After failing to win the USL-1 title and a Nutrilite championship, the Vancouver Whitecaps have started to make some off-season moves. Returning the Whitecaps this season is the team captain Martin Nash. Nash will enter his 10th season with the ‘Caps in what may likely be his last as the club will move to the Major League Soccer in 2011. I suggest and hope that if Nash continues his career in soccer following next season, he would make an excellent assistant coach with the MLS squad.
Meanwhile, leaving the Whitecaps are USL-1’s leading goal scorer Charles Gbeke, defender Lyle Martin and midfielder Vicente Arze. All those players were released on Thursday. On Friday, the ‘Caps released goalkeeper Diego, defenders Michael Ndubuisi Onwatuegwu and Marco Reda, as well as striker Aaron Wheeler.
The Whitecaps look like with the release of Gbeke, they are going young and fast next season. It appears Marlon James will be back, but it’ll be a chance for Marcus Haber to continue his rookie of the year performance in the sophomore season, plus a great chance for Dever Orgill and Randy Edwini-Bonsu to prove themselves.
The one thing the Whitecaps will need to improve on next season is defense and that it not lost on the Whitecaps management. With Nash returning, it’ll be interesting to see who will play alongside him. Ethan Gage had a tremendous year last season, before falling back into the residency squad this season. This season, Kenold Versaille, Nizar Khalfan and Tyrell Burgess have all been given an opportunity to play in the middle of the park in 2011.
One this is for certain, there will be a lot of players playing to make an impression, which could mean good things for the fan. Guys are going to be creative, energetic and fighting to make a Major League Soccer team here in Vancouver.