Posts Tagged ‘Felipe MLS’


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 – Whitecaps FC said goodbye to a long time MLS veteran as they bid farewell to Felipe Martins on Tuesday. Vancouver sent the Brazilian midfielder to D.C. United in exchange for $75,000 of 2020 Targeted Allocation Money (TAM). and a 2020 international roster spot.

The 28-year-old joined Whitecaps FC from the New York Red Bulls in March 2018. Felipe made 47 MLS appearances in parts of two seasons on the west coast. He registered 2 goals, and 7 assists in MLS play. Felipe’s scored the match winner against FC Cincinnati on Saturday as Vancouver snapped an 11 match winless streak across all competitions.

“First of all I want to thank each and every single fan that came and supported us,” Felipe told reporters in Vancouver. “I think I go with the knowledge that every single day, that I gave my all.”

“I’m very excited to join such a great organization. An organization that I know very well, because I played many times against them. I hope to get there, get to work, and day-by-day won those fans that maybe one day hated me so much. I’m ready to get there, work hard, make the playoffs, make the D.C. United fans and the organization proud.”

D.C. United’s courtship of Felipe came out of nowhere, talks between the two clubs came together following Vancouver’s 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati. Vancouver was not actively shopping Felipe. D.C. United’s interest came about rather quickly.

“It happened very fast.” Coach Marc Dos Santos explained.

“You have to be very cold in the position that I’m in,” Dos Santos said. “You have to always look at the big picture. It’s ironic that he scores the winning goal in Cincinnati, but you can’t be emotional in this business. You always have to stay focused and driven, on the big picture.”

Felipe’s production didn’t quite match his hefty 2019 salary of $500.000.

It was an up and down tenure for Felipe Martins in Vancouver. He was often criticized by fans on social media for his play on the pitch, and you could tell it bothered him. Underneath it all, players are human beings, with emotions and feelings. Tim Parker blossomed with the Red Bulls, while Felipe struggled to find consistent playing time with Vancouver.

The unnecessary vitriol towards Felipe affected him personally.

“It was a rollercoaster to be honest,” Felipe admitted. “To be fair, I started very well. I think I had a great half of the season this year. Some personal issues got me a little bit. I came back very excited, but unfortunately after many years playing regularly week by week, I didn’t get to play as consistent as I wanted. Then you start to get doubts in your mind. You don’t get the confidence that you need every single day, and every single game, but that’s part of football. I get out on a positive note with my first goal this year.”

The news of the trade broke while Whitecaps FC players were getting ready for a recovery training session at the National Soccer Development Centre at U.B.C. – Felipe was preparing to go on the field for his pre-hab work, when Assistant Coach, Vanni Sartini, let him know that Marc Dos Santos wanted to talk to him.

“From this day on, I’m a D.C. United player,” Felipe said proudly. “I’m going to come with the same intensity or even more, to give my all. It will be easier for my family, who will still be here, preparing everything because we were surprised by this move. At the same time, it makes us excited to go back to the east coast, the U.S.”

Whitecaps FC fans won’t have to wait long for Felipe to return to Vancouver. D.C. United will visit B.C. Place on Saturday, August 17. Felipe’s wife Nina, and their two children, will stay in Vancouver and get ready for the next big move.

“You’re always going to be judged on your last game,” Felipe spoke honestly. “I think the fans are going to be happy for one game that I gave the game winner. Hate or love, I appreciate everything everyone has done for me. I’m as professional as I can be everyday.”

The MLS secondary transfer window shuts on Wednesday, August 7 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Whitecaps FC could have another move to make, wheels are in motion, but nothing is across the line yet. Dos Santos has been working the phones.

“I’m going to go now to my office, and maybe I’ll have a lot of missed calls, messages. I don’t know. Until Wednesday… look, I don’t have plan of doing, but never, say never. I know we want another player that we’re trying to pursue, and hopefully it’s going to work until Wednesday. If it doesn’t, we move on and focus on January.”

Also on Tuesday, Whitecaps FC added to their offence by acquiring Honduran international winger Michaell Chirinos on loan from Club Deportivo Olimpia through to the end of the 2019 season. Chirinos is expected to join the team later this week, and could be in contention for his MLS debut when Vancouver hosts D.C. United.

The 24-year-old could be joined by another Whitecaps FC acquisition if Dos Santos is able to finalize another move.

“There’s a lot of interest for our players, yeah.”

“We don’t know, that’s the thing,” Dos Santos said. “We weren’t planning to move Felipe. For something else, we are in the moves, and trying to do another piece. We’re working very hard at it, hopefully it’s going to be done this window, if not, we’ll have to wait.” Dos Santos said.

At the end of the day, professional sports is a business, and tough decisions have to be made.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert. Photo: Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Whitecaps FC are back on the road, as the team gets set for a pair of matches away from B.C. Place. Vancouver will take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, May 18, and then it’s a battle against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, May 22.

Vancouver is coming off a 1-0 loss to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday night at B.C. Place. At the minute, Whitecaps FC sit 8th in the western conference with a record of 3-6-3, 12-points. Sporting Kansas City remain in 11th position with a 10-points, from a 2-4-4 record. The home side will be looking to snap an eight-match winless streak.

Whitecaps FC are no strangers to long distance travel. Playing on the west coast often means long road trips across the continent. Vancouver has already had three trips into the central and eastern time zones, traveling to Houston, Chicago, and Orlando. That often requires flying commercial with a layover before reaching the final designation.

Over the years, players have developed a flying routine. Some players prefer the window seat, over the aisle, and almost no player wants to be stuck in the dreaded middle seat.

“I love the aisle, so I can get up and go to the bathroom when I feel like it.” Fredy Montero explained.

“I’m an aisle guy,” Jake Nerwinski said. “I like to be able to get out. I like to lean my legs out into the aisle a little bit.”

“If it’s a long trip, I like the aisle,” Russell Teibert revealed. “If it’s quick trip, which we rarely have here in Vancouver, I like the window.”

“My favourite situation is a nice aisle seat, and I sleep as much as possible,” Andy Rose revealed. “Our last plane trip, we were on United, and we had a couple of Premier League games on, which was great. That’s probably the ideal situation. A good sleep, good book, and time to relax.”

“I’m always window seat,” Doneil Henry admitted. “I don’t like to be bothered, I don’t like to be bumped by carts when I’m in the aisle seat. Put me by the window, and I just sleep.”

“Middle, love the middle,” Scott Sutter joked. “I love being crammed in. No, no. Aisle all day, I prefer the aisle, I like to stretch my legs a little bit.”

There are a variety of choices to pass the time away on a long flights. You can try and get some kip, read a book, play cards, listen to music, watch a movie, or talk to your seat mate. Athletes usually like to rest up, relax, and watch a movie.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC players are no different.

“Watch movies, that I can’t watch at home with my kids,” Felipe told reporters at Vancouver International Airport. “I like to be quiet, watch movies, and enjoy myself. Anything on iTunes, and Netflix.”

“Mostly watch films, and see what new films are out,” Sutter said. “I’ve got my iPad, and a good book at the moment.”

“Soccer books, at the moment I’m reading a great book about Barcelona,” Rose explained. “That’s incredibly interesting. I read a lot about different coaches, managers, player autobiographies, all those sorts of things.”

“I try to sleep,” Nerwinski added. “I try to rest as much as I can. When I get a little stiff, I usually do a little walking down the aisle, until a flight attendant will yell at me to sit down. I watch Netflix. Right now I’m watching Designated Survivor, it’s pretty good.”

“Sleep, I like to sleep,” Henry said. “I don’t do anything other than sleep. Sometimes I download a couple of Netflix. I’ve been watching Imposters. I’m on the second season.”

“I don’t sleep, that’s for sure,” Montero revealed. “I get nervous when the plane is shaking, for those two seconds, five seconds. I’m praying about it, because I honestly don’t like it. Most of the time, I watch movies, read books, and talk to my teammates.”

There’s always one individual who is persistent in chatting up his teammates while they’re doing their own thing. If there’s a lengthy travel day ahead for Whitecaps FC, there’s one player that teammates would prefer they don’t sit beside.

“Ali (Adnan), Ali’s annoying.” Henry said.

“Normally I sleep, but Ali (Adnan) has been bothering me on the flights,” Teibert explained. “He likes to take pictures of me. I’ve kind of got to sleep with one eye open, now.”

“Joaquin (Ardaiz).” Nerwinski revealed. “I’ve sat next to him two or three times. He loves the middle (seat), which is a very odd thing. He likes to talk to everybody. If you sit next to him, you’re not going to get much sleep.”

“Yeah, Fredy Montero. He just does not shut-up on the flights,” Sutter laughed. “It’s crazy, he just wants to speak about everything. No, no, he’s great. If I can choose anyone, it would be next to Fredy.”

“Fortunately, we’re all sort of spread out on the plane,” Rose revealed. “I think we do a great job of trying to get away from the middle seats. Usually you’re sat by yourself. A few guys like to play cards together, and what not. For the most part, so far, I haven’t been hassled.”

Whitecaps FC will look to re-group in the friendly skies as they prepare for a week on the road. Vancouver will stay and train in Kansas City following Saturday’s match at Children’s Mercy Park. Vancouver will fly home on Thursday, May 23.


VANCOUVER, B.C – Today is April Fool’s Day, and for one special day, pranksters thrive, and trickery is abound. Hijinks is in the air, not everything you read and hear is truthful.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC are no strangers to bonding, and pulling off elaborate pranks. Whenever you get a young group of athletes together, there’s sure to be a few funny characters around who are up to no good.

Who is the Whitecaps FC player you should be most mindful of on April Fool’s Day?

“There’s a few guys, I think Yordy (Reyna) is a big prankster,” Jake Nerwinski told Har Journalist. “He likes to always mess with guys. Joaquin (Ardaiz), I’m starting to learn that he’s a bit of a prankster as well, and myself a little bit.”

“Yeah, Yordy likes to do a few jokes,” Felipe agreed. “There is a couple guys that like to joke, but we always try to respect the way we joke.” 

There was a high level of shenanigans last year when Whitecaps FC goalkeeper, Stefan Marinovic was the victim of a fantastic prank. Nerwinski teamed up with TSN Radio host, Corey Basso, for an amusing, and agitating sit down interview with the Australian (New Zealand) international.

“I just try to pull some jokes on my friends,” Nerwinski explained. “Did you see last year with Stefan (Marinovic) ? – We pulled a little joke with Corey Basso. We asked him some tough questions, and some that I knew he wasn’t going to like, and get mad at. It went perfectly. Right as planned, he got mad. It was good, really funny.”

Spoken like a true prankster extraordinaire, Nerwinski wouldn’t reveal his April Fools’ plans for this year.

“I can’t let you know that,” Nerwinski smiled. “No. Maybe, I don’t know. You’ll just have to wait and see.

It seems practical jokes, and tomfoolery go hand-in-hand with the 24-year-old, Nerwinski. His days as a jokster can be traced all the way back to his university time at UConn.

“We use to do this one in college, where we would fill up a garbage can of water. You lean it against the door, and once you open the door it all falls in. We use to do that a few times to some of the guys in the dorms. We’d get into a little bit of trouble, but it was fun.”

While being soaked with a falling bucket of water is an April Fools’ classic. There’s a certain amount of higher stakes at the pro level. The more planning, and teammates involved, the bigger the prank. Nerwinski will want to make sure to keep a close eye on his car.

“We did many back in Europe,” Felipe said. “Once we took all the wheels from the guys car and we left it in the parking lot, without the wheels. He thought someone robbed him. Another time, we were very far from the training facility, and we parked his car downtown, and we left all the tickets for him to go get. It won’t happen here, but it was something.”

Nerwinski, and Reyna appear to be the leaders among Whitecaps FC pranksters, Felipe should not be underestimated. The veteran does his talking on the pitch, and he could very well be set to do some pranking off the pitch.

“This year, nothing yet,” Felipe revealed. “We’ve joked with Lucas (Venuto) a couple of times, but only between Brazilians.”

Whitecaps FC will look to shake off any practical jokes effects as they host the LA Galaxy at B.C. Place on Friday, April 5.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Los Angeles FC match preview.

April 13 kickoff


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