It’s tempting to make jokes about the phrase “Vancouver Whitecaps Attack” being an oxymoron like “Charlton Athletic” or “Translink Schedule” but there was at least some attack out there some of the time.
Mostly when the opposition allowed it to be by playing open football but it was definitely there because we all saw it.
So how did the players who comprised that attack fare this year?
Fredy Montero- All signs point to Montero not being back with the Whitecaps next season, which is a shame because Carl Robinson finally found somebody who could prosper in his lifelong quest to prove John Donne wrong.
Maybe “prosper” is overstating it but Montero produced his best ever goal tally in MLS and displayed enough on field savvy to make his isolation not quite the optimism killer it was for those who went before him.
We’ll probably always wonder how much better the team would have been if Montero had been granted more support more of the time but the Whitecaps would likely have been much closer to the basement of the table without his presence.
Good luck replacing him with a cheaper option!
Season rating- 7
Yordy Reyna- There’s a school of thought that can’t help but wonder how the Whitecaps would have fared had Reyna been fit all season.
“About the same” is probably the right answer although maybe the Peruvian would have developed a little more understanding with his teammates given the extra time.
When he was finally fit Reyna showed he had both the devilment and desire to make Vancouver just a little bit unpredictable.
But his end of season form was an indication that opponents had figured out that deploying men to mark Reyna out of the game was enough to extinguish the Whitecaps attacking threat.
Like Montero he’ll need far more support if he really is going to be the “difference maker” he’s advertised as.
Erik Hurtado- What can we say about Hurtado? He’s a player who works hard, has power and pace and even improved his all round game in 2017.
But for all that the fact he featured as often as he did in 2017 is an indication of just how bare the Whitecaps attacking bones were.
Hurtado’s work rate and attitude alone mean he deserves some success in his career but if he’s still an option off the bench for Vancouver in 2018 something has gone horribly wrong with the offseason recruitment.
(Narrator’s voice: “Something went horribly wrong with the offseason recruitment”).
Season rating- 6
Nicolas Mezquida- Mezquida isn’t a great player by any stretch of the imagination but he’s a more than capable replacement for either a forward or number ten if needed.
But the reason he seems to be so popular with the fan base is because he plays the game in the exact same way we all imagine we would if given the chance.
He always gives everything, is overjoyed when the team win and devastated when they lose.
Mezquida is like the Spirit Animal of the supporters’ Id; desperately straining at the leash to express himself despite the limitations imposed by the team’s style of play.
Season rating- 6