The Whitecaps have had a busy week. After a brief pause to enjoy the victory over their Cascadia rivals the Seattle Sounders, the Whitecaps were back preparing to battle the visiting goats this weekend at BC Place. Their opponents this week are Chivas USA who defeated the Montreal Impact 1-0 last week thanks to a brilliant goal by Erick Torres during injury time to steal all 3 points at home.
This week the Whitecaps were in the news for announcing their intention to place a USL Pro team in nearby city, New Westminster. This season the Whitecaps USL Pro affiliate is the Charleston Battery. Vancouver loaned several players to the Battery including Andre Lewis, Mamadou Diouf, and Omar Salgado who has since been recalled. By all accounts the partnership with Charleston has been beneficial. The problem is that Charleston is not an easy 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver and the Whitecaps have very little control over the development of their players on loan. Not only is New Westminster a convenient location, the purposed team would be owned by the Whitecaps along with several local businessmen. The Whitecaps would have complete control over the team and they could easily move players up and down from their first team. This would also have a massive positive effect for the young academy graduates and draft picks on Vancouver’s roster. The Whitecaps are overflowing with young talent but this talent is arguably not quite MLS ready. A USL Pro team in New Westminster would be perfect to get professional games for these kids and act as the last step in preparation for MLS.
The exciting news has Vancouver fans buzzing but next up are a very confident Chivas USA who have won their last 3 games. Thanks to several new faces on the Chivas 2014 roster they have started to show the Western Conference that they are not just there to make up numbers. While the goats have not enjoyed much success when visiting Vancouver their luck could change this weekend. After the painful to watch games against Montreal and Colorado the Whitecaps were able to show the home fans some of their attacking flair against the Sounders last week. That being said, the victory over the Sounders was far from inspiring.
Neither team will be affected by suspensions this weekend but Vancouver is still missing Jay DeMerit and Andy O’Brien remains questionable. On Friday, the Whitecaps announced that they had inked Canadian midfielder Russell Teibert to a new multi-year contract. Teibert has been pushed to the bench lately so hopefully this new contract inspires him to earn back his starting role.
As we enter into the second half of the season this is usually when everything starts to go wrong for the Whitecaps. Supporters will be watching and praying that first year Coach Carl Robinson can put an end to this trend.