Vancouver Whitecaps: Life with the lions

It’s debatable just how widespread kleptoparasitism actually is among humans, but there is certainly some video and anecdotal evidence that in parts of Africa humans will steal meat from a pride of lions who have just downed their prey.

And this isn’t a group of guys in a Jeep firing guns and whooping and hollering; this is just two or three people who simply use “attitude” to move the big cats away from the big kill.

Now we can argue all day about how much things like “attitude” and the like really matter in sport, but if there has been a narrative arc for the Whitecaps in their recent signings then it has definitely bent toward “experience”.

Since the wheels fell off in 2016 all the major acquisitions have each possessed at least some degree of knowledge of the game in North America.

Granted there’s an argument to be made that each of these individual additions was merely a random occurrence that we have since conflated into a coherent whole (Edgar and de Jong to reclaim the locker room and the defence, Barnes a desperate throw of the dice to save the season, Montero initiated by Rosales, Shea a means to ship out Barnes and Rosales initiated by Montero) but if we forsake such cynicism then the pattern is clear.

And the recent arrival/re-arrival of Mauro Rosales helps to confirm it.

The Argentinian may be thirty-six, have lost at least two yards of pace and will probably only be good for cameo appearances but he’s almost instantly become the de facto captain of the team (in the locker room if not on the field).

That hints at the issues that may still remain of course but at least the “we are a young team” excuse has been stripped away from the mitigating factors arsenal and, by the end of last season, it certainly felt as though the team needed fewer alibis and more censure for the their mistakes and failings.

And hopefully Rosales is another stepping stone on the path to self-accountability.

Anyway, here’s some humans scaring off some lions; a solid midfield three if ever I saw one.

Warning! There will be blood!