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Team Takeover: Who Should Stay and Who Should go for 2021? (Veterans)

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MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

In this edition of Team Takeover we look at which Vancouver Whitecaps over the age of 30 should be back for 2021.

Evan Bush:

Bush was brought in after season ending injuries to Thomas Hasal and Maxime Crepeau. He bounced back from a terrible 2019 campaign and was a solid all around goalkeeper with very good distribution.

Caleb: I vote to keep Bush. It kind of depends on if Montreal are picking up part of his salary but in a vacuum he looks to still be a solid enough keeper so if I’m forced to make a decision right this second I would keep him.

Andrew: I vote not to keep Bush. With Meredith gone and Hasal hopefully out on loan, the team doesn’t have a ton of other options here. But Bush put in a very good shift at the end of last year and might be something the Caps could flip for a modest windfall. He was quality enough where I have no issue with him remaining on the roster either.

Sam: I vote to keep Bush. This is a bit contingent on his salary situation, but if Hasal goes out on loan, Bush will serve as pretty reliable squad depth.

Ian: I vote to keep Bush. You could argue that Bush over performed for the Whitecaps, considering he was the fourth keeper to action for Vancouver in 2020. Nevertheless, if the price is right, he would be a solid option from the bench next year.

Luis: I vote to keep Bush. Solid sub, not much more to say other than his salary could possibly hurt.

The Eighty Six Forever staff voted 4-1 to keep Bush.

Have Your Say:

Poll

The Whitecaps Should

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Keep Bush
    (99 votes)
  • 28%
    Not Keep Bush
    (40 votes)
139 votes total Vote Now

Andy Rose:

Rose played almost exclusively as a centre back in 2020 and faired much better than he did as a centre midfielder in 2019. In particular he stood out amongst Whitecaps centre backs for his aerial prowess.

Caleb: I vote to keep Rose. I was very critical of his midfield play in 2019, and I know he is not without his faults. But he was in the top half of goals added amongst centre backs, is domestic, and unlikely to have particularly high salary demands. I’m not sure how much better you could reasonably be expected to do for a depth centre back.

Andrew: I vote to keep Rose. Apparently center back was the place all along for Rose, who looked much better there and proved himself to be a capable leader on the pitch. Given his cost he is pretty quality depth and the kind of player MLS teams need to round out their rosters.

Sam: I vote to keep Rose. This is more about leadership, coaching and continuity than his on-field performance. I won’t expect Rose to see the pitch much in 2021, but he’ll be an important part of the team in other ways.

Ian: I vote to keep Rose. With the ‘Caps negotiating a new contract after not picking up his option, I’m going to assume Rose is coming back. But why would I keep him? I felt his performance this past season was an improvement on the one prior, but more than anything he’s a level-headed veteran and leader. If the bench were to get thin, Rose could fill in just about anywhere.

Luis: I vote to not keep Rose. The Whitecaps need to vastly improve their defense, and relying on a Seattle Sounders reject just doesn’t scream confidence to me. His numbers were good, but I found it hard to see more than just an around average defender contribution on the field. The Whitecaps need some life in that back line, and in an ideal world, they would be making a statement of intent by bringing in a more proven veteran.

The Eighty Six Forever staff voted 4-1 to keep Rose.

Have Your Say:

Poll

The Whitecaps Should

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Keep Rose
    (82 votes)
  • 40%
    Not Keep Rose
    (55 votes)
137 votes total Vote Now

Bryan Meredith

Meredith did not get a lot of opportunities to play, and he is unlikely to be back in 2021 with his contract option being declined and the ‘Caps already having four keepers under contract already. But in his limited time he was a pretty decent distributor of the ball and was active outside his penalty area. However, he was not particularly strong on crosses.

Caleb: I vote to not keep Meredith. He was surprisingly decent in his few outings for the Whitecaps but there just isn’t any room for him. A team looking for a cheap 2nd or 3rd keeper could do a lot worse though.

Andrew: I vote to keep Meredith. OK, so hear me out. It is still unclear how much of Evan Bush’s salary that Montreal is picking up and looked good enough in the shop window where you could probably get more than a box of toothpicks for him from another MLS team. Meredith wasn’t great (and is probably destined for USL) but I’m just going to play devil’s advocate that shopping Bush around could be a lucrative move. In all reality, I don’t think Meredith stands a chance of being back.

Sam: I vote to not keep Meredith. The numbers just don’t make sense here, and he doesn’t have the upside the Caps would be looking for in a deep depth role. I really do hope he finds a place to play consistent minutes somewhere (I’m guessing this would come at the USL level?) because he deserves it for all the years he’s put in as a backup.

Ian: I vote to not keep Meredith, though if he’s cheaper to keep on the roster than Bush, my opinion could be swayed. But salaries aside, this one’s about positional depth. With Crepeau in the starter’s role, Hasal would need to be loaned out before we can have the Meredith v. Bush debate.

Luis: I vote to not keep Meredith. Solely due to the number of players filling his position already, I don’t see much of an upside for him or the ‘Caps were they to keep him around next season, especially if Bush continues to be as reliable of a number two as he has.

The Eighty Six Forever staff voted 4-1 to not keep Meredith.

Have Your Say:

Poll

The Whitecaps Should

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Keep Merideth
    (6 votes)
  • 95%
    Not Keep Merideth
    (127 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now

Tosaint Ricketts:

Ricketts scored two very timely game winning goals in 2020 but his stats, aside from xG per shot, were quite mediocre. His high xG per shot does suggest that perhaps Ricketts could be a more effective option coming off the bench in a team with better chance creation.

Caleb: I vote to not keep Ricketts. Theo Bair is younger and better in almost every way. I’d rather use the roster spot on someone who offers something different or who has the potential to be something more.

Andrew: I vote to not keep Ricketts. At this point, it seems to be either Bair or Ricketts for minutes and while Tos is decent enough and cheap enough, it would seem to be better long term to give Bair a real chance to seize a larger role with the team early on in the year. If that doesn’t work out, there are no shortage of MLS veteran strikers the Caps could add over the summer that do basically the same thing as Tos.

Sam: I vote to keep Ricketts. If Bair were to go out on loan, as I suggested, then it makes a lot more sense to keep Tos around. He wasn’t at full strength near the end of last season due to knee issues, and at many times he was simply misused by MDS out on the wing. Despite this, he still managed to show his knack for popping up in the right areas and scoring easy goals. I think that Tos, in addition to Fredy, or whoever the Whitecaps sign this offseason, can help fill that backup striker role behind Cavallini.

Ian: I vote to keep Ricketts. This is mostly about keeping a savvy vet on the roster to make smart decisions on the pitch and help close out matches. I don’t really look at it as a “Ricketts or Bair” situation as much as one where the former will help the latter develop. As far as I know, Ricketts won’t be a huge salary hit for the club and as long as he’s still got some gas in the tank, he can continue to be a plus off the bench.

Luis: I vote to not keep Ricketts. I was a big fan of Ricketts and the role he filled as a pinch-striker when the team was having goal woes back in 2019. Entering 2021 is a different story, and while he seems like an alright guy, there are more than a fair share of strikers on the table this offseason with similar numbers that could be worth gambling on this offseason. (Dom Dwyer on a TAM deal, anyone?)

The Eighty Six Forever staff voted 3-2 to not keep Ricketts.

Have Your Say:

Poll

The Whitecaps Should

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Keep Ricketts
    (69 votes)
  • 48%
    Not Keep Ricketts
    (64 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now