Recently, I was given the opportunity to speak to a couple Whitecaps players post training. I chose to speak to Marco Carducci and Sam Adekugbe. The obvious question would be why? The thought was that I could find out more about what goes into the mindset of two up and comers who have seen limited, and in Marco's case none, first team action.
What I discovered is that it's a watch and learn process. Show up to training every day, work your tail off, keeping a positive attitude and absorbing as much as you can from the veterans on the team. I know it sounds cliched, but in both their cases, they've got some pretty good mentors to look up to.
While a lot of people would get frustrated by the the lack of playing time, Marco and Sam seem to be mature beyond their years. A number of factors were talked about, ranging from family all the way up to coaching on the national team level to the supporters who are always there, but it the Voyageurs or the 3 Whitecaps supporters groups. Needless to say, my initial impressions of both Marco and Sam were re-inforced by the few minutes I had with each of them.
With the Copa America break on the horizon, I thought I'd take another look at some of the new additions.
Christian Bolanos - Yes, he's scored in a couple consecutive matches, and the indications of the chemistry I saw between him and Pedro Morales at the Simple Invitational are still there, the two of them need a run of matches together to build on that. While I never expected him to get stuck in like Laba does, I do want to see a bit more of that from him.
Fraser Aird - Yes, he is getting better, but I sometimes wonder would he make a better midfielder? Where would he fit and would a tactical change be required if that were to happen?
Masato Kudo - Finally opened his Whitecaps FC scoring account in limited minutes, however, he's still in his first go-around of seeing his opposition, unlike Rivero.
Blas Perez - Well, we all know what Blas is capable of, while he hasn't scored yet, he has drawn a few penalties and picked up a number of dubious fouls, based on his reputation alone.
Andrew Jacobson - Veteran utility midfield who's game is not a flashy one. His experience is welcome in a really young Caps squad, especially as a holding mid, where we have Laba, Flores and Teibert. Granted, RT has been around a while, he's still 23.
I think we all need to appreciate David Ousted a bit more. For the number of hard knocks he's taken and the amount he sacrifices his body for this team, I'm not sure why there isn't a statue of him somewhere in this city. I don't know anyone who would do that for their employer.
One final thing that has me wondering: Why were some people booing every time Darren Mattocks touched the ball? I can understand the sarcasting cheering when he was being himself (lack of finish, poor touches etc etc), but let's remember that the Caps traded him for general and targeted allocation money in addition to a 2017 International roster spot.