We conclude our three-part preseason roundtable discussion by looking at a few fun over/under predictions for the upcoming Vancouver Whitecaps season. If you missed our first two roundtables, Part I can be found here while Part II can be found here.
As always, make sure to give us your over/under predictions in the comments.
1) From 2015 until 2017, Kei Kamara has scored 22, 12, and 12 goals. His playing style certainly fits the Whitecaps style. Will Kamara score over or under 12.5 goals this season?
AtlantisB: Over. The Whitecaps style is tailored for Kamara.
CWilkins: Over, but not by much.
Andrew Bahl: Over: Kamara is the kind of physical presence the Caps have not had in some time and is the kind of player that should succeed in Carl Robinson’s system (better late than never, right?). I don’t see him starting enough games to replicate his 2015 form but I see him putting in one last, strong season where he nabs 13 goals or more.
Samuel_Rowan: Over. With almost all of his goals coming from set pieces or the penalty spot.
Ian Jones: I think he’ll bag more than 12, but not much more, as I’m confident secondary scoring will improve this year. Share the wealth!
Jitsuo: Over - assuming he’s on penalty duty.
2) Jake Nerwinski came on strong at the end of the season and ended the campaign with five assists; despite only playing 19 matches (1707 minutes). The Caps will be heavily reliant on their full backs to swing in good balls to the big bodies. Will Nerwinski’s assist total be over or under 5.5 this season?
CWilkins: Under. I could be wrong, now that he has a target man, but it’s tough to keep that pace up as a defender.
Andrew Bahl: Over: Nerwinski and Sheanon Williams combined for five assists last season, with the rookie putting in 3 in 19 appearances. Nerwinski has proven to be an intelligent passer and crosser and would stand to benefit from having two competent strikers.
Editor note: According to MLSSoccer.com, Jake had five assists while Williams had three.
Samuel_Rowan: Over. Nerwinski’s hard driving runs down the wing and quality service into the box is something which will only get better in his sophomore season.
Ian Jones: It’ll be under, but only because the team will find other outlets to create.
Jitsuo: Over - he’ll be asked to put a lot of crosses into the box with the target men up front, there’s also enough quality in movement and size with the forwards to convert those crosses.
AtlantisB: Over. That sophomore year can be tricky and it is hard to follow-up, but remember he had five in, essentially, half a season.
3) In the past few years, Russell Teibert’s playing time has decreased. In 2014 he played 1971 minutes, followed by 1346, 696, and 731 in 2017. With his strong preseason, does Teibert see over or under 800 minutes in MLS this season?
Andrew Bahl: Under: Teibert seems to have carved out his niche in Vancouver and I don’t really see the needle moving much on his playing time in 2018. I see him playing slightly more minutes in 2018 but not enough to push Teibert over the 800-minute mark.
Samuel_Rowan: Under. While I really appreciate the work rate Rusty brings every minute he’s on the pitch, unless the ‘Caps go to three at the back for long stretches of the season, it’s hard to see his minutes increasing.
Ian Jones: Under. The guy is a spark plug and still young, but I’m thinking this year’s role will again be one where he kills it as a lockdown sub in the last 30 minutes of a match.
Jitsuo: Under - As good as he’s been in preseason, I don’t think he’ll be any further up the pecking order.
AtlantisB: Under. I HOPE I am wrong on this, but I feel that Robbo just won’t play him, given the depth at his position.
4) With set-pieces being such a key scoring source for the Vancouver Whitecaps, Cristian Techera has a great opportunity to score or assist on a lot of goals this season, from set-pieces. Last season, Techera finished with six goals and seven assists. Combined, Techera’s goals and assists from set-pieces (only) will be over or under 11.5?
Samuel_Rowan: Over. By adding Kei Kamara, one can’t help but think that the Whitecaps will be an even better team on set pieces this season.
Ian Jones: Over, but not by a heck of a lot. A combined total of 12 seems like a lot, but he’s definitely capable of it.
Jitsuo: Over, the ‘Caps are big, and they’re going to be well organized on set plays. I think Techera should up his numbers this season.
AtlantisB: Over. Probably too optimistic, he has looked great in pre-season and has the tools at his disposal.
Andrew Bahl: Over: One could argue that the Caps got lucky with the sheer number of set piece goals last season, but one piece of that is the excellence of Cristian Techera. His free kick taking ability is well demonstrated and seems to be good for several goals this season. While I doubt Vancouver will pace the league again in set piece goals, they should be among the top teams in MLS in this category once again, largely thanks to The Bug.
5) The Caps have been up-and-down with their record the last three years. In 2015, they had 16 wins and 53 points. In 2016, they dipped to 10 wins and 39 points. In 2017, they jumped back up to 15 wins and 53 points. Will the Caps end the season over or under 12.5 wins? Will the Caps end the season over or under 49.5 points?
Ian Jones: I don’t see them getting to 49 points, but 13 wins seems achievable, so... let’s say they go 13-13-8, which is close to where San Jose finished last year while making the playoffs.
Jitsuo: Over. All day. Over or under 49.5 points? Over, but just by a shade.
AtlantisB: Over. They will have few draws and either win or lose matches. As a result, they will have more than 12 wins and be above 50 points.
CWilkins: Can I pick equal to? I’m going to say slightly under.
Editor Note: No, you can’t say equal to 49.5 points!
Samuel_Rowan: Over on both. I look for the Whitecaps to perform on a very similar level to last season.
6) With the addition of Anthony Blondell and Kei Kamara, and a full season from Yordy Reyna, there are expectations that this team will score more. In 2015 and 2016, they only scored 45 goals, while in 2017, they increased to 50 goals. Will Vancouver score over or under 49.5 goals this season?
Ian Jones: It will be close to 50, though maybe not that high. However, I’m thinking there will be a sharp drop off between their third and fourth-highest goal scorers.
Jitsuo: This team is going to push towards 60 goals.
AtlantisB: Under. At the end of the day, this is still a defense-first club.
CWilkins: Slightly under.
Andrew Bahl: Over (but barely): Kamara and Blondell, on paper, should be enough to replace the 13 goals Fredy Montero tallied last year, but there were some anomalies in 2017 as well. Kendall Waston and Tony Tchani both had four goals apiece, setting career highs that likely won’t repeat this season. A healthy Yordy Reyna should help offset this, so be looking for a slight uptick in goals, but probably not a hugely meaningful one.
Samuel_Rowan: Over. Just so long as the likes of Blondell and Davies can add an great goal scoring element from open play.
7) After a strong 2015, where they only allowed 36 goals, the Caps have been less stellar defensively, allowing 52 goals in 2016 and 49 in 2017. Will Vancouver allow over or under 45.5 goals this season?
Jitsuo: Unfortunately – Over. I think the ‘Caps finish with between 50-55 goals conceded.
AtlantisB: Under. I expect the Caps in the low 40’s.
CWilkins: Under. They had a lot of weird games last year, where they conceded a lot of goals, and I think this will be less of a factor without Champions League (more balanced schedule).
Andrew Bahl: Under: Even with Tim Parker’s likely departure, this defense should be more like the 2015 version than the 2016 one, assuming Stefan Marinovic hits the ground running. This Caps offense is not geared towards shootouts, so the defense will have to hold up if they are to achieve similar success to last season.
Samuel_Rowan: Over, but only just. Look for quality goalkeeping to help make up for the potential departure of Tim Parker. At this point, 2015 looks like an anomaly that will be hard to replicate.
Ian Jones: They’ll find a way to have their Goals Allowed close to their Goals Scored, so I’m thinking it will be under, but only by a few.