by OSC Special Edition
February 28, 2017 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC enters the 2017 MLS season under very high pressure. The last two MLS championships have gone to their rivals, Seattle and Portland. All eyes are now on them to match their competitors.
The Whitecaps had one of their poorest seasons last year. They missed the playoffs for the first time in three years. Now they seek to reclaim their lost glory against 14-1 Vegas odds.
The second half of the last season brought out the worst in the Whitecaps. Teamwork and discipline flew out as goals leaked in. They ended the season with a record eight red cards. Not to mention David Ousted and Pedro Morales infamous fight during training.
The lowest moment was, however, on July 9th. Vancouver Whitecaps were going against the Colorado Rapids. It was a balanced match until just before halftime, when Kekutta Manneh suffered a season-ending metatarsal bone injury. This was a bad time to lose a key attacker. The team had just sold Octavio Rivero to Colo Colo. Manneh leaving the field was, therefore, quite the disaster.
Vancouver Whitecaps also lost the Canadian championship. A collision between Watson and Ousted gifted the winning goal to Toronto FC.
2016 was, however, not all bleak and gloom. The team shone in the CONCACAF League. They won every match in their group. The team even won the Cascadia Cup. They handed the Portland Timbers a 4-1 thrashing on decision day.
The Whitecaps have made some notable changes to their roster. Fredy Montero stands out as a key acquisition. MLS pundits even have him pegged for the next Camilo Sanvezzo. Time will tell.
Yordy Reyna and Sheanon Williams are two other notable additions. Williams may just be what the Whitecap's need for their troubled right back. Other new faces include: Spencer Richey Kyle Greig Jake Nerwinski
Yordy Rena will, however, not be much help. The Peruvian attacker suffered an injury, similar to Manneh's. He has since undergone surgery and may be out for months. Another notable loss is Pedro Morales, who had been very vital to the team for three seasons. Other losses include: Goalkeeper Marco Carducci Fraiser Aird Jordan Smith Masato Kudo Blas Perez Kianz Froese
Carl Robinson still heads the Whitecap's coaching staff. Robinson had the team in excellent condition at the 2015 MLS season. Fans are hoping he has restored the Whitecaps to their former glory.
With Sheanon Williams as a key addition to defense, and Watson and Parker, determined to restore to their 2015 form, the Whitecaps have a shot at redemption.