• 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

    • Tiago Ulisses: Martin Rennie's Brazilian odyssey

      Martin Rennie’s squad strengthening continued today when Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signing of 23 year old Brazilian midfielder Tiago Ulisses Aparecido Eugênio Sobral.

      Tiago Ulisses, as he is simply known, comes to Vancouver having previously played his short club career to date solely with Brazilian clubs.

      The Santo Andre native played football as a kid in his hometown before becoming a product of the Corinthians youth system in Sao Paolo from the age of 12. Tiago Ulisses was part of their U17 teams of 2005 and 2006 and signed his first professional contract with their reserve team, Corinthians B, in 2010.

      That same year he also saw time with Auto Esporte Clube.

      More recently he has played in what we would personally class the sixth tier of Brazilian football for Esporte Clube Noroeste in 2011 in the Sao Paulo Serie B and in kind of the fifth tier, Sao Paolo Serie A, for Botafogo in 2012.

      These are the State Championships, which fall outwith the National Championships, so it's not an exact comparison for all teams, but we feel it could be applied for these two sides' seasons. Depending on where teams finish in these State Championship and subsequent quarter finals, could see teams play in Serie A, B, C or D (we think!). See HERE for a confusing explanation of the Brazilian footballing pyramid. If there's any Brazilians reading this then please explain!

      As is often the case with South American players, stats are sketchy at best, but from what we can find out, he played 11 games as a starter for Noroeste, scoring one goal, and has made 15 appearances with Botafogo this year without finding the net, eight of those as a starter.

      The last match we can find Tiago Ullises playing in was on April 15th in the 2-1 win against Guarani, but don't quote us on that one!

      Tiago is a box to box player, very much in the mould of Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso. He has a bit of aggression about him, which the Caps badly miss in the team sometimes, and a lot of pace to go with that dig.

      Perhaps a little worrying is his 10 yellow cards accumulated in 22 of those games (we're missing stats on four of his apps). Potentially not a good mix for MLS on the one hand, but on the other it's the kind of aggressive player I've been crying out for. There are games when the Whitecaps really need to put themselves about a bit in the middle of the park and Tiago looks like he would fill that role very nicely.

      Overall he is rated as a 5 out of 10 on the SambaFoot website, so make of that what you will.

      The addition of Tiago is most likely to be for depth and injury cover initially. He is listed on some sites as a defensive midfielder, but his highlight reel below certainly shows him playing in more attacking roles.

      The Whitecaps picked him up fairly cheaply salarywise and will spend the rest of the season fully evaluating him in his new surroundings and the games he sees minutes in.

      I wouldn't see it spelling the end of any of the first team regulars like Jun Marques Davidson of Gershon Koffie just yet and he will take his time to settle in and find his feet. At least he has his compatriot Camilo to help him feel a little more at home.

      Martin Rennie certainly seems pleased to have landed him:

      "Tiago is a young and promising holding midfielder. He is strong on the ball and a solid tackler. The addition of Tiago offers us more depth in midfield and a player that we feel will do well in Major League Soccer."

      As we mentioned when we revealed the transfer on Saturday, the signing of Tiago Ulisses was completed before the MLS international transfer window closed on Friday and was just awaiting all the final paperwork to be authorized by MLS.

      The Whitecaps have until the MLS roster freeze and trade deadline on September 15th to make any more additions, or cuts, to the squad, but they will now only be able to sign free agents.

      Here's Tiago Ulisses in action:


      Comments 12 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Playing for some pretty small Serie D clubs in Brazil, I can't see him displacing any of the incumbents.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Why waste time giving young Canadian talent a chance when you can sign a Brazilian goon!
      1. carnifex2005's Avatar
        carnifex2005 -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Why waste time giving young Canadian talent a chance when you can sign a Brazilian goon!
        Do you want to turn young Canadian talent into goons?
      1. Michael McColl's Avatar
        Michael McColl -
        I agree with carnifex2005.

        Of all the Canadian talent at the Caps, including those coming up in the U18's and U16's, there isn't really a "hardman" that won't be afraid to mix it up a little.

        It's not pretty but it is what's needed in some games.

        In the last game against San Jose, you saw the impact that Bonjour clattering Wondolowski had early in the game. He simply wasn't in the match after that.

        Whether that's what people want to see here is another question, but personally I do.
      1. Ryan Medd's Avatar
        Ryan Medd -
        Quote Originally Posted by Michael McColl View Post
        I agree with carnifex2005.

        Of all the Canadian talent at the Caps, including those coming up in the U18's and U16's, there isn't really a "hardman" that won't be afraid to mix it up a little.

        It's not pretty but it is what's needed in some games.

        In the last game against San Jose, you saw the impact that Bonjour clattering Wondolowski had early in the game. He simply wasn't in the match after that.

        Whether that's what people want to see here is another question, but personally I do.
        I agree. If the club has the Canadian talent in the system to fill the roll they are looking to fill, then use it. If they don't then go out in the world and find that talent. Nothing wrong with that. EPL teams have global rosters. Series A teams have global rosters. Bundesliga teams have global rosters. So, what's wrong with MLS teams having global rosters?

        On that topic, can we get rid of the USA & Canadian flags on the jerseys? I know which teams are from which country (as I suspect most MLS fans do) - it would be better to see the flag of where the player is from, to be honest...
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        I realize they're not exactly the same role, but if he's really just a depth guy I'd prefer to see them give Alderson a shot.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        I wounded how Brice Alderson feels about all of this?
      1. Michael McColl's Avatar
        Michael McColl -
        At the moment, I think Bryce is probably slightly frustrated but realises it's his first year.

        Russell Teibert on the other hand must be mightily pissed off and I wouldn't be surprised to see him leaving at the end of this season, assuming it's a 2+options contract he's on.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Tiago Ulisses, Portuguese for Tie Domi. A depth player from the fifth tier of Brazilian club football! Great signing!
      1. CheekyMonkey's Avatar
        CheekyMonkey -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        Tiago Ulisses, Portuguese for Tie Domi. A depth player from the fifth tier of Brazilian club football! Great signing!
        Do I detect a Toronto native trying to be smart?
      1. Michael McColl's Avatar
        Michael McColl -
        I love Tie Domi. Loved watching him. If Tiago is like that, fine by me!
      1. BCM's Avatar
        BCM -
        This is why I find MLS so interesting. One minute you sign an accomplished international who has played in the top league in England, Scotland and Turkey and the next minute you're signing a 5th tier player. Only one other league in the world are the rosters as imbalanced, Australia. In both, you have players that could play in the Premier League and other who couldn't get a run at Conference level (5th tier). It really is amazing.
      Comments Leave Comment

      Click here to log in

      How many provinces are in Canada?