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Pleasant Surprises for the Whitecaps so Far

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Eighty-Six Forever looks at Erik Hurtado and some other pleasant surprises for the Vancouver Whitecaps so far this season.

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With just six wins on the season and a plethora of draws, the Vancouver Whitecaps year has been a mixed bag to date. While the club has shown they can generate an exciting, ferocious attack on some nights, it's only been there on some nights.

Still, it's not like this club is a train wreck; they're within sniffing distance of a playoff spot and can be pretty entertaining, with plenty of new faces stepping forward into the limelight. While there have been only two real slam dunk additions in Pedro Morales and Matias Laba, a few other pleasant surprises have stepped up thus far.

Erik Hurtado

To say Erik Hurtado has had a positive season up to this point would probably be stretching it, but still, it's nice to see some sparks of life from the former 5th overall pick after a pretty nondescript rookie season in which his touch frequently came into question. I mean, sure, it still comes into question now, but arguably not frequently. Anyways, Hurtado has shown a knack for scoring beautiful goals and had an impressive streak of four goals in four matches earlier this season.

While you would like more consistency from Hurtado's game, especially when he has been given so many prime minutes to play this season, his offensive surge has shown the club that this kid may just have something. Whether or not the Whitecaps can get Hurtado to harness his offensive prowess over a lengthy stretch of time remains to be seen, but he's made some strides in the right direction in his development.

I mean, I could watch this video all freaking day.

Sebastian Fernandez

Like Erik Hurtado, Sebastian Fernandez has the ability to score absolutely gorgeous goals one match, and then completely disappear the next. That being said, for an MLS rookie, he's actually been pretty good. He probably hasn't scored as many goals as the Whitecaps would like thus far, but he's definitely shown glimpses of brilliance.

The best thing about Sebastian Fernandez is that he only seems to score big goals. Despite his invisible man act on some nights, the dude already has an MLS 'Goal of the Week' award, as well as an additional nomination to his credit. I mean, those are about as prestigious as a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award, but it's still got to be a nice 'atta boy.

The Road Record

Yeah, it could be better. Could be a whole lot worse too, if you recall the dark, ungodly days of 2011. This year's edition of the Whitecaps is at the very least looking competent on the road, and while they can't seem to outright win matches recently, they still have an extremely decent 2-2-7 record away from BC Place.

In most of these games, the Whitecaps were competitive, they were stride for stride with the opposing club, and just couldn't finish them off. I'm pleased with the road record to this point, but it will obviously have to get better if the 'Caps want to make a serious run at the post-season.