Vancouver Whitecaps: You say you want an evolution

Life must have been so much more simple back when Pangaea was the single super-continent on earth.

Everybody spoke the same language and there was no need for planes because you could just drive to wherever you wanted to get to (and the road trips must have been amazing).

Plus Netflix worked everywhere with none of that pesky regional blocking.

Then the decision was made to split Pangaea into separate smaller continents (possibly for tax reasons) and many historians now believe the first planet wide war was caused by people disagreeing over whether there should be five, six or seven of these.

But at first everybody seemed happy with this move.

Kangaroos flourished, tortoises frollicked and even the simple minded Dodo lived a life of uninterrupted bliss.

But gradually, over the course of dozens and dozens of years, people lost touch with all continents but their own and eventually new languages and subscription VPNs began to emerge.

But then, thanks to the invention of Duty Free alcohol and fragrances, humanity cast off their blinkers and began to explore their world anew.

Unfortunately this new found adventurousness coincided with the rise of the airline companies allowing Service Animals to fly free of charge and the introduction of several invasive species caused mayhem among the native population.

Sure, the kangaroos were fine; they can punch a hole in the side of a Buick.

But the tortoises were too slow for the newly arrived hares and the Dodos too stupid for their natural predator the owl.

It turned out that “Evolution and Unintended Consequences” wasn’t just the name of a new Vegan restaurant in Kitsilano, it also had real world implications.

Which inevitably brings us to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

When they first joined MLS the League was approaching the end of its Pangaea stage, but there was still enough uniformity and harmony to allow the lesser species to survive and even occasionally flourish.

But in the League of today the rifts and shake ups of the last few years have led to tectonic plate shifts of massive proportion.

The likes of Atlanta, NYCFC and Toronto bestride this new world with little fear of predators (Not even the Lethal Zone version).

And things remain fine for the species of team who have adapted well to this new reality; Kansas, Columbus, Portland and NYRB have all evolved to find a niche to keep them functioning and relevant.

But with each passing season some teams find themselves edging more and more toward the Dodo end of the spectrum.

Not necessarily because they aren’t spending money at all but because they aren’t spending money in the right way.

A big name signing to play among duds, a player beyond his prime to withstand the rigours of MLS travel, a badly scouted central American here, a converted inverted winger there.

And the Whitecaps have gradually been slipping down to the Dodo level with each passing season and with each badly thought through move.

But suddenly! Miracle of miracles!

They’ve been given the chance to turbo charge their own evolution, to upgrade their gene sequence and add lots of fancy new features to their defensive and offensive mechanisms.

The money arriving from the Alphonso Davies transfer is a “once in a species” opportunity to get things back on track.

And that means not rushing into moves just because a player is available (Jordon Mutch) or bringing in players in the hope they can be converted into something they are not (Efrain Juarez) or play in a role they are not suited to (Fredy Montero) or sign them just for the sake of signing them (Giles Barnes who subsequently evolved into Brek Shea).

But what it really really means is not allowing the people who made all of those decisions to now go on and make the next, all important, ones.

If a scientist recreated a killing machine of a dinosaur from prehistoric DNA leading to the deaths of hundreds of tourists and causing all round chaos you wouldn’t “give them another go” in the hope they would get it right next time (although that would be a good idea for a movie now I come to think about it. I’d call it Dinosaur Island!)

So if the Whitecaps think the Davies sale is convincing proof they are doing everything right and there is no need to change their ways at all then they are doomed to extinction.

But if they see it as the metaphorical equivalent of Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive spider then they can use that insight to use their powers for good.

It just needs somebody at the club to have the humility to understand they need the advice and wisdom of their very own May and Ben Parker to prevent them from firing their web at the first available overpriced defensive midfielder they see.

Spiderman or Dodo? The choice is theirs.

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