clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The 2021 Vancouver Whitecaps for Dummies

New, 6 comments
MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of people tuned out the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2020. There was (and still is) a global pandemic, the club was beset by off field scandals, and the team spent very little time actually playing in Vancouver. Understandably, a lot of people just couldn’t summon the energy. If you were one of those people and are now asking yourself, with a new season fast approaching, questions like “who even plays for the Whitecaps anymore?” i’ve got you covered! Here is a very brief summary of every player currently on the Vancouver Whitecaps.


Maxime Crepeau:

Age: 26

Position: Goalkeeper

From: Candiac, Quebec

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

The Canadian international returns for his 3rd year in Vancouver. He broke his thumb and was out for much of 2020 so he will be hoping to re-discover the form that so endeared him to Whitecaps fans in 2019.


Thomas Hasal:

Age: 21

Position: Goalkeeper

From: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

The young goalkeeper broke though following Crepeau’s season ending injury and performed very well. Sporting director Axel Schuster has sad Hasal and Crepeau will compete for the starting job and that if Hasal is not the starter after a certain point he will be loaned out for regular playing time.


Evan Newton:

Age: 33

Position: Goalkeeper

From: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Year with Vancouver: 1

Summary:

With Covid-19 putting a stop to most international play in 2020, CONCACAF are trying to make up for lost time in 2021. One of the top goalkeepers in USL for several years, Evan Newton was brought in to cover for the very real possibility that Hasal and Crepeau might both be unavailable due to international duty and/or injury. He is probably pretty firmly 3rd choice but if you see his name on the team sheet there is no need to panic.


Isaac Boehmer:

Age: 19

Position: Goalkeeper

From: Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

If you see Boehmer’s name on the team sheet you probably should panic because something has gone horribly wrong! Boehmer is very much a prospect and it is not expected that he will see first team football with the Whitecaps for a while yet.


Ali Adnan:

Age: 27

Position: Left Back

From: Baghdad, Iraq

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

Despite every person with a British accent freaking out about him not defending enough, the league’s only fullback DP is back for another year. Time for another year of exciting dribbling, speculative long range shots, strong aerial challanges, and weird moments where it’s not entirely clear what he was thinking.


Cristian Gutiérrez:

Age: 24

Position: Left Back

From: Santiago, Chile (But he’s also Canadian and plays for the Canadian national team)

Year With Vancouver: 2

Summary:

Signed on a free transfer from Colo-Colo, Gutiérrez played very well in his first season in Vancouver, with some people even suggesting he was better than Adnan (the league’s only DP fullback, i’ll remind you). Gutiérrez is also a primarily attacking fullback with some defensive frailties but it is remarked upon a lot less because he is not a DP and plays for the Canadian national team.


Jake Nerwinski:

Age: 26

Position: Right Back

From: Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Year With Vancouver: 5

Summary:

Vancouver’s second longest serving player is back for his 5th season. That means it’s another year of the Eighty Six Forever staff trying to find the balance between being called apologists for the team and that one guy who loves him getting really mad at us. Anyway, he’s basically fine.


Bruno Gaspar:

Age: 27

Position: Right Back

From: Évora, Portugal

Year With Vancouver: 1

Summary:

Gaspar joins Vancouver on loan after falling out of favour at Portuguese giants Sporting. We’re probably past the point where anybody who was ever on the books at a big club is an instant success in MLS but Gaspar generally projects as a solid MLS right back.


Erik Godoy:

Age: 27

Position: Centre Back

From: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Year With Vancouver: 3

Summary:

Godoy had some injury troubles in 2020 but the team looked significantly more solid with him in the team. Godoy is one of the few players on the roster who is unambiguously good.


Ranko Veselinovic:

Age: 22

Position: Centre Back

From: Novi Sad, Serbia

Year With Vancouver: 2

Summary:

Veselinovic arrived in Vancouver with a great deal of hype in his native Serbia. He was mostly really bad! But he is young and looked much better when he was paired with Erik Godoy in the centre of defence. Hopefully for Vancouver, that improvement will continue.


Derek Cornelius:

Age: 23

Position: Centre Back

From: Ajax, Ontario

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

Cornelius is coming off an impressive showing as the captain of the Canadian U-23. Although the Canadians failed to qualify for the olympics, Cornelius was named to the team of the tournament. He was the only Canadian to do so. 2021 will likely be the year that determines if Cornelius can take the next step and be a regular MLS starter or if a back up is the best he can be.


Andy Rose:

Age: 31

Position: Centre Back (and only centre back!)

From: Bristol, UK

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

Rose was a very bad midfielder in 2019 and a surprisingly solid centre back in 2020. He will also be serving as a part time coach for the academy going forward, while providing some depth at centre back for the first team.


Gianfranco Facchineri:

Age: 18

Position: Centre Back

From: Windsor, Ontario

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

A hot prospect at centre back but unlikely to see significant first team minutes in 2021. Facchineri spent 2020 on loan to Atletico Ottawa in the CPL and it would not be terribly surprising to see him loaned out again.


Javain Brown:

Age: 21

Position: Centre Back/Right Back

From: Kingston, Jamaica

Year with Vancouver: 1

Summary:

A first round draft pick in 2021, Brown has already played 4 times for the Jamaican national team. He played mostly as a centre back in his college career but it is felt he profiles more as a right back in the long term due to his diminutive stature.


Jasser Khmiri:

Age: 23

Position: Centre Back

From: Tunis, Tunisia

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

At one time a highly thought of prospect, Khmiri’s first two seasons in Vancouver have been marked by injuries, inconsistency, and drip that’s out of this world. He has been loaned to San Antonio F.C in the USL with the hopes that he can re-discover the form that got people excited about him in the first place.


Russel Teibert:

Age: 28

Position: Defensive Midfielder/Left Midfielder

From: Niagara Falls, Ontario

Year with Vancouver:

Summary:

Vancouver’s longest serving player is back. He is under contract until 2024. We will all be saying exactly the same things about him for at least another 4 seasons. Head coach Marc Dos Santos experimented a bit with Teibert as a sort of defensive winger, covering for an attacking full back in 2020. I applaud this, mainly because it creates the possibility of having something new to say about Teibert.


Janio Bikel:

Age: 25

Position: Defensive Midfielder/Right Back

From: Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

If you need a midfielder who can be a defensive rock and break up opposition attacks then Janio Bikel is the man for you. If you need a midfielder who can do literally anything else then Janio Bikel is decidedly not the man for you.


Leonard Owusu:

Age: 23

Position: Central Midfielder

From: Accra, Ghana

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

Owusu was a top player in the Israeli Premier League but was inconsistent in his first season in MLS. However Gadi Kinda, who also came to MLS from the IPL was quite successful with Sporting Kansas City. So we are chalking Owusu’s struggles in his first year up to a lack of chemistry, the quality of the other midfielders being generally poor, and general pandemic season weirdness. Over 80% of Eighty Six Forever readers voted to keep him in a poll so clearly most of you are as well.


Caio Alexandre:

Age: 22

Position: Centre Midfielder

From: Duque de Caxias, Brazil

Year with Vancouver: 1

Summary:

For as long as anyone can remember the Vancouver Whitecaps have been bad at transitioning the ball from defence to attack. Alexandre was a final 3rd entry god in the Brazilian first division so surely, at long last, those problems with be solved...right?


Michael Baldisimo:

Age: 20

Position: Defensive Midfielder/Centre Midfielder

From: Burnaby, British Columbia

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary

After missing the entire 2019 season with an injury, Baldisimo won the hearts and minds of fans in 2020 by employing a strange new technique known as “passing the ball forward”. Rumour has it that Atiba Hutchinson has recommended him to Besiktas.


Patrick Metcalfe:

Age: 22

Position: Defensive Midfielder/Central Midfielder

From: Richmond British Columbia

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

Metcalfe did not have the most impressive debut season but, to be fair, starting your professional career during a global pandemic is probably not easy. Metcalfe had a strong showing with the Canadian U-23 team and I reckon a loan to a CPL team is likely (but that’s just a hunch)


Damiano Pecile:

Age: 18

Position: Defensive Midfielder/Centre Midfielder

From: Burnaby, British Colombia

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

Pecile made a hilarious pro debut in 2020 in which he was subbed on and the referee then immediately blew for full time. At only 18, regular first team football is unlikely for Pecile in 2021 but a loan is not out of the question.


Déiber Caicedo:

Age: 21

Position: Winger

From: Barbacaos, Colombia

Year with Vancouver: 1

Summary:

Caicedo is a young winger with high expectations. He is the 3rd most expensive signing in the club’s history. He is known for his 1v1 skill, speed, and playmaking ability.


Cristian Dájome:

Age: 27

Position: Winger

From: Bogotá, Colombia

Year With Vancouver: 2

Summary:

If Dájome had a catchphrase it would be whatever the Colombian dialect Spanish is for “hold my beer.” Every time he gets the ball he attempts to dribble past three guys, make an audacious hero pass, or take a highly speculative long range shot. It usually doesn’t work out which is why he plays for the, Vancouver Whitecaps and not Real Madrid, but sometimes it does work out and when that happens it is pretty cool. He’s also extremely hard working defensively.


Simon Colyn:

Age: 18

Position: Centre Midfielder/Attacking Midfielder

From: Langley, British Colombia

Year with Vancouver: 4

Summary:

Colyn has not exactly had a meteoric rise making his first team debut aged 16. But he’s still very young so it is far too early to write him off. Currently on loan to SPAL of the Italian Serie B where is he a regular for their U-19 team.


Lucas Cavallini

Age: 27

Position: Striker

From: Mississauga, Ontario

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

The most expensive signing in the club’s history, Cavallini looked about as good as you can reasonably expect a striker who gets the ball about three times a game to look in 2020. 2021 will be all about getting him enough service to score enough goals to get into the playoffs.


Theo Bair

Age: 21

Position: Striker/Winger

From: Ottawa, Ontario

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

Theo Bair is huge. He’s also surprisingly quick once he gets going and a pretty good dribbler. There is a lot to like on paper but so far his exciting tools have not quite translated into regular goal scoring. This is not entirely his fault as he has spent a lot of time on Whitecaps striker island (his career so far has big Tammy Abraham at Swansea vibes). Over the next year or two he’s going to have to turn those exciting flashes into more consistent output if he wants to be more than an MLS depth player.


David Egbo:

Age: 22

Position: Striker

From: Enugu, Nigeria

Year with Vancouver: 1

Summary:

Egbo joins Vancouver after a very successful college career. Axel Schuster feels that if it were not for his status as an international, Egbo never would have fallen to Vancouver. He comes with some of the usual caveats college players have; MLS is a big step up, he’s beginning his professional career relatively late and thanks to Covid he has not played a competitive game in a year. But the national team commitments of Lucas Cavallini and Theo Bair should mean he’ll have a chance to show what he can do.


Ryan Raposo

Age: 22

Position: Pretty much any attacking position

From: Hamilton, Ontario

Year with Vancouver: 2

Summary:

Picked one spot before Daryl Dike, a player currently the subject of rumours of multi-million transfer fees to premier league clubs, Raposo is yet to attempt a shot in MLS. Ouch! His progress was somewhat hindered by a back injury and the team around him just not being that good overall. Raposo’s current place in the squad is not totally clear, though it would be overly hasty to label him a bust at this stage. A loan seems a distinct possibility.


Tosaint Ricketts

Age: 33

Position: Striker

From: Edmonton, Alberta

Year with Vancouver: 3

Summary:

Ricketts is a veteran striker who will mainly be a mentor to the younger players in the squad. He can still provide some energy off the bench as well.