The current crop of Vancouver Whitecaps acquisitions and targets can be loosely lumped into the following categories.
Definitely might be good. Was good once but hasn’t been for a couple of seasons but maybe just needs a fresh start. Somebody once thought he was good but he never lived up to that potential.
There’s nothing wrong with trawling the databases and highlights for signings for a club that prides itself on not being among the bigger spenders in the league but, and this gets me an honorary degree in stating the bleeding obvious, bringing in so many players would be a challenge at the best of times.
But bringing in so many players with so much doubt swirling around their suitability is a huge ask.
Oh, and Marc Dos Santos also wants to completely revamp the style of play of the team so even the established players (“established” for the Whitecaps currently means they perhaps played a few games last season) will need to learn new ways of interacting with each other on the field (and off it too if the end of season media day was anything to go by).
So it’s all doom and gloom right? The Whitecaps will struggle to find their feet and scrape along near the bottom third of the Western Conference for the whole of the season?
Yes that’s correct. That’s exactly what will happen.
Wait? What? You want a more uplifting scenario on this greyish Sunday morning?
It’s not inconceivable that Dos Santos will knock it out of the park with all of his signings and everything turns out to be fine.
It’s also not inconceivable that he’s a good enough coach to meld the team together no matter what the weaknesses are and that the “established” players will be refreshed by his style of playing after toiling under the yoke of the previous incumbent.
It`s also not inconceivable that MLS will continue to be a forgiving enough league to allow a slow, find your feet, kind of start to not completely derail the season.
It`s also not inconceivable (and this is the Soccer Shorts hot prediction for the season ahead!) that opponents will be so discombobulated by facing a Whitecaps team they know little about and barely even recognize that Vancouver will hit the ground running, get off to a great start and that momentum will be enough to surf them to a spot somewhere near the bottom end of the playoff spectrum.
That would count as a huge win for both Dos Santos and the club.
And it would certainly be a vindication for the ruthless off-season purge of the playing proletariat that went on (there are those who would argue that lustration rather than purge was the way to go but we are where we are from a regime change point of view).
To summarize then.
Things could be worse!