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Post-Season Dissection V: Players

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We conclude our year-end roundup by asking our writers about the various player decisions that need to occur in the offseason.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

We conclude our five-part series on the Vancouver Whitecaps 2018 Major League Soccer season by looking at the performances of the players that comprised the squad and looking ahead to the player situation in 2019. Make sure to let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below.

Post-Season Dissection I: Preseason Predictions Part I
Post Season Dissection II: Preseason Predictions Part II
Post-Season Dissection III: Season Reflections and Awards
Post-Season Dissection IV: Management

7. Can/Will Teibert be captain next year?

Samuel_Rowan: Can he? Possibly. Will he? I hope not. Not because I don’t like Rusty, but because I hope we bring in a few players that will knock him down the pecking order.

IanJones: Most likely. Though if Kamara is resigned, I can see the striker playing a major leadership role as well. I mean, if there were cliques this season, Kamara looked to be the positive fulcrum of it all.

CWilkins: I must say I find the attention paid to the role of captain to be a little silly. I see it mostly as a fancy title when in practice it doesn’t mean much. That being said though it’s difficult to tell if Teibert said what he did out of a genuine sense of it being the right thing to do or out of self interest in the hope to drum up popular support for him being captain. What I’m trying to say here is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

AtlantisB: I hope not! Look, I am a fan of Teibert and I think he has an important role/place on this squad. However, if this club is going to challenge for tops in MLS, I feel that Teibert cannot start every match. If he starts 10-15 MLS matches, then I would be happy. With that in mind, he can be A captain, but not THE captain.

8. How much/little will Waston fetch this offseason?

IanJones: With another call up to the national side, the price should go up, but when a player is known to want out, the transfer fee inevitably goes down.

CWilkins: I think about 1 million is reasonable. That’s just the sense I get

AtlantisB: I think he will fetch a fair amount. However, I don’t think it will be as high as fans expect. Waston has been a strong player for the Caps and has been solid for Costa Rica. He has appeared six times for CR this year and scored FOUR goals! That is impressive for a center back. However, he is a center back. While he has his talents, he certainly has his limitations. Being a center back means his transfer fee is not high. Expect two million at most. If Vancouver somehow gets an offer of more than that, JUMP ON IT!

Samuel_Rowan: Probably not as much as people are hoping for. Defenders tend to garner the least value; his play also took quite a significant dip this season.

9. Who starts next season (and why), Marinovic, Richey, or Melvin?

CWilkins: I think it should clearly be Richey. They’ve been developing him for 4 years and he’s achieved all he can in USL. He’s ready to take the next step and at 26 if he doesn’t get the chance to it this season he probably never will. Side note: I never want to hear anybody describe him as a young keeper ever again. He’s only a year younger than Marinovic. As for Marinovic, he has been statistically one of the least effective keepers in the league. This isn’t totally his fault because the xGA calculation punishes conceding goals from long range and the Whitecaps were terrible at giving their keepers protection from those situations but it would be nice to get a save from time to time. Richey costs half as much, doesn’t take an international slot, and is of basically the same ability

AtlantisB: Richey! I was a fan of Marinovic coming in, but he has not been good enough. Can he look to his defense and Robbo’s style as letting him down? Certainly. However, David Ousted could make that claim too and he won several games by himself. Marionvoic is a good keeper, he just doesn’t seem capable of stealing games. Richey does appear to be a game winner. Plus, his personality will easily make him a fan favourite if he is not already!

Samuel_Rowan: Marinovic, but I think the position is going to be open for competition.

IanJones: I don’t feel as though Marinovic has “lost” the job per se, but given the season that Richey had on loan at FC Cincinnati, I say absolutely give him a shot.

10. Of those probably not coming next season, who will the Whitecaps miss most?

AtlantisB: My colleagues are going to say Reyna. While I agree with them, I feel he is coming back. However, who I don’t see coming back, based on how the season ended, is Cristian Techera. He had his faults and has never really seemed that motivated to be in Vancouver or be the best. He has also shown himself to be quite selfish coming into 2017 (or was it 2016?) out-of-shape, taking stupid cards in matches, and getting suspended for his language. Despite all of that, he was the best at dead ball shots and the club was undefeated when he scored or assisted. UNDEFEATED! While he can probably be replaced, he certainly proved his worth when motivated; remember when he scored headers from crosses inside the six? Yeah...

Samuel_Rowan: Excluding Davies, I’d say Yordy Reyna. I’m hoping Kamara comes back next season, but as far as play creation is concerned, Reyna was the ‘Caps second best player this season.

IanJones: Of those with expiring contracts, Yordy Reyna. When he was on, his ball movement was phenomenal. That’s never easy to replace.

CWilkins: I don’t think we’ll miss any of them much other than Davies. Possibly Waston but based on what Dos Santos has been saying about playing a high line I’m not sure he’d fit in

11. Any player not expected back who you believe will be?

Samuel_Rowan: Not really, I’m expecting a lot of turnover this offseason.

IanJones: Nico Mezquida. His contract is expiring after all, but he’s remained relatively quiet (read: professional) during the end of year blow up and has always busted his bag on the pitch, an endearing trait if I’ve ever seen one. Agency allegiances aside, I believe he’ll be resigned.

CWilkins: Not really

AtlantisB: Juarez. While he is under contract, I believe many think he will be gone. Caps have shown that they are not too keen on paying to get rid of players. If they cannot find a suitor, or rather Juarez cannot find a suitor, expect him to be back.

12. Which Whitecaps ‘prospect’ has the biggest upside going forward?

IanJones: I’m not as acquainted with them as I should be, but I’m loving all the positives surrounding Theo Bair and Michael Baldisimo.

CWilkins: Has to be Baldisimo (the younger). He’s my dark horse to start the first game in 2019. In addition to being a tremendous talent he also fits perfectly with what Dos Santos has said about wanting players who are aggressive and keep possession.

AtlantisB: Again, my colleagues are going to say Baldisimo, so I am going to leave him alone. I think that two names to watch are Simon Colyn and Noah Verhoeven.

Samuel_Rowan: Michael Baldisimo has the highest ceiling, but I also think Spencer Richey has a good chance to be a starting MLS keeper.

Those are our thoughts. Now it is your turn to answer our questions.

7. Can/Will Teibert be captain next year?

8. How much/little will Waston fetch this offseason?

9. Who starts next season (and why), Marinovic, Richey, or Melvin?

10. Of those probably not coming next season, who will the Whitecaps miss most?

11. Any player not expected back who you believe will be?

12. Which Whitecaps ‘prospect’ has the biggest upside going forward?