Friday, March 20, 2009

Vancouver Whitecaps Preview

The Vancouver Whitecaps are coming off a USL-1 Championship in 2008, but it will be a far different squad this season than the one that won last season. Gone are veterans Eduardo Sebrango, Jeff Clarke, Alfredo Valente and Steve Kindell. New to the squad are Canadian defender Marco Reda, and midfielder Ansu Toure. Martin Nash takes over as club captain. It will be a younger and hungrier squad than last year, and Whitecaps FC President Bob Lenarduzzi thinks the team will be ready to start the season: “All our training is just a means to an end, to be at our best when we begin the season.”

On the pitch, the Whitecaps’ biggest struggle will be scoring goals after losing Eduardo Sebrango and Nicholas Addlery, last season’s top two goal scorers. The pressure is on 2008 USL-1 Final MVP Charles Gbeke to pick up the goal scoring slack, while Canadian Marcus Haber and Vincentian Marlon James will also feel pressure to provide goals for the Whitecaps this season.

Jay Nolly will be between the posts for Vancouver again this season and will anchor head coach Teitur Thordarson’s solid backline. The outlook for the Whitecaps is a playoff berth, but unless the Whitecaps re-discover their scoring touch, it will be a short playoff run with no hope of a Championship repeat in ‘09.

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