Vancouver Whitecaps Season Review: The Midfield

Last time out we took stock of the Whitecaps defenders in 2022. So what on earth do we do now???

Why, we shelter from the rain and carefully take the all-seeing and infallible “Book of Judgment” down from the shelf to see what the mighty tome says about the midfield.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Sebastian Berhalter- Berhalter at least offered the possibility of being able to play both the defensive and attacking sides of the midfield role. There is still some growing to do in terms of each of those traits but it’s not inconceivable that he could become a decent player for the Whitecaps. Season rating-5. Stay or Go? Stay.

Leonard Owusu- For every five games he plays Owusu seems to be very good in one, fine in two, poor in one and never seen a game of football in his life in the other. If he could find consistency (good consistency obviously) he would be so much more valuable to the team. That won’t happen though and he’s probably not worth the risk anymore. Season rating-4. Stay or Go? Go.

Alessandro Schopff- Schopff was heralded as a difference maker in the midfield when he arrived. He was then played behind the striker instead of the midfield until it finally dawned on Vanni Sartini that he really wasn’t ready to play games at all. Hopefully he will be ready next season. Season rating-2. Stay or Go? Stay.

Andres Cubas- An actual difference maker. Defends the centre of the pitch by moving to where the ball will be rather than chasing after it and prevents opposition passes by blocking off the angles. These skillsets are revolutionary to see in a Vancouver midfielder and he makes life easier for every other Whitecap. Season rating-7. Stay or Go? Stay.

Ryan Raposo- Raposo was played as a left wing back for much of the season. A role that he performed well without really providing a ton of attacking threat. It’s unlikely he will be played there again unless it’s in an emergency, so only time will tell if this was a wasted season for Raposo’s development or a valuable one that taught him more about the game. Season rating-5.5. Stay or Go? Stay.

Russell Teibert- There’s not much more to be said about Teibert. He shouldn’t be starting for a team that wants to make the playoffs and, as captain, he doesn’t seem to be much of a leader on the field and is a poor speaker off it. Season rating-3. Stay or Go. Go (but won’t).

Michael Baldisimo- Never looked capable of being the player that Sartini wanted and has now been released. Hopefully he can find a team that wants his particular skillset and will get to play the games he desperately needs. Season-rating-2. Stay or Go? Gone.

Pedro Vite- My theory is that if Vite had played in the games that Schopff started then the Whitecaps would have made the playoffs. Sure he’s mercurial but he grew in confidence once he was given a run in the team and offered a much needed alternative to Gauld when it came to attacking threat. Season rating-6. Stay or Go? Stay.

One thought on “Vancouver Whitecaps Season Review: The Midfield”

  1. Great assessments, Russell. However, Vite was less a mid and much more a second forward. I sense that he and Schöpf will be competing for that spot beside Gauld.

    Raposo should be a late game sub because of his work rate and his sneaky quickness when pressuring opponents. He improved with his dead ball service and chipped in with more offensive stats this year. However, he’s reaching a ceiling and I don’t seen him more than a squad guy or occasional starter.

    Only in Vancouver would Teibert be an MLS starter, on half a mill a year, no less. But what ownership wants, it gets. He’s starting next year, and you can take that to the bank. That’s why Schöpf will be competing against Vite.


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