• Michael McColl

      Editor

      Michael McColl started "Away From The Numbers" as a printed fanzine in 1989 for his Scottish club East Fife. It became a website in 2003 and added a general football blog in 2009. The focus has always been to mix serious articles with off-beat humour pieces. The Canadian arm of AFTN began in 2009 and is primarily focused on Vancouver Whitecaps.


      Currently a weekly columnist for Metro News Vancouver, Michael has also written for many UK publications including When Saturday Comes, Four Four Two and The Independent.


    • Steve Pandher

      Assistant Editor

      Steve has been a soccer fan since the early days of the 86ers at Swangard Stadium. He started The Whitecaps Beat blog on the instistence of his wife, as she was tired of listening to his ramblings about the club. When he plays, his two positions are goalkeeper and striker, mostly because of the lack of running involved. In addition to the Whitecaps, Steve also updates the play of Canadian players abroad with the @TrueNorthSoccer twitter account.

    • Jay Duke

      Writer

      Growing up as a casual soccer fan, Jay became a fervent supporter after a move to Vancouver and a rise in profile of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Since then, his summer road trips revolve around Cascadia Derbies, and friends weddings are only to be attended if they do not conflict with a Whitecaps match.

      Jay attempts to share his thoughts from the emotional view of a supporter rather than by advanced analytics or number crunching.

    • Aaron Campbell

      Writer

      Aaron Campbell is our new face to the soccer blog scene. He started following the Whitecaps seriously when they joined the MLS and has been hooked ever since. Not afraid to speak his mind and prove he is right in his opinions backing them up with the stats of the game.

      Yeah right. The only reason he goes to games is to get away from his small army of kids that he has populated the Fraser Valley with. One day the kids and wife will catch on!!!

      Supporter of Whitecaps FC and FC Barcelona.
      Follow on twitter @AaCamp81

    • In The Cold Light Of Day: Principled victory over Dallas

      Back to winning ways and back to keeping clean sheets. This is how we imagined the Rennie revolution!

      Seriously though, it was good to put an end to the two game losing streak that the Caps have been on before the malaise set in. As one of the players commented post-game, losing can become contagious.

      Still a lot of work to do. The midfield still isn't commanding and the defence badly needs Rochat back in there, but this is a season of progress. We can only keep getting better and now have a fantastic base to springboard phase two of the campaign.

      Up to third in the West, fourth overall, and five points behind the leaders. Every point really is going to be vital, as you look at the bunching pack below waiting to pounce on any team slipping.

      Constant pressure, but you do get the feeling that this team will thrive in such situations.

      For a lot of the game, we seemed content to just let Dallas control the game and try and break us down. Hard to knock it as not only did it work, but you just didn't get the feeling that the Texans were going to do any damage, despite dominating possession in both halfs.

      That's the difference between last season and the team that Rennie has built. Last year, we'd have folded like a Chinese laundry in those closing moments and given up at least one goal through defensive slackness.

      Instead that laundry is churning out fold-free clean sheets and last night was the fifth in the seven games so far.

      A big difference between last night and Wednesday was having Jun Marques Davidson back in there. There were a few times, especially in the first half, when Jay DeMerit and Jordan Harvey were caught out of position through some rash tackles, but there was no danger as Davidson was back there covering. We seriously missed that against San Jose.

      Harvey played better than Wednesday, but once we get Rochat back, our full backs are going to be amongst the best in the League.

      What can you say about Young-Pyo Lee that hasn't already been said? It's getting harder and harder to find superlatives to describe the Korean. He's a beast out there, in defence and in attack. Can we clone him? Finding that technology should be John Furlong's first task as executive chair.

      Rennie commented post-game that he was interested to see how Lee would cope with the pacey Brek Shea. Amazingly well as it turned out. So much so that Dallas moved Shea to the other wing towards the end of the game. Lee had one uncharacteristic slip midway through the second half, when he gave Shea too much room at a cross, but Cannon was fully up to the task of keeping him out.

      Rennie rang the chances, four of them from Wednesday, and they all seemed to work. He acknowledged post game that you make the changes, they work and you seem like a genius. They don't work and you seem like a clueless clown (I'm paraphrasing!). Them's the fine lines in football.

      Last night it worked, in so much as we got the result, but there was a distinctive lack of bite and spark at times.

      The midfield is very workmanlike, but always seem to be a bit under the radar. They get the job done, without ever seeming to stand out and shine. That's not necessarily a fault, you just find yourself not noticing them on occasions. Unspectacular is the word I'm looking for, I guess.

      Matt Watson came in and gave a good account of himself, more so when playing in a more attacking role towards the end. Gershon Koffie did well, but looks a little lost at times without a more experienced player beside him. He will really start to flourish once Barry Robson is in there with him, and I look forward to seeing that.

      There was one point in the first half when a Dallas defender fell down in front of him. Gershon stood there and didn't move the ball for several seconds, allowing the guy to get back up again and stand in front of him. It's those kind of situation that he needs a Robson or Vagenas type figure to bark at him what the options are, although he should know to be fair.

      Omar Salgado did well in his first start of the season. He showed enough glimpses on the left during the game to show that we may have found the perfect role for him in the squad, but he's still a work in progress. Getting the start will do his confidence no end of good though.

      Sebastien Le Toux was reduced to playing a very deep role last night and it didn't work for him. We negated pretty much all of his attacking threat. He was playing the role that Eric Hassli has been undertaking these last few games, but he didn't produce what Eric does in that situation.

      He needs to be playing up top, but I'm not sure how well a Le Toux-Camilo partnership works.

      It was great to have the wee Brazilian back in the team and he was clearly 'Man of the Match'. His goal was a peach and he caused a lot of problems for the Dallas defence.

      He is still far too focussed on doing it all himself. I don't want to say selfish, but it's borderline.

      He seems to work best up there on his own, which is why I'm not sure how he and Le Toux will gel.

      There were a few occasions last night when if only Camilo had looked up, he would have seen the perfect pass to someone like Salgado, but decided to put his head down and plough through. It worked for the goal, but that was only one chance of many that reaped the rewards.

      Overall, it was a great all round team effort. There were no slackers and everyone pulled their weight. That's pretty much what you want and expect from your team every week.

      It may be the kick up the ass some of the more experienced players need. Once we have a full and healthy squad ready to go, the competition for places is going to be immense and that can surely only be good in raising the team to the next level that they need to be at to properly compete.

      'Mon the Caps.

      ********************

      AFTN 3-2-1 :

      3 points - CAMILO SANVEZZO (Ran the show up front and looked dangerous throughout. Need to be less selfish to fully benefit the team)

      2 points - YOUNG-PYO LEE (Once again, a beast. Both at the back and going forward. He has an engine to envy)

      1 point - JUN MARQUES DAVIDSON (Made a huge difference to plugging some holes at the back)

      Comments 5 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Matt Watson had a great game, and I think a few people need to watch the telecast to notice things they missed live. Salgado had a good game too.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Watson was a bit hit and miss sometimes. He made a few silly errors (like holding the ball too long when 2 or 3 guys are already pressuring him) but also made some good plays. What he needs to work on is his first touch when receiving the ball.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Not sure about Watson, besides one nice pass to Camilo in the first half, it's an "adventure" when he has the ball.
      1. CheekyMonkey's Avatar
        CheekyMonkey -
        I agree that Watson isn't perfect, but he did a better job out there than Thorrington did in the last two games. I think you have put your finger on our biggest problem McColl. Who do we play as our forwards? We have three options and since we are playing a defensive game we can only play two of them. Le 2 is not really a winger and can't win the ball like Hassli. Hassli isn't scoring. Camilo, although he scores, doesn't play well with others. The Hassli Le 2 connection has worked, to a point. Camilo and Le 2 obviously doesn't work, or hasn't yet, but the Brazillian has been our best offensive threat. I donno. Any ideas?
      1. CheekyMonkey's Avatar
        CheekyMonkey -
        RANDOM QUESTION: Am I crazy or does Le Toux look like Leonard Nimoy?
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