After losing to FC Dallas in the first round of the playoffs last year, the Whitecaps coaching staff had a lot to think about in the off-season. Head Coach Carl Robinson knew where the team needed to improve and set his sights on South America to bring players to Vancouver.
The Caps added four players to their roster in the offseason. They added veteran defender Pa-Modou Kah from rivals the Portland Timbers. They also added two Uruguayans, striker Octavio Rivero and defender Diego Rodriguez. Veteran Welshman Robert Earnshaw was also signed. With returning players, such as David Ousted, Matias Laba, Kendall Waston, and captain Pedro Morales, the fans felt very optimistic about the new season.
We started off the season very well and for the first half of the season the Caps were contending to win the Western Conference. The Whitecaps went from just making the playoffs last year to fighting for the conference title this year. Around the halfway point of the season, Robinson and his coaching staff signed Uruguayan midfielder Christian Techera. The one thing that caught everyone’s attention was that Techera stood at five foot 2 inches. He would add to an offence that was already one of the best in the league.
The Whitecaps coaching staff did a very good job of keeping a good balance between the veteran players along with the young players. 19 year old Kianz Froese, 22 year old Tim Parker, and 20 year old Sam Adekugbe were all given chances in the first team throughout the season.
At the end of August, the Caps season started to take a turn for the worse. The squad started suffering from injuries and the Caps did not have a lot of their first team players available for selection. On September 19 the caps started to go on a cold streak. Carl Robinson’s side went winless for the next five games. Even though they went on this losing streak, the Caps still clinched a playoff spot mainly because of their success during the first half of the year. Going into the last game of the year against the Houston Dynamo, a win would give Vancouver its first ever MLS Playoffs game at home at BC Place. Even though the boys were in bad form, they were able to win 3-0 and clinch second place in the conference and a bye to the conference semifinals.
The Whitecaps will play their first playoff game away from home on November 1 and will play the home leg on the two leg series on November 8. With the players returning from injury and with the backing of the amazing fan-base, can the Vancouver Whitecaps make history and win the MLS Cup.
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