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All The Way Up

MLS: Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

MLS recently released it’s schedule. Right away people noticed something wasn’t quite right.

I tried to add some levity to the situation.

Now this was intended as a joke but as with many jokes there’s a hint of truth to it. The Vancouver Whitecaps are the awkward third wheel of both of their major rivalries. The other Canadian MLS teams are in Eastern Canada and the other two Cascadian teams are in teams are in America. This means that we often seem to be a bit left out. the most important game in Canadian history (I can’t put enough quotation marks around that so I won’t even try) in 2016 didn’t feature the Whitecaps. The Copa90 special on the Cascadia derby features a game between Seattle and Portland. On Heineken rivalry week (brought to you by Heineken) we played Minnesota, a team we had never before played a competitive match. Suffice to say there’s a history of our rivalries not being taken particularly seriously.

The team I hate most in the world is Toronto F.C. It’s not a hatred born out of jealousy of their recent success. I have a very clear memory of the day it was announced Toronto was getting an MLS franchise. I must have been eight or nine years old at the time. Somebody on the CBC said something to the effect of “at last Canada has a professional team.” I was livid. The Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact had been chugging along in the lower divisions, not to mention the numerous teams before my time, and Toronto F.C just gets to swagger in and be the centre of attention all of a sudden? The history of the Whitecaps not being taken seriously goes back some time.

So the Whitecaps have a history of not being taken all that seriously and being handed an unbalanced Cascadia Cup schedule is just the latest slight. What can be done about this? You ask. Well that’s the point i’m coming to. I don’t know how much sway I have (it’s probably very little) but nevertheless I shall use the platform I have to say this: I feel that amongst fans, players, coaches, and front office there should start to form the mentality that it’s us against the world. As DJ Khaled so eloquently puts it “they don’t want us to win; they wanna finish us; they want us broke; they want us miserable; they don’t want us to be blessed up.” But as DJ Khaled continues “So what we’re gonna do is be all the way up.” If the league, the media, and even some Vancouverites won’t take us seriously then we must do something to make them take us seriously. I think the goal of the Vancouver Whitecaps for 2018 must be to win the MLS cup. Now I know there will be cynics who say that the Whitecaps don’t have that kind of ambition but Lenerduzzi is already echoing a similar sentiment. There seems to be a plan to how the squad is being assembled this year and if Robinson can get the players on board then this team may surprise some people. As fans our influence is limited but what we can do is get on board ourselves. I’m not saying not to be critical of the team, criticize to your heart’s content, but when that whistle blows we need to be solidly behind the team for 90 minutes. Are you in?