So long Khalfan

November 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 14 Comments

It’s a shame to see Nizar Khalfan go.  It was nice to see the guys we saw in USL-1 at Swangard transition to the Whitecaps Major League Soccer squad.  Nizar provided some great moments in the 2011 season, noticeably his two assists in the Whitecaps stunning comeback at home against  Kansas City early on in the season.  He provided 4 assists and one goal in all this year, which is not bad considering he was on the outs with Tommy Soehn, who refused to play him until the end of the season.  Nizar proved what he could do at that time when he scored against Real Salt Lake.  He never really established himself as a starter, in part because of his trips back to Africa to play for his native Tanzania.  He was great coming in off of the bench with his speed and strength, which is how our first coach Teitur Thordarson liked to use him. I suppose he had to leave to make room for incoming coach Martin Rennie’s own favourite players from the team he used to coach, the Carolina Railhawks.

Nizar Khalfan: supersub no more...

I managed to meet Khalfan once by chance and found him to be very humble, polite and kind.  Frankly, I think the Whitecaps should have kept him, and my feeling is the loss of the Vancouver Whitecaps is the Philadelphia Union’s gain.  I hope he catches on over there and establishes himself as a Major League Soccer player.

It was great to have you on the team Nizar, and all the best in the future.



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  1. Khalfan games played: 21 goals:1 assists:4
    Salinas games played: 24 goals: 1 assists:3

    so one of those guys gets protected in the draft despite never passing or shooting and the other get released? WHAT THE $@%!

    during the year there were two wingers who consistantly got crosses into the box. Khalfan and Tiebert. Salinas never shoots or passes he just runs really fast untill he runs into someone. Chuimento can put crosses in but is to lazy to actually get of his butt and do so. nanchoff never got to play and when he did he was a non entity. and phil davies literally never got to play.

    why are we releasing one of our most effective wingers (not saying much) and our player with the second most assists.

    • Tommy soehn still has a say…we are doomed unless he is fired

  2. Now the full brutal truth. Nizar played 48 games for us (including D2 games) he scored 3 goals. Three goals in 48 games is TOTAL CRAP. It is simply not good enough. I have no doubt that Martin Rennie will find someone vastly superior to Nizar. Why do I say that? Because virtually anyone will be better than Nizar.

    Salinas always looked like he could be better. Give him some time with MR and I bet that he will improve

    • Well if you want to look at the past, salinas has scored 4 goals in 89 matches in his 4 year career in the mls. 8 assists. Under three different coaches and was a starter. 1 goal a year. He is total crap but one of tommy soehns boys. Its good to see many of soehns crap being shed (brovsky etc…) but its obvious rennie is trying to save some face for soehn by not getting rid of the shit he drafted (ans yes the director if soccers role is to draft and coordinate scouts..).

      • Salinas is not the second coming that is for sure but Nizar was wildly inconsistent under both coaches. And it looked like that couldn’t be coached out of him, or at least that appear to be MR conclusion. But I stand by my statement that Salinas looks like he could get better with proper coaching.

        “(and yes the director of soccer’s role is to draft and coordinate scouts..).” Very true but he doesn’t do this in isolation. Whoever is the coach at the time tells him what he wants and director of soccer goes out and tries to get the best person available to fill that role. And guess what? If the coach doesn’t like the player selected he has the power to trade him away. As MR has said on a number of occasions, he listens to what everyone has to say then he does what he want because he has the final say.

      • After 4 years he had his chance salinas is crap. Khalfan at least has the physical tools he may have been coachable by tietur or soehn if given more playing time ….salinas is crap just like every player soehn had a direct hand in ( other than camilo which apparently pushed hard for so ill give him thar)…

      • 1. you have soehn and rennie’s roles reversed. rennie does NOT have the power to trade players. tom soehn is the decision maker and as such has the final say.
        2. your argument that Salinas is better because khalfan is inconsistent goes both ways. Khalfan has a greater points per game average then Salinas (yes it is still crap just less crap).
        3. at least khalfan looks dangerous not scoring

  3. “( other than camilo which apparently pushed hard for so ill give him that)” Actually you can’t give him that one. As I understand it, Camillo was a walk on, he heard about the Caps and figured he would give it a shot. Tom Soehn was responsible for bringing Davide Chiumiento, Jay DeMerit, Atiba Harris, Eric Hassli, Gershon Koffie, Carlyle Mitchell, Alain Rochat, Shea Salinas, amount others. Pretty much every player for the last 2 years has been scouted, and discovered by TS – both the good ones and the bad ones. In my opinion TS is a far, far better “Director of Soccer” than a coach.

    • Hi well i guess he gets no credit for camillo. Koffie ok good one, demeritt-over rated works hard but is too often on wrong end of goals thid year. AS for chuimento,rochat,hassli…soehn did nothing. The guy who brought them was agent Loic Favre…his father Lucien knew Teitur from their playing days in switzerland in the mid eighties they made the connection….so i must admit tietur at least is responsible for those three…a pretty good three i’d say.

      • Agreed, IMHO

        Chuimento – I suspect that MR will get a lot more out of him this coming year – Kudos to TT (not that he had the ability to get the best out of him)

        Rochat – the only left back in the MLS that can make time appear to slow down when he has the ball – Kudos to TT

        Hassli – He hinted that his late season lack of form was due to a conflict with someone on the coaching staff (I wonder who that could have been). Despite all the calls for his head, heaps of talent – Kudo to TT & a big slap on the wrist of TS.

        DeMerit – I rate him pretty high and I would argue that most of his mistake and transgressions were due to a) trying to play injured and/or b) trying to compensate for his (usually inexperience/weak) partner playing with him in the centre – Both kudos (for getting DeMerit) and another slap on the wrist to TS (for driving away Akloul, who would have helped immensely)

        Maybe we should get TT as director of soccer operations 🙂

  4. […] This Vancouver blog attributes Nizar Khalfan’s inability to become a regular starter with the Whitecaps to being away on international duty and being on the outs with then head coach Tommy Soehn. “Frankly, I think the Whitecaps should have kept him, and my feeling is the loss of the Vancouver Whitecaps is the Philadelphia Union’s gain.” […]

  5. Now Salinas is gone. Just making room for Wenger from Duke to come in.

    • Merry christmas salinas was lousy glad he is gone…if only soehn would go!

  6. Now we know why they were hanging on to Salinas – he was worth money – not much but it is still something.

    i.p freely – “rennie does NOT have the power to trade players. tom soehn is the decision maker and as such has the final say” I don’t know where you get your information from but 1) In Dec 1st Sun paper “Lenarduzzi said Rennie makes all the final player personnel decisions now” 2) What kind of working model are you proposing? MR asks for a player, TS finds him a player, RM doesn’t like a player then TS says “Too bad, I signed him, you have to play him” then MR meekly accepts it???? Really?? This is how you think it works in real life??

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