Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three Major Spot Kick Questions for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC

There are a number of questions that need answering when the Whitecaps head back to Arizona for their 2nd Pre-season training camp down in Arizona. The ‘Caps leave Wednesday (Feb 16th). They will play 4 training matches starting on Friday over a 5 day span and could have, by early next week, some of these questions answered.

Who’s going to score the goals?

Right now, as much as fans of the Whitecaps don’t want to hear it, scoring will be on a “committee” basis. Meaning, they are looking for scoring from everyone and anyone. When you look at the first three training matches, they scored four goals from four different sources, so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that it could work, but you would like to see one true goal-scorer and then mix in the other scoring. Atiba Harris, who hasn’t lit up the league in previous years, has a good shot at being the “go-to” guy for the Whitecaps. He is going to get plenty of opportunity to do so in terms of minutes played up front. The Whitecaps do have some trialists coming in for the Arizona camp, so a name we have yet to hear may be the “one”. Another name that was mentioned as coming to Major League Soccer was former Hull striker Caleb Folan. He is currently with Colorado on a trial, and Rapids head coach Gary Smith wants to keep him around for the long-term. “I thought the two guys worked extremely well today,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “I think the big difference with Caleb that people might see if he’s around a little bit longer, not only is he a very big specimen, he’s very athletic as well and he gets on the shoulders of center backs, he can get in behind players, he can threaten with his pace and power. With salary caps and other wage issues, it may be difficult for the Rapids to keep him. Which means an expansion team like Vancouver could provide a solid home. Secondary questions still remain, will the ‘Caps be able to get Omar Salgado onto their roster at the start of the season? Can Long Tan do anything with the time given? Will Chiumiento break out?

Nolly or Cannon?

Vancouver wouldn’t be Vancouver without a goalkeeping or quarterback controversy, so why not one with the Whitecaps. Joe Cannon is coming off an ankle injury and is looking to get back into form and claim the number one spot as the Vancouver goalkeeper. Jay Nolly has been very successful at the USSF-D2 level, coming off a goalkeeper of the year award, and wants the number one job. So who should start? Other the next week, 4 matches in 5 games means that both Nolly and Cannon, along with residency product Brian Sylvestre should each get a full game and will be able to make a claim. This question may not officially be answered in Arizona though and may have to wait until Portland, Seattle and Vancouver battle during the Cascadia Cup Cascadia preseason friendlies in early March.

Janicki and DeMerit are locked… but what about the other centre backs?

With the continuing injury saga with Maloud Akloul, the door is wide open for Bilal Duckett, Ryan O’Leary and Michael Boxall to make a claim. At this point it, looks like Janicki and DeMerit will be your starters, and any one of those three (Duckett, O’Leary and Boxall) could make a claim for a final roster spot. O’Leary needs to get in shape after a long time off and we see what happened with an out of shape Chiumiento last season…nothing), Duckett needs to get comfortable in his switch from a right back to centre-back and Boxall needs to show why he has played internationally for New Zealand.


Find out the answer to these questions and more with full updates on the Whitecaps Training Camp Report every Monday to Friday between 4-5pm on TEAM 1410. Tyler Green will be live from Phoenix, Arizona covering the ‘Caps and will have those updates along with tweets, interviews and blogs.

Time Added On:

Single game ticket will be available on Saturday, February 19th at 10am. Details by clicking here. Marcus Haber grabbed some retro Teitur Thordarson photo here. And the broadcasting details for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC have been made a little more clear with a radio deal and a national TV deal.

As always, you can get full coverage of the Whitecaps and the story from around the world of soccer on Full-Time: Vancouver's Soccer Show, heard Sunday nights at 9-11pm on TEAM 1040 in Vancouver. In case you can't join us for the show, subscribe to the podcast by clicking here.


  1. Hey guys

    Just to let you know that we're not playing for the Cascadia Cup in March. That's played for over the course of the season.

    March is just a pre-season tournament. Means nothing in reality but a good weekend away.

    I think the older fans will want to see Nolly as starting goalie.

  2. Yes, thanks for the correction. I mis-typed there with regards to the Cascadia Cup.