The on-field success of the Vancouver Whitecaps is the result, of course, of the players. As those players continue to impress, they get the attention of their respective national teams. Until this season, international call-ups have not been a major concern with Russell Teibert (and Darren Mattocks) being the only regularly called away. If the Whitecaps continue to improve, and acquire more young talent, the recognition, and game day roster impacts, will be even higher next season.
In the first half of the 2015 MLS season, management and fans (including myself) lauded the Whitecaps on their impressive depth. No longer were starters backed-up by journeymen and players not even up to MLS skill level. While it was effective in the first half of the year, a combination of injuries, card accumulations, and international duty impacted the Whitecaps second half performance. Of those currently on the MLS roster, eight were called away for international duty at some point during the season. With the possibility of Steven Beitashour being called in by Iran again, and Tim Parker and Kekuta Manneh playing for the US, 11 Whitecaps could be called away at any given time next season. This does not include David Ousted, who could theoretically be called up to the Denmark team as their two keepers are 29-year-old Kasper Schmeichel (16 caps) who plays for Leichester City, and 33-year-old Stephan Andersen (30 caps) who plays for Copenhagen. It also does not include potential new signings such as Romell Quioto, who played for Honduras Friday night at BC Place.
The acquisition of international team players is a mixed blessing as it improves the quality of the club and the notoriety across the globe. However, with MLS not honoring international breaks, the Whitecaps will need to take into consideration how international call-ups will impact their squad going forward.
List of Potential International Players for Whitecaps 2016 Roster
Canada: Sam Adekugbe, Marco Bustos, Marco Carducci, Kianz Froese, Russell Teibert
USA: Christian Dean, Kekuta Manneh, Tim Parker
Iran: Steven Beitashour
Jamaica: Darren Mattocks
Costa Rica: Kendall Waston
Denmark: David Ousted
Honduras: Romell Quioto
What are your thoughts on international duty for the Vancouver Whitecaps?