Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are gearing up for a pleasant weekend (and, if you’re in the United States, a long weekend).
It is a barren weekend from a Whitecaps perspective, although Canadian National Team fans are perhaps already gearing up for a World Cup Qualifying date with Aruba next Saturday (more on that to come).
In the meantime, a brief note on the exploits of a former Caps youngster. On the off chance that you weren’t following the spring NCAA men’s soccer season all that closely, former academy standout Gloire Amanda has had a helluva season.
A dynamic forward, who elected to ply his trade at the collegiate level after Vancouver Whitecaps 2 fell apart, Amanda tallied 15 goals this season, the most in the country and the fourth-highest haul in Pac 12 history (no mean feat given the quality of player that has come through the conference over the years).
Amanda’s story is also compelling from a personal standpoint: born in a refugee camp in Tanzania, he moved to Edmonton as a child and joined up with the Whitecaps’ academy. He bagged three goals in 27 appearances in his lone season with the Thundercaps and also has some experience at the Canadian youth level.
Were he MLS Superdraft eligible, Amanda would likely be a consensus number one pick — he is the top player in the country per Top Drawer Soccer and his combination of pace and goal scoring is pretty compelling.
But Amanda remains a homegrown player for the Caps, putting the team in the enviable position of having first dibs on a top collegiate player, a place the club does not often find itself.
On face value, Amanda is just what the Caps need, as they search for some more depth on the wings and some game changing attacking talent who can come off the bench and, you know, actually score goals.
But Amanda will likely have suitors abroad and the 22-year-old will perhaps be in tune with the team’s mixed bag of developing young players.
On one hand, he could look at the chances Michael Baldisimo has gotten and see a real opportunity to break through. On the other, well, we have what has become of Theo Bair. Coming to Vancouver could be a bit of a risk, assuming his goal is to eventually take a shot at European soccer.
That being said, collegiate soccer ain’t what it used to be and Amanda may want the certainty of trying to establish himself at a club where he presumably feels comfortable and where he would have a likely shot at playing time almost immediately. If the Caps bring in an attacking mid, he could even have a chance to make a real impression.
Suffice to say, the door will be open for Amanda to walk through, if he so chooses. There is no real indication as to what will happen, with the player presumably going to start weighing his options now that the season is over (Oregon State crashed out of the first round of the NCAA tournament).
Shameless Self Promotion
Take this break in the schedule to check how you’re doing in the “guess the starting XI” competition
Best of the Rest
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Prospects are improving for fans being back at BC Place this season
Former Whitecaps keeper Brian Rowe is retiring after eight years in MLS
Zlatan apparently never learned the name of LA Galaxy teammate Perry Kitchen, among other exploits in MLS