A Year To Forget

September 20, 2007 at 4:34 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2007 | Leave a comment

The owner can’t be pleased…  It really was a bad year for the Vancouver Whitecaps as a whole.   2006 was a fabulous year, with both teams winning their championships and Vancouver City Hall giving unanimous approval to the Caps to proceed to the next step in their stadium drive. 

This year the Stadium is stuck in red tape, the Women’s team did not make the playoffs and the Mens team set a new team record for most games played without winning.  Watching the Caps this year was like watching paint dry and it showed with the number of empty seats present at the only playoff game this year against Portland.  In some ways, the team was its own worst enemy.  In the first place, the Whitecaps Women’s team loaned out all of their best players to the Women’s World Cup effort.  It will pay next year with a more experienced squad, but for this year it weakened the Women’s team to the point that they missed the playoffs.  Our Owner also helped foot the bill for staging the U-20 World Cup which was fabulous but interrupted the Men’s season and made them go on an extended road trip from which the Caps never really recovered.  

We had hoped the Caps would repeat as champions and better their league placing, but they went down to seventh rather than up and it was clear that they were not getting anywhere near the championship trophy. 

It is hard to know who to blame but Bob Lilley took it on the chin for a start. I had hoped Lilley would be signed by the Caps years ago because I thought he was the one who could take us to a championship: I was right about that.  People did not generally like the way his team played though.  Lilley’s philosophy was discipline, defence and hard work.  Goals would come if this plan was followed.  It worked last year, but this year it was stale and predictable.  Discipline and fitness are wonderful, and defence is necessary but is this why we go to soccer matches?  No.  We want to see goals and creative play as well.  This year there was precious little of either. 

I was glad to see Lenarduzzi say that he wants to get a coach who will play more entertaining soccer.  I hope he is right. 

We need to sign more exciting players as well.  The signings this year were solid but unspectacular.  We need solid AND spectacular.  The standard of play in the USL is getting better every year, and the athletes are faster and more fit than ever before.  We will need better ball players to break down the well organized defences.  I think we should go about the league and buy some of the more creative players out there.  I always liked Johnny Menyongar who currently plays for Rochester…

I am sure Greg Kerfoot and Bob Lenarduzzi will will want to rebound next year after what has been a year to forget…

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