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  1. It's been another stellar season for the UBC Thunderbirds, one they hope will end on Sunday in Toronto with their raising of their 14th CIS National Championship. The Thunderbirds finished the regular season with 10 wins and 2 draws from their 12 divisional matches. They only conceded a staggering five goals, banging in 31 at the other end in the process. They added another two in their Canada West quarter-final and semi-final match-ups before being made to work hard last weekend in a 2-1 extra time win over UVic Vikes that saw UBC crowned Canada West Champions for a record 16th time. Headi
  2. "I feel good after the last two weeks with my injury," Morales told AFTN at training on Thursday. "I feel good in my legs. I've been training hard the last two days with [Jon] Poli and I'm feeling nothing in my hamstring now." Just what to do with Morales heading into a crucial game with San Jose is certainly a dilemma for Robinson. The 'Caps coach had to use both Morales and Octavio Rivero off the bench in last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to New York City after both failed late fitness tests. He was told he could use both for 15 to 20 minutes. He got 23 minutes out of Morales and the Chilean look
  3. It's the quarter-final match-up many people were predicting, including ourselves in Podcast 113. We also tipped England for the win though, so let's hope that doesn't come true as well! Both teams will also have expected to be facing each other at this stage and they know each other's game inside and out. The two sides have played each other a number of times recently, most recently in a pre-tournament friendly in Hamilton, where Canada narrowly won thanks to a wonder strike from Sophie Schmidt. You can't read too much into friendlies of course, and the more worrying match for Canada to be
  4. Wirth graduated from the Whitecaps Residency program last summer, having joined the program in 2011. With many USSDA and PDL games now behind him, he headed to Oregon State University. Initially sharing starts in his rookie year with Junior keeper Matt Bersano, Wirth played five games, four of them starts. Despite winning three games, allowing just three goals and keeping two clean sheets, the Beavers coach decided to stick with the more experienced Bersano for the remainder of the season. It's hard to knock that decision as the Beavers made it to the postseason for the first time since 2003
  5. You saw that for this past Sunday's USL game when the 'Caps bizarrely marketed it in part as "The return of Long Tan". I'm not quite sure just who the target audience was with that one (apart from a certain 'Old Fan' on the Southsiders forum and he couldn't even make the game!). Having all that potential was all well and good, but the problem was that Tan didn't actually cut it on the pitch with the 'Caps in Major League Soccer. Now, some would argue that that was because he didn't get the opportunity. Tan decried that fact himself on Twitter. But, to us, the fact was that he just wasn't MLS
  6. The Uruguayan has had a tough start to his MLS career. Rodriguez joined Vancouver on a one-year loan with a transfer option from Primera Division side Club Atlético Juventud de Las Piedras in January. Beaten out of a starting spot in the preseason by veteran Pa Modou Kah, the centre back made his MLS debut with a start against Orlando City in the third week of the season. Rodriguez played well in the 1-0 win and many, ourselves included, felt that he immediately formed a formidable centre back pairing with Kendall Waston. It looked like they could be the partnership to move the club forward
  7. "He's the best," Robinson said bluntly when asked by reporters this week what makes Arena so successful. "You can talk about young coaches coming through and all that but he wins things. He gets the best out of his group of players. He's got some fantastic players to choose from by the way. "If you win and you've got good players and you're able to manage them and consistently do it, not just one year, but consistently do it, arguably you're the best. And he is the best. The way he conducts himself, the way he manages himself, the way he manages his players. To all of us young, aspiring coach
  8. Washington Huskies goalkeeper Richey was widely tipped to be taken pretty early on in the draft, but as things played out, the Whitecaps were able to get him with the penultimate pick of the third round, 61st overall. "I spent five years down at the University of Washington," Richey told AFTN. "It was an awesome experience. I'm super thankful for the staff and what that program did for me and for my soccer abilities especially. "Going in to the draft I didn't have a ton of idea where I was going to end up, which was kind of part of the fun of it." The fact that it ended up being the Whiteca
  9. Serban's rise within the Whitecaps has been swift. The defender came to the 'Caps Residency program in February last year, becoming an immediate starter and going on to make 15 appearances for the U18s in USSDA action. After an early playoff exit, Serban made the step up to the Whitecaps PDL side, making a further 11 appearances for the Caps. An obvious talent, the next stage of his development was always going to be key and Serban chose to head down the college route with UBC Thunderbirds, before returning to the 'Caps fold as one of the first signings on the new WFC2 roster. "It's very e
  10. Rosenlund has spent the past five years in the league with Rochester Rhinos, scoring 11 goals in 124 matches for the USL side. He knows the league. He knows the teams and style of play required to do well in it. It's an important pieceto have in the inexperienced WFC2 locker room and a key reason as to why Koch has brought him home to the Whitecaps. "I don't know the exact reasons, but I'm pretty sure that that was one of the reasons that Alan brought me in," Rosenlund told AFTN. "I was on a young team last year with Rochester, I captained the side. I've been in the league five years, I've pl
  11. This article is now located in full at AFTN's standalone site, http://aftn.ca/canadian-u18-international-dario-zanatta-leaves-whitecaps-to-explore-opportunities-in-europe-i-didnt-want-to-miss-out-on-the-opportunities-i-have-now/
  12. "The group are very lively, they've very competitive," Robinson told reporters after training on Thursday. "They're disagreeing on certain things, which is good, but they're talking and when you have a young group of players it's important that they communicate with each other respectfully. "We're coming along slowly, but nicely. If we can add one or two more into the picture then that will help us as well." So just how close or how far away are the Whitecaps from where he wants them to be right now? "I'm probably never where I want to be, in relation to the group and how good we can be," R
  13. If you've been sitting at home feeling it's simply been too long of an offseason, then you're in good company. Nicolas Mezquida felt the same and couldn't wait to get back to Vancouver, back in a Whitecaps shirt and playing football again. "It was a long vacation but I was missing the training," Mezquida was quick to admit. "I missed that, I missed the dressing room, I missed my teammates, so I'm happy for the start of preseason and this season, for me, I think will be the best." With the first week of training camp in the bag, Mezquida headed down to Arizona last week with the rest of the s
  14. Four trialists headed down to Arizona with the Whitecaps last week, but Earnshaw is the only one that is still sticking around. When Robinson brought him in he said the reason was twofold. The Welsh internationals go way back and Robinson wanted to help the prolific striker work on his fitness levels, while being in an environment that would allow the 'Caps coach to take a closer look at him in the process. Two weeks later, Robinson is still noncommittal, telling reporters on Friday that "We'll take a look at him and just see how it goes. There's no commitment from either end." From talking
  15. Clarke became the Whitecaps' sixth homegrown player to be signed to a MLS contract in April 2012, after an exemplary few years in the 'Caps Residency program. The 2011/12 USSDA season had seen Clarke play a key role in the Whitecaps' U18s run to the Championship game, scoring 24 goals in 27 games over the course of the campaign. Those of us who had watched him play the past couple of seasons knew what an exciting attacking talent he was and were excited to see what he could bring, and how he would develop, in the first team. Things didn't quite pan out as planned however. Clarke didn't get
  16. Koch's talents have been in demand before from professional clubs, so what was it about the coaching job with WFC2 that finally tempted him away from the Clan after seven years at the helm? "I've a lot of respect for the club. I've a lot of respect for the people that work for the club," Koch told AFTN. "I definitely have a very similar philosophy to Robbo. To move to the pro ranks when you don't have to leave home, or my adopted home, is obviously a lot easier. "I've had a lot of opportunities to go away and go live in another country and all that type of stuff, but those weren't the right
  17. McKendry's Junior NCAA season with New Mexico Lobos had caught the eye of several scouts. He was being rated highly and looking MLS ready. The midfielder loved his time in Albuquerque, but from a solely footballing perspective the time to make the move to the pro ranks with the Caps was now. "Obviously it's my home city, so I know the club pretty well, and that kind of made the decision a whole lot easier," McKendry told us. "If it was another club or another country it would be kind of a harder decision because I don't know exactly what I'm going in to. "The big part for me was coach Carl
  18. Having graduated in the fall after studying molecular biology biochemistry at SFU, Blagojevic's plan was always to attend medical school, as he told us when we spoke to him back in December 2013. But as he also told us in that interview, playing professional football was always his "childhood dream" and one he was prepared to put a guaranteed career on hold to chase. Blagojevic's move to MLS comes after another stellar personal season with the Clan last year in NCAA Division 2. He decided to head back to SFU for his senior year and although the Clan may have struggled overall as a team compa
  19. One month later and Banjo is in the pro ranks with the Whitecaps. It's quite the story and turnaround for the 22-year-old and one he didn't think he'd ever see coming. "It's a dream come true," Banjo told AFTN. "I've been working at this for years and it's a great feeling for it to finally come true. Banjo still remembers the shock and heartbreak of the meeting that broke the news that Towson were axing their soccer program. Staying on and finishing his degree was the only option he seriously considered, even if it meant no soccer. A meeting with UMBC head coach Pete Carinji Jr convinced him
  20. Have a listen! You can listen to this week's podcast on iTunes HERE. Or download it for your later listening delight HERE. We also have an iPhone app, so you can now add our podcast to your phone as an app. Visit the podcast's mobile site HERE and then at the bottom of the screen just click the "Quick Launch" icon and the podcast will be added to your home screen and appear as an app. And if that's not enough, we've joined Stitcher Radio Network. Download the app and listen to the AFTN podcast on your device, along with over 15,000 shows HERE. Or after all that, you could just listen on t
  21. "Yeah, everything that's been happening just feels dreamy," Froese said at training on Monday. "Honestly, the night after the game, and right after the game, I just kept replaying it. The crowd, the people, the support. It's just unbelievable. "I wasn't sure I was going to [play] when I went. I just went on the field and tried to enjoy every moment of it, watching everybody and everything. It was great." A whirlwind for sure, but how much of those 45 minutes on the pitch (52 I guess with all the stoppage time!) did Kianz get to enjoy and savour, or did it all just fly by? "No, it flew by, l
  22. "I had no doubts about throwing him in at all," Robinson told us about Dean's start at the weekend. "People sort of said it was a big risk for me to throw him in away at Dallas but every decision you make is a risk and it was one that I had always planned. I had planned to do it earlier on in the season when we went away to Chicago, to play him. Unfortunately something had happened so I couldn't and this was the chance for him and I think he did very well and coped very well and he should be proud of his performance." Dean's first MLS start came in his home state. His family live in Houston
  23. "They're fantastic signings for the club," Robinson told reporters. "I'm absolutely delighted to get those two on board, especially now with a couple of months to go till the end of the season because it's important. It's important for them to get to grips with what it's like being a MLS professional, getting used to the environment for January when they come because it's the progression I want as the manager of the club as well as what the club want. "I think it's important for the growth of this club that we see players coming through regularly. Not just one year, every three or four years,
  24. From the moment the first rumours of Brazilian striker Camilo Sanvezzo's transfer from Vancouver Whitecaps to Mexican side Queretaro FC surfaced, one name was mentioned as being the main man responsible for the controversial transfer - Camilo's agent, Lucas Teixeira. Teixeira is Director of International Relations with the FootballBrazil company and agency, and he manages the careers of professional soccer players, including former Whitecaps striker, and 2013 MLS Golden Boot winner, Camilo Sanvezzo. Talking exclusively to AFTN's Aaron Campbell, Lucas spoke directly from his office in Praia G
  25. Vancouver Whitecaps' Residency players are currently on a six year Canadian U17 player of the year winning streak. Russell Teibert did the double in 2008 and 2009. Bryce Alderson in 2010 and 2011 and Marco Carducci for the last two years, 2012 and 2013. All have been rewarded with MLS contracts by the Whitecaps. The next group of young players are now competing to be the next one named and one player who has catapulted his way into the conversation is Victoria, BC native Dario Zanatta. This season Zanatta, who turns 17 later this month, has scored 19 goals in 21 games for the Whitecaps, and
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