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Whitecaps re-sign two veterans


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WHITECAPS FC Media Release

March 17, 2005


VANCOUVER, BC – The Vancouver Whitecaps FC Director of Soccer Operations, Bob Lenarduzzi, today announced the signing of midfielder Jeff Clarke and goalkeeper Mike Franks.

“Jeff is one of the more well-rounded players on our roster,” said head coach, Bob Lilley. “He has strong soccer intelligence, is technically refined and can play any position in the midfield or back. He also brings experience and leadership to our club.”

Clarke, 27, enters his fifth season with the Caps and seventh in the league. The 5’9”, 165-pound native of New Westminster, BC, has played in 93 games for the Whitecaps scoring eight goals and assisting on seven. Last year Clarke played in 28 games, collecting one assist in 2,158 minutes. In 2002, Clarke was selected Vancouver's Most Valuable Player in media voting, after finishing fourth in team scoring with six goals and five assists.

Clarke, who first joined the Whitecaps in 1997, spent two seasons in Europe, with St. Patrick's Athletic of Ireland’s Eircom League before returning to North America in 2000. After one year stints with the Hampton Roads Mariners and then the Portland Timbers, Clarke returned to Vancouver in 2002. Clarke has 19 caps and one goal for the Canadian National Men’s Team.

Mike Franks, 27, finished last year with a 7-4-2 record with four shutouts. The 6’5”, 200-pound keeper has played 43 games for Vancouver over four seasons. Franks first joined the Caps in 1997 as backup to Paul Dolan. Following the 1998 season Franks played overseas in Scotland with Hibernian for two years; he also had stops in Roosendaal and PSV Eindhoven of Holland.

“Mike has been working extremely hard in the off-season, and is set to have his best year in a Whitecaps uniform,” explains Lilley. “Mike dominates the air, organizes well and has a presence that is intimidating to opponents.”

In 2003, Mike returned to Vancouver where he enjoyed a record-breaking year, establishing new team bests for most shutouts in a season with 10 and posted a 0.74 goals-against average. Before joining Vancouver, the Richmond, BC, native was a standout with the UBC Thunderbirds where he was a CIAU All-Canadian and Canada West Rookie of the Year.

The Whitecaps regular season kicks off on Sunday, April 24th versus the Toronto Lynx at Swangard Stadium. Whitecaps season tickets are now on sale for less than $6 per game. For more information please call 604.669.WAVE (9283) or visit us on the web at whitecapsfc.com.

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quote:Originally posted by Footy

Glad to here those comments about Franks by Lilley he already is brininging a higher level of profesionalism to the club !

I'm surprised that Vancouver fans seem so upbeat about Lilley while Montreal fans couldn't get rid of him fast enough. Maybe things will be different after a few boring matches at Swangard? [:P]

Here's an old quote:

quote:Originally posted by Krammerhead

Thats Bob Lilley for you. He may be a winning coach but his coaching style puts fans to sleep. When Montreal was here last in Vancouver the game was so boring that I hadn't noticed that Montreal had scored a goal in the 76th minute until near the final whistle when I glanced at the scoreboard to see we were losing 1-0!

Montreal must lead the league in scoreless games.

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DJT and Krammerhead may be correct, the Caps may be boring this year. Doesn't help that Lilley cut Oliver Heald and alienated Sulentic to the point that Sulentic won't sign. Perhaps Lilley wants to play a 4-5-1 this year to have the best defensive team.

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Fonseca's team and Lilley's team are different.

Last year, under Fonseca, the team tried to add offense, by signing Xausa and Nash, and when neither of them did well they signed Winston Griffiths, who is a pure attacker. This year they signed Mark Watson, a defender, Klein a midfielder, an ALeague Div 2 player and Sagare (the only new attacker). The team has lost two pure offensive players in Sulentic and Giffiths.

Interesting also that 3 of the 4 new players, the coach and the goalie coach are all Americans. Aren't Canadians good enough?

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quote:Oliver Heald was over the hill.

At age 30?

Jason Farrell eliminated the Caps with his goal in last year's playoffs...at age 34.

Rumor is that Heald may well be a Sounder in 2005.

Hmmm...I wonder who would take the PK for Seattle against Vancouver in a 2005 match???

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