Vancouver Whitecaps fans were hoping that 2017 would begin with the announcement of a new designated player striker, however, 2017 started like how most experienced 2016: pretty poorly. On January 4th, the Whitecaps announced that centerback David Edgar underwent successful PCL, MCL, and meniscus surgery on his right knee, after being victim of a hit-and-run incident over the holidays. Edgar is expected to be sidelined until the Fall.
Last season, the Whitecaps prominently featured a CB-tandem of Kendall Waston and Tim Parker. While both should be considered good players, the partnership was not a successful one. Edgar was brought into the team last summer to stabilize the back line. While they got off to a bit of a shaky start, the new duo of Waston/Edgar seemed to be a positive to look forward to for 2017. Although replacing Edgar with Parker is certainly a downgrade, it may not be a substantial one. Despite a less than stellar sophomore season, Parker was not poor, and he should continue to make strides at CB. There is a reason why many believe he will begin to get call-ups for the US Men’s National Team. However, what the loss of Edgar really means is that the previous depth at CB now seems non-existent. Couple in Waston heading away for international duty and the 2-3 games he will miss for yellow/red card accumulation and there may be some concerns.
The news of Edgar’s injury may be a blessing in disguise to one Whitecaps player. Christian Dean came into camp last season in great shape, ready to fight Parker for the starting position beside Kendall Waston. By all accounts, he was making a great showing and was turning heads. Then it all came crashing down when he suffered a broken left foot days before the season opener. Two days into his return, three months later, he suffered a knee injury and was out for the rest of the season. It appeared that Dean’s chance to make an impact with the Whitecaps was gone, with the signing of Edgar, pushing him further down the depth chart. However, with news of Edgar’s injury and Waston’s suspension proclivities, Dean may finally get his opportunity to shine.
Another potential option is last season’s SuperDraft selection Cole Seiler. Despite appearing only in non-league play and for the ThunderCaps, he seemed to make a positive impression with his play and work ethic. I believe that this is truly Dean’s opportunity, but do not be surprised to see Seiler pick up the baton, so to speak, if Dean falters. Worst case scenario, there is always Andrew Jacobson, who filled in nicely last season and was one of the few bright spots for the team.
The final option, of course, is to bring in a fresh face, but I do not see the Whitecaps going that route. Despite the considerable blow the loss of Edgar will be, I believe that a CB addition is not a priority at this moment. We will see if that belief holds two months into the season of course.
What are your thoughts on the injury to Edgar? Do you feel it is a huge blow? Are you concerned about another season of Parker/Waston? Do you see this as a big opportunity for Dean and will he take advantage?