Left Coast By Design

Tag: Whitecaps FC (page 1 of 2)

The 91st Minute – March 28 vs Portland Timbers

Doing something new this season, I plan on giving you a few of my thoughts at the end of every Whitecaps FC match I attend or watch. I’ve grown up on the game of soccer my whole life and feel that my opinion from the safety of my keyboard is just as good as the next blogger. Or at least pretty close to as good. Now on with our regularly scheduled feature.

After rattling off two wins on the road against the Chicago Fire and the expansion Orlando City SC, even the pessimistic of the fan base had to believe the ‘Caps were primed to notch their first MLS home victory against the Portland Timbers. And while a late marker – in the 91st Minute to boot – from Robert Earnshaw got them the win, not entirely sure the pessimists would be too happy.

That’s because the Whitecaps thought it best to play a road game at home.

Sure a win is a win is a win on any day of the week, but I’m thoroughly concerned that a derby match at home brought out a somehow tired Whitecaps squad. You had a “sold out” stadium with a solid contingent of Timbers Army supporters. You had the coaches getting into it via the media. The atmosphere was there. And yet, the play on the field was completely lacking.

Aside from two or three clean opportunities, the team was absent of chemistry and thoroughly outplayed by the Timbers. In fact, if not for that late game magic from recently signed Earnshaw and stellar play from Ousted, this could easily be marked as just another loss to the Timbers. Heck, it would’ve been a loss to the Timbers if possession were the only indication (Timbers had the ball 65% of the time!).

A Few Things

  • Where did the early connection between Octavio Rivero and Pedro Morales go? Or are teams now catching on and defending them well? Even though it seemed like Pedro and Octavio weren’t on the same page, it sure looked like the Timbers were reading both regardless.
  • How Pedro Morales goes seems to dictate how the Whitecaps go. Let’s hope we get creative Pedro against the Galaxy.
  • Props to Nicolas Mezquida on his performance filling in for the injured Mauro Rosales. Sure he scored the opening goal from a solid set piece, but what impressed me the most was his two-way game. It was quite obvious that Sam Adekugbe struggled once Mezquida went off for Deybi Flores.
  • Both Deybi Flores and Kianz Froese found some time during the crucial “bend, bend, bend, bend & don’t break” (they broke) stretch of Whitecaps play in the second half. While I’m all for Robbo getting the youngsters some crucial gameplay, not entirely sold on the left side combination of Adekugbe and Flores – seemed to be the Timbers got far more opportunities on the left side once that sub took place.
  • Will Jordan “The Goal Machine” Harvey get another start where Adekugbe is available to play? Sam misses most of training with bruised ribs (after being stretchered off in Orlando) and yet still starts over Jordan.

The 91st Minute – March 8 vs Toronto FC

Doing something new this season, I plan on giving you a few of my thoughts at the end of every Whitecaps FC match I attend or watch. I’ve grown up on the game of soccer my whole life and feel that my opinion from the safety of my keyboard is just as good as the next blogger. Or at least pretty close to as good. Now on with our regularly scheduled feature.

Talk about a tale of two halves. In the first half of play, the ‘Caps carried much of the play through a high standard of pace, yet could only capitalize on one Octavio Rivero opportunity (and that was to make amends for his early flub on what was a sure goal). Yet, Toronto held their own and got a marker of their own from Jozy Alitdore in the 32nd minute.

Unfortunately, the Whitecaps chose to leave all the creativity and pace in the locker room upon their return to the pitch in the second half and TFC took advantage. After Robbie Findley put the Reds ahead in the 59th minute, the Whitecaps had no answer to Toronto’s smart defensive play. Morales looked gassed. Manneh channeled his inner-Mattocks. Heck, even Mattocks channeled his inner-Mattocks. Regardless, a late penalty kick awarded to Toronto led Altidore to grab his second of the match and a final score of 3-1 for the wrong side.

A Few Things

  • Octavio Rivero did look to be the striker the Whitecaps did not have last season, flub aside. Sure it was only one match, but he had solid pace and was constantly pushing the TFC defenders.
  • Then there was Pedro Morales. In the first half he was phenomenal, but it he seemed to tire significantly as the game went on and frankly had me wondering if he wasn’t him instead of Rosales that should’ve been subbed off.
  • While I’m somewhat adverse to the stretch ’em long and kick the ball long style, there’s definitely much to be seen if a team ever plays the Whitecaps tight. So much pace available to the front line and from the bench.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, was disappointed to see fans litter the field with debris. While I don’t know what Altidore did to attract the attention of a few fans in the south side, there’s no excuse for anyone to be tossing their beverages, garbage and other such crap on to the field. Having had season tickets for the four of the Whitecaps five MLS seasons, I cannot remember a time where that much crap made its way to the pitch – streamers aside.

Onside Memories – Manchester City vs Whitecaps FC

In today’s Daily Prompt from The Daily Post, we’re asked to answer the following:

Team USA is playing today in the soccer World Cup in Brazil. Do you have any funny/harrowing/interesting memories from a sporting event you attended, participated in, or watched?

While I don’t care much that the United States is taking on Portugal later today, I am a fan of soccer and have been attentively following the World Cup (for instance, does Ronaldo play and risk his career?).

And sure it’s true I wish that Canada was playing in the group stage instead of watching on TV like me. It’s important to note I take refuge in knowing that the Whitecaps FC are back in action this week.

So it makes sense my favourite soccer-related memory is their friendly against Manchester City FC a few seasons back.

Eric Hassli surrounded by Manchester City players

Hassli and the City – via Matt Boulton

In their inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season, the Whitecaps FC found themselves playing in a temporary stadium against much tougher sides and suffice to say, losses were more plentiful than wins. Whether or not this played into their decision-making process, the organization announced early on they had arranged a friendly against the touring Manchester City FC and suffice to say I was coloured purple. Or pink. Or whatever excited people are coloured.

You see, prior to this match I’d only seen a handful of CONCACAF qualifying matches live and never had I been exposed to the stellar play of a side from the premiership. Sure I’d seen solid play on TV, but there is something lost when you’re at home and on the couch.

The match also provided me the opportunity to take my future (and now) father-in-law. Being from the old country, and a Liverpool supporter to boot, he viewed this as an opportunity to see a high quality side play some quality soccer and quite possibly lose – like heck a supporter of The Reds would look for a win from City. And me looking for a way to further connect with him, it gave us a chance to talk about the sport we both grew up with.

While the ‘Caps fell 2-1 to City, the energy in the stadium was electric. Whether this was due to the number of City supporters, or the belief the ‘Caps could pull out a win, the match was hard-fought and well-played (pitiful, soggy and temporary grass field aside). Yes, Camilo he who shall not be named scored a deflected goal early to give the home side and the fans confidence. But even after City fought back to take a lead, no fan was found not to be urging the Whitecaps on.

Eric Hassli attempts to play a ball towards goal.

Hand of Hass – via Matt Boulton

What a wonderful experience. It’s been a shame the ‘Caps have not been successful at attracting another touring side in since.

It would be nice to have another memory or two.

Whitecaps FC & Reservations

You could say that I have a love hate relationship with the Whitecaps FC. So when it came time to renew my season tickets for 2013, I did so with a few reservations. And while it might be assumed that I’m simply a “fair weather” fan who’s reservations stem from the play on the pitch, simply hear out my primary reservation first before you cast such a judgement.

Whitecaps FC 2012 Season Ticket Package

Courtesy of RosieTulips

Having placed a deposit down for season tickets way back in 2010 (or was it 2009?), I was genuinely excited that not only did the Whitecaps FC have an MLS franchise, but I was going to be one of their very first season ticket holders. And I listened intently as the organization listed of goals of making the MLS playoffs, winning the Canadian Championship, AND winning the Cascadia Cup all in the first year (sometimes I can be naive).

Then the trouble started.

I received a call from the team in late 2010 to choose my payment option for my tickets. Not having oodles of money just lying around, I elected to make a series of payments leading up to the season and gave my credit card information to the account manager/agent/person over the phone. The woman provided me a confirmation number and wished me well. Yet as the days continued to roll by, I never saw a charge appear on my credit card statement. Finding this odd, I tried calling the Whitecaps FC two weeks later only to get the virtual runaround from the call centre system. Not to be dismayed, I instead sent in an email asking for someone to call me to clarify. I also elected to call my credit card company to see if any charges were pending and simply not posted.


Not only had there not been any “charges” for the Whitecaps FC season tickets, but my credit card had been suspended only day or two earlier after some suspicious activity somewhere in Vancouver. While it’s a stretch to assume what I learned next to be a definitive possibility (that the Whitecaps FC were the issue), I simply chalked this up to a bad visit somewhere and accepted that a new card would be mailed out to me.

The following day I received my call back from the team – not only did they not have a record of my paying for my tickets (the original woman was “no longer with the organization”), but they required that I provide them a credit card immediately or lose my tickets and the deposit I had placed down. Finding this shocking, I explained the phone call only a couple of weeks earlier and also explained that I had found out the day previous my credit card was compromised. This new gentleman, while somewhat empathetic to my situation, said there were no notes on my account and again reiterated the need for a payment. Quite frustrated, I obtained my fiancée’s credit card info and her step up to cover. Concerned with what I felt was significant failing in customer service, I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager. I was told that his manager was not available at the time, but he would ensure I’d receive a callback.

It’s been two years and I’m still waiting. I’ve actually called and expressed my situation to others in the organization. I’ve sent email. I’ve even expressed my concerns to the account rep I renewed my 2012 tickets with in stadium – all to no avail and what I can best describe as, no concern. And in one final attempt before this post, I sent a “Contact Us” message through the Whitecaps FC Online Account Manager to my “real” account manager Josh Nanavaty in hope that someone would finally listen. That was a week ago. And again I’m still waiting.

At this point I’m not sure I should even expect to hear anything from the team. I don’t believe I’m looking for much other than an ear to speak to and a sincere expression from the team that they appreciate my commitment as a season ticket holder. And yes, I do have other reservations to express but I shall save those for another post in the coming days.

It just seems to me that they don’t care.


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