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Vancouver Whitecaps Prospect Report (July 2021)

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Canada v New Zealand - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 Photo by Buda Mendes - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The Vancouver Whitecaps made headlines last month with the signing of Ryan Gauld. But some of us (freaks) were also playing close attention to the players they have out on loan. Here is how those players did.

Simon Colyn and Damiano Pecile

Colyn’s loan has ended and I am not really sure where he is right now or what the Whitecaps’ plan for him is. I have asked Sam to make some inquiries so perhaps we will know more soon.

Venezia’s reserve team still doesn’t seem to have played any games but their Serie A season kicks off in a couple weeks so surely some game time for Pecile is on the horizon. Or maybe not, again, I don’t really understand how anything works over there.

The U-23 Team Still Exists:

The Whitecaps’ U-23 team played two games (that we know of, sometimes these games happen in secret) this month. These games were against Edmonton Scottish and Calgary Foothills. Both games finished with wins, 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.

Here are the highlights from the Edmonton Scottish game:

The first goal was a beautiful curling effort scored by Emiliano Brienza. That’s now Brienza’s 4th goal (that we know of) with the reserves in 2021. Obviously it’s not the highest level of competition but it looks like Brienza might be ready for a step up.

I have no idea who scored the other goal because the website doesn’t list squad numbers for the U23s and nobody tweeted about who it was. But it was a lovely homage to Hal Robson Kanu’s very slow Cruyff turn that sent the entire Belgian defence the wrong way at Euro 2016.

Here are the highlights for the Foothills game:

The only goal of the match was scored by Ali Ahmed, a player who was training with the first team in preseason during the time period where there were about 5 first team players available. So perhaps he is one to keep an eye on. Or maybe not, the reserves team didn’t get the most coverage at the best of times and they hadn’t played in ages due to the pandemic. So my sense of who “might be worth keeping an eye on” is completely out of whack.

Get Him to the Greek League

Derek Cornelius has gone on loan to Greek first division side Panetolikos. Their season officially starts on August 21st. Panetolikos narrowly avoided relegation last season so this will be a big test for Cornelius.

Jasser Khmiri: Definitely Still Alive

I bet you forgot that he existed! Well he does and he scored a goal in a friendly against Liga MX side Pumas.

His underlying data is still terrible so I doubt we’ll see him in a Whitecaps uniform ever again. Which is a shame because he seems like a fun guy.

The USL Lewandowski:

The big star of this month’s prospect report is Vancouver’s first pick in the 2021 super draft, David Egbo. Egbo now has 4 goals in just under 330 minutes of play. I plan to do a more in depth article on him in the near future but suffice to say his xG per 90 minutes is astonishing. Just for a laugh I made this comparison.

Data Courtesy of American Soccer Analysis and Fbref

Annoyingly, Phoenix have mostly brought Egbo on off the bench. Phoenix’s other striker Rufat Dadashov is well established in the team and also a really good striker at the USL level. But, god damn it, Egbo is better! Still, he is getting valuable reps in on a team where he is put in a position to succeed. I would be very interested to see if he could replicate this success in a Whitecaps shirt, especially now that Ryan Gauld is in the picture.

U-19s Find Somewhere to Play

With cross border travel still difficult the Whitecaps have announced that their U-19 side will play in the Fraser Valley Premier League. People who make vague posts about how BC soccer isn’t what it used to be seem to be upset by this but i’m not to sure what their exact gripe is (I never am). I will try and bring you any information I can get my hands on about how they got on in that league.