It's a shorter-than-usual Vancouver Whitecaps game day news and notes today? Is it because I'm too hung over to write? Is it because I worked overnight and couldn't find a moment to get at the keyboard? Is it because I realized that writing about the Whitecaps' injury situation week after week was causing me to become surly and cynical, watching players' knees in every game to see which one would catastrophically blow out this time around, viewing each sliding challenge with a mixture of horror and almost sickening anticipation?
No! It's because this team is starting to get relatively healthy!
With the returns of Greg Janicki and Mouloud Akloul to a starting role on Saturday, as well as the graduation of Shea Salinas from the injured list, the Whitecaps locker room is starting to look less and less like the first fifteen minutes of Saving Private Ryan. This week, nobody's even suspended (though I'm sure Eric Hassli is cooking something up). As most of the news and notes I have to write about at any given time are of the "this guy is injured" variety, that leaves me delightfully short of material. I even thought about running Toronto - Edmonton news and notes before remembering that game doesn't matter.
So, without further ado, a definitely undersized installment of the Whitecaps game day news and notes.
Standard Long-Term Injury Section:
- Jay DeMerit remains out of full training with his groin strain. The last time we say DeMerit, you will recall, was last in action on April 10 against the Houston Dynamo where I coined a new verb for him, "DeMeriting", as he came back in such utterly poor shape it cost the Whitecaps at least one point. The team's captain has missed three weeks so far and seems set to miss a couple more yet.
- I'm beginning to think that those appearances of Michael Nanchoff in the media were just a ruse. Nanchoff's been making all the right noises about trying to get into shape and, indeed, he even had a fan club at the Columbus Crew match. But come on, this kid isn't real. You made him up, Tom Soehn. Admit it. I don't think any of us would mind, really; even a fictional player is better than Nathan Sturgis. But it'll save me having to type up this paragraph twice every week.
- Atiba Harris had knee surgery a couple weeks ago. You won't believe it, but he's not back yet.
- Veteran John Thorrington is taking his time recovering from a quadriceps injury, although with the return of Gershon Koffie his return looks less urgent. Still, the lack of news on the Thorrington front has to concern every Whitecaps follower and fan.
Thankfully Increasingly Modest Short-Term Injury Section:
- Jeb Brovsky remains on the "well, he's not one hundred percent, but if for some reason we needed him he's available" list with a sprained ankle.
- In minor news that won't affect this game, Alexandre Morfaw's in better shape than I thought. He played most of the Whitecaps Residency's first game on Sunday, albeit with his hand bandaged up. There's no reason to think he couldn't go for the senior Whitecaps, even though he pretty clearly won't.
- And, just to clear up some confusion, Joe Cannon is not injured. He's been in full training for weeks now, he's traveling with the team (they're not even bothering to bring Brian Sylvestre as cover on road trips anymore), and by all accounts his ankle is just fine. Maybe he's not in 100% game shape, but even that I doubt. He's on the bench because Teitur Thordarson prefers Jay Nolly, not because there's something wrong with him.
Is Anything Else Happening?
- Oscar's Pub on Boundary and East Hastings, the traditional pre-home game meeting point of the Vancouver Southsiders, will be showing the Toronto FC - FC Edmonton second leg at 5 PM Pacific Daylight Time. The Eddies have to overturn a three-goal deficit on the road and... and... let's be honest, they're not going to do it. But if they do somehow pull it off, you'll be glad you were watching.
- As well, if any other, non-Southsiders supporters are reading this and have events (or even just supporters' sections) they'd like pimped in this space, let me know either with a comment or by clicking the e-mail link on the bottom of the screen.