Vancouver Whitecaps 2012 nearly here!

March 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS, Whitecaps Season 2012 | Leave a comment

My season ticket has arrived.  A highly successful exhibition tournament against Major League Soccer rivals near Disneyland has whetted the appetite for real competitive football.  My head is spinning with possible Whitecaps line-ups and formations.  Kick-off is less than a week away and I can hardly wait for MLS matchday 1, or “first kick” as the league is fond of calling it.

Our starting goalkeeper and the starting back line against Montreal are easy to predict, but from there it gets dodgy to say at best.  We can expect Cannon in goal, Rochat at left back, Bonjour and DeMerit in the middle and lee at right back.   It is foolish to try to predict but I expect Atiba Harris at left midfield, Davidson as holding midfielder, Chiumiento playing behind Hassli and Camilo up front, and Le Toux will have a go at right midfield.   I give myself only a small chance of getting this right, but that is as I would call it at this point.  This is an attacking team, and I expect the Whitecaps to put the rookie Montreal Impact squad under heavy pressure early on in an attempt to score many goals.

I expect the Whitecaps to be competitive in every match they play in this season, which will be a big improvement over last year’s team. However,  the lack of top class quality in midfield may drag the team down over the season, even after Barry Robson arrives.  Chiumiento remains our only creative midfielder possessed of genius, but he is an absolute liability when it comes to the defensive side of the game.  He can create goals, but he can also give them away on a platter.

We have improved our squad enormously, but in the tough and ambitious Western Conference, so have our rivals.  This means it will still be a bit of a stretch  to make the playoffs.  The fact that we will have so many games in the Western Conference means we will be scrapping and struggling all season just to stay in playoff contention.  Too bad we don’t play in the lacklustre Eastern Conference where owners just don’t seem to care so much about the quality of their squads or their football.  Perhaps it is because there are so few fans actually in the stands over there.

In any event, we fans supported the team admirably in 2011, with the third best attendance overall in Major League Soccer.  It is time for the Whitecaps to reward the fans with better football.  The good news is that Martin Rennie’s men seem poised to do exactly that.  I think we will see some performances that will get BC Place rocking with excitement and joy, as some big teams are going to come here and get beaten in some tough, intense football matches.

It is time for us fans to get loud and proud as well, and I look forward to seeing what the better organized and much improved Southsiders have in store for us.  It should be a great show.

Roll on Saturday!!!

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