The Vancouver Whitecaps have been busy over the past few days with both club and player announcements coming hard and fast. We will begin with the club announcements and then move to the player announcements.
Wednesday (January 25th) morning, the Whitecaps revealed their 2019 jersey. The ‘hoop’ jersey was inspired by the 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl championship season, and commemorates the 40th anniversary of that victory.
The jersey will go on sale in early February and is already getting plenty of praise from Whitecaps’ fans. Of course, some have noted that it is eerily similar to other clubs’ previous kits.
Hold up. Are these the exact same kits that the Fire are wearing (and TFC had before that) except in slightly different colors? https://t.co/4JPR3SxFap— Jeremiah Oshan (@JeremiahOshan) January 25, 2019
What are your thoughts though? Are you a fan?
Thoughts on Whitecaps 2019 Kit
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No better/worse than last year
The Whitecaps also announced their plans for the preseason, traveling again to Hawaii and California. The club will depart for Honolulu Hawaii on January 31st, then play in the Pacific Rim Cup on February 8th and 10th (sigh, I was supposed to be in Honolulu then, and could have went. Stupid plan changes!).
Vancouver will then head to Los Angeles on February 15th, followed by preseason games against LA Galaxy (February 15th), Club Tijuana (February 20th), and LAFC (February 23rd).
The Whitecaps will then close out February training from home, out at UBC.
Whitecaps FC Announce Canadian Championship Schedule
The Canadian Championship will look a bit different this year, as the tournament will have 13 combatants this season, with the Canadian Premier League starting up. This season, the championship will be five rounds, with the Caps entering in the ‘Third Qualifying Round’. They will be joined in the Third Round by Montreal Impact and USL Ottawa Fury FC. The defending champion, Toronto FC, will enter in the Semi-Final Round.
The tournament remains with the home/away format, with the Caps kicking off July 10th, and the return leg July 24th. If the Caps are victorious, the semi-finals would commence on August 7th and 14th, followed by the final September 8th and 25th.
New Canadian Championship Format
This poll is closed
Love the additional teams
Too many teams
Why does TFC get a bye?
Nick Dasovic as U-23 Head Coach
On Friday (January 18th), the Whitecaps announced that Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer Nick Dasovic would join the club’s technical staff, as well as be named head coach of the U-23 development squad.
Nick Dasovic is a fantastic hire, with extensive experience and a UEFA Pro License, so he should be a great teacher; however, as CWilkins noted, there are questions surrounding what the purpose of the U-23 is, and who would be willing to play for it.
Player Transactions: Now it is time to move on to player transactions.
Brendan McDonough: It went a bit under the radar, because the MLS SuperDraft has lost most of its appeal, and because the Whitecaps did not have a first-round selection, but the Whitecaps did select centre back Brendan McDonough, from Georgetown University, 35th overall. While he will not be a starter, and quite possibly never see the field, there is some upside to McDonough.
Derek Cornelius: On January 18th, the Whitecaps announced the acquisition of 2018 Canadian Youth International Player of the Year Derek Cornelius, from Serbian club FK Javor Ivanjica. The 21-year-old, left-footed, centre back will likely battle for the second centre back starting position. He is also signed through 2020, with options for 2021 and 2022.
Jon Erice: On January 22nd, the Whitecaps confirmed the rumors that 32-year-old Spanish defensive midfielder Jon Erice would be joining the club. Having played the majority of his professional matches in Spain, Erice will be looked upon to add leadership to the locker room, and possibly replace Aly Ghazal. Erice’s contract is through 2020, with a club option for 2021. The move was made via targeted allocation money, and he will occupy an international roster position.
Lass Bongoura: The next day, January 23rd, Vancouver confirmed another anticipated move, with the announcement that 26-year-old Guinean winger Lass Bangoura had been acquired on loan from La Liga club Rayo Vallecano. The Caps have the option to purchase at the conclusion of the one-year loan, and Bongoura will occupy an international roster position.
Lucas Venuto: Today, January 25th, Marc Dos Santos announced another rumored import, Brazilian winger Lucas Venuto. The 24-year-old was acquired from FK Austra Wien, using Targeted Allocation Money, signed to a three-year contract (through 2021), with a club option for 2022, and will occupy an international roster position.
A bit lost in this move was that the Whitecaps had to acquire the rights for Venuto from NYCFC. To do that, Vancouver sent $150,000 in General Allocation Money to New York.
Rumors: We don’t typically like to discuss rumors here, but with the moves coming hard and fast, we feel it is important to at least get a bit ahead of the (possible) news. While it looks like the Cordova rumors might not come to pass, there are others to look at.
New Striker? DP?
First, in an interview with MDS, Sam Stejskal said that the Whitecaps still have several more moves to make, with the most pressing at striker, centre back, right back, and center midfield.
Just spoke with Vancouver head coach Marc dos Santos. He expects a few new signings to be announced relatively soon. Confirmed that the club are looking to land a DP. Said he'd still like to add at striker, center back, right back, center midfield.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) January 24, 2019
Jasser Khemiri: It appears that Tunisien centre back Jasser Khemiri could be on his way to the club. When we get an official announcement, we will give you more details. This would address the centre back issue noted by Sam Stejskal.
I can confirm that Club Tunisien have agreed term with the @WhitecapsFC for the transfer of Jasser Khemiri. The club should also receive a percentage of a future transfer of Khemiri if he goes to another club#VWFC #TFC #IMFC #MLS— sofianebenzaza (@sofianebenzaza) January 25, 2019
Kolbeinn Sigthorsson: MDS might have addressed his striker issue as well, as it is suggested that Icelandic forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson could be headed to Vancouver on a 12-month loan deal.
And that is it for now...but I suspect that as soon as this is published, we will have to update it. What are your thoughts on the recent flurry of moves? Any jump out at you more than others? What should we expect going forward?
Let us know your thoughts.