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.

Dunfield came over last summer to from English division 2 looking to improve his chances with the national team.  He played well for the Caps in the last stretch of the season including the playoffs and earned himself a contract in the MLS.  In addition the contract the Whitecaps made Dunfield an alternate captain with DeMerit and Thorrington.

One of the better players for the first three games, including a goal in the opener and an assist in the comeback against Kansas City, Dunfield suffered an injury halfway through the match against the Revolution.  He returned to the lineup two games later and played in every game of their marathon stretch that consisted of 12 matches in 43 days across the continent.  Only one of those games did not see Dunfield dress but was still included in the 18 and made the round trip to New England.

The back and forth trip seemed to wear him down especially for the May 4th game against the Earthquakes when he made a number of turnovers.  There was a lack of confidence after that game that Dunfield could not shake as his play became overly cautious.  He was called by the Canadian team for the Gold Cup and again was playing a game every three days for the national squad but his play improved.

While he came from international duty, the coaching change had occurred and once again Dunfield had to learn a different system.  In fact the holding midfielder was asked to play as a withdrawn striker in a couple of games which was completely out of his comfort zone.  In the games under the Soehn regime Dunfield appeared in four of six games, with two starts in which he was subbed off and two games he came off the bench.

The writing was on the wall for Dunfield’s departure as his role was miscast in the starting eleven.  In order to succeed he needed to be partnered with a creative midfielder that could be a main force in the central midfield.  Maybe if John Thorrington was on the pitch from the start of the season it would have had a positive impact on Dunfield’s play.

Both Koffie and Dunfield played a similar game so it was on the veteran to take the lead in the midfield for the Caps.  He should have never been cast as a playmaker as he was always the tough and hard tackling holding midfielder that would be the link between the backline and the attackers.  This was clear in the friendly versus Ecuador when he played off of Atiba Hutchinson and was able sneak in and score his goal from distance.  Whether it was Whitecaps looking to unload the Canadian or TFC wanting to acquire the midfielder, Dunfield was never given a decent chance to succeed in Vancouver.

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