Vancouver Whitecaps 2014 Season Preview

March 5, 2014

The Vancouver Whitecaps are still a work in progress entering their fourth season, as new coach Carl Robinson, his assistant Martyn Perl, and the Caps' brass are building a team for the future. Robinson and his team will get a very good test on Saturday at BC Place against The Red Bulls from New York.

The Caps youth movement includes the likes of Kekuta Manneh, 19; Marcos Bustas, 17; Sam Adekugbe, 19; Omar Salgado, 20; Matias Laba, 22; Darren Mattocks, 23; rookie Christian Dean; and Erik Hurtado, 24.

In addition to this youth corps, the Caps also acquired a group of young South American midfielder/playmakers in Chilean Pedro Morales, and Uruguayans Sebastian Fernandez, 24, and Nicolas Mezguida, 22.

The task facing Coach Robinson and his assistants is to blend this group of talented young players with returning veterans Nigel Reo-Coker, James Harvey, Gershon Coffie, Kenny Miller, Russell Teibert, and captain Jay DeMerit.

The playmaker role was woeful last year with very little production, making it one area that needed to be addressed in the off season. Surely, the new signings listed above will help address that problem.

What formations or systems the team uses are details that the technical team will alter as the opposition or occasion will demand. Robinson also will have to guide his young charges carefully, and hope that there is no language or cultural issues.

The Caps have speed and quickness in Manneh, Mattocks, and Hurtado up front, and very good wide play from Teibert.

But what was lacking last year was a playmaker to create for those men up front. Fortunately, Robinson now has some players to mold, and he will succeed if he specifically gives the young squad players a chance to contribute.

Finally, for the season to truly be considered a success, the Caps will have to win the Canadian Championship, and make it deep into postseason play.

By Kwenu Turkson
Contributing Writer for

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