No one should be safe from Whitecaps off-season questions
Oct 19, 2013; Commerce City, CO, USA; Colorado Rapids defender German Mera (33) celebrates a win with defender Drew Moor (3) in front of Vancouver Whitecaps forward Camilo Sanvezzo (7) after the end of the match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids won 3-2. (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC have just one match remaining in the 2013 season. Whether or not you believe the season was a success or failure depends on a variety of factors. One thing is for sure, the fans and ownership should be demanding more out of their team.
The Whitecaps’ playoff hopes ended Saturday with a loss to Colorado, with the team missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. Competing for top spot in the Major League Soccer mid-season, the Whitecaps plunged into a horrific second half. After starting July undefeated, Vancouver went on to win just three of 14 matches, tumbling out of a playoff position.
It’s the second year in a row that the back half of the MLS season has ended so poorly for Vancouver. Last season the club was able to get into the playoffs, but weren’t as lucky in 2013.
With the Vancouver Canucks flaming out early in the playoffs, the Whitecaps had an opportunity to be THE Vancouver sports franchise for 40-straight days. Unfortunately, they couldn’t, losing the Amway Canadian Championship again and disappointing fans.
For a club that has claimed it wants to win trophies, the ‘Caps have failed to lift much hardware. In their short existence, Vancouver has only been able to win the Cascadia Cup — which is more about bragging rights than anything else — and a preseason Disney Pro Soccer Classic trophy, which means even less.
With just one trophy — yes, forget about the Mickey Mouse trinket — to show so far, are the owners of the Whitecaps fulfilling their ambitions? Are they ready to make changes in order to achieve the lofty goals of playoffs, MLS Cups and perhaps an appearance or two in the CONCACAF Champions League?
Since Vancouver joined MLS in 2011, what have the ‘Caps accomplished? A Cascadia Cup, three different head coaches — all with losing records —over 60 different players in three seasons, and a loss in its one playoff appearance.
Time for Vancouver fans to demand more out of ownership, which needs to start questioning what is happening within the club. Questions about the team’s woes don’t just begin and end with the coaches and players, but also the leadership group within the club executive.
After three years of disappointment, no one should be safe. The excuse that “there’s always next season” isn’t good enough anymore.
Tyler is a freelance soccer reporter covering Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Canadian National Teams. Follow Tyler on twitter @tylergreenfc.