Whitecaps arriving into 2018 with a whimper?

It’s all a bit underwhelming really isn’t it?

I’m talking about life in general of course but it also applies to what we’ve seen from the Vancouver Whitecaps during the off-season so far.

An experienced MLS striker slightly beyond his best, a former Mexican international who can play midfield and can be cover at right back and a Venezuelan forward slash wide player who is one of those “hope he settles in to the vagaries of MLS okay” signings.

In the outgoing ledger we have Fredy Montero and Christian Bolaños heading back to pastures old and Nosa Igiebor departing after never really being here apart from the three most important games of the Whitecaps 2017 campaign.

Some decisions and revisions can be reversed I suppose but Carl Robinson obviously chose to play Igiebor in those games because he thought he was a better option than Tony Tchani and now the coach will have to convince Tchani that he didn’t really mean it and he definitely trusts him to do the job in midfield in 2018.

And Matias Laba is left twisting in the purgatory of everybody knowing he was going to leave the club were it not for an unfortunately timed injury while also seeing the Whitecaps stockpile defensive midfielders like they were going out of fashion (which maybe they are).

It’s all a bit of a mess really.

But not the kind of mess that makes you think “this definitely needs cleaning up immediately or somebody will catch something” but more the kind of mess that makes you think “I can probably leave that until tomorrow, it doesn’t look too bad actually”.

Like I said, it’s all a bit underwhelming.

Underwhelming doesn’t necessarily mean under performing though and indeed there will be time for players to come and go and for the picture to change.

But the over/under on “whelm’ right now is definitely leaning toward “under”.

Vancouver Whitecaps say “Adiós” to Bolaños

So farewell then Christian Bolaños.

It’sen announced that the Costa Rican international has moved back to his home country to play for his former club Saprissa.

So how do we assess his time for the Vancouver Whitecaps?

Well, his first season was an undoubted success with five goals and eight assists leading him to be voted Player of the Year and it was a joy to watch his ability to play the game at his own speed no matter what the circumstance.

The second season was less impressive and we can probably put that down to a combination of injuries, lack of focus due to the distractions of international duty and the team not playing in a style suited to his game.


In an ideal world the Whitecaps would have got more from his undoubted quality on the ball but by the end he had simply turned into a “useful at set pieces” kind of player and there are others that can fill that role for far less of a salary hit.

Maybe there will be a direct replacement signed but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to move Yordy Reyna to his more natural left wing spot and stop thinking of him as the number ten that he actually isn’t.

In other news the Whitecaps have signed Efrain Juarez from Mexican team Monterrey and he can play in a number of positions but is most suited to either right back or defensive midfield.

In that ideal world we were dreaming of earlier he’d slot in at right back to give Jake Nerwinski another season of learning the ropes of defending but given Carl Robinson’s tendency to view playing defensive midfielders with the same restraint Winnie the Pooh views a jar of honey that central spot may prove to be his main role.

That would mean the ongoing “talks” with Nosa Igiebor are less likely to prove fruitful and would surely make him one of the strangest signings the team has made.

Igiebor didn’t play for the first few moths of his time in Vancouver but was then thrown into the playoffs in a manner which suggested Robinson felt he was the answer to whatever ailed his team at the end of the campaign.

He wasn’t the answer, but it seems odd that the current prevarication seems to be leaning more toward departure than extension.

To be fair it’s still too early to make any kind of definitive judgments about the comings and goings around the squad until we see the final picture but the hope has to be that any moves are designed to support the style of play Carl Robinson favours (while simultaneously wishing he didn’t favour that style of play).

I also really wanted to get some kind of Dylan themed”Lost in the Reyna in Juarez” kind of pun into this post but to no avail!