Vancouver Whitecaps: No Easy Way Up

“Turn off your mind relax and float down stream
It is not dying, it is not dying
Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void
It is shining, it is shining”
 
 
I can’t say for certain that John Lennon’s missive on the power of hallucinogens as the most effective method of finding inner peace with regard to Ringo’s vocals was the Mission Statement by which the Vancouver Whitecaps ownership and Front Office lived up until this season, but they did accept the vagaries of life in a way that would make even Zhàozhōu Cōngshěn wonder if he wasn’t maybe getting bogged down a little too much in the mundanities of everyday life.
 
But, eventually, the time and the tide of events must swallow up even the most obstinate of empires and the last few months have been marked by changes of both personnel and tone that some historians have compared to Mikhail Gorbachev’s attempt to transform the Soviet Union via the concepts perestroika and glasnost.
 
Restructuring and openness weren’t words one associated with the previous regime, but the arrival of Axel Schuster as Sporting Director and Mark Pannes as Chief Executive Officer gave physical embodiment to what had previously been nothing more than empty promises and lip service.
 
So things are looking up?
 
Yes they are. And next week I will look at the squad in full detail.
 
Wait? What? That can’t be the end.
 
Why not?
 
Well, it wasn’t fully formed and left me feeling a vague sense of promise unfulfilled.
 
Maybe I was foreshadowing the Whitecaps season?
 
Ooh that’s clever!
 
Thank you.
 
But go on. It’s Sunday morning, there’s nothing else to do. Give me some detail!
 
Well, no doubt there have been changes in the way the ownership and the Front Office are run. Huge changes, the kind of changes that many have been wishing and hoping for for the longest time.
 
But they have only just happened and you don’t change the culture of a club overnight and, even if you do, those changes don’t seep down into the roots for a long, long time.
 
So we’re still just looking at surface changes that are essentially a version of a Chris Rock routine.
 
“You’re supposed to have a scouting network! You’re supposed to interact with the supporters! You don’t get credit for this!”
 
Which leaves us with the coach and the team on the field.
 
The signings certainly seem more ambitious and coherent this time around. As though it hasn’t just been left to the coach to do all the legwork and, more importantly, the core of the team is in place in time for the preseason to allow Marc Dos Santos time to mould them into the shape he wants.
 
We can still look at the midfield with a vague sense of terror, but hopefully there will be additions there too before long.
 
The summation of all this is that the Whitecaps have given themselves a chance to succeed and that if they fail this time around they will have failed for the right reasons rather than the wrong.
 
That’s more than we had before.