Posts Tagged ‘Caps Marc Dos Santos’

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s early days, but Vancouver Whitecaps FC are floundering near the bottom of the MLS basement. Vancouver is 0-3-0 on the campaign after suffering a 3-2 defeat to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Caps just aren’t clicking like a fine tuned MLS machine. Passing is just out of sync, the defence has made costly errors, and Whitecaps FC have given up a penalty in each match this season. Whitecaps FC haven’t found a formula for success yet.

While fans might be eager to push the proverbial panic button, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos isn’t bothered, frustration hasn’t settled in over his team.

“No, I’m not.” Dos Santos said, when asked about frustration setting in. “I think they’re professionals. I think we’re living something many teams in the league are living. There’s nine teams in MLS that are between zero and two points. When you’re a professional player, what you have to do is try to find solutions, and we’re all in this together, and we’re going to find solutions.”

Without a solid first team MLS left-back available, Whitecaps FC started the first half against Houston in a 3-5-2 formation. While wing-backs Scott Sutter, and PC were able to get back and help out Erik Godoy, Doneil Henry, and Derek Cornelius early on. It wasn’t long until Memo Rodriguez scored his first of two goals on the day.

“We want to normally play with a back-four,” Dos Santos admitted. “But with the challenges we’ve had in the left side. In going to Houston and knowing (Alberth) Elis, and (Romell) Quioto are dangerous in the one v one situations out wide, we tried to work on a back-five where you would always complement the centre-back with another full-back.”

Vancouver was able to fight back and square the match at 1-1 and later 2-2, but in the end, it was the Alberth Elis show.

Whitecaps FC’s blunders at the back, aren’t a microcosm of not understanding Dos Santos complex ball oriented, fast paced, sound defensive positional approach. It’s down to decision-making, and learning how to improve on those questionable made decisions.

“I think the understanding was there,” Dos Santos explained to Har Journalist. “It was more our individual decision-making that could have been better. I don’t think that it’s a lack of understanding, I think it’s more us in our decision-making.”

“We’re pissed, we’re pissed because we feel we deserve more,” Dos Santos said. “This is good that we all feel like that. Our frustration, I think it’s a good frustration.”

When you look at the other end of the pitch, the offence is still a work in progress. Fredy Montero was able to convert a first half penalty for his first goal of the season. Montero led Vancouver with 13 goals scored during the 2017 campaign. He is looking to find the same familiarity and flare that helped him during his first season with Vancouver.

Chemistry, and intuition between Montero, Yordy Reyna, and Hwang In-Beom has not yet materialized. We’ve seen glimpses of what the trio could become, but nothing on a consistent basis that shows they’re ready to carry Whitecaps FC.

There were moments of hands on the hips, and hands in the air. You could see the frustration of not being able to link up when Vancouver gained possession, and looked to advance forward.

“Hands in the air, the hip, we were dancing,” Montero joked. “It’s more about having that last pass perfectly where I can give the ball to Yordy (Reyna) and he can be in a position to score a goal. Once again, we’re not frustrated, we’re disappointed obviously, in the way that we lost the game.”

“They have to learn the way that I play,” Montero said. “At the same time I am learning from them. I’m trying to give the ball where they are dangerous. We don’t have big bodies into the box, but we can be dangerous one on one. We need to use that strength more.”

The 32-year-old Sutter earned his first start with Whitecaps FC as he came in for Jake Nerwinski. The sky is not falling, the end is not near, it’s just the ‘Madness of March’ – At the minute, Whitecaps FC are a united, and panic free squad.

“We’re disappointed, we’re not frustrated,” Sutter explained the difference. “We’re not in a situational crisis by any means, we don’t look at it like that. We’re just obviously disappointed that we haven’t got the start that I think we wanted or deserve, really. There’s no real use in complaining about it. We’re looking forward to the next game.”

You can’t win an MLS Championship in the first month and you can’t lock down a playoff spot, but you can set the tone, build momentum, and set a foundation for the season. Whitecaps FC have all the tools, technicians,  and talent. It’s now down to using the international break to re-group and prepare for the next match vs the top team in MLS.

A Cascadia clash awaits Vancouver Whitecaps FC as they host Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 30 at B.C. Place. It’s bound to be a cracker as Seattle is a perfect 3-0-0.

Whitecaps FC’s Fredy Montero knows how important this derby match will be.

“It’s a must win game.”

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VANCOUVER, B.C – After an off-season that featured a flurry of players leaving, Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back, and preparing to kick-off preseason, with the first training session today at the National Soccer Development Centre.

Whitecaps FC’s roster shuffle saw eighteen players depart, and it’s still not clear what the final roster will look like before opening kick on March 2 vs Minnesota United FC at B.C. Place.

“I don’t know what time it is now,” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters. “I’ve been all over the world, me and my staff. All the staff was incredibly involved in this window, and we knew that would be the case after so many players leaving. It’s going to be a team with a new face, dynamic, and a new type of model. There was a lot of work to be done.”

While Vancouver does have a few new faces, there’s still some familiarity with the likes of Russell Teibert, Jake Nerwinski, and Felipe. The trio will be counted on heavily for leadership and experience. The first day back is almost like returning to school after a long summer break. The longest-serving Whitecap couldn’t be happier to be back.

“I come in today, and you see all the new fresh faces,” Teibert joked with reporters. “I think you guys might be some of the most familiar faces I’ve seen today. It really is like the first day of school. I know we all kind of remember what our first day of school was like. It’s exactly like that.”

If class is indeed in session, Vancouver has a lot of absentees at the minute. The European transfer window closes on January 31, and the MLS primary transfer window opens on February 7. Fans are hoping Whitecaps FC will sign a high-end Designated Player.

The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, and Bastian Schweinsteiger have all had a major impact in MLS. If you’re expecting a player of that pedigree to join Vancouver, it’s not happening anytime soon. Marc Dos Santos won’t be reaching for the ‘Blood Moon’.

“Is there going to be a designated player? Yes. We’re close to one. We’re looking at a lot of players that can fill the gaps for the future of this club. We want to build a championship team, and not only buy a championship team. We’re focused on building.”

“It looks good at the moment. We’re in the final stages of negotiating with some players.”

The frustrating part about negotiations, they take time. Just when you think you’ve got something across the line, there’s another team that’s swooped in with a better offer.

While the organization is busy trying to put pen to paper, there’s also the matter of negotiations with Whitecaps FC midfielder Efrain Juarez. His first season with Vancouver was a disaster. There have been discussions about a potential contract buyout.

“Effy, we’re still working on his situation,” Dos Santos explained. “In the process today, if he still has a contract with the club. If anything changes, we’ll make you aware of that.”

Another curious Cap to keep an eye on is Venezuelan striker, Anthony Blondell. Vancouver paid a hefty price to acquire the 24 year-old striker, and it hasn’t worked out. Blondell is in camp now, but his future remains clouded.

“Today, he’s one-hundred percent fully in my plans,” Dos Santos revealed a surprise. “He’s going to hate me in the beginning. I think it’s a player that we have to be on him a lot. You have to invest a lot in him. I told him today, he’s not going to like me at the beginning. I think he understands.”

Coach Marc Dos Santos is all about ‘Trusting The Process’. It worked for the Philadelphia 76ers, and it’s a motto he has taken to heart. It’s not about how you start, but how you finish. It’s early days, and the roster is far from being set in stone.

“It’s not like going to Zara to buy a pair of jeans,” Dos Santos said, as he took a trip to the Pacific Centre Mall. “How much is it? $50 here… I’m out. It’s not like that. There’s a big process. That’s what we’ve been working a lot on.”

Whitecaps FC have money to burn from the transfer of Alphonso Davies, but if we’ve learned anything over the years. The Caps aren’t about splashing cash, and pushing the boat out. The signings will come, but not soon enough for supporters.

 

VANCOUVER, B.C –  Please visit Red Nation Online for my latest Vancouver Whitecaps FC story.

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