Posts Tagged ‘VWFC Doneil Henry’

VANCOUVER B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my exclusive with Vancouver Whitecaps FC Manager, Marc Dos Santos.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my story on who is expected to return next season for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and who’s likely to headed in another direction.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Whitecaps FC will be looking to end the season on a high note when they host Real Salt Lake on Sunday at B.C. Place. Vancouver comes into the season finale riding a three-match unbeaten streak thanks to a wins over the LA Galaxy, Houston, and a draw vs Columbus Crew SC. If Whitecaps FC can earn a result against playoff bound, Real Salt Lake they will have reached a season high, four-match unbeaten streak.

Over the course of the final month of the season, Whitecaps FC have taken on a spoiler role.

In that process, Vancouver may have found a hidden gem on the back-line.

Jasser Khmiri, made his MLS debut on Sunday against the Galaxy, and he did not look out of place. The ‘Towering Tunisian’ played with poise, pace, and power. Khmiri had his timing down, and his instincts looked terrific.

Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos was not at all surprised by Khmiri’s performance.

“Guys, look, we watch players,” Dos Santos started to explain. “It would unprofessional on my part to watch a player and then bring him here, and say ‘Oh, I’m surprised that he’s good’. It would be very unprofessional. We watched him, we watched games. We sent a staff member to Tunisia. We knew that there was a lot of interest from French clubs, and Belgium clubs. He had a problem in his knee, when we brought him here. We took that risk, other clubs didn’t want to take that risk. Our performance group did a fantastic job with him. We know his qualities, the qualities of Jasser, he has very good height. He’s very good in the air, both attacking and defending. He’s comfortable on the ball. He’s a fast player for his position. He’s very aggressive, so positionally he could still grow. He’s an aggressive player, he’s young, and it’s his first game with the club.”

The 22-year-old, Khmiri, was paired with MLS veteran, Doneil Henry. The Canadian international could sense the hunger, and anticipation from his defensive partner. Henry helped make sure Khmiri, kept his composure, and stayed focused.

“It was good,” Henry said. “I know when a player has been out for that long, he’s hungry. I was kind of nervous going into the game. When you’ve been out that long and you haven’t played in any warm-up games, and you go against a front-line like the one we played against, it’s not easy.

I just wanted to coach him throughout the game, and make sure he wasn’t overly excited to go into tackles. You can get burnt or do something wrong. Jasser was excellent for the game, I’m happy. I read that he had nineteen clearances, that’s amazing. It’s a good start for Jasser and there’s a lot to continue to do, and I just want to help him.”

The Galaxy boast one of the top attacking squads in all of MLS. Anytime you can pencil Zlatan Ibrahimovic into your lineup, you have a chance to win, and win big. Khmiri wasn’t fazed by the bright lights, and big names at the other end of the pitch.

He battled with Zlatan, and managed to frustrate the Swedish striker. As close as the Galaxy came, they were never able to take control of the match. Vancouver won 4-3 thanks to a stoppage time winner from Michaell Chirinos. The play that sprung Chirinos, and In-Beom Hwang was setup by Khmiri, who won the ball in his own defensive half.

“We wanted his first game, for him to feel right away what MLS was about,” Dos Santos explained. “I think he was a player in the ninety minutes that understood his role, helped, jumped a lot with Ibra. Challenged a lot with him in the box. We knew a lot of the things from the game against the Galaxy would be crosses in the box, that’s why we wanted to make sure, Doneil, and Jasser would be there to cope with that, and I think they did a good job overall.”

Have Whitecaps FC found a new top centre-back duo for next season?

“Yeah, that’s down to the coaches,” Henry said. “Like I said, while I’m playing, I just want to help the boys out, and be a leader. Just leave the rest to the coaches, and the club.”

Marc Dos Santos wasn’t willing to discuss his centre-back duo for the 2020 campaign.

“I don’t know, no, I don’t know. I don’t know, let’s see how things develop.”

Fans might see Henry and Khmiri in action when Vancouver takes on Real Salt Lake on Sunday. The visitors will be looking to lock up a home playoff date, while Whitecaps FC will look to ‘screw’ another MLS opponent.








VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my story on Columbus Crew SC’s Gyasi Zardes.


Columbus Crew SC striker, Gyasi Zardes in Vancouver on September 20, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist










Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Houston Dynamo at B.C. Place on September 14, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – On a rain soaked Saturday night at B.C. Place, Whitecaps FC earned their 7th victory of the season thanks to a 2-1 draw over the Houston Dynamo. A crowd of 17,382 watched Fredy Montero come off the bench to score the match winner in the 90th minute.

Vancouver improves to 7-15-9 on the season with 30 points. The Dynamo’s chase to the MLS playoffs takes a crushing blow as they fall to 10-16-4 with 34 points.

“I think we deserve the three points.” Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters post match. “This week, the thing we spoke the most about (was) what are the reasons we play for when you have four games to play and there’s no playoffs.

You play for your teammates and for the group that is (training) every day. You play for sponsors, for the club that pays you, for the club that brought you in and believes in you. You play for the fans that, even (when) knocked out, still come in and buy tickets and support the team and follow the team. We have a lot to play for. That’s the right mentality to have.”

Whitecaps FC goalkeeper, Zac MacMath made fives saves to earn his first victory with Vancouver. The veteran MLS keeper also earned his 47th career MLS win.

Number one goalkeeper, and MLS saves leader, Max Crepeau was out of the eighteen due to an ankle injury he picked up while on national team duty with Canada. MacMatch earned his 6th start of the season for Vancouver.

“Zac has worked really hard,” Doneil Henry explained post-match to Har Journalist. “Max (Crepeau) has done really well this season, and solidified himself as a number one keeper. Zac, I thought he did really well today. It’s good for his confidence, and good for the team to know that whenever he’s called upon, he can play.”

Vancouver started in a 4-3-3 formation with Tosaint Ricketts leading the line, flanked by Yordy Reyna, and Michaell Chirinos. It was a familiar story for Whitecaps FC as they struggled to create scoring chances in the final third of play.

Fighting to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, the visiting Houston Dynamo weren’t much better. Coach Davy Arnaud deployed his Forever Orange in a 4-2-3-1 formation. While Mauro Manotas started up top, he didn’t create much. The service from his teammates just wasn’t there. It was a quiet first half, as neither side looked dangerous offensively.

The tide quickly turned in favour of the home side as Vancouver earned a penalty in the 53′ minute. Yordy Reyna sent a free kick into the Dynamo wall that was handled by Manotas. Referee, Robert Sibiga immediately pointed to the spot.

“It’s changing the game.” Dos Santos added. “Am I for VAR? Yes, but limited things. What’s changing is those goals. When I was a kid and you’d (see) players scoring, taking off their jersey, running in the crowd. Now, you score and there’s always suspense. The crowd gets up (in a) good-environment goal, then there’s suspense. That’s killing the game. It’s sad.”

As is with most Whitecaps FC matches, the penalty shout was turned over to a Video Assistant Review (VAR). However, this time, the decision from VAR was confirmed.

“I’m happy,” Henry said. “I’m not going to talk about the VAR, and get myself into trouble. It’s really good that we got one in our favour.”

Vancouver’s designed player, Hwang In-Beom stepped up to take the penalty. In-Beom sent Joe Willis the wrong way to score the opening goal of the match.

The visitors tied the match in the 78th thanks to sloppy rebound control from MacMath. Maynor Figueroa fired on target. MacMath and his defenders failed to clear the rebound. Manotas was a in a perfect position to pounce on the rebound to square the match.

Houston Dynamo held a private closed door meeting following the loss to Vancouver. Swedish international, Adam Lundqvist, spoke post-match about the mood of the team.

“We all knew that the performance was there, it’s just that we were lack in (a) different part of the game. Like I said, we can’t let this affect us anymore. There’s a new game next week, so like I said, there’s another game and you can always move forward. We have to take the positives of this game, keep learning and keep moving forward.”

Just as it looked like both teams were going to settle for a 1-1 draw, Whitecaps FC were able to nic a goal at the death. Montero nut-megged, Houston’s keeper to rescue all three points for Vancouver.

The 32-year-old has been in and out of Vancouver’s starting lineup this season, but he has remained patient and focused. Montero’s winning goal, was also his first goal form open play since May 10, 2019.

“Fredy from the beginning, if he’s in the team, or out of the team,” Henry said. “His mentality, and his attitude never changes. He’s not one of those players that slacks off. He keeps good tendencies, and good qualities as a player. I think that’s why Fredy has always done good at every level.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will look to continue to play spoiler as they host Columbus Crew SC on Saturday, September 21 at B.C. Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Zac MacMath; Ali Adnan, Derek Cornelius, Doneil Henry(C), Scott Sutter; Russell Teibert, Andy Rose, Hwang In-Beom; Michaell Chirinos, 71 (Theo Bair), Tosaint Ricketts, 81 (Fredy Montero), Yordy Reyna, 90, (Lass Bangoura). 4-3-3

Houston Dynamo Starting XI: Joe Wilis; Adam Lundqvist, Maynor Figueroa, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Jose Bizama; Boniek Garcia, Tommy McNamara, 72 (Memo Rodriguez), Matias Vera; Christian Ramirez, 83 (Ronaldo Pena), Mauro Manotas, Tomas Martinez, 60 (Alberth Elis). 4-2-3-1


VANCOUVER, B.C – Canada Men’s National Team coach, John Herdman, caused quite a commotion over the weekend with his comments regarding Canada’s back-four and the tier he believes they are in. Whether you agree or disagree that Canada has a “Tier 3” back four, Herdman’s remarks on live television caught a lot of people off guard.

Whitecaps FC centre-back, and Canadian international Doneil Henry wasn’t surprised.

“No, not when you have a solid relationship with your coach,” Henry explained exclusively to Har Journalist. “I talked to John. Nothing to really comment on it. I understand what your guys job is, and I understand my role as a teammate, and building with the national team. There’s no divide within the team. As a unit we lost, and we underachieved.”

Off the pitch, it sends a poor message when your coach offers public criticism. Canada Soccer had a quick explanation, and clarification of Herdman’s words. A lot of supporters, and media, just aren’t tiertering on believing what’s being peddled.

Herdman’s view of tiers, according to Canada Soccer, are of the following.

Tier 1: England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy.

Tier 2: Belgium, Turkey, Mexico.

Tier 3: MLS, Brazil, Argentina, Japan.

The 26-year-old, Henry, was part of Canada’s back-four that was upset by Hati in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup. He is not about to be tier’d apart by outside noise.

“Comments on tier 1, 2, 3, 4, whatever is is… The coaching staff, players, we’re all on the same page,” Henry said. “We’re just going to look forward to the games in September.”

The former West Ham defender declined to discuss his phone call with Herdman.

“It’s between me and the coach. Like I said, there’s no divide. We’re all on the same page, We look forward to our games coming up in September.”

78th FIFA ranked Canada, will take on Cuba, and the United States in the Concacaf Nations League in September, October, and November. Canada’s home matches will take place at BMO Field in Toronto.

Henry is focused on turning a corner, and progressing with Canada.

“We think about the future, and we think about the nations league, qualifying, and the points system. We need to continue to gain points so our FIFA rank goes up. Especially in the group stages of Concacaf. We definitely understand what’s in front of us.” Henry added.

Canada has shown progress under the guidance of Herdman, with wins over, Cuba (7-0), Martinique (4-0), French Guiana (4-1), Saint Kitts and Nevis (1-0), Dominica (5-0), U.S. Virgin Islands (8-0), and New Zealand (1-0).

Canada’s losses have come at the hands of Mexico (3-1), and Hati (3-2).

“I think that we’ve done really well,” Henry explained. In nine games, we’ve had two losses. We’ve achieved and broken records with the national team so many times in the year, and all we can talk about is the negative stuff that happened.”

“We played Mexico who won the Gold Cup, and we had a loss where I thought we lost that game ourselves as a national team. I don’t think it had anything to do with style of play or the way we play our tier of players. We were so upset by how we let it go after being in total control. It’s a learning curve for everybody.”

At the club level, Henry is doubtful for Whitecaps FC’s next match on Saturday when Vancouver travels to Ohio to take on FC Cincinnati. Henry took a sharp knee to the back during Vancouver’s nil-nil draw against Minnesota Untied FC last weekend.

The Brampton, Ontario native, has been jogging, and running laps during training this week, but he hasn’t trained with his teammates. Henry visited a doctor on Tuesday. His road to recovery, and return to play are unknown at this time.

“I got a super knee to the back,” Henry explained. “Everything just went. I don’t know exactly what it is, but my back is really stiff. (I’m) just taking it day-by-day, hopefully I feel better, and I can get back out there.”

There is no need to get tiery-eyed, Canada Soccer, and Doneil Henry have moved on from an unfortunate slip of words. Canada has a bright, and promising future ahead, and it starts with the Concacaf Nations League.




Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Sporting Kansas City at B.C. Place on Saturday, July 13, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Whitecaps FC’s winless streak has stretched to seven matches following a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. An own goal started the barrage before, Felipe Gutierrez, Gerso Fernandes scored for the visitors in front of 18,700 disappointed fans at B.C. Place.

“At this stage right now, we’re a little bit fragile,” Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos, said post-match. “We’re in a position that every time the opponent scores, it looks heavy. We need to have a different type of mental toughness and react in a better way. When that happens, it’s hard. I have to apologize to the fans for the first half. That’s where the game happened. It was very sloppy, lack of intensity, lack of willingness mentally, not in the game for a game that’s so important for us.”

Vancouver drops to bottom of the western conference table with 20-points from a 4-9-8 record. Whitecaps FC are the only MLS side with as few as four wins this season. The Caps home record sinks to 3-4-4 with a road trip to Gillette Stadium up next.

“We’re trying everything,” Dos Santos said. “The positive of the game was Theo Bair. It was positive to have him there. It was positive to see what he tried to bring to the team. That’s great, that’s a positive sign. At this point, we’re trying everything to create. We’re trying everything to find the best solution possible.”

Sporting Kansas City improve to 6-7-7 on the campaign with 25-points.

Tim Melia made six saves to earn his sixth win, and fourth clean sheet of the season.

Looking to snap a six match winless streak, Marc Dos Santos deployed an aggressive 3-5-2 formation with Yordy Reyna, and Theo Bair leading the line. The 19-year-old, Bair, made his first MLS start, and did not look out of place generating a few scoring chances.

“Lots of adrenaline,” Bair described his first start. “Felt good, I think that it was unfortunate, not to get the lead but it’s a progress, we have a good group of players, good team and I think that as long as we believe in each other, the season will go well from here.”

Sporting Kansas City opened the scoring in the 24′ minute off a lucky deflection. Felipe Gutierrez found Gerso inside the Vancouver box. Gerso sent a cross in on goal, that bounced off Ali Adnan’s foot, and into the vacated Whitecaps FC net for an own goal.

Vancouver’s leading scorer, Fredy Montero missed the match due to a straight red card he picked up on July 6 against LAFC. Once again, Whitecaps FC struggled to create offence in the final third.

The one-goal advantage for Kansas City felt like a much larger deficit.

“It’s tough,” Doneil Henry said. “The defence has done really well. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s tough, I don’t know. I don’t want to make any excuses for why or what’s going on. But when you’re playing in a team that’s not doing as well as we want to be doing, it’s really easy to point the finger. But as a club, we’re not doing well. I think it’s kind of harsh to just say that the defence as of late has been doing poorly; as a team we’ve been doing poorly, and that needs to change.”

Whitecaps FC had a fantastic opportunity to square the match in the 47′ minute off a free kick. Inbeom sent a curling attempt over the Sporting Kansas City wall. Melia made a wonderful diving save to deny Vancouver a quick second half equalizer.

Vancouver’s brief glimmer of hope was quickly dashed in the 57′ minute when Sporting Kansas City doubled their lead. Gerso found, Felipe Gutierrez breaking into the Vancouver box. The Chilean international, caught Zac MacMath going the wrong way, and scored his eighth goal of the season to give Sporting Kansas City a commanding 2-0 lead.

Coach Peter Vermes squad wasn’t done scoring, as Gerso got in on the action. Second half substitutes, Kristian Nemeth, and Johnny Russell did all the working setting up Gerso in front of goal. MacMath was out position, and Gerso scored his first of the season.

“We know where we want to be and to be there we have to play every game to win, so doesn’t matter if we’re playing at home or away, you got to start the game, pass and try to score it as soon as we can.” Gerso said post-match.

Vancouver followed up a shocking 6-1 performance against LAFC last weekend, with abysmal effort at home. Whitecaps FC lacked creativity on offence, and did not do enough defensively to stop Sporting Kansas City.

To no surprise, supporters boo’d Whitecaps FC off the pitch at full-time.

Whitecaps FC will look to snap a seven match winless streak, in all competitions, when they travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Revolution on Wednesday, July 17.

“We just need to take it game by game,” Bair explained. “New England is a good opponent but I think that as long as we get together, get our heads straight, we can beat them.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Zac MacMath; Andy Rose, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy; Ali Adnan, PC, 60 (Russell Teibert), Jon Erice(C), 60 (Lucas Venuto), Inbeom, Jake Nerwinski, 89 (Joaquin Ardaiz); Theo Bair, Yordy Reyna. 3-5-2

Sporting Kansas City Starting XI: Tim Melia; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler(C), Botond, Barath, Graham Zusi; Gedion Zelalem, 65 (Benny Feilhaber), Illie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez; Daniel Salloi, 89 (Johnny Russell), Yohan Croizet 71 (Krisztian Nemeth), Gerso. 4-3-3