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The Vancouver Whitecaps Best Eighteen on January 18, 2012

Joe Cannon
Alain Rochat - Carlyle Mitchell - Jay DeMerit - Young-pyo Lee
Gershon Koffie
Russell Teibert - Etienne Barbara
Davide Chiumiento
Camilo Sanvezzo - Eric Hassli
Goalkeepers Fullbacks Central Defenders Central Midfielders Wingers Forwards
Knighton Harvey Bonjour Jarju
Tan Mattocks

What's this?

With all of the Vancouver Whitecaps roster moves early this off-season, I thought it might be useful to keep things in perspective. So, after every couple of major changes, I'll provide an update of what I view as Vancouver's best eighteen at this precise moment in time, counting only players either under contract to the Whitecaps organization or seemingly certain to become so.

The first installment was on December 1, 2011. The next installment came on January 12, 2012.

I know I've experienced skepticism about Barbara's value but, actually, if I pencil him into right midfield, this lineup looks a little better. It allows us to put Chiumiento into a devil-may-care offensive role in the middle, which allows us to move Koffie back as a defensive midfield in a 4-4-2 diamond, and all of a sudden this looks like a team which will probably still lose a lot of soccer games, but will lose them really excitingly. Certainly, if Rennie can't get this unit to move the ball then I don't know what the hell we're going to do.


  • Etienne Barbara is listed as a starter despite not being signed (he indirectly moves John Thorrington out of the starting eleven and Philippe Davies out of the eighteen). I'm operating under the assumption that Barbara will sign, but you know what they say about assuming. Also added to the eighteen is Brad Knighton (replacing Brian Sylvestre as backup goalkeeper) and Darren Mattocks (who bumps Michael Nanchoff out of the eighteen by moving Long Tan to wing cover).
  • I'm also giving Barbara Mustapha Jarju's #7. No, this isn't my sly way of saying I think Jarju's about to be cut. Barbara wore #7 in the NASL and I didn't just want to put a question mark in the middle of his little circle, so I gave him a number that would make sense and then shrugged my shoulders.
  • Obviously, this is unlikely to be the actual lineup we enter the season with, particularly given that we need to either move some international players or acquire some international slots by March.
  • The other weakness is in central midfield, as ever: Gershon Koffie and Davide Chiumiento aren't quite the perfect spine of a team. But this is MLS and nobody's perfect. I think they'll do and Koffie, at least, is covered by well by Thorrington.