Player clear out for the Vancouver WhitecapsNovember 29, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2013 | 2 Comments
This week the Whitecaps made room in their roster for their incoming coach, whoever that may be. Right now the names of Bradley and Kreis seem to have taken on a distinct prominence. I should be careful because I had predicted wrongly that Frank Yallop would be in charge, but I think the Whitecaps owners have come to their senses and realized if they want success in Major League Soccer they had better splash out the cash and get a real coach for their team. While some say Carl Robinson is in the running I don’t think this is a real possibility. It is too soon in his career.
Today the club made the following announcement:
The club also announced that it has declined the options for goalkeepers Joe Cannon, Brad Knighton, and Simon Thomas, defender Brad Rusin, midfielders Jun Marques Davidson and Daigo Kobayashi, as well as strikers Tommy Heinemann and Corey Hertzog.
Eight guys gone just like that. One has to presume the Whitecaps have asked their serious coach contenders who they would keep and who they would axe.
Whoever made the decision did so wisely for the most part, with a few exceptions. While Davidson is not the most spectacular of players, he does play his role well and consistently too. Perhaps the club felt Gershon Koffie can do the same job but also can score goals as well. Davidson hit the post once in his two years here, while Koffie has scored six goals in the same time period.
Brad Knighton is an odd case considering the fact his performance against the Seattle Sounders in the 2-0 home win was arguably the best performance of the season by a player in a Vancouver Whitecaps jersey. His only bad error was to storm off to the dressing room once the final whistle blew after the Whitecaps conceded a late goal in a match the team won. Perhaps there is an attitude problem there. Of our three goalkeepers, I would say he was the most consistent in quality. My guess is the team might pick him up again in the draft of released players.
Daigo Kobayashi was perhaps the biggest disappointment of this year. He never really looked competitive or physical enough to play in MLS.
We never got to see Simon Thomas play, and Rusin, Herzog, and Heinemann were all good players, but they did not set the world or the fans on fire with their play.
The one that really hurts is Joe Cannon, who has proven to be one of the most likeable and charismatic players of the Whitecaps MLS era. Cannon’s honesty and humour have always been refreshing, even if his occasional daft goalkeeping gaffes were not. Cannon reminded me of Whitecaps legend Bruce Grobbelaar, who could make brilliant saves one minute and stunning gaffes the next. Joe made some absolutely fantastic saves during his time here, and he was playing very well indeed when he was inexplicably bundled out of the net by Martin Rennie in favour of Brad Knighton. Joe’s kicking skills were substandard, but all other aspects of his game were pretty solid.
I hope Cannon gets picked up again by the Whitecaps in one of the many drafts the MLS holds every year, but I fear it is the end of the road for Cannon in our town. The sad thing is that we fans would like the opportunity to applaud the man who won our hearts, but we don’t look like getting the chance.