As the Vancouver Whitecaps arrive at the midpoint of their preseason, fans were once again brought face to face with the realities of a salary capped league on Thursday when fan favourite midfielder Gershon Koffie was shipped off to the New England Revolution for an undisclosed sum.
It was a somewhat muted reaction from Caps supporters, perhaps tempered by persistent rumours over the off-season that the Ghanaian was on his way overseas. He’s certainly made no secret over the years of his desire to test himself in Europe. There was also a sense that something had to give with Vancouver’s roster. The math didn’t appear to add up, and the club looked to be transitioning to a more attacking mentality that would, depending on the formation, leave Koffie struggling to find minutes alongside Russell Teibert, Ben McKendry and Deybi Flores. Continue reading Fare Thee Well Gershon Koffie→
Ah, the home-and-home. Beloved institution of NHL schedule-makers, now being adopted by the demented spider monkeys that determine the Major League Soccer schedule by, one assumes, flinging their faeces at team logos on the wall and seeing what sticks. The Vancouver Whitecaps take to the road this coming Saturday to face the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Stubhub Center before returning home next weekend for a rematch at BC Place.
The Caps have a tall order this weekend. They have yet to manage a single point against the Galaxy on the road, being outscored by a dismal 12-2 in their five losses. This club, at full strength, could likely compete well with the Galaxy, but alas they will not be at full strength.
After last week’s historic win over Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC, it was a foregone conclusion that Sunday’s afternoon match against the Chicago Fire was going to be somewhat of a letdown. Even those around the team worried about Whitecaps FC perhaps not giving the last-place Fire enough respect. “More nervous than last week,” tweeted team ambassador Carl Valentine through his @CarlTwoOne Twitter account. “The team really needs to focus and we will get the job done.”
The game on Sunday, then, lived up to expectations, with the Caps sleepwalking through much of the first half. Don’t believe me? Check the highlights below: there’s not a single play shown between kickoff and the 42nd minute. There were a couple of early chances, but they were both for Chicago. A hand ball missed by the officials allowed Fire forward Chris Rolfe a glorious chance in close, but Whitecaps keeper Brad Knighton continued his recent strong play with a goal line stand. In fact, he would throw 92 minutes and 50 seconds of clean sheet at Chicago before they broke the shutout with mere seconds left in stoppage time.
As the month of June draws to a close, the Vancouver Whitecaps are already –somewhat sadly, in a way– sitting on their best month of the MLS era in terms of point production. The Caps’ previous best, eight points in each of March and July last season, was eclipsed when they beat bottom-of-the-West Chivas USA a week ago. Now, Vancouver looks to beat bottom-of-the-East DC United on Saturday. If they do, they’ll take 12 out of a possible 15 June points before heading in to a tough July schedule.
Gershon Koffie has had quite a week. He signed a contract extension with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, received his Canadian Permanent Residency papers, and finished off a lovely six-man passing play to score the opening goal of the 2013 season at BC Place. Now he’s been nominated for the MLS Goal of the Week award, to be voted upon by fans across the league.
Koffie pounded home a right footer after Daigo Kobayashi Maru’d him a one-touch pass amid all kinds of red Toronto FC shirts. (That’s not just some lame Star Trek reference. Count them in the video below, you’ll see eight TFC players watching four Whitecaps make pretty passes to each other in the danger area. The Maru thing? Yeah, that’s me geeking out.)
More, including video of the league’s top five goals, after the jump. Hey, while you’re here, why not give a lousy five bucks to my Ride to Conquer Cancer campaign?