Posts Tagged ‘Whitecaps FC Russell Teibert’


Vancouver Whitecaps FC training at UBC on Monday, January 20, 2020. Photo: Har Journalist

VANCOUVER, B.C – Excitement and optimism was abound as Vancouver Whitecaps FC had their first on field training session of the season. There is a buzz and an enormous feeling of positivity around the club that finished last in the western conference last season.

The addition of Liga-MX striker, Lucas Cavallini has given the club a massive offensive threat. Cavallini brings a confident swagger about himself that shows that he’s determined, eager, ready to lead the team up top this season.

“Everybody has a positive mentality this year,” Cavallini told reporters following training. “A lot of new faces, everybody trying to get the best out of this club. A positive vibe. We need to improve a lot from last season. It’s a fresh new start and today was a good day.”

Russell Teibert is the longest tenured Whitecaps FC player. The 27-year-old still remembers when the team had to use the Simon Fraser University wrestling teams’ locker room. Now in his 10th season, Teibert and Whitecaps FC have both come a long way. The Niagara Falls native still feels the joy and happiness associated with a new campaign.

“There’s a lot of new faces, yeah,” Teibert said. “There’s going to be an adjustment period, but the biggest thing is the positive atmosphere around this club right now and the organization. Everybody is coming in with this new energy. It’s a real pleasure to come back to work. You just feel happy being here.”

Teibert and his teammates are not looking back on an underwhelming season that was the 2019 campaign. An 8-16-10 record with a goal differential of -22 was shocking to say the least. The 2020 Whitecaps are looking to the future. The team wants no part of re-hashing what went wrong last season. 2019 is in the past and that’s where they want it.

“We don’t want to look too much in the rearview mirror,” Teibert explained. “We want to look through the windshield. 2019 was 2019, but this is 2020. It’s a brand new year and everybody is looking forward.”


Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Ali Adnan (Left) and Andy Rose (Right) on Monday, January 20, 2020. Photo: Har Journalist

It’s not just the players who are moving forward. The organization as a whole wants to move in a new direction. The hiring of Sporting Director, Axel Schuster, and CEO Mark Pannes signals a new chapter for a club looking to make big moves.

The start of a new preseason offers a new beginning for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

“Finally we can close the chapter on 2019,” Schuster said. “I don’t want to speak about that again. From today on, it’s 2020. There’s a lot of work in front of us and we start today.”

The work for Schuster and Coach Marc Dos Santos will continue as Vancouver looks to add to their roster.

Without making any promises, Schuster could see the club adding one more player before the team departs to San Diego, California on Friday, January 24.

“More optimistic today,” Schuster explained to Har Journalist. “Still no promise because it depends on signature from the other side. I’m more optimistic today.”

“We are missing a few players signed,” Schuster added. “They’re still coming. I expect three to four more faces at the home opener.”

One of those new faces is expected to be centre-back, Érik Godoy. Whitecaps FC would like to complete the transfer of the Argentine defender sooner rather than later. At the minute, the hold up seems to be on the part of his previous holder, Club Atlético Colón.

“It’s only about a signature,” Schuster revealed. “I think there’s no more discussion nothing we can discuss. No more demands from any side. It’s only to get it over the line. We have to wait until the Argentinian club do that. We’re only waiting for them to do that. They never said they wouldn’t do it. I don’t have any concerns that they don’t sign.”

Acquiring players is not as easy as flipping on FIFA Ultimate Team and pushing a few buttons. There’s a long gruelling process that has to end with both sides being comfortable enough to put, pen to paper. Whitecaps FC have been linked to several players this off-season, but until a deal is done. You can never assume that it’s done.

“When you want to sign bad players, it happens really fast,” Dos Santos said. “You call, they sign, you’re in, it’s over. Good players, it’s a harder process. You get to the ninety-nine percent in two days and then it takes two days to get that extra percent. That last percent is hard.”

It’s only the first day of preseason, but Whitecaps FC are a happy, positive group that’s preparing to look ahead through the windshield with the 2020 season on the horizon.


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 Whitecaps FC vs Real Salt Lake on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist

VANCOUVER, B.C – Whitecaps FC’s three-match unbeaten streak has come to an end, just like their season. Needing a win to try and secure a home playoff date, Real Salt Lake came into Vancouver and earned a convincing 1-0 victory over Whitecaps FC. A B.C. Place crowd of 18,378 was on hand to watch Whitecaps FC close out the season.

Real Salt Lake will head home with a 16-13-5 record, and 53 points. Coach Freddy Juarez will prepare his side for a winner take all playoff match against the Portland Timbers.

Whitecaps FC conclude the 2019 season with a 8-16-10 record and 34 points.

Vancouver solidifies last spot in the MLS western conference, and 23rd overall in the MLS table.

“Salt Lake played a playoff game.” Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos said post-match. “They were deep and dangerous in the counter. We deserved a goal, we deserved at least a point. We did enough for that in the second half. We didn’t have the spark, a little bit of luck especially some balls that Yordy got in the box and could’ve laid it faster. Erik Godoy, big chance. Michaell Chirinos, big chance, so that’s the game.”

Whitecaps FC’s longest tenured player, hopes to be back next season.

“We all know statistically how this season went,” Russell Teibert explained. “If you dig deeper and you look deeper, this was a season of ups and downs. But, we’re building something here. This was always a rebuild year, and we’re going to continue to grow. That’s the message with this team, we will continue to grow. We know we have stuff to work on, and we’re going to do that. We’re going to address those things in the offseason.”

Damir Kreilach put the visitors in front in the 28th minute and they never looked back. In his final MLS regular season match, Nick Rimando made five saves to earn his 154th MLS clean sheet.

The 40-year-old, Rimando finishes his MLS career with a record of 223-174-117.

Poor defensive coverage from Whitecaps FC helped Real Salt Lake set the tone with a first half goal. In his second start at right-back, Erik Godoy was late to close down Corey Baird. The U.S. national team product, sent in a cross. Kreilach was able to get in behind skipper Doneil Henry, and he converted a header off the pitch to make it 1-0 Real Salt Lake.

Whitecaps FC were pressing early in the second half as they looked to secure an equalizer. Michaell Chirinos was by far the most dangerous Whitecap. The 24-year-old was a lively spark on the wing, and he created a pair of quality scoring opportunities.

The Honduran product forced Rimando into a spectacular diving save in the 55′ minute. Moments later, Chirinos darted into the Real Salt Lake box, and hammered the ball off the far post. Chirinos was a man on a mission, but Rimando was up for the task.

Whitecaps FC Academy player, Georges Mukumbilwa, made his MLS debut as a second half substitute. The 20-year-old, Winnipeg native, has been a pleasant surprise this season with Vancouver’s Development Squad team. Mukumbilwa injected some pace into Whitecaps FC’s lineup, as they mounted an effort to square the match at one apiece.

Vancouver’s dismal season came to an end with a lacklustre performance at home. Real Salt Lake was a hungry side, in search of a home playoff date. They came into B.C. Place and got the job done.

Whitecaps FC will head into the offseason facing several questions.

“Next season,” Dos Santos said. “After a year like that, just imagine the work and the commitment happening right now in the back scenes. The commitment, the work, the pieces that are happening in the back scene, the thought process, the moves are huge right now. As the coach, I’m with the GM, the owners, the staff. The only thing in my head right now, from the bottom of my heart, is the people that are coming to the stadium every day and support this team. We have to give back.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Max Crepeau; Ali Adnan, Derek Cornelius, Doneil Henry(C), Erik Godoy; Russell Teibert, Andy Rose, 80 (Georges Mukumbilwa), InBeom Hwang; Michaell Chirinos, Theo Bair, 60 (Yordy Reyna), Tosaint Ricketts, 60 (Fredy Montero). 4-3-3

Real Salt Lake Starting XI: Nick Rimando; Donny Toia, Nedum Onuoha, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman(C), Everton Luiz; Corey Baird, 88 (Marcelo Silva), Albert Rusnak, 83 (Kelyn Rowe), Jefferson Savarino, 83 (Jefferson Savarino); Damir Kreilach. 4-2-3-1


VANCOUVER, B.C – The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7. Fans from around the world will be tuning in for a month of fantastic women’s football. Twenty-four teams will compete in France, for a chance to hoist the World Cup on July 7, in Lyon.

Canada will take on Group E opponents, Cameroon, New Zealand, and the Netherlands in Montpellier (June 10), Grenoble (June 15), Reims (June 20). There will be a sense of familiarity for no.5 ranked Canada, who also faced New Zealand and the Netherlands when Canada hosted the 2015 World Cup. Canada earned a draw vs both countries.

Just like fans across the country, Vancouver Whitecaps FC players will be cheering on Canada. Many Whitecaps FC players know the Canada’s women’s national team, and have met, trained, and been in the same environment representing Canada.

While on an MLS Gold Cup break, several Whitecaps FC players shared their thoughts on Canada’s chances at the World Cup, and the brilliance that is, Christine Sinclair.

“Yeah, I support them,” Doneil Henry explained to Har Journalist. “I love our women’s national team. Jordyn Huitema, just signed at PSG, and (Janine) Beckie at Man City. We have some really talented women on the national team. I’m excited to see them continue to go far. Knowing that John (Herdman) has a lot of history with the women’s side, and the respect that he has for them. I just wish them the best. I just know that they’ll do us all proud.”

“They’re a great team,” Russell Teibert said. “From what I know, from Canada Soccer, they’re going to be a hard working team. They’re going to do everything possible to keep Canada at the top of women’s soccer. We’re familiar with the team, because John (Herdman) was the women’s national team coach. I think we’re all together as a family in Canada Soccer.”

“They’ll get out of it (Group E) for sure,” Max Crepeau predicted. “No pressure on the women’s team, but they’re really really good, honestly. In the last few years, they’ve been dominate, I’m pretty confident that we’ll get out of the group. I hope they go to the semis, but one game, at a time.”

“I’ve been in the Whitecaps program since I was fifteen ” Theo Bair revealed. “I made some friends at school along the way. Elite Girls players, Julia Grosso, Jordyn Huitema, and Jayde Riviere. All three, really good players, promising players for Canada, and my good friends. I’ve seen all of them work, not only on the field, but off the field. They’re great athletes, people, great students, and I think that applies both ways.”

Christine Sinclair is arguably the greatest professional football player Canada has ever had. As she closes in on U.S. Soccer great, Abby Wambach’s, all-time goal-scoring record of 184 goals. Whitecaps FC players can’t wait to see Sinclair make history and set the record. It’s quite likely that Sinclair won’t remain on her 181 goal total for very long.

“Sincy’s been doing it forever,” Henry said. “Since I was a young one with Toronto, I’ve been seeing her score goals, everywhere, at every stage. I can’t wait for her to beat it, because she’s definitely going to do it.”

“I just think she’s the best Canadian soccer player,” Derek Cornelius added. “She carries herself very well. She’s a good role model for a lot of the ladies coming up. She just leads our country in the right way, and of course she’s a great soccer player.”

“I think it’s going to happen,” Brett Levis said with confidence. “I think it would be huge for soccer players all over Canada, for us to hold a record like that. It’s pretty unbelievable.”

“The killer instinct,” Crepeau said of Sinclair. “You have half a chance and you create a goal out of it. This is why she’s on top of the list for sure.”

As we witnessed four years ago, Canada’s women’s national team has the ability to capture the entire country from coast to coast. Canada is in with a real shout to make some damage at the World Cup. Twenty-three players will represent the red and white in France. Whitecaps FC players will be among the biggest supporters of the women’s team.

“We love our women’s national team,” Henry beamed. “While the men were in a slump for a very long time, the women have held the country really proud. The women are great. They’re tenacious. I think we’re definitely one of the few nations on the women’s side who can definitely win it.”

“Absolutely, I’ll follow,” Teibert said. “I’m a big supporter of Canada Soccer. I was a big supporter of the women’s team when they were here. I really enjoyed going to watch the games at B.C. Place.”

“I’m excited, I think it’s a very exciting team,” Levis explained. “I know they have a lot of young players. They’ve got some Whitecaps REX Girls players, hopefully they get their opportunity. It’s always fun to see the country rally around when the World Cup comes around. I’m just excited to watch.”

“As long as they played united,” Bair explained. “They’re a very strong group. I’ll tune in when I can, as long as I don’t have training. I’ll try to watch them because I want to support them.”

The football world, isn’t all that big. When Canada is on the biggest stage, they can know that there will be support in all corners of the country. Whitecaps FC players want to see them do well and succeed. Canada Soccer is one big family.






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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 – The life of a professional football player is often spent in airports traveling to and from matches in cramped conditions. While NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB teams on the road are whisked from their comfortable charter seats to hotels. MLS players are often left squished in economy and wondering if they’ll make it to their destination city at all.

It’s not uncommon for MLS teams to experience long layovers, delays, and cancelled flights. It’s all a part of travelling across a continent as big as North America. MLS players say that not having charters can have a negative affect on the overall health, rest, and recovery. Arrival in a new city can often occur in the wee hours of the morning.

Players are jet-legged, their body clocks aren’t able to adjust, they are not in the best position to go out and succeed on the pitch on matchday. The probability of making mistakes, injuries, and overall fatigue, rises when players are jet-lagged.

MLS goalkeeper, Zach MacMath, is in his first season with Whitecaps FC. The long distances that Vancouver frequently has to travel has come as an unpleasant shock to him.

“This is the first year, I’ve dealt with so many connecting flights out of Vancouver,” MacMath said. “I think it’s very important for the league to grow, and up the standard of play. It’s not something that I think is going to happen quickly. It’ll take time, and obviously a lot of money to make happen.” 

“I think if we could get to eight next year, and continue to build from there. You get four, but that’s a discretionary for each team. Not every team uses all four flights each year.”

MLS players want more charters, and they want them included in the next CBA negotiations. Vancouver Whitecap FC recently completed a three match stretch in the span if nine days. Vancouver played away to Chicago on April 12, home to LAFC on April 17, and across the continent to Orlando, Florida for a match on April 20.

The Philadelphia Union played away to the LA Galaxy on April 13, flew home and played Montreal, on April 20, and then flew out to Vancouver to play Whitecaps FC on April 27.

Neither Vancouver, or Philadelphia took a charter flight.

Philadelphia Union captain, Alejandro Bedoya, spoke to Har Journalist post-match in Vancouver on Saturday.

“Oh my gosh, the obvious answer is charter flights,” Bedoya said. “You look at the way we got here (Vancouver). We flew out of Philly, with a connecting flight in Chicago. We had to wait, sitting on a United airplane. I think they’ve got to have the smallest leg room in economy. It’s just so tight. We land at around eleven at night. We get to the hotel at midnight, which is three in the morning, Philly time, and eat dinner. It’s just ridiculous. It’s absurd.”

Each MLS team is permitted four charter flights each season. If Philadelphia had traveled to and from Vancouver on a charter. That would have counted as two seperate charter flights.

“That’s the obvious answer, charter flights,” Bedoya reiterated. “They need to put their money, where their mouth is. I’ll never forget about the article Robert Kraft had in Sports Illustrated about why he bought the (New England) Patriots a second plane. He’s talking about player safety, health, recovery. Here in MLS, we’re not there yet. We better be there, the CBA is up, and that’s going to be a strong talking point.”

Whitecaps FC’s, Russell Teibert, has spent his entire MLS career playing on the west coast in Vancouver. He has been on many lengthy road trips. He is adamant that more charter flights need to included in the next CBA negations.

The current CBA expires on January 31, 2020.

“The CBA is coming up,” Teibert explained. “That’s going to be something our players union is going to have to discuss. That’s something we need to discuss as a union going forward. All the teams need to be on the same page with that.”

“That’s something that I’m sure is going to be a focal point for our next CBA. I don’t think it’s something that we can address right now, because we’re stuck with the old CBA.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about getting what’s fair for the players, owners, teams, and organizations.”

The biggest reason why MLS doesn’t use more charter flights, is down to cost. It has been estimated that it would cost $20 million per year for the league, and roughly $1 million per team. The cost of flying an entire team on a charter flight, plus the price of fuel can quickly add up. Each flight could cost a team upwards of $150,000 per charter.

“The way we need to figure it out, is if we get better flights,” Whitecaps FC’s, Jake Nerwinski said. “We’re working with the league right now, to work on more charter flights.”

“It would make a huge difference. Going on two commercial flights is very difficult for guys, to be sitting in small leg room. It’s something that you have to get use to throughout the year.”

Whitecaps FC MLSPA union representative, Zac MacMath, wants more charter flights, and a much smoother process.

“It just makes the whole process a lot easier,” MacMath explained. “More guys in this league are use to the difficulties of travel, but it just makes life easier. It gets more recovery time, and more mobility to be more prepared for games.”

If cost is a concern, there is always the idea of sharing a charter. MLS teams don’t require a charter each time they travel. Cascadia clubs, Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland could share a charter. You could also have teams like the LA Galaxy, LAFC, and San Jose Earthquakes share a charter. The same could be said for teams in the midwest, south, and east coast.

“That could be a solution definitely,” Bedoya agreed. “I’m not calling for every flight to be a charter. There are flights on the east coast, or west coast that are just over an hour or two flight. You don’t need to fly a charter then. I think cross country, especially with a midweek game. There should be no doubt about it. I don’t care what anybody says.”

“Like you said, if you split them like that. Cascadia teams, and maybe the teams on the east coast. The New York teams for example. That could be an option. If you look at NBA teams they go on a west coast trip. I would have preferred that. Maybe our wives would be upset with us, but trust me. It would have been a lot better for us to play the game in LA. Stay in LA, and then have the scheduling in Vancouver the following weekend. That would have been a better solution.”

If revenues, and MLS expansion fees are as high as $200 million. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be more money for charter flights. A potential thirty-team league should not have tired players criss-crossing all over North America on commercial flights. It hurts the end product on the pitch. This is a league wide issue that has no legroom left.

NOTES: The MLSPA could not be reached for comment. MLS did not provide comment at the time of publication.

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.


VANCOUVER, B.C –  Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an opportunity to help open doors, shine a spotlight on mental health issues and raise awareness to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Everyone knows somebody battling mental health issues. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what you’ve done in life. There are no days off. Mental health awareness is important and it’s crucial that people are more open to talking about it.

How important is mental health?

“Extremely important,” Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert told reporters this week. “It’s a topic of conversation globally now in any work place, setting. Whether it’s a kid in elementary school or someone working a nine to five job, or even in professional sports. It’s a topic that needs to be talked about.”

“We’re fortunate to have Bell as a sponsor. They’re on the front of our jerseys, our super cool jerseys. It’s important for it to be talked about. That’s what it is, Bell Let’s Talk.”

Athletes are constantly under pressure to perform and live up to their contracts. Players, fans, and media demand to see them at their best. Just like you, when you’re not always at your best, athletes sometimes don’t deliver in the crunch.

“A lot of people probably don’t even know that they suffer from something like this,” Whitecaps FC’s Doneil Henry told Har Journalist. “It’s good to just engage in conversation, and let people know that it’s good to get things of their chest and raise awareness of what it is. That’s the key.”

We live in a society with less, and less privacy. Social media is a great online tool that allows you to express yourself, but it can also cause hurt. Everyone goes through life’s challenges. Talking about those challenges can help end the stigma and raise awareness.

“I think now with even social media, information, and everything that you have as information,” Coach Marc Dos Santos explained. “Just regularly everyday, people are becoming more aware of a lot of different types of issues. It’s a good initiative from everybody to highlight that, and make everybody aware, and sensitive to a cause like this.”

The 26 year-old Teibert doesn’t want people to be afraid of opening up and sharing life’s obstacles. The more you talk about something, the less likely you are to be consumed, worried and afraid of it.

“Everyone goes through mental health,” Teibert said. “No matter who you are, how extreme, or severe, everybody goes through mental health. A friend of mine who I met through a charitable organization explained mental health the best to me.”

“Mental health is like weeds in the garden. If you don’t do the weeding in the garden, what you’re trying to grow will not prosper. If you talk about it. If you’re open with it and you understand that mental health is not something to be hidden or to be afraid of. You’ll end up being able to talk about it with ease and confidence, and know that it’s not something you should hide or fear.”

If you get hit in the head, sprain your foot, or break your hand, you get treatment and a return to play recovery schedule. There’s always a plan to bounce back from a physical injury. The same can’t be said for mental health issues. You can go to the doctor for both, but only one is generally talked about and visually seen.

That needs to change.

“If you have a hamstring strain, you do the necessary things to treat that injury,” Teibert explained. “It’s not something that…. oh the hamstring will get better on its own. It’s something that you need to address. There’s things that you can do to address your mental health. Whether that is talking about it or seeing a professional that can help you. I think the most important thing is having a strong background whether that’s your family, support team, that’s able to help you and coach you through it.”

If you need help or someone to talk to find support among your family, and friends.

“In life we go through different situations that are unique,” Dos Santos added. “It’s always good to be surrounded by good friends, family, and people that love you to make sure that you’re in the right environment to grow, and achieve your dreams regardless of the position you’re in.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day is a once a year innovative, but it’s a strong reminder that we all can do more to continue raising awareness to help our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbours dealing mental health issues.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Whitecaps FC vs Toronto FC match breakdown.



VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for Whitecaps FC player reaction on Canada Soccer’s hiring of John Herdman for the men’s national soccer team.