Archive for the ‘Whitecaps FC’ Category

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Equalizer Soccer for my story on the abuse scandal rocking Canadian soccer.

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Whitecaps FC supporters groups, Curva Collective, and Vancouver Southsiders walked out during first half action between Vancouver and LAFC on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my story on Whitecaps FC’s Scott Sutter and his return to Orlando.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my story on the friendship between Fredy Montero and Nani.

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MLS Soccer - Los Angeles FC v Real Salt Lake

VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in action on Wednesday night as they host high-flying LAFC at B.C Place. The top team in MLS, brings a 6-0-1 (19 points), record to take on a Vancouver side, 0-4-2 (2-points), that’s still looking for their first win of the season.

The visitors won’t make it easy for a Whitecaps FC squad that has scored five goals this season, and none in the last 189 minutes at home. LAFC’s Carlos Vela, leads MLS with 8 goals, 5 assists, 41 shot attempts, and 16 shots on target. Vela is an early season MVP candidate. As if he weren’t dangerous enough, Diego Rossi has 6 goals to his name.

“LAFC is coming in with some big guns,” Russell Teibert explained. “They know how to score goals and they’ve proved that early on this season. They’ve got one of the hottest player in MLS, if not two. If you want a test, if you want a statement game. This is the game that you want to play.”

How do you put a silencer on a duo that’s caused so many problems for the opposition?

“I think you answered the question yourself,” Teibert laughed. “You put a silencer on it, isn’t that what a silencer is for? You know they’re going to get the ball. You’ve just got to limit the areas where they do get the ball.”

Whitecaps FC skipper, Jon Erice knows exactly the type of quality Vela brings. He remembers a young teenager on loan in La Liga, looking to make an impact during the 2007-08 season. It was many moons ago, but Erice quickly noticed the talent, and skill, Vela had.

“Carlos was a very good guy,” Erice recalled. “He was young when he came to CA Osasuna, on loan from Arsenal. He was a very good guy, and he was also a fantastic player. With Real Sociedad, he was one of the best players in La Liga. We enjoyed him a lot in La Liga.”

“His level now, I think is the best level in his career,” Erice continued. “He’s mature, and he knows what to do all the time, with, and without the ball. He’s so clever in the field, and has such quality. He has improved a lot in the last fourteen years. He was a great player, and now he’s one of the best… maybe in the world.” 

Whitecaps FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos is still looking for his first MLS win. What a feat it would be to do that against the team he was an assistant coach with last season. Having the inside knowledge that Dos Santos has with LAFC, could make all the difference. If there is a blueprint for LAFC, there’s a good chance Dos Santos has it in his memory bank.

“We know exactly what they’re going to be about,” Dos Santos explained to reporters earlier this week. “We know exactly how we can hurt them, but then we need the execution to come. You can know the places that will hurt them, and the places where they are weak. You need to make sure the first pass that gets into those places is good, and the runs are good.”

“One thing is to know, and the other is execution. We know their strengths and some are very obvious. The pressure that they put is very very high. Players like Carlos and Diego, they have fourteen of the nineteen goals they’ve scored. It tells you right away, that if those two guys are in a hot night, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

Whether or not Vela, and Rossi light up Whitecaps FC, or Vancouver sends LAFC to their first defeat. It’s going to be a hot atmosphere inside B.C. Place. A restless fan base wants to see wins, and the pressure is mounting.

“You’re putting pressure on us, and we want that pressure,” Teibert admitted. “We know we only have two points, and we know we are going to be better. If we want to make a statement in this league, to you guys, and ourselves. This is the game we need to go out and win.”

“Of course we have pressure,” Erice agreed. “We are professional players, but this is normal in soccer. If you don’t want to feel pressure, maybe you have to do something different.”

LAFC have been playing consistent ninety minute football, and Vancouver hasn’t been able to put that type of effort together. It’s up to Whitecaps FC to show they can compete with the best team in MLS, or it could be a long evening.

Marc Dos Santos, Doneil Henry

VANCOUVER, B.C – The Zlatan show has come and gone, and it’s now time for the Bastian show as Vancouver Whitecaps FC travel to the Windy City to take on Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Chicago Fire on Friday night at SeatGeek Stadium.

Winless Whitecaps FC, are facing a familiar story as they have yet to record a victory this season.

A 0-4-1 (1-pont) start to the season has fans, media, and curious observers circling.

“I feel like we’re always talking about the same thing.” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters on Thursday. “

“How do you improve…” Dos Santos asked the assembled media.

“You have to finish the chances that you have,” Dos Santos explained. “That could normally help you change the dynamic of a game. The big clear chances that we have, we have to finish them, and then see how the game plays out from there.”

Whitecaps FC haven’t scored in two matches, and the team as a whole has scored one goal from open play this season. With goals at a premium, the emphasis on playing solid defence, and keeping a clean sheet is higher than ever.

Vancouver enters a stretch where they will play three matches, in nine days, in three cities. Chicago, LAFC, and Orlando all present challenges of their own. Although it’s still relatively early, there must be an urgency to pickup points.

“Yes, every game we want points,” Goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau told Har Journalist. “The urgency is always there before it’s too late, so totally.”

The 24-year-old, Crepeau has started all five Whitecaps FC matches this season. He recorded his first career MLS clean sheet in a nil-nil draw vs Seattle Sounders FC on March 30. In his first full season as a no.1 MLS keeper, can Crepeau handle an increased work load during a crucial trio of fixtures?

“It’s about the staff making decisions,” Crepeau said. “But I feel like I can play every game, anytime, no problem.”

At the other end of the pitch, Vancouver will face goalkeeper David Ousted, who made his mark during five seasons with Whitecaps FC. The Danish shot-stopper posted a 55-49-39 record during his time on the west coast.

During the 2017 season, Ousted took a young New Jersey native under his wing.

“Dave’s a great guy,” Jake Nerwinski explained. “I played with him my first year, he helped me a lot. He’s a veteran that kind of took me under his wing, and gave me some good advice. I think we’re worried about our tactics and being able to execute them against an entire Chicago team.”

In terms of tactics Whitecaps FC need to score early, dictate the play, and make sure they take their chances. The 1-2-2 (5-points) Fire haven’t had a smooth start to the season, but they have several stars that can change a match.

Schweinsteiger isn’t the only face Whitecaps FC should be worried about. Nemanja Nikolić, Aleksandar Katai, and their newest acquisition, Nicolás Gaitán, all have the ability to turn up and take control of a match.

“Yeah, they have a good team,” Crepeau agreed. “We’ve seen them. They picked up a point in Toronto last week. They’re a team with a dangerous body in front. (C.J) Sapong is a target up front, and Bastian is of a great soccer mind. They have a good team of course. This league is difficult when we go on the road. Now it’s all about being together, and getting a result.”

How do Whitecaps FC earn a result, and get the better of Schweinsteiger?

“Bastian is a world-class player, he’s had a great career,” Nerwinski said. “We know that he’s great at playing out of the back. He’s very calm on the ball. We just need to be able to exploit his weaknesses. He’s not as fast as he was anymore. We need to make sure we can get balls in behind, make him run, and get him tired.”

If you can’t win on the wings, the old adage of run, and gun, and getting in behind the oppositions back-line is a time-tested tactic. Whitecaps FC have the pace, but it remains to be seen if Bastian will be bothered by an aggressive over-the-top transition approach.

“We know at this point, it’s important to get a tie or a win,” Nerwinski revealed. “We’re getting to that point where we need to start getting results. Just for morale, building confidence, and for going on with the season. We’re looking at, at least getting a point against Chicago.”

Bridgeview, Illinois could be the good luck charm Whitecaps FC have been waiting for. Chicago has never been solid at home. The time is perfect for Vancouver to bounce back and earn Marc Dos Santos his first MLS win as a head coach.

 

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my LA Galaxy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic story.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my Whitecaps FC vs LA Galaxy report.

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