Still miss Eric HassliFebruary 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2013 | 2 Comments
With the news this week that Eric Hassli has moved from Toronto to Dallas, I must admit I had a bit of a moment of sadness. I still miss the man. When I think of it, while I admire all of the Whitecaps players, Eric Hassli was the one player of the MLS era that I truly loved to have on the team. I find it sad that Hassli now practices his trade with other teams.
Hassli’s bizarre antics, spectacular goals and passionate love of entertaining the fans put him aside from all of the rest of the Whitecaps players. In the first half of the season in 2011 Hassli was the player we looked to for something special. And he was keen to provide it. He scored our first goal in MLS and got sent off numerous times for doing daft things like throwing his shirt into the crowd. He played the game with an unbridled passion and loved to thrill the fans.
Frankly, without Hassli there is no real entertainer in the entire Whitecaps squad, which has been built in the rather drab likeness of its coach, Martin Rennie.
No doubt Hassli is a flawed character, but that is what made him so compelling. He was a handful for the team to handle and manage. I liken him to Willie Johnston from the Whitecap’s NASL era. Johnston was another oddball character who was capable of playing brilliant football while also pulling outrageous stunts. This is why Willie Johnston is perhaps the most fondly remembered player of the NASL era. While we fans love to win, we want to be entertained as well. In modern professional sports, true characters are now few and far between.
With the news that Kenny Cooper has also moved to Dallas, FC Dallas will have an awesome striking pair. I wish Eric Hassli the best of luck when he plays those teams other than the Whitecaps. I dare say if he scores a goal against the Whitecaps I will stand and applaud.
I wish Eric Hassli all the best of luck in Dallas. To the fans of FC Dallas, I am envious of you. You have a wonderful footballer and a great entertainer coming to your squad.