No, wrong! It’s not the admin staff, it’s the forwards. That was a terrible guess. Be better!
Cristian Dajome- There have been times when Dajome has been the essence of the Whitecaps team. If he was making an impact then the Whitecaps were making an impact. That changed with the arrival of both Sartini and Gauld, but Dajome remained a vital presence. However….it’s still not clear how he will fit into Sartini’s system over the long term. He’s an okay central forward slash deep lying forward but he’s so much better when given room to run in out wide and hit those powerful crosses that are essentially shots hit along the six yard line. It’s not impossible to envisage him as a wing back in the near future.
Deiber Caicedo- Caicedo grew as the season went on and the hope is that a good pre-season will see him work on his final pass and his finishing to help shape him into a more complete player. He could be integral in 2022 or he could be an impact sub.
Tossaint Ricketts- His contributions off the field were invaluable in making a connection with the supporters upon the return to BC Place. His contributions on the field were less successful. But he worked hard when given the chance and was hampered by injury for much of the year.
Ryan Raposo- Another season where Raposo made little impact when given his limited chances. Needs to move to somewhere where he will play meaningful football.
Ryan Gauld- The Platonic ideal of the kind of Designated Player that Vancouver should be signing. Gauld won’t amaze people with his trickery or elicit gasps of astonishment as he rakes a cross field pass to the feet of an on rushing wing-back. But he will always make the right run, make the right pass and be in the right place when a ball falls loose in the box and, in doing so, drag those around him into doing the same. Throw in his tireless work ethic and Gauld is already the best DP in Whitecaps history.
Brian White- The Platonic ideal of the kind of intra-MLS player the Whitecaps should be signing. Seen as a back up to Lucas Cavallini when he first signed White’s profile went from “Who is he?” to “How is he doing that?” surprisingly quickly. But he did it by playing for the team, sticking to his role and being a better finisher than most of us expected him to be.
Lucas Cavallini- There were time this season when Cavallini looked less like a professional footballer and more like an Avant Garde performance artist as his cameo appearances would feature what seemed to be an array of challenging takes on modern society. What was he trying to say as he watched another ball bounce haplessly off his shins? Why was he just trying to protect the ball in the middle of the pitch? Not move it forward or backwards, just protect it? Were his incessant yellow cards a damning indictment of the growing authoritarianism within the world? Were his arm waving complaints to his colleagues about their own failures a biting satire on the lack of self awareness within a privileged elite? Nobody knows. Cavallini may have been a functioning striker in the dim and distant past, but it’s rare to see a player fall of a metaphorical cliff quite so precipitously. He really needs to leave.