Boxall, Tan and Franks move on

July 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2012 | Leave a comment

Kiwi Micheal Boxall, American Floyd Franks and the first Chinese player to score in Major League Soccer, Long Tan, have all been released by the Vancouver Whitecaps recently. While Franks was only here for a short time and did not get the chance to make a real impression, both Boxall and Tan did.

When the Whitecaps played ther first game in MLS at old Empire Field, Boxall was in the starting eleven. He gave a good account of himself that day and he earned my respect for being one of the brave souls who pulled on the Whitecaps shirt and did it proud during what everyone knew was going to be a tough year. The big Kiwi is a scary looking fellow who had nothing to fear physically from anyone. He played with courage and commitment. It must have been tough for him to be relegated to the bench after Martin Bonjour arrived in 2012. The fact that Jay DeMerit has been able to stay fit in 2012 has meant Boxall did not get to play first team football at all. Talk of Carlos Bocanegra’s arrival meant he might drop to number four or five with other bench warmer Carlyle Mitchell. Unlike Tan, there was no public complaining from Boxall. No doubt he will go off to find first team football closer to home in New Zealand. It was pleasure to have him on our team, and he always gave his all. All the best in the future, Michael!

Back row, second from right: Micheal Boxall on first MLS Kickoff.

With rumours of centre back Carlos Bocanegra coming into the picture, it looks like the Caps could be making some room for his arrival.

Long Tan came the closest of any Whitecaps player to becoming team mascot. We all loved the guy and hoped he would perform above his limited abilities. In a team flush with strikers in 2012, and With Martin Rennie playing only one striker, Tan was last in line to play. He expressed his displeasure with his reserve team status in rather uncertain terms in a heartfelt Twitter tweet. He earned himself a suspension from the club and a trade to DC United. Tan is a guy that is impossible to dislike; his earnest work ethic endeared him to Whitecaps fans. His one goal for the Whitecaps last season was a celebrated moment by all Whitecaps fans because he was so likeable we really wanted him to score. It happened last year on October 12, 2011 against DC United and won us that game 2-1. Farewell Long Tan, and good luck with DC United.

The dragon himself: Long Tan

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