Foggy training heralds beginning of Vancouver Whitecaps season

January 27, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps season 2014 | Leave a comment

I got that special feeling today as new coach Carl Robinson started training camp for the returning Vancouver Whitecaps players. All it took was one foggy session to get me past the bitter disappointments of the winter season.  I forgot all about coaches refusing, Mattocks whining, Camilo defecting and draftee Lewis signing for other teams. 

The fact is I miss the Whitecaps terribly and can hardly wait for it all to start again.  Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment.  I guess I am.  Bring on the punishment.

It was great to see a smiling Nigel Reo-Coker present along with Kenny Miller.  After Camilo’s behaviour I would not be surprised if the Whitecaps have hired private detectives to follow them around, ready to pounce with big nets should they stray too near the airport.  

The beginning of training camp was accompanied by some significant signings, even if one of them is crocked.  Two players who will challenge the Southsiders in particular signed on: Mehdi Ballouchy and Steven Beitashour. Good luck making chants out of those names!   Both are formerly of the San Jose Earthquakes.  Ballouchy is the crocked one, still in rehab after a nasty knee injury.  Luckily for us, Beitashour is fit and ready to fill the boots of the legendary YP Lee at right back.

Beitashour was traded for the mysterious but seemingly ever present “allocation money”.   What this means is beyond me, but it must be a blow to the ego to be traded for a bizarre salary cap device rather than cold hard cash.  Who knows how much he is worth?  How are we to tell?  In any event Beitashour seems to have been a solid performer at the MLS level, and flirted with the US national program before deciding to play for Iran, who might just have him tag along in the squad for the World Cup in Brazil.  

Ballouchy, a Moroccan midfielder, also seems to have been a useful player in his lengthy career in MLS, but it is clear is not the playmaking midfielder we are looking for.   Perhaps he is Jun Marques Davidson’s replacement.  

While these are by no means earth shattering signings, they do strengthen the squad with proven MLS players.  Beitashour in particular looks to be the stronger of the two, and the most important signing.  He will be able to start comfortably in the Whitecaps line-up.

 The optimist in me is still expecting news of another big signing. Where is that creative midfielder we all crave?




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