Sons of Vancouver!
Of the lower mainland and beyond!
My brothers, sisters, and those that lieth betwixt
I see in your tweets the same fear that would take the heart of me
A day may come when it is time to freak out about the roster situation of the Vancouver Whitecaps, when we must come to terms that no manager can succeed under this front office and support Pacific F.C instead, but it is not this day!
An hour of crappy imports and residency grads planted firmly to the bench, when our support cannot take the heartache anymore, but it is not this day!
This day we try and remain calm until at least the 8th of February!
By all that you hold dear on this rapidly deteriorating neoliberal hell world, I bid you stand peoples of the Western Conference.
*Ahem. So people are freaking out a bit that Efraín Juarez may not only be staying for 2019 but may be having his contract extended. At face value this is absolutely something worth freaking out over. But if you pause for a moment and look at the situation critically you will come away feeling a lot calmer. Allow me to explain.
The freakout began with this tweet by Har Journalist
Now I understand why this tweet might be worrying to people but there are a few things you have to understand. Firstly, just because you report to training camp that does not necessarily mean you will still be there on opening day. Over the years there have been tonnes of players on the Whitecaps, and teams across the globe who have been there on the first day of training camp and not been on the team at first kick. Darren Mattocks actually played and scored in a few friendlies before he was shipped off. It also makes sense that the Whitecaps would explore every possible alternative to buying Juarez out before doing it. After all, why would you pay a player to not play for you (and tap into the precious Davies money to do it) when you could possibly find someone to take him off your hands for free, or even give you something in return?
But then the freak out was escalated:
Once again I understand why this would freak people out. But, again, if you take a step back and think about this then there’s no reason to worry.
Clearly not reasons they are doing this:
- Marc Dos Santos likes Juarez:
Guys, come on.
2. They have failed to get all of their targets and are forced to stick with Juarez.
This anxiety seems to be directly related to notorious rumour account Glass City F.C. tweeting that the Whitecaps have failed in their attempts to sign Korean Wünderkind Hwang In-Beom. Opinion is split on how much to trust Glass City. It is a faceless twitter account, we never know who the sources are or what his (or her, wouldn’t that be a twist) editorial standards are for the information they are told. That being said their hit rate on leaks is hard to deny, especially this offseason in which the trades for MacMath, Crepeau and Rose were called well in advance. I leave it up to you to decide what you think. But like it or not the account has a big following, is a major hub of Whitecaps discussion and has an effect on the mood of the fanbase (at least on Twitter). I would point out, however, that even in the wording of the Glass City tweet there is some degree, albeit small, of doubt about weather the information that was received is accurate
FML...source is also saying they’ve whiffed on Hwang. Hope to god that this isn’t true. ♂️ #VWFC— (@GlassCityFC) January 11, 2019
But for the sake of argument let’s say that information is accurate and Hwang won’t be coming to Vancouver. That being the case we still do not know the reason that Hwang decided against coming to Vancouver. Hwang has interest from teams in Europe and he may have decided that that going to one of them would serve his career better. Furthermore we do not know who their plan B is. Marc Dos Santos also told Har Journalist at the MLS draft that he hadn’t been home for the last 30 days because he’s been flying around scouting (N.B it’s extremely cool that a team supposedly dedicated to finding hidden gems and spending wisely has such a week scouting network the manager can’t even get home for Christmas) i’m sure he’s spotted a guy or two. We know that some of the players Dos Santos wants won’t be available until the summer, we know some won’t be available until the European transfer window closes, and on the most recent AFTN podcast it was speculated (implied?) that there are a few transfers lined up that are waiting on the player’s club signing a replacement. You can say you doubt the Whitecaps FO have the negotiating power to land those players, and fair enough, but the notion that they’re already down to the option of keeping Juarez is totally absurd.
Almost certainly the actual reason they are doing this:
The key word of Har’s tweet is “restructured.” In practical terms what this means is that Juarez will be given the money he is owed over a longer period of time. When he signed Juarez signed a guaranteed contract for two years worth $1,239,666USD. This gave him an annual salary of $619,833USD. He’s been paid the first half of that and, because his contract is guaranteed, he’s getting the second half one way or another. By renegotiating the contract so that money is spread over more years, Juarez’s salary cap hit comes down significantly and this makes him much easier to trade within MLS. Recall that Juarez had higher offers from clubs in Mexico but chose Vancouver for increased safety for his family. he wants to stay in MLS. But nobody in their right mind is going to take a 619K player who’s coming off a dreadful season. But a 200-300k player who, as if we could ever forget, once played at a World Cup? Somebody will be willing to take a gamble on that. Remember even Brek Shea managed to get an MLS team to take a gamble on him, the champions no less. MLS is a league where a lot of players are able to coast on past performance. If it transpires that the Whitecaps can’t find a buyer for him then restructuring the contract still helps them significantly with the cap. They wouldn’t have to use TAM on him anymore which would free up a little over 400k in TAM that could be used on a new and exciting player (though his budget charge would be a little higher, it’s a whole thing).
Marc Dos Santos said at the draft that people have to trust the Vancouver Whitecaps are doing their best to bring in good players. People rightly pointed out in response to this that the Whitecaps have not earned that trust. I will not tell you to trust the process because you are right to be skeptical of it. I will, however, ask that you hold off on the guillotine until we are sure beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that the accused are guilty of crimes against the revolution. As we established last time the date it is reasonable to be worried about the shape of the squad is February 8th, when the first preseason game kicks off. Yes, medicals are on the 21st but the team has never been fully assembled by the date the medicals happen. In the meantime be skeptical but do not freak out over how the squad is being built. If we get to the 8th and the team still looks like this then you have my permission to unleash hell on every avenue of communication you have with the Whitecaps. But until then, we wait.