The Training Camp Season

August 19, 2010 at 4:05 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS, Whitecaps Season 2010 | 1 Comment

The Vancouver Whitecaps have a distinct advantage in running a division 2 team in terms of their entry into Major League Soccer in 2011.

The Whitecaps have an up and running residency program, a fully functioning coaching staff, and a fully staffed front office filled with experienced people.  The entire football infrastructure is up and running.

This year began with a squad of Division 2 players whom we expected we would see out the full season.   A few weeks back, however, the ground shifted dramatically under our feet, and this years Division 2 team has turned into a training camp for 2011.  All semblance of team building for this year’s championship in USSF Division 2 has been lost as the Whitecaps look towards greater glory in 2011.

Players who, in a normal year, any  United Soccer Leagues team would be pleased to have all season, have been shown the door by the Whitecaps.  This includes such luminaries as Justin Moose, who, if anyone remembers, put the cross in for Charles Gbeke to score the winning goal of the 2008 USL-1 final at Swangard Stadium.

There is no doubt that this approach is the wise path, as it gives the Whitecaps a head start and the opportunity to see how players will play in a competitive situation.   The goal is clear: the Whitecaps want to be competitive in MLS fresh out of the box.

It is interesting to note that Seattle Sounders made the playoffs in their first year of existence, while this year’s MLS entry, the Philedelphia Union, languish in 7th place in their division with what looks like little hope of a playoff spot.   Toronto have not made the playoffs in three seasons of existence, and did not have the benefit of a USL team the year before.   Having an up and running franchise in the years leading up to MLS is clearly a great benefit to a new MLS club.

While I hate to give credit to the Seattle Sounders, clearly they are a MLS franchise to emulate.  While expansion teams are most often disastrous in their first season, the Sounders were competitive from the outset.

If the truth be told, this years USSF team was a bit of a bore, and the terrible schedule, with incredibly long gaps in between home matches, has made this season a bit of a bust for the supporters.   Now we have a story to watch.  Which players will survive the cuts?   Which new players will stick it out into the MLS?

It will be a bit like watching the gladiators in ancient Rome!

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  1. TFC have missed 3 post seasons.


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