Best of luck to former Vancouver Whitecaps Residency technical director and U-18 head coach Richard Grootscholten, who is interviewing for the PSV Eindhoven youth coach job. Grootscholten was technical director of the Residency program from October 2010 until April 2012, when he resigned to return to Europe while staying on as a consultant into the summer. He had an excellent reputation with neither player nor coach saying a bad word about him to my ear, and I for one wish him the best of luck.
Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Bryce Alderson and forward Caleb Clarke, as well as FC Edmonton Reserves defender Allan Zebie, have been called by Nick Dasovic to Canada's U-20 training camp in Florida for two friendlies against the United States. Alderson is a regular U-20 international. Clarke missed the last camp as he was training in Germany but is also a regular. This is Zebie's first call-up.
Even on home soil, Kenny Miller still has plenty of detractors. It would appear the Edinburgh Evening News' Anthony Brown isn't one of them, saying in his column "MLS Switch Shouldn't Count Against Miller": "...when it comes to the likes of Miller and Barry Robson – two players who have spent the bulk of their careers in the SPL and English Championship – the notion that they have somehow taken a step down in moving across the Atlantic is utterly ridiculous. If anything, they have bettered themselves. This league [MLS] has levels of cash, support and quality which the impoverished SPL can only dream of." As for Miller's scoring slump, Brown continues the defense: "Only two seasons ago, Miller was arguably the hottest striker in the SPL as he banged in goals on a weekly basis. However, the fact the nets haven’t bulged quite so regularly in his early days with Vancouver suggests he is now operating in a vastly superior division, despite claims to the contrary from those still living in the 1990s. The reduction in goals certainly can’t be put down to any notable deterioration from Miller. If anything, he’s at his peak, with his last four outings for the national team having seen him score twice – including the wonder strike against Cyprus – and set up three more." To be fair, I would rank a "wonder strike" against Cyprus as about as difficult a feat as a nutmeg against nine-tenths of the Chivas USA outfield, but there you have it. Not a bad motivational read, though my nagging internal cynic wonders how many 'Caps matches Brown actually sat through prior to posting the column.
Congratulations to forward Darren Mattocks, midfielder Dane Richards (Jamaica), forward Kenny Miller (Scotland), and forward Etienne Barbara (Malta) on being called to their respective national teams for World Cup qualifying. This is one of many calls for Richards, Miller, and Barbara, but it could see Mattocks's competitive debut for his country. He appeared in Jamaica's friendly earlier this month against El Salvador. Random trivia: I believe Kenny Miller is the first player to be called up to one of the Home Nations while a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps. I'm trying to look this up; Peter Beardsley played for England after joining Vancouver, and Willie Johnston played for Scotland before... is Miller the first "during"? EDIT: he ain't! Thanks to Russell Berrisford via Twitter for digging up that midfielder Terry Yorath made the last three caps of his international career with Wales in 1981 while a member of the Whitecaps.
If you missed the Vancouver Southsiders' tifo in tribute to the Canadian women's national team, here's a picture from my cell phone. Christopher Vose of Away from the Numbers took a proper picture here. The banners read: "BRONZE IN LONDON GOLD IN OUR HEARTS" with a list of the medal-winning players, plus head coach John Herdman. It was completed in less than twenty-four hours by dedicated Southsider volunteers and raised in the twelfth minute in honour of Burnaby native Christine Sinclair.
Congratulations to Russell Teibert, who at 19 years of age has earned his first call up to Stephen Hart's senior Canadian national team for a friendly next week against Trinidad and Tobago. Teibert joins a team that is deep at left back with Chivas USA's Ante Jazic and the return of Marcel de Jong, so please let this mean he will be in midfield. However, the press release has him wearing the #3 shirt (de Jong's old number). Quibbling about position is beside the point, however. Congratulations all round, and to Carlyle Mitchell, Dane Richards, Etienne Barbara, and Darren Mattocks who have also been called up this friendly window.
Congratulations to lady Whitecaps forward Jenna Richardson, midfielder Nicole Setterlund, and midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki on making Andrew Olivieri's 21-woman roster for the forthcoming Women's U-20 World Cup in Japan. None of the three are surprises, as all are youth international regulars and played important roles for the Whitecaps W-League team this past season. With three players on the roster the Whitecaps are contributing the third-most content, behind the Toronto Lynx and Olivieri's hometown club Comètes de Laval. Canada's World Cup kicks off August 20 against Argentina.
Safe to say all of us Leeds United fans are delighted O'Brien has gone. Big wages for our team, terrible player and ageing. Sad to see him suffer from depression but he never did anything for us. He was once taken off during a game against a team two divisions below us for playing that bad at centre-back and we were winning. Having said that, and no offence the MLS should be easier for him in more than one way. The MLS is growing no doubt about it but the level over here is much better. He has a chance now to live in a beautiful country, and start again! He has bags of experience, and an old head for those around him. If he can position himself properly then he may make an impact.Thomas Hill, manager of SB Nation's Leeds United blog Through It All Together, was nice enough to provide his thoughts on new Vancouver Whitecaps defender Andy O'Brien. As you can see, it's not exactly a rave review.
Vancouver Whitecaps Residency central defender Daniel Stanese has been announced as 2012-13 recruit for Florida Gulf Coast University. Stanese is only a 1994-born player so would have been eligible to play another year at the USSDA level but has apparently decided to move on early. He was also on trial for a contract in Germany earlier this year.