That's the thing about playing well; eventually, you're going to get noticed. That's exactly what happened to Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, who evolved from a bench player at the beginning of the season to an integral part of the Whitecaps vaunted attack. As if you didn't already know, the trio of Kenny Miller, Camilo, and of course Teibert has launched the Whitecaps from playoff bubble team, to a squad ready to challenge for something greater.
Yes, since Teibert exploded onto the scene with two goals against the L.A. Galaxy, the 'Caps have been flying high. Despite a myriad of injuries to their back line and midfield, the 'Caps have gone 5-1-1 in their past seven matches, including a string of three straight wins, dating back to that 4-3 win versus the New England Revolution.
However, now the Whitecaps have a different obstacle to contend with. While they're just now starting to get over the backline injuries, call-ups are now going to cripple this squad with Teibert set to join Team Canada for the Gold Cup. In addition, depth Center Back Carlyle Mitchell has left to join Trinidad and Tobago.
Apart, the moves wouldn't hurt the Whitecaps too much, but together they're a bit of a concern. Think about it; the Whitecaps recent playing style has been reminiscent of the 80's Oilers; namely, outscore your problems. With Teibert out of the mix, that becomes a lot harder to do. While Camilo has been a revelation of late, you have to think he's going to have work harder to score his goals, now that he doesn't have the perfect feeds coming from the mohawked one. While Miller will still be there to track down balls and give chase up field, Teibert is the stir that mixes the drink, and the Whitecaps are going to miss his left foot dearly.
That makes the departure of Carlyle Mitchell a little harder to swallow as well. Yes, Brad Rusin is back, but both YP Lee and Andy O'Brien will miss at least the Sporting Kansas City match tomorrow. That means you're looking at a backline that could comprise Jordan Harvey, Johnny Leveron, Brad Rusin, Greg Klazura, or Nigel Reo-Coker. Reo-Coker is almost assuredly going to slot in there again, damaging the midfield even more and truly stifling that great Whitecaps attack. Furthermore, one more injury to the backline, and this club could be in a Klazurian amount of trouble.
This all points to the Whitecaps putting themselves into a defensive shell and hoping they can salvage a draw, or score a greasy one. We won't be seeing the Harlem Globetrotter level attack anymore, (at least for the next three matches), so get used to seeing a different Whitecaps team for the next couple of weeks.