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Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos, Sporting Director Axel Schouster, and Co-Owner Jeff Mallett on Friday, November 15. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – After a three month search that featured 40 plus candidates and spanned the globe. Vancouver Whitecaps FC have finally found their new Sporting Director in Axel Schuster.

The 46-year-old native of Cologne, Germany, Schuster brings experience having worked for top Bundesliga clubs FSV Mainz 05 and FC Schalke 04.

Sources have confirmed that Schuster has signed a three-year contract with Whitecaps FC.

He will lead Vice-President of Soccer Operations, Greg Anderson, Coach, Marc Dos Santos, and the technical team.

“We literally scoured the top candidates all over the world,” Whitecaps FC Co-Owner, Jeff Mallett told reporters. “The interest level was extremely high with world class people from different leagues. It became evident very quickly in the first sessions meeting in London with Axel.

Not only is it a big day for the club, it’s a big day for Soccer Canada to really bring somebody into the Soccer Canada family. It’s a day that all of us should celebrate.”

As Whitecaps FC look to add new faces during the offseason, Schuster’s expertise within German football could lead Vancouver to focus more intensely on Bundesliga players.

“Yes of course I have a network in Germany as well,” Schuster explained to Har Journalist. “The most important thing is that we define the profile of what we need exactly. Then we have to look all over the markets where we find the players that meets the profile. Then we have to find players who are convinced that this is the place.

We don’t want to convince them with money, the nice city, everything with that is an add on. They have to meet our profile, and philosophy. Yes, if there is somebody in Germany, I think I know him, and we will work on that.”

After finishing the 2019 season with an 8-16-10 record, and last place in the western conference. Expectations next season are high. Supporters want to see the club contend, and fight for an MLS playoff spot well into the summer.

Schuster knows he has no time to waste as Whitecaps FC face a busy offseason.

“We have to control expectations,” Schuster explained. “We also want to make some signings and everybody understands that they are the right signings, and profiles. We can’t wait to see what happens on the pitch. It must be something that looks good.

It doesn’t have to be a big name. It must be a clear pathway, with a strategy, and philosophy. Everyone has to know this is our clear pathway, and we don’t go left or right.”

Whitecaps FC are excited by what Schuster brings, but the jury is still out.

The proof will be in the results on the pitch, and who Vancouver decides to transfer in.

If the club can successfully ping in top quality winter acquisitions, it could go a long way in helping Schuster develop Whitecaps FC towards being strong MLS Cup contender.

“I’ve seen it in action within ten minutes,” Mallett said as he described, Schuster’s networking capability. “Three world class people that you (media) would all know ping his (Schuster’s) phone back when he’s asking about a player. We’ve never had that at a club, that network, and ability.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have never had a sporting director. Now that Axel Schuster has taken on his first role in MLS, there is plenty of work to be done. Fans want to support a team with a winning culture and positive environment.

 

 

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