected shot by Camilo, last year’s FA Cup champions scored two in the second half to secure the victory.

The Whitecaps attempted to strike early when Eric Hassli, back from a foot injury, struck a shot that forced Joe Hart to the ball over the bar.  Then it was Camilo’s turn as his free kick cleared the wall and heading for inside the post but saved by a diving Hart to keep the game scoreless.  Around the half hour mark the Whitecaps pushed forward again and this time made it count as Camilo accepted a return pass from Salinas and took a shot which deflected off a City defender past a helpless Joe Hart.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 18

 1. Los Angeles Galaxy (1)
Record:  10W-2L-9D
Last Week: No Match
Next Week:  July 20 vs Columbus Crew
Galaxy look to extend unbeaten streak against Crew

2. Seattle Sounders (2)
Record:  10W-4L-8D
Last Week:  4-3 Win vs Colorado Rapids
Next Week:  No Match
High scoring game helps Sounders win in grudge match

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another Washout For The Whitecaps

For the second time this year the weather has affected a match which the Whitecaps were involved as their match with Real Salt Lake was postponed by MLS to a later day.  The temporary grass field, which was laid over the artificial turf, was unable to handle a freak summer storm as the lack of drainage caused the field to deemed unplayable.  Sod was placed at Empire because of the international friendly scheduled with EPL side Manchester City on Monday night.

The postponement of the match has forced the Vancouver Whitecaps organization to take lumps in the MLS world with the majority of RSL and neutral fans claiming the home side should forfiet the game as they were unable to provide a proper playing surface.  While those fans may have a case, this would not have been an issue if the MLS did not mandate the World Football Challenge and push clubs to schedule a friendly against the glamour teams of Europe.  The refusal of those teams to play on anything but natural grass is also a cause of today's problems.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Next Whitecap To Be Moved

The Summer Transfer window is now open and the Whitecaps are looking to add to the number of changes they are already making.  With the trade of Terry Dunfield to TFC and the immediate release of Mouloud Akloul coupled with the additions of Jordan Harvey and Mustapha Jarju the roster sits at 29, including two international spots.  So in order to bring in multiple players the Whitecaps will have to make some difficult decisions when choosing the players that would have to move on.  Below is a list of eight players who on the basis of their skill and injury history, as well as other factors, could be leaving the expansion team this summer.

LB/LM Blake Wagner:  The left footed former Generation Adidas player was one of the first signings for Tom Soehn before the 2010 season.  Wagner, drafted in 2006 by FC Dallas, had the most MLS experience amongst the players brought from the Division 2 squad having 40 appearances including 32 starts.  This season Wagner has started in nine matches at Left Back usually when Alain Rochat needed a rest or if he had to move inside.  While Wagner is by no means a horrible player on the backline he lacks the pace and confidence to move forward on the attack.  With the recent addition of Jordan Harvey it looks like Wagner will be soon be moving on as he falls to third on the depth chart.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dunfield Shipped To TFC

In another move to reshape the roster the Vancouver Whitecaps traded local boy and alternate captain Terry Dunfield to their Canadian rivals TFC in exchange for allocation money and future considerations.  The lone Vancouverite on the roster struggled recently on the pitch including missing a penalty kick against Columbus last week.  With this trade it is clear that the Whitecaps organization are making the transition from the line-up assembled for Thordarson to the one that Soehn needs.

The trade itself takes $65,000 off the salary cap and brings back some of the allocation money that was sent for Jordan Harvey.  The future considerations are unkown as well and could be the MLS rights to Keven Aleman, the academy player who was part of the Canadian team at the U17 World Cup.  Aleman was released by TFC when asked to sign a two year commitment but said he would sign when he returned from the tournament.  During the World Cup telecast it was reported that the forward would sign with the Whitecaps if an option in Europe was unavailable.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Whitecaps Sign First Ever African Designated Player

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced the acquisition of their second designated player and the first one from the African continent in MLS history with the signing of Mustapha Jarju.  The former U17 captain and current alternate captain for the Gambian national football team played last year in the Belgian 2nd division with RAEC Mons.  The eighteen goals he scored last season helped the club gain promotion to the Jupiler League, the Belgian first division.

The story broke on Monday night when the Whitecaps announced there would be a major player signing the next morning.  Around the same time respected Nigerian based football writer, Colin Udoh, announced that there would be an African DP signing in the Western Conference.  Then he confirmed it was for the Whitecaps, it was a forward and he captained the U17 national team.

Monday, July 11, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 17

There was very little movement in the rankings this week as Chivas USA was the only club not in last week's top ten to this week.  The Goats were the only team to move up multiple spots as they rose three spots while there are six teams that dropped a single spot.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (1)
Record:  10W-2L-9D
Last Week: 2-1 Win vs Chicago Fire
Next Week:  No Match
Beckham leads LA to a victory with goal and assist as unbeaten extends to 12(6W 6D)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Colorado Rapids

With half of their team out of action due to injury and suspension the inexperienced Whitecaps came up short in their first trip to Colorado losing 2-1.  It was fourth straight one goal loss in league and fifth straight overall and while each of the games are close it comes as no consolation.  The losses keep piling up and the club’s aspirations of making the playoffs are looking doubtful.


Camilo- Once again the Brazilian striker was a consistent threat for the Whitecaps and easily the top performer for the match.  Camilo made a great run into the box and showed poise getting around the goalkeeper for the goal.  He's also playing a better team game as there were a couple instances where he looked for and found teammates with his passing.  GRADE:  B+

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Caps Can't Stay Afloat Against Rapids

The Vancouver Whitecaps found a new way to lose as defensive breakdown allowed the Colorado Rapids win a lightning delayed match 2-1. The Whitecaps were unable to handle Colorado’s Conner Casey as he scored a goal in the first half and his header off a free kick led to the second goal by Scott Palguta before Camilo brought the visitors within one. It is the club’s fourth straight league loss and fifth straight including all competitions with all the defeats coming by a single goal.

Both teams played the first twenty minutes evenly with each team taking turns controlling the ball and getting chances on goal. Then the Rapids started taking over with their high pressure which eventually caused a turnover by Vagenas and Colorado quickly attacked by sending a ball into the box, just missing Boxall’s head, to Casey who chested the ball to ground and fired the ball into the net past Cannon. The Caps almost responded quickly as a left footed shot went just wide of the near post. The Rapids had almost doubled their lead before the half when Omar Cummings was sent in alone but could not find the net.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Colorado Rapids vs WhitecapsFC Match Preview

The Whitecaps make their first trip to the Rocky Mountains as they face the MLS defending champion Colorado Rapids for the first time in regular season play.  The teams faced each other in a preseason tune up at Empire Field which was won on a late goal by Colorado.  The Whitecaps will most likely be without DeMerit and Chiumiento while Hassli is again a gametime decision.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Caps Take First Step To Revamping Roster

Looking to add more depth to their backline and improve their play in their own end the Vancouver Whitecaps made their first in season transaction acquiring Jordan Harvey from the Philadelphia Union.  In exchange for the American defender the Whitecaps sent an undisclosed amount of allocation money to the Eastern club.  Harvey is set to join the team in Colorado and will be eligible to play immediately for the Caps whether he starts or is on the bench.

After his senior season at UCLA, Harvey was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the 1st round of the 2006 Supplemental Draft after being bypassed through four rounds of the Super Draft.  It wasn’t until the 2008 season when Harvey became a full time starter with the Rapids as he made 42 starts on the backline with 29 of them coming in 2009.  Four years into his professional career, the Union made Harvey their first selection in the 2010 expansion draft.

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus Columbus Crew

Despite missing three of their best players to injury, it was a solid performance by the Whitecaps and a game that they deserved to get the full three points but a late goal by the Crew cost the club a necessary result.  The backline was very organized and even before the penalty miss the Whitecaps should have been up on Columbus by a couple of goals.  The red card late in the game to Shea Salinas took a lot of energy out of the players and the supporters in the stands.


Camilo- One of the most consistent performers for the Whitecaps over this losing streak, Camilo once again had a dynamic performance and was easily the best Cap on the pitch.  He had multiple chances of his own, could have scored one or two, and also set up Salinas for his opportunity.  GRADE:  B+

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Late Goal Extends Whitecaps Losing Streak

The Vancouver Whitecaps extended their frustrating losing streak to four as they dropped the match to the Columbus 1-0.  While the Caps were missing their top goal scorer, playmaker and captain, and unlike the previous three games, where the Caps lacked a sustained effort for a full 90 minutes, this game saw the Caps carry the play.  Unfortunately a missed penalty kick by Terry Dunfield and a late goal by Jeff Cunningham gave the visitors from Ohio the victory and the three points.

The first half saw the Whitecaps start with some promising chances as they pressured the Columbus backline causing turnovers.  Early in the half, after a turnover, Omar Salgado was sent on a forty yard run but was only able to fire his left footed strike wide of the net.  Camilo had a couple opportunities in the first half as he attempted two shots on goal but was denied each time by Will Hesmer.

Columbus Crew vs Whitecaps FC Match Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps face the Columbus Crew for the second time this season losing the first match 2-1 on the road.  The club looks to bounce back from a disappointing week in which they lost all three games including the Canadian Championship to TFC.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 16

It was a week of draws in MLS as only 3 games had a victor last week.  Sporting Kansas City and TFC moved up two spots while Vancouver, Portland and Columbus were the only sliders of the week.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (1)
Record:  9W-2L-9D
Last Week: 0-0 Draw vs Seattle Sounders
Next Week:  July 9 vs Chicago Fire
Galaxy hold on to top spot with a draw against Sounders

Monday, July 4, 2011

Whitecaps Look To Fill Holes During Transfer Window

With the 2011 transfer window now open, the Whitecaps will look to upgrade their MLS roster as they attempt to improve their slim chances on making the playoffs this year.  There are quite a few holes that need to be filled in their starting eleven and in their overall depth.  However most of those changes will take place in the offseason when they will have more time and opportunity to scout players.

For now the Whitecaps can bring in a few players which would help solidify the line-up and correct the current weaknesses in their game.  These players will have to fit in the current salary cap structure for this season which only the team officials are aware of.  With the imminent release of Akloul, the roster currently has two openings on the 30 man roster and the Caps can bring in up to three international players.  Of course more spots would be available if they decide to release additional players.  These are the four positions that the I believe the Whitecaps need to upgrade in order to have any chance at finishing the season on a positive note.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus TFC for Canadian Championships

It could have not gotten any worse for the Whitecaps on this three game road trip as they lost each of their game by a single goal.  The disastrous week came to an end on Saturday when TFC beat the Caps 2-1 in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final and 3-2 on aggregate.  The Voyageur's Cup was one of the club's major goals this season and the loss is a major disappointment for the players, the organization and its supporters.


Eric Hassli- The big Frenchman had feasted on the TFC defenders in the first two and a bit games, scoring four goals in about 240 minutes, but without any quality service he was goalless on Saturday.  Hassle did have a chance to win the Cup for Vancouver as he found himself alone in front of the net but fired a shot wide of the net.  GRADE:  B-

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Promises Of Championship Broken By Whitecaps Collapse

In a season that started with so much promise for the Whitecaps, the season has reached a new low as the Caps dropped the second leg of the NCC 2-1 to TFC which gave the Toronto side its third straight Voyageur’s Cup.  After losing in disappointing fashion every year in the competition, especially 2009, the front office had made it a major priority to win the title this year and represent Canada in the CONCACAF Champions league.  Unfortunately for Vancouver lost 3-2 on aggregate despite taking a one goal lead into halftime as they gave up two goals in the second half.

The Whitecaps started the game strong as they tried to apply pressure on the makeshift backline of TFC as they controlled the majority of possession.  It looked as though TFC’s chances at winning the Cup took a hit when their captain pulled up lame with a hamstring early in the first half.  Soon after the substitution the Caps seemed to seize control as a perfect curling free kick from Camilo beat Frei from outside the box. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

TFC vs WhitecapsFC NCC Match Preview

It will be their second attempt this year for the Whitecaps to win the Canadian Championship and capture the Voyageur’s Cup.  The previous game in Toronto was abandoned after 60 minutes when the match was called off due to rain and poor pitch quality.