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Realistic (or not so realistic) Expecations

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What exactly should we expect from the 2016 Whitecaps

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

3 goals. That’s all that separated the Whitecaps from a date in the 2015 Western Conference Final. I don’t know about anyone else but my expectations for the 2015 Whitecaps were tempered, at best. 2nd in the Western Conference and home playoff date, 3rd in MLS, first foray into the Champions League, and a 1st Voyageurs Cup.

In an ideal world, the Whitecaps would win everything available. Re-claim the Cascadia Cup, retain the Voyageurs Cup, win the Supporters Shield, win MLS Cup, advance in and win the CCL, making the Caps the first MLS (and Canadian) team to represent CONCACAF in the FIFA Club World Cup. Realistically, I don’t see that happening, and I don’t think many others do. I can dream though, right?

Seriously though, I do expect the first two items on that list (Cascadia Cup, Voyageurs Cup) to happen. While the Supporters Shield would be nice, keeping a bye into the Conference Semi Finals is the priority.

I have been accused of not having high enough hopes for this club. Am I wrong? Who knows?

I’ve realized that some people don’t understand how our front office works. They have shown they are willing to spend money, but not to the point where we can go out and get a guy like Sebastian Giovinco, Didier Drogba or Kaka, either in transfer fee and/or salary demand. As such, we, as supporters and fans alike, should temper expectations to having to find guys like Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh, Christian Techera or wait until a team puts themselves in a jam and has to unload a star for next to nothing. In that, I mean Matias Laba.

Getting to a few of the new acquisitions, the highlight reel looks good on Bolanos and Kudo, however, so did Rivero. I’m not saying that Bola and Kudo are gonna end up struggling for most of the season. Once again, I don’t have the same expectations as I did a year ago. There comes a certain level of performance one expects when a player gets tagged as a Designated Player. Kudo and Bola are not so, however, I do expect a different on-field dynamic with these two. Being more experienced, I expect a bit more of a footballing sense. In that, I mean the ability to foresee a potential pass from the midfield to either right in front of the opposing backline or one in behind to set up a goal scoring opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong, I like what the kids bring, however, once they got close to the opposing 18, they lacked that ability (or willingness?) to a get a decent shot off, or heaven forbid, a goal. Sometimes I wonder how the Caps managed to score 45 goals.

It should also be noted that Ousted was a brick wall behind our back four, and have come to expect nothing less. With Tornaghi out of the picture, it could be Marco Carducci, the only other keeper on the roster as a backup. However, the Caps have two other keepers in camp: WFC2’s Spencer Richey and former Caps Residency keeper Sean Melvin.

Either way, it should be an interesting time at the Simple Invitational as it relates to whatever battles exist to make up the starting 11, and the 7 bench positions. Although 4-2-3-1 seems to be the favoured formation, the recent departure of Gershon Koffie could lead some to believe that Robbo may be considering a change.

Time will tell.