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Vancouver Whitecaps Development Report (May 2019)

MLS: FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Things have happened! Let’s get into them.

Anthony Blondell:

Your monthly reminder that he’s technically still a Whitecap. He played 90 minutes against Deportes Iquique, played 90 minutes against Antofagasta, and 60 minutes against Universidad de Concepción. He didn’t score any goals in May. He now has 4 goals in 9 appearances in Chile.


The under 23s played 3 games this month.

U23s 4-2 TSS Rovers

Lineup: Thomas Hasal*; T-boy Fayia+, Keenan Foley+, Connor Guilherme, Christopher Lee+; Nicholas Fussell, Ali Zohar+, Emiliano Brienza; Brandon Cambridge, Jefferson Alade+, Keisean Brooks+

* MLS roster

+ Academy call-up

Goals: Brienza, Cambridge(2), Alade.

There are highlights for this one. I have to say, they’re rather encouraging. We haven’t really seen the high press in full force with the first team yet but if you want a little taste of what it will hopefully look like in the not too distant future then have a look at the way the U23s are getting their goals. They’re forcing the other team into turnovers, building out of the back and playing vertically.

U23s 3-3 VMSL All Stars

Of course they still seem to struggle a bit playing against men. That’s not necessarily the worst thing because, while there are a few players in their 20s on the team it is mostly teenagers. Hopefully (that word does a lot of leg work for the Whitecaps these days) the experience against faster and stronger players at a young age will help them in the long run.

Lineup: Thomas Hasal*; Keenan Foley+, Trialist, Jalen Watson+, Keisean Brooks+; Damiano Pecile, Trialist, Patrick Metcalfe; Brandon Cambridge, Simon Colyn*, Kamron Habibullah

Goals: Colyn, Fussel, Alade

Of course one guy who doesn’t seem to struggle against men is Simon Colyn. He always seems to score in these games. With Marc Dos Santos saying that Hwang may be in need of a rest, Colyn’s time to shine in the first team could be coming up. There are also highlights for this one.

U23s 7-0 Linfield College

Lineup: Thomas Hasal*; Deylen Vellios+, Keenan Foley+, Jalen Watson+, Christopher Lee+; Damiano Pecile, Simon Colyn*, Patrick Metcalfe; Brandon Cambridge, Trialist, Kam Habibullah

Goals: Habibullah(4), Colyn, Fussel, Raimbault

Who would have thought that a school with 2300 students and an acceptance rate of 81% might struggle to put together a decent footie team? Anyway it was a nice game to pad the stats of some players. Highlights

U23 goal leaders

K. Habibullah: 5

Alade: 4

Brienza: 3

Kam Habibullah seems to be able to score against everyone except his own age group in league play. He scored at the Generation Adidas cup, He scored for Canada u17s and he’s leading the U23s in scoring (yes 4 were against Linfield but he’s a 15 year old playing against guys in their 20s). Yet in USSDA U17 league play he only has a single goal from a penalty. Of course I can’t find any assist stats for that league so maybe he plays as more of a creator for the U17s? I don’t know. Alade is also a strange case. He has a pretty meh record against u19s but for the U23s when regularly playing against men he’s outscoring first team players like Theo Bair and Simon Colyn despite playing fewer minutes. Youth players are weird!

U23 assist leaders

Cambridge: 4

Brienza/Fussel/Pecile: 2

Brandon Cambridge is another player who seems to be trending up. True, 3 of those assists were against Linfield, but again he’s a teenager playing against guys in their 20s. It seems, based on highlights so take it with a grain of salt, he’s thriving in a wide role whereas before he was playing as an out and out striker.

I’m adding a new stat to the academy analysis. Stats are thin on the ground for the academy but one the do have is games started percentage. I figure if a player is starting most of the games then he’s probably pretty good. It’s not a great stat but it might help us get a feel for how good the non goalscoring players are.

U19 leaders (20 games):


Alade: 11

Fry: 8

Chung/Raimbault: 5


Foley: 95%

Zohar/Fayia: 75%

Lee: 70%

U17 Leaders (21 games)


M. Habibullah: 15

Brienza/Cambridge/Petsas: 5

White: 3


M. Habibullah: 76.2%

Batyrev: 71.4%


U15 Leaders (17 games)


Afework: 14

Mutumbo/Periera: 4

Herdman/Maclean: 3


Norman: 100%

Campagna: 94.1%

Motumbo/Herdman/Afework: 82.4%