Whitecaps' Ownership Unfairly Criticized

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

I continue to be amazed by those who criticize the Whitecaps ownership and allege that they have failed through a lack of involvement or investment to field a competitive product.

In a season that began with few giving the Whitecaps any chance of making the playoffs, particularly after the defection of the characterless Camilo Sanvezzo, the club not only sits in the fifth and final playoff spot but harbours a realistic chance of hosting a playoff game at BCPlace for the first time in their MLS incarnation. They retained the Cascadia Cup following a thrilling, gritty and gutsy performance in Seattle last night and have their noses comfortably ahead of the megabucks TFC in the competition for the Voyageurs Cup and the coveted (by some) place in the CONCACAF Champion's League.

Their path to the MLS playoffs has included victories over all of the elite and elite wannabes in the uber tough Western Conference with the exception of LA (and few have beaten them) and are undefeated in play against the Eastern Conference with wins over three of the five teams in playoff spots in the East.

Competitive? I would say so.

Unwilling to finance the team? I thought that the competition was to see who could play the best football and not who could spend the most money. Whilst not so naive as to fail to see the correlation between money and the acquisition of talent, the key is skill of the player and how he fits into the manager's philosophy and the dressing room. TFC has spectacularly shown us this season what this looks like when it goes wrong.

On the other hand, players such as Pedro Morales, Mauro Rosales, Mathias Laba, Steven Beitashour, Kendall Waston and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Sebastian Fernandez and Nicolas Mezquida have shown us that the Whitecaps' ownership has been prepared to finance the acquisition of the right type of player.

Carl Robinson has expressed an intention to make several significant signings in the coming off-season and the ownership continues to invest substantially in an academy system that is beginning to supply young talent to the MLS roster. The proposed level three team will be another investment in the clubs future.

The current ownership group has provided us with an exciting season and hope that a playoff run may lie ahead They also continue to invest in a future which will see consistent competitive success over the long term

They are to be congratulated rather than excoriated for shortcomings that demonstrably do not exist.

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