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Vancouver Whitecaps - 2023 Season Thread


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1 hour ago, Kingston said:

I don't think that's correct.

The past ten MLS Cups were won by nine different teams.  The past ten Supporters' Shields were won by seven different teams.

Of the past ten SPL championships, Celtic won nine and Rangers one.  Only four teams (Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, and Motherwall) have even made runner up in the past decade.

By the standards of the SPL (and many European leagues), MLS is a free for all.

I wasn't talking about the last 9 years. I'm talking about the next 9 years

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54 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

I wasn't talking about the last 9 years. I'm talking about the next 9 years

I guess we'll see.

As a Canadian soccer fan, a bigger problem for me is the CPL.  It's just Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton all the time.  The league really needs to do something to ensure some measure of parity!  :)

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On 1/12/2023 at 7:22 AM, Stryker911 said:

At what point does Schuster's plan of being similar to Bilboa come together? Currently the only Canadian starter is Hasal. Teibert will be a sub. I had hopes for Yao, but moves like this will block him. Hopefully Johnson or an academy prospect jumps up.

Caleb Wilkinson wrote an interesting article the other week about this:

https://www.eightysixforever.com/2023/1/1/23534179/the-athletic-bilbao-of-canada

His words at the end:

Anyway I know that was quite long but to summarise my points briefly:

  • Building a team that’s 80% Canadians would be very challenging with the current composition of the Canadian player pool
  • To make this goal more attainable the Whitecaps need to build a player pathway that rewards doing well and punishes doing poorly
  • They can do this by rewarding top WFC2 performers with first-team football more regularly and bringing in players from outside their development system to compete for places.
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5 hours ago, Watchmen said:

Caleb Wilkinson wrote an interesting article the other week about this:

https://www.eightysixforever.com/2023/1/1/23534179/the-athletic-bilbao-of-canada

His words at the end:

Anyway I know that was quite long but to summarise my points briefly:

  • Building a team that’s 80% Canadians would be very challenging with the current composition of the Canadian player pool
  • To make this goal more attainable the Whitecaps need to build a player pathway that rewards doing well and punishes doing poorly
  • They can do this by rewarding top WFC2 performers with first-team football more regularly and bringing in players from outside their development system to compete for places.

That's all fair points. As mentioned in the article. I wouldn't even mention it, but that was what Schuster said himself. The point about the pathway is kind of silly. The academy has been aroubd since 2007. They should have figured out some kind of system by now.

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4 hours ago, Stryker911 said:

That's all fair points. As mentioned in the article. I wouldn't even mention it, but that was what Schuster said himself. The point about the pathway is kind of silly. The academy has been aroubd since 2007. They should have figured out some kind of system by now.

Agreed, they should have figured it out before now.  It's also pretty clear they never really did.  I think they liked the concept of the academy but never really understood how to implement it.  I know they lost a few players because someone (cough Greg Anderson cough) messed up the contracts initially.  Under Robinson they never really gave the academy kids a proper shot and failed to move them on when they had the opportunity.  The CPL is littered with so many former VWFC academy kids it seems clear it was doing *something* right (they got them on to pro teams, after all), it's the final hurdle that seems to have been broken.  Hopefully Schuster can fix it.

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4 hours ago, BearcatSA said:

Except for the niche on this forum, the vast majority of  supporters are much more interested in this club becoming a consistent winner in whatever manner the team is put together.  

However, the CEO has also stated the goal is to be more Canadian. So that should trump what both the niche on this forum as well as the vast majority of supporters want.

Edited by Stryker911
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1 hour ago, Stryker911 said:

However, the CEO has also stated the goal is to be more Canadian. So that should trump what both the niche on this forum as well as the vast majority of supporters want.

They want a winner.  If a winner features lots of Cancon, awesome.  We'd all love that.  But even if it doesn't, it won't matter to that vast majority.

Switching topic:  if they are trying to train Raposo to be a right fullback in a back four for this season, why didn't they just keep Godinho to play in his natural position?

 

Edited by BearcatSA
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2 hours ago, Stryker911 said:

However, the CEO has also stated the goal is to be more Canadian. So that should trump what both the niche on this forum as well as the vast majority of supporters want.

If they win without a big Canadian presence, then the scenario is fine: Caps win with an international image, if you want Cancon, go to see CPL.

If they don't win, or in their case, be a break-even team with a positive GA average (which would merit the playoffs, usually), then you'll see fans picking at this issue. 

No one is going to like having to support a losing team with no Cancon. 

VFC is a test, they have been coasting and not taking things seriously at Caps for too long. Now they can be relatively easily punished if they don't rise to the challenge. That includes what VFC might do in the Voyageurs Cup as well.

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2 hours ago, BearcatSA said:

They want a winner.  If a winner features lots of Cancon, awesome.  We'd all love that.  But even if it doesn't, it won't matter to that vast majority.

I think there was a vocal minority (many of whom have now switched to VFC as their team) that convinced previous management that Cancon was enough to bring fans out. It's why we suddenly got an influx of journeyman Canadians and our highest priced DP in Cava. Turns out all of them were wrong. You're right, win and you'll get the fans back out.

I will say that if the team was regularly producing top players for Europe (not necessarily Canadian), I think that would draw fans out too. Sort of a "come see them before they're big" mentality, which worked with Davies even when the team was poor in his final year here.

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1 hour ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

VFC is a test, they have been coasting and not taking things seriously at Caps for too long. Now they can be relatively easily punished if they don't rise to the challenge. That includes what VFC might do in the Voyageurs Cup as well.

I actually don't think it's that much of a test case. I think if the Whitecaps do poorly, fans (especially downtown) just won't go out to any games. For people in the valley, I think a lot have already committed one way or the other. That they already broke from VWFC, and thus their results will be meaningless. Me, I'm just over the bridge from VFC, maybe a 15 min drive in no traffic. I'll get out to a handful of their games. But I'm invested in VWFC in a way I won't be with VFC.

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8 hours ago, Watchmen said:

I think there was a vocal minority (many of whom have now switched to VFC as their team) that convinced previous management that Cancon was enough to bring fans out. It's why we suddenly got an influx of journeyman Canadians and our highest priced DP in Cava...

Something similar happened in the early years of TFC with players like Ali Gerba and JDG arriving when most of the fanbase just wanted the team to win and were lukewarm at best about the Cancon angle and were only showing up precisely because this team was supposed to be nothing at all like the Lynx or some local latter day CSL/L1O team like the Oakville Blue Devils. The problem maybe is that some of the execs in the sport only really take the time to listen to fans who are from the same sort of background they are in a sport that skews very heavily towards recent immigrants in hardcore interest terms.

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I dont know how much I can blame the Whitecaps. Certainly a bit but I see the structure of the league a big problem. Vancouver fans just aren't the type to live and die by a mediocre team. Caps need to be a top 4 team in the Conference every year in my opinion. After that the chips fall where they may but that's what the objective needs to be. They would probably have to overpay and burn some money but as a fan I don't care. Ain't my money. I don't appreciate the money ball analytics, we're gonna outsmart everyone approach. Just be like LA and go drop some coin on a bunch of South American guys. It's pretty simple 

Edited by SpursFlu
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15 hours ago, SpursFlu said:

Caps need to be a top 4 team in the Conference every year in my opinion. 

That is, statistically and mathematically, simply not going to happen.  So if that's the requirement for fans to support the team, the team is in trouble.

Edited by Kingston
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On 1/14/2023 at 6:42 PM, Watchmen said:

I actually don't think it's that much of a test case. I think if the Whitecaps do poorly, fans (especially downtown) just won't go out to any games. For people in the valley, I think a lot have already committed one way or the other. That they already broke from VWFC, and thus their results will be meaningless. Me, I'm just over the bridge from VFC, maybe a 15 min drive in no traffic. I'll get out to a handful of their games. But I'm invested in VWFC in a way I won't be with VFC.

I'm curious to see how it plays out over the next couple of seasons with VFC in the market.  I think you have a very significant segment of the current Caps fanbase that will continue to be oriented towards the "major league"/highest pro level of the sport in Canada/USA mentality.  

As an personal aside, I am beginning my bucket list journey in 2023 with a visit to Langley for a VFC match to go with my annual visits to PFC and the Caps.  I am keeping expectations low for the overall fan experience in VFC's inaugural season:  I think I will go very late in the regular season once they've got some of the bugs worked out.  Heck, I might even fly cross country for a TFC game to add to the comparisons!  (Maybe sneak in a York match)

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