Tag Archives: Whitecaps

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Whitecaps Wednesday – Yet More MLS Expansion

Let me tell you a story about soccer, greed and spending outside your means.

Once upon a time, there was a league of soccer teams in North America called the North American Soccer League. (Nobody in 1968 had an imagination, more’s the pity. ) Despite a rocky start, the NASL accomplished quite a bit in a short time. In 1969, the league had only five teams, and an average attendance under 3,000. Only a decade later, the league’s heyday saw 24 teams compete before an average attendance of over 14,000. Five years after that, in 1985, the league was dead. Continue reading

Gershon Koffie assisted on two Whitecaps FC goals in their only defeat of the LA Galaxy: a 3-1 win last season at BC Place. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Preview: Whitecaps at Galaxy

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.

Gershon Koffie assisted on two Whitecaps FC goals in their only defeat of the LA Galaxy: a 3-1 win last season at BC Place. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Gershon Koffie assisted on two Whitecaps FC goals in their only defeat of the LA Galaxy: a 3-1 win last season at BC Place. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

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.

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Darren Mattocks celebrates his first goal of the season. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Whitecaps Wednesday – Just A Moment(s)

Whitecaps WednesdayA while ago, Lexus came out with an ad campaign focusing on “moments.” It’s actually rather well done as far as car commercials go. I’m sure you remember it…images of smiling faces, forlorn looks and miraculous events flash by while some guy reads a sweetly written poem about how we all experience these moments.

The Whitecaps happened to experience a few of those this past week versus the Colorado Rapids. High moments, low moments, hopeful moments and desperate moments all made appearances as the Caps saw their unbeaten streak to start the 2014 MLS season come to an end.

Miller: "You know, you got away with one there." Irwin: "Yeah, yeah." Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Kenny Miller and Clint Irwin take a moment to discuss dubious officiating. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

In the interest of delivering the good news first, let’s start with the high moments.

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Goats ‘N’ Prose – Whitecaps FC VS Chivas USA

After an impressive season opener last Saturday, the Whitecaps will look to continue their strong play in California tomorrow. They’ll take on a Chivas USA team that also turned some heads in their 3-2 victory last weekend. In fact, these two teams have a little more in common than simply opening the season with wins.WhitecapsLogo300

The USA Goats, much like the Caps, have undergone an off-season of change. Both clubs promoted MLS assistant coaches to manage their teams – Chivas found their man in former Colorado Rapids assistant Wilmer Cabrera. Vancouver’s hire of Carl Robinson has already been well documented in this town.

Carl Robinson focused on retooling the Caps midfield to encourage forward movement from the middle of the park. Chivas recruited playmaker Mauro Rosales, formerly of the Seattle Sounders, to solidify their midfield.

The Whitecaps newcomers, Seba Fernandez and Pedro Morales (amongst others) both had stunning debuts for their club, as did Rosales. He assisted on Chivas’ second and third goals versus the Chicago Fire to secure the win. You say Morales, I say Rosales, let’s call the whole thing off. Continue reading

Whitecaps FC – First Kick 2014

Phew. That was exciting, wasn’t it? If Saturday was any indication, Carl Robinson’s version WhitecapsLogo300of the Whitecaps will be something to keep your eyes on. The team knocked out a 4-1 win over the Henry-less New York Red Bulls in what seemed like somewhat of a cakewalk.

Granted, the Red Bulls were not playing with their full complement of personnel, but I’m not convinced the outcome would have been any different regardless of rosters. Almost everything went right for the Whitecaps, who have now won all four season openers since entering MLS in 2011.

It was a dream start for the new head coach, who watched his squad outplay their opponents in all aspects of the match. The real story though, was how the Whitecaps’ overhauled midfield controlled the game from the opening kick-off. New recruits Matias Laba, Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales (in limited minutes) looked positively brilliant.

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Kickoff 2014 – Whitecaps VS Red Bulls

The dawn of a new MLS season is upon us and the anticipation surrounding Vancouver’s squad is positively palpable. A new look Whitecaps team, featuring a handful of new arrivals and a new manager, opens their season this Saturday at BC Place stadium against the New York Red Bulls.

In response to Kenny Miller's brace of goals, Hervé (@1stLineCentre) leads the Southsiders in a stirring rendition of Ludvig van Beethoven's adaptation of Freidrich Schiller's poem, Ode to Joy. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

The Southsiders will be back at BC Place stadium when the Whitecaps 2014 season kicks off Saturday, March 7. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

The defending Supporter’s Shield winners from New York, largely unchanged from 2013, feature a stable of talented forwards and a steady backline. Although, it appears that Thierry Henry may once again sit this one out as his tender French footsies cannot handle the tough turf at BC Place. He has yet to play a game in Vancouver. Shameful.

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The Cascadia Cup looks upon BC Place, its home for the 2014 MLS season, after Whitecaps FC won the trophy for consistent performance up and down the northwest corridor last season. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Bienvenue, monsieur Henry

WhitecapsLogo300I was challenged by Whitecaps FC physiotherapist Graeme Poole to Take a Bite out of the Big Apple in a #CapsNomination earlier this week. Needless to say, instead of putting together a half-arsed, iPhone filmed response tout de suite, I took four days to mine the interweb for cheesy sound effects and put together a half-arsed, iPhone-filmed response. FX make all the difference, don’t you think?

The Caps take on Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls at 4:30 on Saturday March 8 in their 2014 season opener. As of the writing of this post, there were fewer than a thousand tickets left.

Remember, Whitecaps FC go into the 2014 season with a substantially retooled roster — gone are the underperforming Daigo Kobayashi and the dirty, rotten, stinkin’ traitor Camilo, and in are promising attacking midfielders Matías Laba and Pedro Morales. There are numerous young players looking to stamp their cleats upon this team, and it’s new bench boss Carl Robinson‘s job to get them on the pitch a little more often than his predecessor did.

All the while, this team is looking to defend its fourth Cascadia Cup (more on that here from the ever-eloquent Chris Withers), and challenge for its first-ever Canadian Championship trophy against a massively restocked Toronto FC side (soccer poet Russell Arbuthnot is on tap for some of this action).

The Cascadia Cup looks upon BC Place, its home for the 2014 MLS season, after Whitecaps FC won the trophy for consistent performance up and down the northwest corridor last season. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

The Cascadia Cup looks upon BC Place, its home for the 2014 MLS season, after Whitecaps FC won the trophy for consistent performance up and down the northwest corridor last season. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Pucked In The Head’s 1st Annual Whitecaps Off-Season Playlist

It was an off-season filled with questions after a second half meltdown left the Whitecaps WhitecapsLogoon the outside looking in at the 2013-14 MLS playoffs. Where did it all go wrong? Would Martin Rennie keep his job? Who would step into the departing Y-P Lee’s boots? Could management finally land that elusive attacking midfielder?

Naturally, these questions can only be answered by a rousing playlist, featuring nothing but classic songs by classic artists.

I pored over the YouTube archives, spending no less than 32 minutes searching high and low for the finest musical contributions of the last 50 years. Now, without further ado, I present to you the:

 

1st Annual Whitecaps Off-Season Playlist!

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The Vancouver Whitecaps have seen an impressive run of play from young Canadian forward Russell Teibert. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Whitecaps Preseason Roundup

Hi. Remember me? I'm Chris Withers. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Hi. Remember me? I’m Chris Withers. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Hi, I’m Chris.

You may remember me as that guy who used to write things on this site from time to time before inexplicably going away for several months!

I’m back now, having dusted off the ol’ keyboard, and I have opinions about the Whitecaps that I will be relaying to you presently.

(Note: Mr Withers is not only a snazzy dresser and the co-founder of PitH — he’s also pretty active as the Director of External Communications of the single largest Whitecaps FC supporter group there is. So much so, in fact,  that he appeared on a recent episode of From the Backline podcast to discuss the Southside experience.) Continue reading

Camilo scored on a spectacular side scissor kick to pull Vancouver Whitecaps FC even with the Portland Timbers in MLS action October 9, 2013. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Say It Ain’t So Camilo

The Whitecaps’ offseason of upheaval continues amid reports the club’s MVP, Camilo, is leaving for greener pastures and paycheques in Mexico. The only problem is, according to the Whitecaps, this isn’t even a possibility considering the Brazilian is still under contract with the team through 2014.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Camilo is the ultimate love-him-or-hate-him kind of player. Whichever side of the fence you're on, you can't deny the game is more interesting with him on the pitch. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the head.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Camilo is the ultimate love-him-or-hate-him kind of player. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, you can’t deny the game is more interesting with him on the pitch. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the head.

Adolfo Rios, chairman of Querétaro FC, contradicted this assertion on January 2nd, telling a website that Camilo’s reps at FootballBrazil had informed him the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner was a free agent.

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