Archive for the ‘Whitecaps FC’ Category

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my Whitecaps FC vs D.C. United match report.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – As Vancouver Whitecaps FC get set to take on D.C. United and Wayne Rooney on Saturday night at B.C. Place, they will also welcome back former Vancouver Whitecap, Felipe Martins.

It was oh so long ago, on Tuesday, August 6, when Vancouver traded the Brazilian midfielder to the ‘Black and Red’ for $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and a 2020 international roster spot.

In parts of two seasons on the west coast, Felipe, made 47 MLS appearances for Whitecaps FC scoring 2 goals, and adding 7 assists. He often drew criticism from a vocal fan base for not being the player they expected, when he was acquired from the New York Red Bulls for centre-back, Tim Parker.

Throughout his time with Whitecaps FC the fan reaction on social media directed at Felipe was often vile, completely unfair, and over the top.

“It depends on how you see it,” Felipe told Har Journalist following D.C. United’s training session on Friday. “It’s all about perception. When you have 22,000 people in the stands every game, and there is fifty, sixty people on Twitter that say things. You can’t be judged by sixty people. You have to understand, do those people know about soccer, do they follow it, do they understand anything. You know, it’s just about perception.

As a professional, and as a soccer player, I always accept criticism. It’s not in my position to judge those people. It’s their way to see things and I’ve got to respect it, and do my thing so those things never bother me.”

Now that he will be representing the visiting team, Felipe isn’t quite sure what type of reaction he will receive from Whitecaps FC supporters.

“To be fair, I don’t expect anything,” Felipe explained. “For me it’s never a thing that bothers me, if they clap me or boo. If they think I deserve a clap for everything that I did, good. Otherwise, I’m going to try and play my game, be the best I can for the team.

I appreciate the time I had here. As life goes on, now I’m on another page, and I’m going to give everything I can for D.C. United. I will always be thankful for the Vancouver Whitecaps.”

Jake Nerwinski, is expecting to see the same hard nosed tackle machine that Felipe has brought throughout his MLS career. Felipe plays with no fear, and the Whitecaps FC right back will have to hope he isn’t on the receiving end of a Felipe challenge.

“You know he’s going to be extra motivated,” Nerwinski explained. “That’s just the kind of guy that he is. He’s probably going to put in a few good hard tackles. That’s how he has been his whole career. He’s on the other team now, he’s our enemy.”

“No way he’s getting by me.”

Contrary to what you might believe, Felipe, doesn’t go into a match looking to reach a certain tackle quota. If he makes a key defensive stop it’s all down to the flow of the match, and timing. He has been known to deliver a strong crunching, tackle, but he’s not going to go out of his way to stick the boot in. After all, three points are on the line.

“Let’s see, we’ve got to play the game,” Felipe said. “It’s not because I’ve played with them, that I’m going to make it easy. I’m going to play my game. I don’t think how many tackles I’m going to make. I’m going to play my game, and do what the coaches ask me to do.”

This will be Felipe’s second match with his new club, but his first match with Wayne Rooney on the pitch as a teammate. Felipe made his D.C. United debut on Sunday, in a 2-1 win over Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy.

As only he can, Felipe has a unique comparison for the legends that are Ibrahimovic, and Rooney.

“The difference between Rooney and Zlatan is that, Rooney doesn’t need people cheering him. He’s the kind of player that’s accomplished everything in his career. He doesn’t need anybody to be there clapping, or showing how much they love him. He’s confident enough to step on the field, and do the best he can for D.C. United.

Zlatan needs the show, He’s part of the show, and he appreciates that.”

If Zlatan is a Ferrari, what does that make England, and Manchester United all-time leading goal-scorer, Wayne Rooney?

“Lamborghini was created because Ferrari was disrespected by Mr. Lamborghini,” Felipe explained in great detail. “Lamborghini went and created a car that was going to beat Ferrari, and that’s what happened. If you talk about a (Zlatan) Ferrari, he (Rooney) could be an SUV Lamborghini.”

With Felipe, Rooney, and an SUV Lamborghini on display at B.C. Place, there is no telling how the artificial turf will hold up. There’s bound to be a few fireworks, tackles, and goalzos from Whitecaps FC and D.C. United.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Please visit Daily Hive for my story on Wayne Rooney’s first visit to Vancouver to take on Whitecaps FC.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC centre-back, Érik Godoy on Tuesday July 13, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist

VANCOUVER, B.C – The most underrated player on Whitecaps FC this season? It’s not who you think, a durable defender that never complains, that’s been vital to the back-four in his first season in MLS.

Érik Godoy.

The 25-year-old, Godoy has been under appreciated this season as an anchor in the back-four. Whitecaps FC have played 26 matches this season, and Godoy has been on the pitch for all but 14 minutes. He was a first half substitute for Doneil Henry (back contusion) in Minnesota on July 27.

Godoy credits his durability to the preparation he takes off the pitch.

“I think the biggest thing for playing all these games, and all these minutes, is mental toughness. I always prepare myself to go into training, games, to give my best, recover well, eat, and sleep well.”

With all the matches, travel, and tactics, you have to wonder if Godoy is getting tired?

“I feel a little tired now, especially, because I didn’t do a preseason when I came here.” Godoy said in an exclusive interview with Har Journalist.

Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos would like more players with Godoy’s positive mindset.

“He has been important,” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters earlier this week. “Erik is a player that never talks. He always trains with an intensity, and a commitment all the time. If we would ask him to play a reserve team game today, he would say okay, and not even question it. His mentality is what we need more here. We need more guys with that type of mentality.”

Godoy was quick to score Whitecaps FC’s first goal of the season, at home vs Minnesota United FC. His 6th minute header off a corner still stands as his lone goal this season. Despite his early success, that’s not Godoy’s most memorable moment with Vancouver.

“When we beat LAFC when they were in first place. It was definitely a game that gave us a lot of momentum going forward, and it let us continue forward that week.”

Defenders don’t get the accolades that strikers, wingers, and midfielders do, but Godoy has been just as dependable and solid for Whitecaps FC. It can be quite the adjustment for a new player coming to a new league, country, and different style of football.

“I think it’s a growing league,” Godoy described MLS. “It’s improving. Now you’re seeing players who aren’t just coming to MLS to retire, but coming here straight from Europe to play their careers.”

Godoy has been pleasantly surprised by his first impressions of his new surroundings.

“It’s the first country, I’ve played in outside of my country,” Godoy explained. “The league, the stadium, the quality, the level, all surprised me. It was better than I anticipated, it made it easier for me to transition into it. I’m looking forward to next year.”

Godoy is on a one-year loan from Club Atlético Colón in Argentina. He isn’t quite sure if he will be back with Whitecaps FC next season, the decision is out of his hands.

“Yes, we’re evaluating the process, and the possibility of staying next year,” Godoy explained. “The answer will have to come from the club, and the coach in December.”

Have Whitecaps FC had any discussions about bringing Godoy back?

“Of course, yeah of course,” Dos Santos said. “It’s a player that we would like to keep here.”

Vancouver will host D.C. United on Saturday July 17, at B.C. Place. It could be a busy night for Érik Godoy with former England international, Wayne Rooney possibly leading the line for the ‘Black and Red’.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s no secret Whitecaps FC have had a difficult season, at 5-12-9 record has Vancouver at the bottom of the MLS western conference. A two-match unbeaten streak was quickly snapped by a 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on Saturday at Providence Park.

An 11 match winless streak across all competitions, and a two-month spell in between victories quickly sunk Whitecaps FC’s hopes of having a successful season. A quarterfinal loss to Canadian Premier League side, Cavalry FC, in the Canadian Championship was also a low point.

In his third season on the west coast, Whitecaps FC’s Yordy Reyna has been part of a few ups and downs with Vancouver. He still believes Whitecaps FC have the quality to compete in MLS. A number of factors just haven’t gone accordingly.

“We have to start the season stronger and have a quick start,” Reyna explained exclusively to Har Journalist. “This past month with all the gams in succession, it didn’t help. We definitely have the team that can compete in MLS. We just need to have consistently strong performances throughout the year.”

Whitecaps FC have had trouble scoring, and they’ve had trouble keeping the ball out of their own net.

A -19 goal differential is the worst among teams in the west.

Vancouver has scored 26 goals in 26 games, an average of one goal per game leaves little margin for error.

Whitecaps FC’s top goal-scorers leave a lot to be desired.

Fredy Montero 6 goals

Yordy Reyna 4 goals

Doneil Henry 3 goals

Lucas Venuto 3 goals (Mutually parted ways on August 1, 2019)

InBeom Hwang 2 goals

The 25-year-old, Reyna, is one of a handful of players that remained on the roster after the organization cleaned house in the offseason. In his first two seasons with Vancouver, Reyna, scored 6 goals each season. He added 4 assists in 2017, and 11 assists in 2018. He has 1 assist in 2019.

Why have Whitecaps FC struggled so mightily this season?

“It’s exactly what you were saying,” Reyna agreed, “It’s new players, so it’s tough to get into a groove, especially every year when you’re getting some turnover. It’s hard to get that stability. It’s just going to take more time to get to know each other, more, and more, and be able to play with each other better.”

The clock is ticking, Reyna, and Whitecaps FC are running out of time. Vancouver hasn’t won a match at B.C. Place since a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas on May 25. The club remains 12 points out of the playoffs. Vancouver’s five wins have them tied for the fewest in MLS.

There’s still a chance, and that’s all Reyna needs to stay positive.

“Yeah, there’s still 8 game left,” Reyna said. “There’s still a lot of possibilities. We’re not by all means completely ruled out. If we get some results going our way, and we perform well, then we can finish the season strong.”

Whitecaps FC will host D.C. United at B.C. Place on Saturday night. The ‘Black and Red’ are 10-7-9 on the season, and they’re coming off a 2-1 win at home vs the LA Galaxy on Sunday.

Anytime D.C. United is on the fixture list, Wayne Rooney draws a lot of attention. The England all-time leading scorer is someone Reyna looks forward to playing against.

“Yeah, everybody knows Rooney.” Reyna smiled, “He’s a big player, he played a lot of years in England with Manchester United. He’s a good player, but I want to win this game. We know we need the points, and we need the win here at home.”

Having spent time playing in Austria, and Germany, Reyna is familiar with the battle a club can face with promotion and relegation at stake. Leagues all over the world use promotion, and relegation, but not MLS. It’s not coming to MLS anytime soon, but it’s certainly something players have thought about.

“It’s no comparison, every league has another level,” Reyna said. “I think here with players coming like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, (Carlos) Vela, they make MLS very very strong. You can’t really compare the two, really. When we have strong players coming over it’s making the league stronger, and more competitive. We just need a little more of that, and MLS is defiantly still growing, and getting better.”

The Peruvian international could be playing his final two months with Whitecaps FC. Reyna signed a new contract for the 2019 season, with club options for 2020, and 2021. Reyna’s salary has him earning $713,140, fourth highest on the team.

“I don’t know, it depends on what happens with the decision,” Reyna explained. “I like Vancouver, I’ve had three years here, but I don’t know what’s going to happen after.”

Any discussions about his future with the club will have to wait until after the season.

“I don’t talk now, because we have 8 games more,” Reyna explained. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after these 8 games. I want to stay because I like the city, I have a lot of friends here, but everybody don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s soccer, maybe you are here, next time you are in another place.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be hoping they are in another place next season, preferably in a playoff spot. 2019 has been a season to forget. Yordy Reyna could be back, or it could be farewell, adios.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Where is Jon Erice? The Whitecaps FC midfielder has been noticeably stapled to the bench over the course of the last month. The Vancouver captain has found himself on the outside looking in. In the last seven matches across all competitions, Erice has been on the field for a total of 150 minutes. He has made just two starts, and gone a full ninety minutes just once since July 7.

In the first two months of the MLS season, Erice started 10 of the first 11 matches. He was a vital piece of a developing Whitecaps FC midfield that was looking to find chemistry with all the new faces on the team.

In 19 MLS appearances, Erice has 2 assists this season.

Despite not seeing the pitch in Vancouver’s nil-nil draw at Minnesota, and 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati, Erice hasn’t lost his focus. He is determined to buckle down, and do his best to get back into Coach Marc Dos Santos starting eleven.

“Ohh my confidence is very high,” Erice explained to Har Journalist. “It’s a question of the coach who takes the decision to put in other players. This is part of football, this is nothing special for me. It’s not the first time I’m in the bench. My job now is to work hard in training, and try to help the team from outside.”

“We are twenty-two players,” Erice added. “We have four, five, six midfielders, all the players are playing, and they are doing good in the last game, so I have to wait my turn again, and work hard. It’s part of soccer. We are twenty-two players, and everybody deserves to play. Now it’s the moment of other players, and as a teammate I will support them.”

The La Liga product was acquired by Whitecaps FC in January 2019, from La Liga 2 side Albacete Balompié. Erice’s experience has seen him play football all over Europe, but that also means he has a lot of kilometres on his 32-year-old legs.

Erice absence from Whitecaps FC’s most recent matches might not be down to his form of play, but how his body is recovering after a hectic calendar year of playing football.

“He has a good mentality, he’s a professional,” Dos Santos explained. “He’s a player that understands the game. He understands the moment. I think that he looks tired for us. In July he had a preseason in Spain, did half a season, and came here. He hasn’t had a break for thirteen months right now. We question if that, at his age has hit him. We feel maybe he needs a little bit more of a break.”

The transfer of Felipe Martins to D.C. United earlier this week, could open up a spot for Erice to get back into Vancouver’s lineup. It’s not cut and dry. You will be hard pressed to find a manager who will tinker with a winning lineup.

Unbeaten in their last two matches, Whitecaps FC could turn to other options.

“It’s a game at a time,” Dos Santos said. “Maybe yes, maybe no. For now, InBeom is an option to play against Portland. If the door opens, he (Erice) could come back in. It doesn’t change the fact that we feel that there’s a little bit of fatigue there, that we need to manage.”

Finding yourself on the sidelines, not playing, is enough to drive any athlete up the wall, but that’s not Jon Erice. He is enjoying life in MLS, and his first season with Whitecaps FC. Erice and his family expect to be in Vancouver long term.

A native of Pamplona Spain, Erice, is earning $752,364 in guaranteed compensation this season.

“Yes, yes, I have two years contract with the club. Another one year, and an option. If they want me to be here, I will be very happy to be here for a long time.”

On Saturday, Whitecaps FC will put their 5-11-9 record on the line against a 9-9-4 Portland Timbers side at Providence Park in another Cascadia derby match. Vancouver beat Portland 1-0 on May 10, at B.C. Place earlier this season.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, B.C – In the wake of two mass shootings in the U.S. that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio last weekend. Philadelphia Union captain, Alejandro Bedoya decided to use his platform as a professional athlete to speak out against gun violence in the U.S. and demand action from U.S. congress.

Bedoya was not fined, he didn’t face criticism for speaking out. A lot of MLS players understand the platform they have, and they support what Bedoya did. The New Jersey, native, created a much needed discussion around the epidemic of gun violence, and mass shootings in the U.S.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos, has personally wondered what he can do himself to help.

“I don’t know Bedoya, but what I’ll tell you. I’ve questioned if I would sit down or stand during the national anthem of the U.S. after what happened. I don’t think it makes a big difference if I stand or sit down. It did cross my mind.”

“I would call it disgusting to live in a world that the U.S is not in an internal war with no one, and it looks like it’s a war out there. Sometimes it looks like a third world country to be honest with you. It’s sad that families go to a shopping centre or a restaurant, and you always have a slight percentage of a guy coming in with a gun, and shooting everybody. It’s sad, it’s disgusting. It’s bad.”

“I understand countries that are in war. I understand that in countries they are fighting for things in the country, and freedom, but it’s not the case in the U.S. – I understand Bedoya and I support what he did.”

Whitecaps FC’s Scott Sutter spent two seasons playing for Orlando City SC. He has lived and traveled all across the U.S. – He isn’t actively thinking about what could happen if he is out shopping, at the movies, or attending a festival. Athletes want to live their lives freely just like everyone else.

Sutter and his teammates were in Ohio celebrating the teams 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati on Saturday, when they first heard what happened north of them in Dayton.

“Yeah, Dayton was only fifty minutes away from where we were,” Sutter explained. “We were having a couple of drinks in a bar after the win. You just think how scary that can be, and that it could happen to us. It’s such a shame.”

“It’s scary, we were pretty close to that,” Zac MacMath said. “That easily could have been Cincinnati instead of Dayton, or Portland this week. It could be anywhere, and it’s a scary thought. I think it’s something that everyone thinks about now as we travel around the country.”

The 33-year-old Sutter won’t let gun violence dictate the way he lives his life. He enjoys going to the U.S. and he has a lot of happy memories from his time with Orlando. Sutter wants to see change from the powers who are in charge.

“I think there’s a lot of things that need to change,” Sutter explained to Har Journalist. “I had a great couple years living in the States. I love the country, and can imagine living there in the future at some point. It’s a shame, especially when you have families, friends, and kids of your own.”

“You ask, ‘where is it safe anymore,’ The way you can just walk into any big superstore and buy guns, and weapons like that. They need to clamp down on it massively. It’s the people that are in charge in D.C. that need to do that, and get their act together.”

The right to keep and bear arms is something Sutter didn’t grow up with. There isn’t a gun culture in Switzerland. The strict gun laws that exist throughout Europe make it so you can’t go purchase a gun, and shoot people. When Sutter first moved to the U.S. he was shocked by how much access there is for anyone who wants to buy a gun.

“I mean completely different,” Sutter said. “It’s incredible, you walk into a Dick’s Sporting Goods or a Walmart and you’ve got weapons, and guns there. That’s something that us guys in Europe have never had or never seen before. It’s definitely incredible, and just unfortunate the way things are at the moment.”

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, MacMath, isn’t going to change the way he lives. He will be cautious of course.

“I feel safe pretty much anywhere,” MacMath said. “It really doesn’t change much for me. I guess keeping an extra eye out.”