It's been a strange off-season for the Vancouver Whitecaps to be sure. We all know the ins and outs Camilo saga, and we all know that no major additions to the attack were made (or at least, haven't happened yet). Yet there is a buzz around this squad. It's very similar to last year, when the 'Caps were expected to, at the very least, compete for a playoff spot. A lot of that optimism stems from the young stable of attackers the club boasts; Manneh, Mattocks, Salgado, Hurtado are just some of the names that the club is hoping will put butts in seats for the season.
Normally with a core of young players, you can expect growing pains to occur often, although you never know exactly how gruesome they're going to be. We all remember what Kekuta Manneh showed in his first season, but we also remember what Erik Hurtado didn't show, for example.
However, the Whitecaps also have plenty of leadership from the mid and back line, with players like Demerit, O'Brien and Reo-Coker ready to step up again. I mean, we all saw how Reo-Coker took Russell Teibert under his wing, something the Canadian kid really seemed to enjoy.
So, with a mix of veteran leadership and the boundless energy of youth, should expectations be high for the Whitecaps this season? By that I mean, are we expecting them to compete for a playoff spot, or the MLS Cup? Is the Cascadia Cup or the Canadian Championship enough?
The club has looked good in pre-season, but you can't really put much stock into that. We won't know the identity of this club for a while, and if it's a good or bad one.
So what do you think? Are you expecting a lot from this club? Or is this going to be a season of sadness? Let us know.