Vote for Alan Bates as MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP

Look, I normally don't do this. But Major League Soccer's charitable causes umbrella, MLS W.O.R.K.S., is running a contest where fans vote for the "Community MVP". Each MLS team nominates someone doing great community work and the nominees are put to a fan vote. The winner gets $10,000 for their cause and a trip to the MLS All-Star Game. Some teams have been sleazy: Toronto FC nominated one of their employees, and the Portland Timbers nominated their own supporters' trust. But the Whitecaps have nominated a fellow named Alan Bates, one of the major figures in Vancouver Street Soccer (full disclosure: Vancouver Street Soccer is the chosen 2012 charity of the Vancouver Southsiders). I met Alan, briefly, when I was playing at their tournament in North Vancouver this past spring: he's an extremely nice, soft-spoken gentleman in that way which only people who spend hours every day labouring in anonymity to make the world a better place can pull off. There are a lot of brilliant nominees from teams that aren't Portland or Toronto on that list and a lot of causes that deserve $10,000. If you have a connection with one of those other causes then please give them your support. But if you didn't really have an opinion, or you're a Whitecaps fan who didn't know this was happening, or you just like what Vancouver Street Soccer wants to achieve, click the link, swing over to the MLS W.O.R.K.S. site, and feed it your name and e-mail address to support Alan and the great work he does.

One FC Edmonton and Six Whitecaps Players Called to Canada U-20

The Canadian Soccer Association today announced its roster for an eight-day U-20 camp in Mexico beginning July 1. The camp will include two matches against the Mexican U-20 national team. One FC Edmonton player and six members of the Vancouver Whitecaps organization have made the cut. Congratulations to Dino Gardner of FC Edmonton and Callum Irving, Daniel Stanese, Ben McKendry, Bryce Alderson, Yassin Essa, and Ben Fisk of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

One FC Edmonton and Five Whitecaps Residency Players Off to Copa Mexico de Naciones Sub-15

Today, the Canadian Soccer Association announced a 20-man roster for the U-15 Copa Mexico de Naciones Sub-15, a tournament taking place in Ciudad de Mexico next week. Five members of the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency and one academy player with FC Edmonton have been named to the twenty-man roster. Representing the Whitecaps are defender Evan Libke and midfielders Francesco Saporito, A.J. Lopez, Marcello Polisi, and Olamide Ajibike. Representing FC Edmonton is forward Aymar Sigue. Canada's in a strong group with the host Mexicans, Nigeria, and Chile, which ought to pose a formidable and welcome challenge for these young men. Good luck to all involved!

FC Edmonton Supporters Group Playing Vancouver Whitecaps Supporters at Clarke Park, 2 PM

If you're in Edmonton and not working for a living, swing by Clarke Field at 2 PM Mountain time to watch the FC Edmonton Supporters Group take on Vancouver Whitecaps supporters (the Southsiders and the Curva Collective) in a charity match for Kick In for Kids. Bring gently used soccer equipment or a cash donation to support the cause, and come watch some crappy soccer played by fat men on a good field. Yours truly will be playing for the Vancouver team, and by "playing" I mean "spending as much time on the bench as he can get away with".

Me on West Coast Weekly: Talking the Whitecaps Loss to Kansas CIty

Your humble correspondent was live in the West Coast Weekly studio (i.e. Pierce's apartment) with Pierce Lang and Michael McColl on West Coast Weekly, where we discussed Vancouver's latest 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City. I'd often dreamed of coming up to a Lang's apartment after a soccer game but not like that. Highly recommended is the segment before mine, where historian Robert Janning discusses his book West Coast Reign. Sadly I won't be able to review it in this space but it sounds like a fascinating read and is a great interview. Then listen for me rambling exhaustedly about tactics and prawn sandwiches until they finally drag me off with a big hook.

Four Whitecaps Called to Canadian U-17 Camp in Italy

Thanks to Whitecaps Residency U-16 attacking midfielder Marco Bustos on that ol' newsbreaker Twitter for word that four Vancouver Whitecaps are off to a Canadian national U-17 camp in Italy this week. In addition to Bustos, the Whitecaps are sending goalkeeper Marco Carducci, left winger/fullback Jordan Haynes, and central defender Alex Comsia. All are 1996-born players with the Whitecaps U-16 team; Bustos is from Winnipeg, Haynes is from Ontario, Carducci is from Calgary and Comsia is from North Vancouver. Good luck to all four!

Me on the Footy Blog: What phrase is more debased than "good for Canadian soccer"

Mercifully, I won't be repeating last year's ghastly Whitecaps post-games on the Score's Footy Blog. However, I will be chipping in now and then with an article of more general interest. Today, I look at the pathetic and insignificant triumphs our pundits enjoy acclaiming as "good for Canadian soccer".

Somebody teach this kid to turn off the stove!;_ylt=AlCriya5ex4ZhwSh0MhDHH6dbgM6?slug=capress-soc_mls_whitecaps_mattocks-17413559

Me on the Footy Blog: A Soccer Supporter is Not More Than a Customer

Making a rare appearance on the Score's Footy Blog today, as I discuss whether a supporter really is, as the meme goes, "more than a customer." The answer, those of you familiar with my oeuvre will be unsurprised to hear, is no.

Monday Morning Centreback: Commentary on "Cracked Open" by Paul James

Highly recommended: Gregor Young at Monday Morning Centreback has written his notes on Paul James's Cracked Open, reviewed on this site late last week. It's a great read for those who have the book and those thinking about getting it, providing a bit of context and analysis from somebody well-connected to the game (if you don't recognize Young's name, he's a former Vancouver 86er and long-time fixture in lower Mainland soccer who capped once for Canada). Read, as they say, the whole thing.

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