Whitecaps Earn Playoff Spot: Champions Again?September 14, 2010 at 4:54 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS, Whitecaps Season 2010 | 1 Comment
As fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps, we expect our team to make the playoffs each year. Thanks to a big win in Baltimore on the weekend, we have made the 2010 playoffs.
I am hard pressed of think of a year where the Whitecaps have failed to make the playoffs since their reincarnation in 2001. We may have had a couple of early exits, but we have always made the playoffs. And this is as it should be. The Whitecaps enjoy resources and a football infrastructure which is the envy of all but a few USL or NASL teams. Given the talent available in the squad, and the massive number of players to come and go through the squad this year, it would be astonishing not to make the playoffs.
The Whitecaps have solved the terrible defensive difficulties which plagued the team last year which cost us the 2009 Championship. We currently boast the best goals against record in either the USL or the NASL: only 18 goals surrendered in 27 games. Six teams, however, have either the same or more goals for. Football is a defensive game, however, so we are certainly on the right side of the ledger. Given the talent we have and the fact the squad is settling somewhat, we could certainly break out for more goals as we head towards the playoffs.
If one of our strikers goes on a serious tear, I believe we are serious contenders to win the Championship. But as things stand it is difficult to say which striker can do the job. Certainly Wagner and Nash can score goals from midfield, but we need a striker to have a purple patch.
The Whitecaps certainly are focussed on the MLS in 2011, and many people might say that this year’s championship is just small potatoes. It would be a scandal if the Whitecaps took this attitude.
I must say I have faith in Teitur Thordarson and Bob Lenarduzzi that they will give their all to win the 2010 USSF Division 2 Championship. I am hopeful that the planning for the big league shift to MLS does not distract the club from what should be job 1 at this time: winning the title in 2010.
We should go out of the second division as champions, to set the tone for the future in MLS. For us fans who have supported the club through its lean and desperate years, nothing less will do.