Now that Whitecaps fans are living in that bitter spot of time between the end of the MLS playoffs and the confirmation of any actual moves in and out of the club this is a good opportunity to step away from the usual ruthlessly analytical examination of tactics and team selection and take a more panoramic view of how the club could make small (but significant) changes for the better in 2017.
So we’ll run these three ideas up the proverbial flag pole and see who metaphorically salutes.
Always play in white for home games- They are called the Whitecaps, the play “White is the Colour” before every game and yet frequently turn up varying shades of blue.
Now I get it’s about marketing alternate jerseys and I’m definitely not in the “Against Modern Football” camp (Football is a simple game that is exceptionally good at imbuing itself with whatever the quirks and ills of society currently are. So I guess I’m “Against Modern Football” but throughout all periods of time because there have always been things about football to be “against” no matter what the era).
Anyway, now that we’ve muddied that puddle of water back to the “always play in white at home” issue.
Aside from the ridiculous spectacle of the Seattle Sounders playing in white at BC Place a few weeks ago (there must have been a few newbies who thought that Seattle were the home team on that day) it seems odd to not want to establish a consistent identity at home.
You could even call it “strengthening the brand” for those more interested in the marketing aspect of the whole thing but try to imagine Real Madrid allowing an opponent to turn out in a white kit at the Bernabeu?
Or Manchester United permitting an opponent to play in red?
The Whitecaps are nowhere near that level but team colours are an integral part of how people relate to a club and the Whitecaps currently play far too fast and loose with that emotion.
WhitecapsFC TV- Sure the Whitecaps aren’t going to get a subscription channel in the way that Barcelona and Chelsea do but there must be a sweet spot somewhere between what we got through regular TV and what we get on the Whitecaps own site.
Unfortunately MLS is particularly poorly served when it comes to game analysis. The TV time slots allow for almost none and the official MLS home page revels in three minute videos that are more enamoured with camera angles and slow motion than they are with details.
So how great would it be to have a weekly show of about an hour where a coach broke down a play or a player talked through his movement leading up to a goal?
It would be very great that’s the answer!
It happens in every other North American sport yet for some reason soccer seems to feels it’s audience is comprised solely of people for whom the average cat GIF is a little too much to ask in terms of attention span.
And if nobody else within the media is willing to offer MLS fans a level of respect when it comes to covering the game then the Whitecaps could and should go there.
Let’s play two- Arguably the most successful aspect of 2016 was Whitecaps FC 2, but being stuck out at UBC means they tend to exist more in theory than in practice to most people.
The Whitecaps did well in spreading that location this year but playing a couple of games a year at BC Place before a first team game would not only be a great experience for the second string it would also instil their existence in the minds of the few thousand who would arrive early to see them play.
Any salutes from any of those flagpoles?
No? Well what about each team having the opportunity to throw a dog on to the field once in each half?