Tuesday, January 31, 2012


After a day of rumours on the internet, the acquisition of Sebastien Le Toux by the Whitecaps was confirmed by the player himself on his twitter account.  Soon the Caps confirmed the transaction as they sent allocation money to the Philadelphia Union for the two time MLS all-star.  Le Toux adds another piece to the Whitecaps attack and another striker to a large group already on the roster.
Early in the transfer window it looked as though Le Toux was heading overseas to Bolton of the EPL for a potential one million dollar transfer fee but the Frenchman returned after only a few days in training.  It was clear that the Philadelphia Union were looking to cash in on Le Toux who was in the final year of his contract. 

Monday, January 30, 2012


The Whitecaps wrapped up their first portion of preseason training in Burnaby and now move camp south to Arizona.  Martin Rennie has been impressed with the overall tempo in practice, especially the fitness level of the players, compared to the post season camp at the end of last season.  The club now moves to Casa Grande for 10 days, where they trained last season, to work on their defensive game and team bonding.

A couple of players were released today as 2012 supplemental pick Mark Fetrow and trialist Diego Oliverira will not be joining the club going forward.  Residency players Caleb Clarke and Callum Irving will train in Arizona with the first team while Ben Fisk remains in Vancouver despite impressing Rennie.  The coach felt he had seen enough of Fisk and with the possibility of trialists joining the club, there would be a lack of time on the pitch for the youngster.

Friday, January 27, 2012


It was the end of the first week and the Whitecaps players experienced the best and worst of preseason training.  The session began with a dreaded variation on the beep test which was called the yo-yo test and then ended with three 11v11 mini games.

The endurance test was won once again by Russell Teibert who beat out trialist Bilal Duckett with room to spare.  John Thorrington was the last veteran to be removed from the test while YP Lee surprised with his fitness on his second day as he outlasted many of the younger players.

After the grueling test the players were able to play 11v11 which were split into three 20 minute games and saw a rotation of players.  The first match ended in a 1-1 draw with Mattocks converting on Chiumiento free kick and then Lee Nguyen placing a shot over the outstretched hands of Brad Knighton.  The second game had the Blue team defeat the Yellow team1-0 as Camilo headed in a cross from Micheal Nanchoff.  The tired legs showed in the third match which ended in a scoreless draw and very few opportunities for scores.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The Whitecaps enter their second preseason a much more different team than the one that ended the season.  Not only was there a major shuffling of players but the changes in the coaching staff and the person calling the shots could be the biggest factor when it comes to 2012.  Martin Rennie comes into this season bringing fresh ideas on how to run the club including player acquisition.  He brought in familiar players and has not been afraid to cut ties with high profile players of the previous regime.


There haven’t been many changes to the strikers group but the one that left gave major notice of the man who was in charge.  There were rumblings that Mustapha Jarju would be given an opportunity to prove himself in camp but Rennie pulled the trigger just before the weekend, departing ways with the Gambian DP.  Releasing Jarju confirmed that Rennie was fully in charge and that the Caps ownership was willing to pay for obvious mistakes.

His spot on the roster will most likely be taken by 2nd overall pick Darren Mattocks as Rennie hopes to utilize the Jamaican’s pace, something that is missing from the forward ranks.  The Whitecaps also made a deal to acquire the rights of 2011 NASL MVP and former Railhawk Etiene Barbara hoping he can duplicate what he accomplished playing under Rennie the last two seasons.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The Whitecaps took a big step forward in correcting a major error when they announced the mutual parting with their second designated player, Mustapha Jarju.  They did this despite the assurances from the club and Martin Rennie that the Gambian would be given an opportunity to prove he could play in the MLS.  This move also shows that Rennie is the one calling the shots and that Tom Soehn is becoming more out of loop when it comes to personnel decisions.

Signed during the summer transfer window, Mustapha Jarju arrived with much fanfare as the first African designated player in MLS.  Despite playing as a central midfielder for the national team as well as it being the Whitecaps greatest need, the club announced that he would play as a striker.  Unfortunately in his ten appearances (five starts), totaling 450 minutes, Jarju was unable to find the back of the net.  In fact it seemed like he had given up to the supporters and failed to make a showing in the last three home games at BC Place.


The Whitecaps made a minor non-player trade that will allow them to keep an additional international player on the roster for next year.  In the trade the Caps sent an undisclosed amount of allocation money to the Colorado Rapids for a 2nd round pick in 2014 and an international roster spot for the next three years.  Each team in MLS has eight roster spots for players that aren’t domestic which for Vancouver include Canadian and American players.  

All the teams receive the same amount of allocation with extra amounts going to expansion, non-playoff and CONCACAF championship league teams.  The Whitecaps only sent out allocation once last year in the Jordan Harvey acquisition and then picked some up in the Shea Salinas trade.  The Caps would have also received  the most due to being at the bottom of the MLS table in their first season.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


The Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signing of Jun Marques Davidson, another Carolina alum that played under Martin Rennie.  A five year veteran of the J League in Japan, Davidson is dual American/Japanese citizen allowing the Caps to count him as a domestic player.  His primary position throughout his career has been as a defensive midfielder, a spot that the Caps lack depth.

Born in Japan to American parents Davidson returned to the States for high school after which he returned to Japan to play for Omiya Ardija in division 2.  He remained with the club for an additional two seasons after they gained promotion to the J. League in 2005.  After bouncing around with four club in three seasons in Japan, Davidson returned to United States to sign with Carolina and Rennie in 2009. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It was a busy day for the Whitecaps as they added a potential five player to their 2012 MLS roster through a signing, trade and draft.  The day started with the signing of former Railhawk goalkeeper Brad Knighton and ended with a trade that brought 2011 NASL MVP, another Railhawk, Etienne Barbara’s rights from the Montreal Impact with a draft sandwiched in between.

While Brad Knighton is coming from the NASL, he has spent the majority of his career in MLS spending time with New England and the expansion Philadelphia Union.  His first three seasons, including a short loan with Portland, after college were spent with the Revolution where he saw only six starts in three seasons.  He was selected by the Union in the expansion draft but did not see his first action until late in the season and only appeared in eight games.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The Vancouver Whitecaps enter their second MLS SuperDraft with a new regime hoping to collect a couple of pieces that can make some impact on the sophomore season.  The main difference from last year to this year’s draft is that instead of Tom Soehn, Martin Rennie will be making the final call on the draft picks made by Vancouver.  Rennie has attended previous combines looking for diamonds in the rough, passed on by MLS, for his Carolina Railhawks side but will be armed this time with the second overall pick.

2011 Draft Review

The 2011 draft saw the Whitecaps select a future project with a higher ceiling in Omar Salgado instead of going for a possible immediate return, bypassing defender Perry Kitchen.  The only other option was Darlington Nagbe but his apparent refusal to play north of the border removed him from the board.  There were flashes of skill displayed by Salgado in his limited playing time coming off the bench as a late game substitute.  However when he did get a start the teenager looked physically overmatched and frustrated by the often lack of service.