In one fell swoop (or press release), the Vancouver Whitecaps chose to cut adrift a large portion of this years' roster. While it wasn't totally unexpected given that Martin Rennie had been fired, some of the names on the list certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Jun-Marques Davidson, Brad Rusin, Simon Thomas, and Tommy Heinemann all contributed in their various ways, and while they had to be considered bubble players, they may have made some nice depth options moving forward.
RIGHT MOVE! Daigo Kobayashi
While Kobayashi showed glimpses of what he could do early in the season, he made too much money and contributed too little to earn a guaranteed spot back for next year. He clearly has talent and vision, but just could not adapt to the MLS game. Whether or not he could handle the physicality of the league is another question.
WRONG MOVE! Brad Rusin
It made sense to wave bye bye to Rusin for the mere fact that he was a Rennie selection; the former coach brought Rusin in from the Carolina RailHawks after all. Still, he had size, had a year's worth of system knowledge under his belt and actually looked pretty damn good when pressed into action. As a starter? Not a chance. A great, cheap, depth option? I would've been okay with it. Perhaps his injury history played a role in this decision as well.
RIGHT MOVE! Joe Cannon
Let me be clear; Joe Cannon might be my favorite person on the Whitecaps in terms of personality. He always has a smile on his face, and is extremely media friendly. Personally, I was quite sad to see his legendary MLS career seemingly conclude with third string duty on this squad, but professionally, it obviously needed to happen. Joe made good money, had too many miles on him and needed to go.
WRONG MOVE! Simon Thomas
It seemed like just yesterday the 'Caps announced the signing of the BC boy to the first team, who seemed primed to make some noise in the Whitecaps system. Obviously the team didn't feel that was happening and sent the youngster packing. The team may still re-sign him when all is said and done, but as of now, it feels like a waste of a prospect.
RIGHT MOVE! Brad Knighton
Brad Knighton became a fan favourite in Vancouver, before he was unceremoniously dumped in favor of David Ousted. Knighton, who even had his own chant (The Dark Knighton Rises!) clearly has skill and could easily make the roster of another MLS squad, so it's good to see the 'Caps giving him that opportunity. The club treated him like chopped liver the past two seasons, almost going out of their way to decrease his playing time. Now he'll get his chance to prove his worth elsewhere.
WRONG MOVE! Tommy Heinemann
Perhaps I just had a soft spot in my heart for the caveman, but Heinemann was another great depth option, a striker with size, grit and a nose for the net that the Whitecaps could have used off the bench next season, regardless of the coach. Here's the thing; you can't teach size. Heinemann's presence, along with his willingness to score the dirty goals was a plus to the 'Caps. Sad to see him go.
COMPLETELY RIGHT MOVE! Jun-Marques Davidson
Another RailHawk casualty, Davidson had crafted himself quite the niche in Vancouver. As a defensive specialist, he could be counted on to calm things down in the defensive end, but he never really showed much of anything else. His passes were always short and behind him, meaning he almost refused to push the play forward. The 'Caps appeared to be a much better attacking group with Gershon Koffie in that spot. Davidson is not a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, but one that shouldn't have been taking playing time away from guys like Koffie, and Teibert.