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Crew Job: Whitecaps Game Day News and Notes

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Midfielder Gershon Koffie is suspended for this weekend's game... right?
Midfielder Gershon Koffie is suspended for this weekend's game... right?

It seems like so recently that I did one of these. That's actually because it was recent: on Wednesday the Vancouver Whitecaps took on the Montreal Impact and I felt compelled to do the now-obligatory news and notes post then too.

It's not like news and notes tend to change all that much over the course of three days. Not even modern professional soccer moves that quickly. Still, there have been a few tidbits of news from the bottom of the organization up to the top. The Whitecaps signed a new player, bade farewell to an old one for a while, and for once emerged from a game healthier than they came into it. The fact that the Whitecaps escaped Montreal without a single injury worth reporting is a far more surprising result than a 1-0 win ever could have been.

Believe me, there's nothing I'd like more than for the Whitecaps to get completely healthy and for them to put this entire post out of business. Alas for all of us, that doesn't seem terribly likely, and for now I will leach into my traditional evaluation of just how completely screwed everybody in this lineup is. Or also everybody. Maybe one of our midfielders is in a bit less trouble than I thought.

Players Who Are Suspended (Or Possibly Not):

  • Forward Eric Hassli is suspended from this game due to yellow card accumulation. He picked up a yellow last Saturday against FC Dallas for, erm, being tall. That is because MLS officiating is incompetent and useless.
  • Speaking of MLS officiating incompetence, there's some question as to whether Gershon Koffie is suspended for today's match. By the letter of the law, he should be: Koffie received an automatic one-match suspension for a red card against the New England Revolution and promptly left for duty with the Ghana U-20 team before serving it. According to Major League Soccer's own disciplinary site:

    Players suspended from MLS League Season games (regular season or playoffs) that are called in for national team duty will have their suspensions held in abeyance until they return to their MLS Club.

    That's pretty unambiguous. However, Koffie's suspension isn't listed on the disciplinary website and he's in Columbus training with the team. So, huh? Whatever the reason, it looks like Koffie will be in the Whitecaps lineup today.

The Long-Term Injured List:

  • Atiba Harris underwent knee surgery earlier this week to repair his damaged right meniscus. It's safe to say that he'll be out some time, although as ever the Whitecaps are being a little tight-lipped about Harris's injury status.
  • Michael Nanchoff and his strained groin are still in Vancouver training, meaning that Nanchoff will miss out on a chance to make his professional debut in front of his home state fans.
  • Jay DeMerit's groin injury is continuing to keep him far, far away from the lineup: he, too, is in Vancouver recovering.
  • Midfielder John Thorrington and his bum quadriceps muscle are still out, both for now and for the foreseeable future. Thorrington has sort of fallen off the face of the earth since his relief stint in midfield against the New England Revolution.
  • Alexandre Morfaw , whose entire body is broken to one degree or another, hasn't made the trip with the team and is still trying to recuperate in British Columbia.

Closer to a Return:

  • Having made his Whitecaps debut on Wednesday, I think it's safe to say that Shea Salinas is almost back in shape. Salinas was one of the Whitecaps' major surprises in preseason but suffered an injury training for the Cascadia Summit that has ruled him out the entire season to this point. It would be a surprise if Salinas started but he should once again be available on the bench.
  • Jeb Brovsky sprained his ankle against Dallas but so far hasn't missed a beat: he was in Montreal as an unused substitute and has made the trip to Columbus as well.
  • Greg Janicki was also in Montreal riding the substitutes bench and figures to fill the same role in Columbus. He seems to be very close to a return to the lineup: I think there's at least an outside chance he starts.
  • Newly-signed midfielder Peter Vagenas isn't in full fitness yet and won't appear in this game.

News from the Whitecaps Organization:

  • The Vancouver Whitecaps Residency team kicks off its season on Sunday against the mighty Kitsap Pumas. The game will be held at Empire Field at 4 PM and admission is free; I'll be there if I'm not too worn out from work. Residency games are surprisingly good entertainment and you can't beat the price. I highly recommend it.
  • And a note from the women's team, as the team added four more players this week: Canadian utility defender/midfielder Shannon Woeller returns from the 2010 club while three British Columbia natives are joining from the ladies' Prospects team that went nearly undefeated last season: Nikki Ambrose, Jaclyn Sawicki, and Katie Turney.