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End of an era in Vancouver?


Calgary Boomer

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I'm getting the impression from several folks that the veteren core of the Whitecaps will not be offerered contracts this season.

That would affect Jeff Clarke, Steve Kindel, Alfredo Valente, Jason Jordan and possibly Geordie Lyall.

You wonder if the club really is trying to groom the graduating prospects for 2011.

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I'd say they might as well get ready for 2011. CONCACAF Champions League aside, what else can the club accomplish at this level? Teitur did a good job of bringing through some youth last year and those core players are approaching the age when most footballers need to think about retirement. My only additional comment would be that there are some player on that MOACA list who are young and playing at a fairly low level or are sitting on the pine. D'Agostino, Elliot and O'Neill all come to mind. It would be nice to replace some of those veterans with some local kids who are establish pros and can play right now.

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The quandary faced by the club and these players is the fact that the Whitecaps are moving to almost year round training next year including at least one overseas tour. These players all have other job commitments in addition to their previously parttime involvement with the Caps plus of course the older ones are approaching the end of their professional playing careers. Decision time.

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quote:Originally posted by RJB

How many of the players that the Whitecaps currently have in their youth system and on their roster will they be eligable to keep in MLS should they be accepted?

If I am not mistaken, Seattle had first dibs on all players that were on their USL roster. I would hope that this would be the same for Vancouver.

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quote:Originally posted by deschamp86

I imagine that a deal would be made with Vancouver in some capacity. Vancouver would set a good example in MLS as to how an academy should be run and I don't imagine Garber would undo what Vancouver has built.

Once accepted the Caps also have the option of selling the players they've developed to Euro teams. If they are going to lose them anyway to the MLS for nothing or only get 1/3rd then develop them for 2 years and sell.

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quote:Originally posted by deschamp86

I imagine that a deal would be made with Vancouver in some capacity. Vancouver would set a good example in MLS as to how an academy should be run and I don't imagine Garber would undo what Vancouver has built.

I would imagine the only sticking point is at what point the residency players become MLS property? I think until they sign a professional MLS contract, they can't be touched by the league. This would allow the Caps to bring residency players into the first team, or sell them to other clubs at their discretion.

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quote:Originally posted by Grandstander

I would imagine the only sticking point is at what point the residency players become MLS property? I think until they sign a professional MLS contract, they can't be touched by the league. This would allow the Caps to bring residency players into the first team, or sell them to other clubs at their discretion.

Yes but at this point, MLS teams are only allowed to sign one or two academy players per year. Vancouver had more than that feature for them this year so I imagine MLS will change rules in that regard by the time Vancouver enters MLS. Hopefully.

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Veteran trio given cold shoulder; Philosophical differences' cited as reason for decision

Marc Weber

The Province

491 words

9 December 2008

Vancouver Province

Final

A38

English

Copyright © 2008 Vancouver Province

The face of the Vancouver Whitecaps franchise is undergoing a dramatic change.

The club announced Monday it will not offer new contracts to longtime local favourites Jeff Clarke, Steve Kindel and Alfredo Valente.

Clarke and Kindel, both defender-midfielders, were free agents, while Valente, a midfielder, was entering his club option year.

Combined, the trio spent 30 seasons with the Whitecaps, helping the team to United Soccer Leagues First Division titles in 2006 and '08.

They've been the team's leaders and poster boys and all three are embedded in the community. Clarke is the technical director and head coach at the Guildford Athletic Club; Kindel is the technical director for Dunbar and Kerrisdale and a head coach with Surrey United; while Valente is the head coach with Coquitlam Metro-Ford.

Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi and head coach Teitur Thordarson cited "philosophical differences" as the reason for the decision, and wouldn't expand much on that statement. Thordarson did say that it had been an issue "throughout the year."

The Icelandic boss replaced Bob Lilley as coach last season and brought with him a more direct, offensive style. If it was a difference in soccer philosophy, it didn't prevent Thordarson from playing the trio -- all three started the final 10 games of the season, including five playoff games -- and it didn't prevent the Whitecaps from winning the USL-1 title.

Clarke was also the captain for the fourth straight season, though Martin Nash carried those duties for the 12 games Clarke missed due to injury.

"These players have been important to the success of the team and I am thankful for that," Thordarson said. "But there are differences here and we have decided to release them. Next year we will make a serious attempt at [winning a title] again."

The players could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Lenarduzzi reflected on the immense impact the three have had on the club over the years, but also said the move opened the door for residency players to step into senior team roles.

"They were all there when the club almost went under [in 2002] and a lot of players played to keep the team afloat at the time we didn't have an owner," he said. "They deserve a lot of credit and, no question, you're not going to go locally and recruit players comparable to those three.

"But at the same time, the move provides opportunities for younger players in our system."

Coquitlam's Clarke and Burnaby native Kindel are 31. Valente, also Burnaby-raised, is 28.

Clarke was the championship MVP in '06, Kindel leaves second on the club's all-time games and minutes-played list, and Valente is second all-time in assists.

mweber@theprovince.com

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Very interesting to see where they end up eh? Valente must go out looking for further playing opportunities - possibly in USL or even, dare I say, TFC??

The other 2 - maybe they should expand their coaching networks? All three are involved in top youth programs as it is. With their connections maybe more local lads can become connected with the Whitecaps....

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I would be surprised if Valente chose to try and continue playing professionally, especially outside Vancouver unless he receives an offer he cannot refuse which I suspect is unlikely at this stage. Like the other two he has a wife and young family and is head coach for Coquitlam Metro-Ford SC.

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Ok in today's Province newspaper a story finaly ! from the players point of view but as I read it no one mentioned what the main issue was with Tieter ! they just said that they met with him at the end of the season to bring up their concerns so what those concerns are your guess is as good as mine. So more muddled info and to add to it Sebrango takes a shot a Tieter backing up Valente, Kindel and Clarke ... Can I ask that someone in the know post some info on what Tieter did to piss these 3 off ? if nobody says what he did how can see this as just more than a football club looking to take their game to another level and only bring on full time players \?

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I'm defintely not in the know in any way, but my educated guess would be that they got into some type of argument about conditioning. Most Scandinavian managers are pretty stringent when it comes to the fitness and it's possible that these three were unable to meet his demands given their semi-pro status. I imagine he would rather work with kids who are willing to train 24/7, espcially given that he's already won the Cup and now must focus on getting the club ready for MLS.

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quote:

Yes but at this point, MLS teams are only allowed to sign one or two academy players per year. Vancouver had more than that feature for them this year so I imagine MLS will change rules in that regard by the time Vancouver enters MLS. Hopefully.

I would imagine this will change with the disappearance of the MLS reserve league. They will rely on teams to develop their own players. So I can see the Caps still maintaining their PDL team or a USL 2 West team in the future to keep reserve/residency players match ready.

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I would love for the Caps to replace the released local guys with some unsigned local talent. The residency will go a long way in doing this, but that is still a couple of years away. With word that Mike D'Agostino has been let go by Blackpool, I think that is exactly the type of player that they should pursue. Marcus Haber is another local kid without a club. I wonder if they could convince Jacob Lensky to get back into pro football.

Maybe these players don't want to settle for North America just yet. Maybe they might not all pan out (I have my doubts about Haber) but I'd love to see the Caps become more of a realistic option for local guys. It should be something up and coming players strive for.

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quote:Originally posted by Grandstander

I would imagine this will change with the disappearance of the MLS reserve league. They will rely on teams to develop their own players. So I can see the Caps still maintaining their PDL team or a USL 2 West team in the future to keep reserve/residency players match ready.

The MLS has said they are against teams developing their own youth players because its not fair because some teams don't want to spend the money or aren't in cities that support grassroots football as much as others. I think its an ass backwards way of thinking, but its that's their current thinking. Its becoming very clear that the MLS doesn't care about player development.

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Perhaps they have turned away from player development as a way to ensure it becomes more than just a feeder league. If owners have to rely on purchasing talent rather than developing it and selling it off, players will be coming here rather than leaving here. Of course, this could get the league into an NASL situation, where only has-beens come here while younger, more talented players still end up going overseas.

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