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An Open Letter To MLS, Don Garber

Jul 29 2014 10:01 PM | Jay Duke in AFTN

Dear Mr. Garber and the MLS Disciplinary Committee,

I am a loyal MLS fan. I’ve been a season ticket holder for all four years of the Whitecaps’ existence in the MLS. I’ve attended numerous away games, and have purchased hundreds of dollars worth of licensed merchandise. I’ve also shared my experiences with many friends and family, some of whom have become Whitecap fans and continue to attend games. However, one thing keeps popping up when I discuss the games with colleagues, or watch a game with friends, and I really do feel it’s stunting the growth of the game.

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MLS Week in Review – Round 20

Jul 29 2014 05:37 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

It was a strange week in MLS with matches spread thin over a span of six consecutive days, beginning on Wednesday in San Jose and wrapping up Monday night in Seattle.

With so many teams taking part in midseason friendlies, the twentieth round of MLS play, drawn out though it may have been, featured just fifteen teams in eight matches, resulting in a peculiar four away wins and a single draw.

31 goals were scored, including a perfect three-for-three from the penalty spot, while 24 yellow cards and a pair of reds were shown – one straight, to Montreal’s Issey Nakajima-Farran and one accumulative, to Sporting KC’s Matt Besler.

The round featured plenty of storylines: Frank Yallop’s return to San Jose muddied by an Earthquake of goals; a red card sealing Montreal’s fate in Salt Lake; Colorado steamrolling over a depleted Chivas side; an irate TFC losing out to a former player’s retribution; New England’s continued turmoil, while Columbus, perhaps, turn a corner; a hard-fought draw between Western Conference foes Vancouver and Dallas jockeying for position and the final playoff spot; not to mention the power outage in Seattle with LA in town.

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Episode 73 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (All Aboard The Blunderbus)

Jul 29 2014 03:41 PM | Michael McColl in AFTN

The blunderbus(s) is loaded. All aboard for episode 73 of the AFTN soccer podcast.

Your usual co-hosts Michael McColl and Steve Pandher look at the latest happenings in Vancouver Whitecapsland with a Dallas post game show.

More home points dropped against the FUDs, that's five points dropped in the last two home games, which is simply not good enough if Vancouver Whitecaps want to be a playoff contender.

We look back at the 2-2 draw with Dallas, the mistakes that led to the visitors' two goals and the inability to convert more than two of the 30 chances created. Who played well? Who had a game to forget? What's missing and what can be done to change things? We look at all that and more.

We also hear post game audio from both locker rooms. For Vancouver, we have some frustrations from head coach Carl Robinson, goalkeeper David Ousted, goalscorer and goal misser Darren Mattocks and captain Pedro Morales.

Dallas coach Oscar Pareja shares his thoughts on the game and we hear from rising (hopefully) Canadian star Tesho Akindele.

And there's still time to get some tweets from our listeners on where the Caps need to strengthen as the number one priority and a look at the heartbreak that was in store for the U23s in the PDL Western Conference Final Four.

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The Caps Countdown: Player rankings v FC Dallas

Jul 29 2014 02:00 AM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN

"Caps Countdown" is our Vancouver Whitecaps player rankings with a twist. The starting eleven is ranked from eleven to one, from worst to first. Who was the 'man of the match' and who had a game to forget in the 2-2 draw at home to Dallas? Aaron Campbell makes the selections this week. Do you agree?

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The Good, The Average & The Bad: Dallas Buyers Club Edition

Jul 28 2014 09:30 PM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN

Five home points lost over the last two matches. It’s not that the Whitecaps didn’t play well against Dallas, they did for large sections of the game of the game, it’s more the missed opportunities in their opponents’ box and the ones given up in their own that did the damage. Again.

With the 2-2 draw now in the history books, Aaron Campbell gives us his look at “The Good, The Average & The Bad” from the Dallas game.

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Jorge Luis Pinto leaves hot mess in Costa Rica

Jul 28 2014 02:38 PM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys

Picture it. A foreign manager leads his adopted charges to previously unthinkable World Cup glory. Afterwards, he’s all but canonized by the adoring masses of said grateful country. The example of Guus Hiddink pops to mind. After leading South Korea to an astonishing semifinal appearance at the 2002 World Cup, the Asian country made him an honourary citizen, a book on managerial aptitude extolling the ‘Hiddink’ way became a national bestseller and Korean tourists began making pilgrimages to his hometown in the Netherlands.

Contras this with the bizarre situation that unfolded in Costa Rica last week, where ex-national team manager Jorge Luis Pinto confirmed rumours that had been swirling in local media: he’s done. That in of itself was not shocking, but what happened next certainly was. Barely two weeks after Costa Rica’s magical World Cup run, two weeks after thousands of people came out to cheer their new heroes, two weeks after thousand of words were spilled about how la afición grew to love Pinto despite an initially tumultuous relationship... two weeks after all that, the Colombian manager was trading public barbs with his former bosses. It’s just not supposed to end this way.

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Report and Reaction: Sloppiness in both boxes cost Whitecaps dear against Dallas

Jul 28 2014 06:26 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

[Match report and post game reaction from both locker rooms after Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 draw with Western Conference rivals FC Dallas at BC Place on Sunday]

REPORT (by Steve Pandher):

For the fourth straight match the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to strike first but unable to hold off their opponents to claim three points as they drew FC Dallas 2-2. The Caps got their goals from Darren Mattocks and Pedro Morales while Blas Perez and Michel responded for Dallas.

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The Merits of DeMerit

Jul 27 2014 03:57 AM | Jay Duke in AFTN

Earlier this week, Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit announced his retirement from professional soccer following a difficult rehabilitation from a second serious achilles injury. It is only mildly surprising, as it had been reported that DeMerit was contemplating hanging up the boots following this season anyway.

During his announcement, DeMerit himself indicated he’s concerned with his reputation and that he was unsure if he could ever return to a level of play required to compete in a strenuous and ever improving Major League Soccer season.

A few days removed from the emotional decision has been made public, it is now time to reflect on DeMerit’s career.

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Whitecaps not table watching in ever tightening Western Conference playoff race

Jul 26 2014 06:41 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

The MLS Western Conference has always been tight these past few seasons. But with every passing season, it seems to actually get that little bit tighter.

Most years as we get into the final few weeks, the top teams pull away and it’s usually a battle for the final playoff spot or maybe a couple of placing issues. This season though, you already get the feeling that the playoff race is going to go right down to the wire.

"It's always like that, especially in the West," was Whitecaps’ defender Jordan Harvey’s take on the situation. "There's so many good teams. Midseason it's usually very tight and then everything seems to gradually settle itself towards the end of the season.

"Right now it's always going to be tight and there's always going to be crucial games. I feel like every game throughout the season, every year I've been in the West, has been a tough game."

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Episode 72 - The AFTN Podcast - "There's Still Time" (Blowing Out Matches)

Jul 25 2014 08:21 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

It's episode 72 of the AFTN soccer podcast and your usual co-hosts Michael McColl and Steve Pandher look at the latest happenings in Vancouver Whitecapsland (minus Jay DeMerit talk as we recorded this before his announcement!).

It's been a tough week for the Caps. Three games, two good roads draws but ultimately only two points from a possible nine and slipping out of the playoff places was a wasted opportunity.

We look back at the road games at Toronto and Real Salt Lake and the inability to manage games, kill them off and come away with wins from a leading position. What's behind the blown leads and the amount of late goals being conceded? How can that be turned around? And what personnel needs to come in during the transfer window to help?

Apart from our thoughts on the matter, we hear those of coach Carl Robinson, goalkeeper David Ousted, left back Jordan Harvey and striker Erik Hurtado from training this week.

And there's still time to look ahead to the crucial game against Dallas at the weekend, where three points really are a must.

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Jay DeMerit's impending retirement beneficial for Whitecaps

Jul 24 2014 02:31 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

It shouldn't really come as too much of a surprise, but Global TV are reporting tonight that Vancouver Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit is set to announce his retirement tomorrow.

It has long been rumoured that DeMerit was going to hang up his boots at the end of the season, but it would seem that his latest injury is going to speed that retirement announcement up a little bit.

Whilst Twitter is full of disappointment at the impending announcement, for us, this can only be excellent news from a long term viewpoint for the Whitecaps.

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Warren Creavalle trade by the numbers

Jul 23 2014 06:17 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

Toronto FC flipped its No 1 pick in the allocation order to Houston for defensive midfielder Warren Creavalle. It's difficult to get excited about, or to take issue with the trade. It was clear that TFC didn't have the cap room to bring another US in...

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For Honduras post-World Cup, nowhere to go but the same place

Jul 22 2014 08:14 PM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys

Concacaf turned in a fairly decent World Cup. Costa Rica shone magnificently, the U.S. team made the U.S. people love soccer and Mexico managed to exorcise the demons that haunted its qualifying campaign. (Failing yet again to reach that damned quinto partido involves demons of another post entirely.)

And then there was Honduras.

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Canadian Content MLS Round 19 – How did our Canadians do in MLS this week?

Jul 22 2014 06:14 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

An extension to Canadian Soccer News’ MLS Week in Review, this article provides a closer look at the performances of the Canadian players who saw the pitch this week.

The Canadian contingent returned in force this week, racking up a total of ten starts and three substitute appearances. The top three spots go to Tesho Akindele – for his continued strong rookie season, Russell Teibert – for a dynamic display in an All-Canadian affair, and Will Johnson – for showing signs of taking on the more influential attacking role seen last season.

Find out what they did to deserve recognition and who else earned their keep this week.

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MLS Week in Review – Round 19

Jul 21 2014 06:03 PM | James Grossi in 24th Minute

Another week, another round in the books, as the 2014 MLS season continued with a packed schedule of midweek and weekend matches.

Leaving aside the four midweek results, the nine weekend games resulted in four draws and zero away wins – home dominance clearly taking hold, especially in the cross-conference encounters.

25 goals were scored throughout, including five from the penalty spot – a sixth attempt hit the post in Houston. 30 yellow cards were shown and not a single red, after three straights were flashed midweek and a fourth came about for a second bookable offense in Columbus.

With all nineteen clubs firmly into the second half of their campaigns points are beginning to become more valuable – figuratively, if not literally – and both tables are set for a dramatic run to the finish line, as each conference has three clubs level on points straddling the dividing line.

The race at the top of the conferences, while not decided, has seen some space open up with Seattle a full nine points ahead of their nearest competitor (with games in hand no less) and Kansas City and DC nine and eight points, respectively, in front of pursuit.

It was a round of impactful substitutions, last-minute strikes, controversy aplenty, some downright feistiness, and more than a few outright bizarre moments.

Before the results, the goals of the round:

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Report and Reaction: Whitecaps depth charge to point in Utah but once again missed chances prove costly

Jul 20 2014 04:14 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

[Match report and post-game reaction from both locker rooms following Vancouver Whitecaps' 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening]


You are now entering Sandy, Utah. All change.

I'm guessing that's how the announcement on the Whitecaps' trip to Real Salt Lake went on Saturday, with Carl Robinson making a staggering six changes to team that started the draw with Toronto on Wednesday evening and they fought hard to earn another road point and another 1-1 draw.

In the past, the Whitecaps depth has been questionable but this season all the players are stepping up and this was evident against RSL this evening, with Darren Mattocks giving the Caps a second half lead before Joao Plata tied things up with nine minutes remaining.

On paper, it was a good away point to get but there has to be concerns about blowing three leads in three games and the continued inability to finish off quality chances.

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The Good, The Average & The Bad: All Canadian Edition

Jul 18 2014 05:00 AM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN

Wednesday's away draw at Toronto may have been a little unexpected going in to the game but felt a little disappointing coming out of it. 1-1 on the night. Vancouver had another chance to go second going in to the game but by the end of the evening, they'd fallen out of the playoff places.
That's how tight the race in the West is right now. Every points counts, so at least they gone one from this game.
So what was good, average and just downright bad from this one?

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The Caps Countdown: Player Rankings v Toronto FC

Jul 18 2014 02:04 AM | Aaron Campbell in AFTN

"Caps Countdown" is our Vancouver Whitecaps player rankings with a twist. The starting eleven is ranked from eleven to one, from worst to first. Who was the 'man of the match' and who had a game to forget in the 1-1 draw at Toronto? Aaron Campbell is away so I make the selections this week. Do you agree?

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Costa Rica: A source of hope (and despair) for us all

Jul 17 2014 05:16 PM | Grant in Some Canadian Guys

Well, hey Costa Rica, we weren’t expecting that. Prior to the World Cup, only the most diehard of diehard optimists believed Los Ticos would progress past the group stage. And only then if manager Jorge Luis Pinto somehow gerrymandered all the karmic energy in the soccer universe and unleashed it on his players simultaneously. But if you sat a Martian in front of the matches - or someone else with zero soccer knowledge - this sentient being would probably conclude Costa Rica was a slightly boring, yet highly disciplined and ruthless soccer-playing machine. They weren't just lucky.

Canada and Concacaf’s other lesser lights have reasons both to rejoice and to grieve following Costa Rica’s performance: a motley collection of players who believed in each other and their system went to the jungle and dispatched teams that grossly outmatched them on paper. Here’s seven takeaways as the World Cup fades into memory.

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Report and Reaction: Whitecaps shoot themselves in the foot once again

Jul 17 2014 02:13 AM | Michael McColl in AFTN

[Match report and post game reaction from both locker rooms following Vancouver Whitecaps’ 1-1 draw against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday night]


Vancouver Whitecaps' are still looking for their first MLS win in Toronto. They had their chances to get it on Wednesday evening and took the lead from a Darren Mattocks goal five minutes into the second half, but once again it was a case of the Caps shooting themselves in the foot.

Nigel Reo-Coker's clumsy challenge on Jackson in the box just past the hour mark threw Toronto a lifeline and Jermain Defoe stepped up to take it, bury the spot kick and give the home side a share of the spoils.

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A return of the Home-Away adjusted MLS standings

Jul 16 2014 08:04 PM | Duane Rollins in 24th Minute

It isn't really an advanced concept to recognize that MLS teams usually perform better at home than on the road. It's a universal truth, actually, that all sports teams do (the reasons for which are actually fascinating and not fully understood, but th...

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