Left Coast By Design

Tag: Soccer (page 2 of 2)

Whitecaps FC – The Renniesance

You’ve probably seen me rant, rant again and rave about the Whitecaps FC before – I figured its my right as a season ticket holder y’know – so how do I feel about this season? Cautiously optimistic.

Whitecaps FC vs Impact Montreal FC

Courtesy of the Whitecaps FC

Extending their un-defeated season home opener streak to two games, the 2-0 triumph over the expansion Montreal Impact is a good start. What I hope it’s not is a similar false sense of security we felt after last years win against the Toronto FC. But I shall again, remain cautiously optimistic.

So what of the match itself (for those not wanting to watch the highlight pack above)? Nothing too special in my opinion, though I did have a few thoughts:

  • The Y.P. Lee Fan Club – Lee was solid on the back line. In fact, the use of his head is the sole reason the clean sheet remained intact. Regardless of all that, if the number of fans cheering his every move (including a throw-in) and holding up posters of him at every opportunity is any indication, the Whitecaps FC have found a new demographic of fans.
  • Sebastian Le Toux – His first half goal is down as the earliest score in an MLS opening match ever, just so you know. Moreover, his responsible play looks to be the perfect complement to the bombastic Eric Hassli.
  • The Atmosphere – Either the Southsiders have signed half the stadium up or the fans have become quite a bit more savvy. And it was loud. Very, very loud. That said, definitely a shame that the roof remained closed at BC Place.

Were you there on Saturday? What did you think?

Protect What Turf?

Earlier in the season, I talked about the passion I have for the game of soccer and by extension the Whitecaps FC. Even though the team’s record may not indicate a modicum of success, I do like what I am seeing on the pitch from a number of players and foresee big things happening with the team should the organization understand a championship squad is not built in a season or two.

What I don’t like is what I received via email today.

SSFC v VanWCaps_20110611_053

Eric Hassli – courtesy of Noelle Noble

Dear Season Ticket Holder,

First off, congratulations! You have done a great job of living up to the Whitecaps Supporter Pledge. Don’t let up yet, but well done so far on striving to make every Whitecaps match a unique soccer experience that you can call your own.

Now, Eric Hassli has something to say about protecting your turf – for 2012 that is.

You’ve done an excellent job of telling your friends and colleagues to try us out. You’ve helped draw the attention of the media, to see what all the fuss is about. But now, that attention is translating into competition for the best seats for the 2012 season. So next Thursday, August 18, be ready to protect your turf.

So let me get this straight. Eric Hassli needs me to help protect my turf? Sure, I guess I’m down with that. Eric is a pretty decent footballer and I did help convince Mozy19 to get himself a pair of season tickets too.

Here’s how:

You will receive your 2012 season ticket invoice and deposit information via email on Thursday August 18, 2011. Review your invoice, determine if you want any changes, then call our office at 604.669.9283 to confirm your 2012 seats. If we don’t hear from you right away, we’ll follow up with you to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to protect your turf. We know it’s not easy, renewing your seats before the first match on Bell Pitch downtown at BC Place. But we’ve rewarded you for your support before, and we’ll do it again. In fact, we’ll do it again and again.

Every two weeks, all committed 2012 season ticket holders will be entered into a draw for great bonus prizes from our partners. Stuff like an overnight stay in a penthouse suite plus lots of perks from the River Rock Casino Resort; or a prize pack featuring tickets, merchandise, and a $50 gift certificate from PlayNow.com; or a Whitecaps-branded mini-fridge from Budweiser!

Plus, two Grand Prizes to be drawn in October – a trip for two to MLS Cup 2011 in Los Angeles, including airfare, hotel, and tickets to the match.

Wait a minute. You’re asking me to commit my hard-earned money towards renewing my 2011 seasons tickets for the 2012 season without ever even setting foot in the stadium and seeing if I like my seats or not? And for this, you’ll give me a chance at winning some prizes. A chance?

You must renew your season tickets with the applicable deposit in order to be entered. And there’s good reason to get in early. Once you’ve renewed your season tickets, you will be automatically entered into ALL subsequent draws. The full list of bonus prizes and draw dates will be announced on whitecapsfc.com on August 18.

Every season ticket holder has been a big part of making our Whitecaps matches an experience that we can all call our own. Now get ready to protect your turf, and keep the momentum growing for the remainder of 2011 and into 2012.

Your Whitecaps FC Ticketing team

While I’m appreciative of the tickets to the Manchester City friendly (albeit on one of the worst pitches I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty bad ones locally), I’m having trouble understanding the need to get my money so soon. Heck, I didn’t even have to pay for my season tickets this season until late January. And what exactly do I benefit from if I commit so early? Entry to a contest where my odds are likely the same as those 50/50 tickets I buy at Empire Field.

In all likelihood, I’ll look to renew my tickets. I enjoy the game and I believe there is a light somewhere at the end of the proverbial tunnel. What irritates me about the experience is my perception of how the organization feels some level of entitlement to my entertainment dollars before they deserve to receive them. The team’s record is atrocious, the play on the pitch lacks chemistry, they sacked a coach midway through the season and have a worse record under the replacement, and yet they still want me to give my money for seats I may despise once I sit in them.

Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

Slash rant.

Update: Two things to add to the post. If we were talking about renewing my seats at Empire Field, I’d be okay with that. I’ve sat in them all season and have no issue. Secondly, just received word that the cost of the season tickets is increasing 3% (due to increased costs to be in BC Place). Go figure, but I thought some people received a freaking discount THIS season because we weren’t in BC Place – haven’t sat in my seat there yet it’s already costing me more money. ARGH!

Rainy Impressions of Empire Field

Yes, the beautiful game still gets played when the sky opens up. I just don’t suggest wearing denim if you’re going to sit and watch a match. It gets very cold. Quickly.

Empire Field

A Dark and Stormy Night – courtesy of Matt Boulton

But I’m hardcore.

Having benefited from the weather control machine the Whitecaps FC picked up during the MLS Super Draft, last night was the first night those of us sitting beyond the short reaches of the touchline canopy had the pleasure of enjoying precipitation. And although I had taken steps to stay warm in the rain, it provided for a cold evening. At least I had the foresight to bring a towel to dry off my seat.

What about the product on the field you ask? Well… lets just say that chemistry was not made with the introduction of H2O. I understand that the team is still trying to figure each other out. Being an expansion team is tough. And as such, I’ll cut them a fair amount of slack. But what I find tough is one specific thing.

I can’t stand the fact that Camilo goes to ground so easy.

After providing such a stellar effort in the second game, it seems he’s now busier looking to get the free kick than he is at fighting through some of the challenges he faces. In fact, I swear that Camilo gives up at least two or three goal scoring opportunities looking for the referee to give him a call. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a great player who exudes skill. But a great player dripping with skill that goes unused is nothing more than just a bit player in an eleven piece puzzle.

Beyond that, all things considered I’ve been happy with most results this season and maybe my frustration is just weather related.

Heck, I’m still trying to dry out and warm up.

First Impressions of the Whitecaps FC

Growing up in Vancouver as a player of the beautiful game, the Whitecaps (and by extension for a period of time, the 86ers) have always counted on me being a fan. I can’t say I’ve made it to as many games, having sporadically attended them when they played at Swangard Stadium, but I do remember attending one game when I was really young at Empire Stadium. So when the opportunity of becoming a seasons ticket holder for the inaugural season in the MLS presented itself, I spent money I didn’t really have and became one. Hurray for credit!

IMG_1259

Whitecaps FC – courtesy of RosieTulips

Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to attend the home opener against Toronto FC as I was in Vegas for a friend’s wedding – what a match to have missed! The ‘caps took it to the squad from the Big Smoke and triumphed with a 4-2 result under cooperative skies – all accounts had me hearing that Empire Field was the perfect venue for an ecstatic soccer crowd. So upon arrival for the second home match against Sporting Kansas City, I was pretty darn amped.

Presentation wise, the Whitecaps FC and Empire Field staff have done a tremendous job at outfitting the stadium. I would imagine they picked up a few pointers from the BC Lions past season, but mad props for putting together a welcoming venue – even the lineups for beer and food were manageable all things considered.

And then there was the match itself. Having grown up on the sport (played, officiated, and coached at various levels youth and adult), I have always understood that the result is not final until the last whistle is blown. Although the Whitecaps carried play for much of the first half, Sporting was able to notch a late marker during injury time to go up by one. Then early in the second half, two complete “brain farts” by the ‘caps set them down by three. Making matters worse, the traitor-some Teal Bunbury had scored those first two KC goals.

But as mentioned earlier, the match wasn’t over quite yet.

With head coach Teitur Thordarson (don’t make Teitur mad, you don’t want to see Teitur mad) sending in Davide Chiumiento and Nizar Khalfan late in the second, the substitutions began to go to work on what appeared to be a tired opposing back line. In the 73rd minute, Atiba Harris notched the ‘caps first goal of the day after Khalfan burned past the KC right back. Then in injury time, Camilo notched his first and second goals just a minute apart to tie the game. No word of a lie, I thought Empire Field was about to explode. I can’t begin to imagine what would have happened had Camilo been able to notch the hatty just a minute after that (his shot missed just high and wide).

I’ve seen comebacks before. But there’s something about the one I witnessed on Saturday that has me already jonesing for what may occur Wednesday night the New England Revolution. It was as close to magical as I can describe. In fact, if you weren’t there you missed something you’ll never see again.

So where will you be? Will you be with us at Empire Field? Buy a ticket, take the pledge, and make sure you’re in your seat before kickoff!

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