Tribute to Clarke, Kindel and Valente

December 19, 2008 at 6:01 am | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2008 | Leave a comment

Now that the shock had faded and the reality has sunk in that Steve Kindel, Alfredo Valente and Jeff Clarke are gone from our team, I want to pay tribute to these players who have been at the heart of our team for so long.  

First of all I would like to praise them for their dedication.  These guys gave their all for the 86ers and the Whitecaps.  None of these guys shirked any responsibilities on the pitch.  They stuck with the team through the lean years when it looked like the whole thing would collapse when the team was taken into administration by the league.   

Each one of these guys scored fantastic goals for the club, and sitting here now I can picture fantastic goals scored by each one of them.   Each one of these guys created great goals for other players to score, and it is fitting that Clarke’s last goal for the club against Montreal in the semi-final was set up by a pass from Steve Kindel.   

Steve Kindel was agitator #1 for the Whitecaps and always got under the skin of the opposite team, especially Andrew Gregor of the Sounders.  He played with his heart on his sleeve and always fought like a lion for the team. 

Jeff Clarke was more of a cool character, an intelligent holding midfielder and central defender with a fine touch for passing the ball.  Jeff also did  work in the community and is a decent human being, which is far more important than being a good footballer, lets face it.  

Valente was as fast as a rocket and had a habit of scoring and creating spectacular goals.  He was a bit unfocussed and inconsistent at times but he was a superb player for us when he was on, which was most games. 

All of these guys played the game as it was meant to be played, and were great friends off of the pitch as well.  

I hope there is a peaceful reconciliation between these players and the club because they  brought us two championships and gave us a lot of joy with their play.  They should be honored by the club for the great players they have been. 

Again, thanks from the fans to Steve Kindel, Jeff Clarke and Alfredo Valente.

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