2018 Roster Preview

January 21, 2018
Whitecaps Roster Preview

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Another season is almost upon and it’s time to take a look at the roster as we head into pre-season training.  As expected, there was some turnover from the 2017 squad that was eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs with barely a whimper.

Gone is a lot of veteran experience and some homegrowns as well.  Much travelled Sam Adekugbe has now found a home with Valarenga while Marco Bustos is on loan in Mexico with Atletico Zacatepec.  Fellow youngster Deklan Wynne was signed and and then traded to Colorado for Garber-bucks.

As expected, there are many new faces:
Kei Kamara – The snark in me says that the Caps have completed a hattrick of over 30 strikers (Miller, Perez and now Kamara).  In all seriousness though, Kamara could be the forward that fits what the Caps are trying to do.  At 6’3”, he provides a dimension that has been missing since the much maligned Omar Salgado.  With the Caps having been a proficient bunch when it comes to converting set pieces, Kamara adds even more height with Kendall leading the charge at a behemoth 6’5”

Anthony Blondell – He joins the team after leading Monagas win the Venezuelan Primera Division tallying 24 goals along the way.

Efraín Juárez – the newest acquisition from Monterrey in Liga MX.  A holding mid capable of playing right back is like Robbo’s dream player.  Seemingly versatile, but indication is that he’ll be in the midfield, potentially in a 3-5-2 formation.  Interesting to note that he was an interested spectator in the 2016-2017 CCL Semi-Final when #ourclub travelled to face Tigres UANL at Estadio Universitario. As a member of Tigres’ most hated rival, Juárez found himself supporting the Caps, not knowing that one day he’d be joining the club.

Brian Rowe – Acquired in a trade with LA Galaxy, he will be Marinvoic’s backup with Ousted now in DC and Spencer Richey on loan in Cincinnati.  While it’s too early to tell what sort of workload Brian will have, one can speculate that he’ll at least get the Voyageurs Cup matches and when Marinovic may be away on international duty.

Doneil Henry – I’m gonna cut him some slack.  He was 18 when he made his debut with TFC before they started spending money wisely. Maybe his time with West Ham did him some good.

David Norman Jr – Another homegrown signing straight out of the Residency Program.  It remains to be seen whether he’ll end up like Bustos and Adekugbe or maybe he’ll find a way to stick.

Myer Bevan – A New Zealand U20 international, his half season with WFC2 netted 3 goals in 13 overall appearances. Given a potential shift in formation, could this be the opening that Bevan needed?  How much competition will he to Hurtado?

As with every team, people wonder who the Designated Players are:
Kei Kamara (replaces Fredy Montero)
Brek Shea
Matias Laba (option was declined, still in negotiations)

 

 

As for the Canadian content still on the roster:
Alphonso Davies – with the European giants starting to swarm, this could be a make or break year for the youngster.

Marcel deJong – his play late in the season made Harvey expendable.  Should provide an interesting dynamic potentially in a 3 man backline.

Doneil Henry – How will he re-adapt to the MLS game and where does he fit into the pecking order?  With Parker at the USMNT camp until the 29th, this may be his chance to show what he’s capable of.

Russell Teibert – Does anyone know what his best position is.

Brett Levis -  How will his knee hold up after a full year recovering?

David Norman Jr – As much as it is in his own hands, it’s also not.  Even with Jacobsen’s retirement, the addition of Juarez to Ghazal, Tchani, Teibert and potentially Laba as well, will Norman even get a sniff of first team action, or he is best off in Fresno for a year?

As for David Edgar, he’s been given an invite to training camp

Knowing the Caps’ history, there will probably be another signing or two before First Kick.

2018 MLS Schedule Release

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Everyone has a team that they love, multiple teams they dislike to varying degrees and the rest of them are just there because they need to be played (editor's note: Hi, San Jose).  During the season, obsessing over the team you love, actively despising the teams you hate and ignoring the teams that you don’t care about.  The offseason is a different story.  There’s always a down period between the end of the season and the player movement period, whether you call it Free Agency or the opening of the Transfer Market.

However, there is one other critical date that fans anxiously await for, and it’s a floating one.  It’s schedule release date.  The date in which fans start actively planning their away days and inundating their bosses with vacation requests.  In the past number of years, the Cascadia Cup scheduled has been balanced, with each team playing the same number of matches against the other two teams.  When LAFC was announced as an expansion team entering the league in 2018, there was a concern that the Cascadia Cup schedule would suffer.  When the schedule was officially released, our fears were realized and now it’s up to the Cascadia Cup Council (1 representative from the Vancouver Southsiders, Timbers Army and Emerald City Supporters) to decide which matches do and don’t count towards the Cup.

Some partners were advised ahead of time that this was likely to happen, therefore we have had some time to digest this.  We do not like this development as the derby matches are the most anticipated dates on the calendar for some of our partners.  We hope that the league will flip this for next season so that we will benefit from having an extra derby match.

Looking specifically at our Caps schedule, the 5 week run out goes as follows:
Mar 4 – home to Montreal
Mar 10 – away to Houston
Mar 17 – away to Atlanta
Mar 24 – home to LA Galaxy
Mar 31 – away to Columbus

The run-in goes as follows:
Sept 29 -  away to LA Galaxy
Oct 6 – away to Toronto FC
Oct 17 – home to Sporting KC
Oct 21 – away to LA FC
Oct 28 – home to Portland.

Notable dates:
Apr 13 – LAFC’s first trip to BC Place – return of Jordan Harvey
July 14 – away to DC – opening of Audi Field in DC
July 21 – away to Seattle
Aug 11 – away to Portland
Sept 15 – home to Seattle
Oct 28 – home to Portland – Decision Day

Cascadia Dates:
May 13 – Seattle at Portland
June 30 – Portland at Seattle
Aug 26 – Seattle at Portland

Voyageurs Cup Dates:
July 18 - Vancouver at Montreal
July 25 - Montreal at Vancouver
August 8 - Final (Leg 1)
August 15 - Final (Leg 2)

For many fans and fellow supporters who don’t work a standard Monday-Friday shift or travel a significant distance, what day the match is played on and the posted kickoff time of utmost importance.  With the World Cup break, more midweek matches were to be expected, however, it’s not as bad as it could have been.  This year, Caps supporters will make 2 Wednesday (May & Oct), 3 Friday {April and May), 8 Saturday and 4 Sunday trips to BC Place.  Of note, the Caps will play their first ever home match on Canada Day (Sunday, July 1) vs Colorado.  As for kickoff time, the earliest is 1:30pm (Decision Day vs Portland) and the latest is 7:30pm (4 times, San Jose, LAFC, RSL, Chicago) 

It should also be noted that the Caps have no extended road trips this year, with them making multiple 2 game trips, most likely in part to other teams having extended spells away from home.  Portland, LAFC and DC United all see extended roadtrips to start the season with Providence Park (Apr 14), Banc of California (Apr 29) and Audi Field (July 14) all in various stages of completion.  The World Cup break is from June 14 – 22nd.  Should one of the Whitecaps players make it all the way to the Final, 4 games would be missed (@ Philadelphia, home to Colorado and Chicago, away to DC) with the potential availability in question for the July 21st match vs Seattle.

 

Season's Greetings

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As another calendar year comes to close, we want to wish all of our internal partners and their families a very Happy and prosperous holiday season. We extend that same greeting to those who have purchased tickets and joined us, either at BC Place, or in Middle or Lower Cascadia.

We would also like to formally welcome the new Vancouver Southsiders Board of Directors. We look forward to working with you in the quest to make BC Place a fortress for our boys in blue and white.

We cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Join Curva Collective

Although there is still much left to play for this season, Whitecap season ticket memberships renewals are underway, so we begin to look ahead to next year. 

For Partners that already have tickets with us, we look forward to another season of supporting our players. For those that are interested in relocating their seats to participate in this collective effort, please let us know. For those that are curious about acquiring single tickets, match packs, or full season ticket memberships with us, we can help with that too. In return, we expect your effort in the stands.

With the help of the Whitecaps Front Office, Curva Collective controls numerous rows of seats at the front of sections 203/204. Over the last few years, we have operated this as a general admission area for our Partners, with special exceptions for children, the elderly, and those responsible for tifo deployment. The benefits have been numerous and have helped create a communal dynamic. Want to congregate at the heart of the section? No problem. Are you bringing friends to support at a match? No longer do you have to scour for tickets close to yours. Going on vacation and can't attend a game? We are happy to move your tickets for you. Want to try out the section? We can make that happen.

Together, we can make 2017 memorable.

One of the Collective

Visit: Join Us

Dead Bulls

Now that the week is well under way, there is only one thing to focus on...our League match on Saturday. We host "New York Red Bulls"...or Dead Bull New Jersey as we prefer to call them. For some they are just a football team that was bought up by a corporation and "rebranded". For us they are one of the symptoms of modern football that should be troubling for anyone that values tradition and identity.

A few years ago, @ultrasmontreal did a small display reminding everyone that Red Bull Kills. They have so far taken over Clubs in New York, Salzburg, Leipzig, and São Paulo. We get that Clubs need money, but selling your whole identity (and in some cases colours) is not worth it. Amongst supporters and ultras the world over, these 4 "clubs" are despised for what they have done or allowed to happen to them.

At the beginning of this season we were disappointed to find out that this company had become a sponsor of #OurClub...again, we want our Club to make money, but we care how it is made and who it comes from. On top of all of this, it is more than awkward when you accept sponsorship from a company that is the owner of another team in your League, even in #MLS/ML$ where so much cross pollination exists. When we expressed our concern over certain red bull sponsored initiatives to those entrusted to be stewards of our Club, we were told, "It's just an energy drink." The message was essentially, "We don't care, we'll take money anywhere we can get it." It was a point we let the administrators of our Club know we could not agree with them on.

So Saturday we have extra desire and motivation to lift our side to victory. If you want to support with us in section 203/204, please be in touch as we have $35 tickets for sale.

Much Love,

One of the Collective

#ItsJustAnEnergyDrink #NoNoItIsnt #RedBullKills #DeadBullNewJersey #WeAreWhoWeAre #GivingOurAll #SupportIsAlways #VanCityTifosi #CurvaStyle #TifoTuesday

Happy Birthday Koffie!

We want to wish @k7ffie a Happy 25th Birthday!!! #GTK, know that we have missed you dearly this season and look forward to what is in store for you in the future. We hope you have had an incredibly meaningful day! All our best from #VanCity!

Much Love,

One of the Collective

#SupportIsAlways #GivingOurAll #WeAreWhoWeAre #VanCityTifosi #CurvaStyle #GershonKoffie #Gersh #Koffie #Respect

     

     

    Welcome to Our Tuesday BBQ

    #TBT to this past Tuesday evening when our players took on #KansasCity in the #CCL. Things haven't really been going our way in the League lately, so we wanted to give our players and coaches some encouragement ahead of what was an important group stage match. It was great to see our side keep a clean sheet, score three goals (making the three KC logos seem prophetic), and just generally enjoy their football.

    @70_tornaghi and all our defenders (Captain @kendallwaston, @tim_parker26 @sw_hakeem @brettlevis @matiaslaba @rt31bert) thank you for that clean sheet! @fraseraird was buzzing on the right wing all night! On the left it was great to see #ElBicho find the back of the net...with his head (!!!) and cultured left foot - thanks in part to set up play from @masato_kudo_official @etado19 & #MatiGol! #EMoney, your finish on #Rusty's ball over the top was inspired!!! Congrats on seeing some fruit from all of your hard work! @elraton7 & #AndrewJacobson helped put the game to bed when they came on as well.

    All-in-all we dined on some tasty BBQ on Tuesday! We hope all our players are able to enjoy Saturday's match in LA just as much!

    Much Love,

    One of the Collective

    P.S. Thanks to our own @cascadianlion for taking these photos. Check out the whole album on our Facebook page here:

    https://www.facebook.com/CurvaCollective/photos/…

    #WelcomeToOurTuesdayBBQ #BBQ #Tifo #VanCityTifosi #CurvaStyle #WeAreWhoWeAre #GivingOurAll #SupportIsAlways #VWFC @whitecapsfc @bcplacestadium

    Belated Birthdays

    Happy belated Birthday to a couple of our former defenders. Earlier this month @mboxall turned 28 and @deonmitchell19 turned 29. Boxy, we hope all is well in #SouthAfrica and you are still riding high from your Cup win! Mitch, we hope you continue to enjoy your football in #SouthKorea! How are things since Martin's departure? All our best to the both of you!

    Much Love,

    One of the Collective

    P.S. These are both @bobfridimages (@whitecapsfc photographer) photos.

    #SupportIsAlways #GivingOurAll #WeAreWhoWeAre #VanCityTifosi #CurvaStyle

    Happy Birthday

    We want to wish our dear friend, fellow supporter, and @70_tornaghi's beloved wife...the Happiest of Birthdays! @valentina_70_ we hope that today has been special! We hope you and Paolo have been able to enjoy it! Thank you for how you have supported with us in our section, joined us for an away viewing, and been an encouragement to our movement. #GrazieMille

    Much Love,

    One of the Collective

    P.S. Thanks to @mynor__campos for taking this photo!

    Cascadia Away

    #TBT to this past March when several hundred #CapsOnTour descended on #MiddleCascadia for our 2-1 victory over the #Flounders. On Saturday, September 17th we will return to #Se4tt1e for our next #Cascadia clash, which is a 1pm kickoff...ideal for a 1 day trip southbound I5. If you haven't already, get your tickets ($30 each) now from one of the supporter movements...ourselves, @vancouversouthsiders, or @raincitybrigade. We all have them on sale for approximately 1 more week. This will be another memorable away match that you won't want to miss out on.

    Much Love,

    One of the Collective

    P.S. Thanks to @vancityvilla (#VancouverSouthsiders photographer) for this photo.

    #CurvaStyle #AwayDays #ItsAWayOfLife #GivingOurAll #WeAreWhoWeAre #VanCityTifosi #SupportIsAlways #VWFC