I’m old enough to remember when the release of the Whitecaps schedule meant scrolling through the list of games and considering the questions surrounding them.
In what specific way had MLS made travelling to Portland and Seattle difficult this season? Is there the chance of a weekend in Denver? A midweek trip to Sandy, Utah?
This year a visit to Austin would probably be high on many a wish list, but I’m also old enough to remember when the Whitecaps played their games in Canada so am content to make my wish lists more prosaic than doing things like travelling to new places or going to actual games.
My three wishes for the season then you ask? Fair enough.
Erik Godoy stays fit- Godoy is one of those players you don’t really notice until he gets a clever yellow card in the eighty-fifth minute. But he’s also one of those players who makes those around him better.
Whether he gets paired with Veselinovic (a young player with what feels like significant potential) or Cornelius (a young player who did all that was asked of him and more last year) the presence of Godoy will give the Whitecaps a level of confidence at the back they were lacking far too often in 2020.
Caio Alexandre turns out be a genuine Number 8- While others pine for a Number 10, I while away the hours pondering how much better the Whitecaps would be with a “proper” number 8.
A player who arrives at the edge of the area to fire home a scuffed clearance. Who pounces on a goalkeepers parry to fire the ball unceremoniously into the roof of the net.
It could be argued that most midfielders in the modern game are a default mix of the number 8 and number 6 anyway, but the whole identity of the Whitecaps in recent years seems to have been built around the lack of attacking players in the box so, for now, a traditional number 8 will do just fine.
Lucas Cavallini comes good- What we learned last season is that Cavallini is a forward not a goal scorer. He wants to score goals but he doesn’t need to score them.
His overall contribution is based around work rate rather than his finishing, but this season he should (hopefully) get the kind of service he needs from both flanks and (hopefully) he won’t be playing in a team that considers counterattack the only form of attack.
His stats suggest he’s a one goal in three games player as his default setting, but Vancouver probably need an uptick on that if he’s to justify his existence.