Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo.svg
Full name Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Nickname(s)
  • Caps
  • Blue and White[1]
Founded 2009[nb 1]
Stadium BC Place
Vancouver, British Columbia
(Capacity: 21,000–54,313)[nb 2]
Stadium
capacity
21,000 [2]
Owners Greg Kerfoot
Steve Luczo
Jeff Mallett
Steve Nash
Head Coach Carl Robinson
League Major League Soccer
2014 Western Conference: 5th
Overall: 9th
Playoffs: Eliminated in Knock out Round
Website Club home page
Current season

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Vancouver, British Columbia that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS). The Whitecaps are the 17th team of Major League Soccer and replace the USSF Division 2 team of the same name. The Whitecaps have been owned and managed by the same group since their USSF days. The Whitecaps graduated to the MLS after the conclusion of the USSF's 2010 season. The MLS version of the team is the third to share the legacy of the Whitecaps name. In the 2012 season, the team ranked second in the league and became the first Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

History[edit]

An ownership group in Vancouver were granted the seventeenth Major League Soccer franchise on March 18, 2009 by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.[3] While no name was provided at the Vancouver announcement, over a year later the club confirmed it would keep the Whitecaps name.[4][5][6][7]

In preparation for its first MLS season, the Whitecaps brought in executive talent from around the world. On November 24, 2009, Paul Barber, former Tottenham Hotspur F.C. executive, was announced to join the club as CEO. Others joining him included former D.C. United head coach Tom Soehn as Director of Operations and Dutch national Richard Grootscholten as the Technical Director and head coach of the residency program.

As the head coach of the USL and later USSF Division 2 Vancouver Whitecaps, former Iceland international Teitur Thordarson was confirmed as head coach on September 2, 2010 for the inaugural MLS season.[8] He was subsequently relieved of his duties on May 30, 2011 after the Whitecaps won just one of their first twelve matches. Tom Soehn, Whitecaps FC director of soccer operations, replaced Thordarson on an interim basis.[9]

The Whitecaps began play in the 2011 MLS season with their first match on March 19, 2011, against rival Canadians Toronto FC, which they won 4–2. The first goal in the Whitecaps' MLS era was scored by Eric Hassli.[10] After their winning start the Whitecaps struggled, and failed to secure another victory in their next 11 MLS games, drawing six and losing five. In the aftermath of their 1–1 tie with the New York Red Bulls on May 30 head coach Teitur Thordarson was fired.[11] Tom Soehn took over coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season, while Martin Rennie was announced as the new permanent head coach on August 9, taking over officially on November 3.[12]

On March 3, 2012, the Whitecaps won their first minor, pre-season cup at the 2012 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic defeating Toronto FC 1–0 thanks to a goal by Camilo.

On October 21, 2012, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to earn a spot in the MLS playoffs.[13] Two days after the end of the 2013 MLS regular season, Rennie's contract was not renewed sparking a search for the next head coach.[14]

In October 2014, the Whitecaps qualified for the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League for the very first time as a result of becoming the highest ranked Canadian team in the 2014 MLS season and due to a reformatting of the Canadian Championship in the following season. A week later they qualified for the MLS playoffs for the second time, an achievement not matched by any Canadian team.[15]

Colours and badge[edit]

On June 8, 2010, it was officially announced the club would continue using the "Whitecaps" name, but with a redesigned logo.[16] The name alludes to the geographic features surrounding the city: white-capped mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean's white-crested waves to the west.

The official club colours include navy blue ("deep sea"), white, and light blue ("Whitecaps blue"). The "deep sea" blue represents the maritime landscape of the Vancouver area and the "Whitecaps blue" indicates the reflection of the North Shore Mountains in the Pacific Ocean. The lighter shade of blue also alludes to the primary colour of the original Whitecaps, winners of Soccer Bowl 1979. The silver outline pays homage to the team's championship victories since 1974.[17]

On June 10, 2010, the Whitecaps strip package was unveiled with Bell Canada serving as the inaugural jersey sponsor.[18][19] The home shirt is white with horizontal, navy blue pinstripes; the stripes broaden slightly from bottom to top. The secondary shirt is deep blue with an embossed, interlocking diamond pattern which is also deep blue and is reflective in the light.

On June 14, 2012, the Whitecaps unveiled a third kit. The third kit is predominantly "arbutus brown", with sky blue accents, which reflects the unique land full of deep roots and the high-reaching arms of the temperate rainforests of British Columbia.[20]

Stadium[edit]

Main article: BC Place
White sheets are used to artificially reduce the capacity of BC Place for Whitecaps FC matches.

Whitecaps FC plays its home matches at BC Place in Vancouver, which it shares with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.[21][22] Whitecaps FC has played at BC Place since the final month of the 2011 MLS season, having spent the majority of that year at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC has a five-year lease on BC Place which will keep the club there through 2015.[23] For Whitecaps FC matches, the pitch is called "Bell Pitch at BC Place" as part of the club's sponsorship deal with Bell.[24]

BC Place is a 55,000-seat multi-purpose stadium designed for both Canadian football and soccer. The stadium opened in 1983, but underwent a complete two-phase revitalization project between 2009–2011.[25] The stadium now features the largest cable-supported retractable roof in the world and polytan artificial turf, which is certified by FIFA with a 2-star rating.[25][26] Whitecaps FC artificially reduces the stadium's capacity 21,000 for matches by using white sheets to close off the upper bowl.[27][28] Club ownership initially hoped to build Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium in Gastown in time for the 2016 season, but the club has committed to BC Place in light of stadium opposition.[21]

Whitecaps FC played most of its inaugural season at Empire Field, a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium to house Whitecaps FC and the BC Lions while BC Place was being renovated.[29] Empire Field was a 27,500-seat multi-purpose stadium that featured FIFA 1-star rated FieldTurf.[29] Whitecaps FC played its final match at Empire Field on September 24, 2011, a 3–1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC.[30] The following week, Whitecaps FC played its first match at BC Place, a 1–0 loss to Portland Timbers on October 2, 2011.[31]

Whitecaps FC does not have a permanent training facility, opting instead to use facilities around Greater Vancouver.[32] However, the club has partnered with the Government of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to build a $32.5 million National Soccer Development Centre on the UBC campus.[32] The facility will be constructed in time for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.[32]

Supporters[edit]

Whitecaps FC supporters celebrating 4–2 victory over Toronto FC at Empire Field during inaugural MLS match.
Main article: Vancouver Southsiders

The largest Whitecaps supporters group is known as the Southsiders. The group began in 1999 when fans of the Vancouver 86ers began congregating in the pitch-level beer garden behind the goal at the south end of Swangard Stadium.[33][34]

The Southsiders' relationship with the team's ownership has not always been amicable.[33] It has evolved since Vancouver received the MLS expansion team.[35] Images of the Southsiders are featured prominently in Whitecaps’ marketing campaigns. The group's board was invited to the invite-only launch of the kits and logo to be used in MLS.[36][37] The expansion has also increased membership. The president of the organization said that it had grown from about 40 paid members to 100 paid in July 2010. He also believes there is no reason why the Southsiders cannot outdo the Seattle Sounders' Emerald City Supporters.[38] Southsider supporters are primarily located on the eastern-half of the southern stands of B.C. Place.

Two additional supporters groups are the Curva Collective and the Rain City Brigade.[39] Curva Collective has grown to be the second-largest supporters group for the Whitecaps located in sections 203 and 204 or the southwest curva.[40] The Rain City Brigade has a block of about 225 season tickets for their members in section 201 or the southeast curva and marches from Library Square.[41][42]

Another group, "La Doce", formed in January 2011.[43] Their original name in Spanish is "La 12",[43] which can be translated into English as "The 12th" or "The 12th player". La 12 is formed by people from different nationalities that have a preference to support the Whitecaps in a Latin American, Southern European or Eastern European Style. The main feature of La 12 is its cheering style that features constant drumming and longer songs, resembling the way in which fans in South America or Southern or Eastern Europe like to support.[43] La 12 fans were primarily seated in the southeast corner of Empire Field. The group has since folded after the 2011 season with many members joining Curva Collective.

The team sold the first 5,000 $50 season ticket deposits 48 hours after they became available to the public. Remaining season tickets were made available to season ticket holders for the USSF 2 Whitecaps before becoming available to non-season ticket holders.[44] The team managed to attract 15,500 season ticket holders in its first MLS season and 13,000 for the second.[45]

Rivalries[edit]

Cascadia Cup[edit]

See also: Cascadia Cup

The Vancouver Whitecaps have longstanding rivalries with both Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers. The rivalries predate MLS and have been an integral part of the soccer culture in the Pacific Northwest. Matches between these three teams are arguably the most passionate in all of MLS as each of these teams are well-supported by their respective cities.[46][47]

Canadian rivalries[edit]

The Vancouver Whitecaps also have rivalries with Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact. Vancouver's first game in MLS was against Toronto in an attempt by the league to spur a rivalry between the two Canadian teams.[48] Montreal was a rival in the second division. The three teams have played each other during Voyageurs Cup competitions.[49][50]

Broadcasting[edit]

Paul Dolan provides colour commentary for Sportsnet.

All Whitecaps FC matches are broadcast on television and radio. Through the 2013 season, Sportsnet Pacific and Sportsnet One nationally broadcast all "regional" Whitecaps games not televised by TSN or TSN2 as part of its national package of MLS games, broadcasting 24 games per season.[51][51] Regional matches were called by Craig MacEwen, who does play-by-play, and former Vancouver 86ers goalkeeper Paul Dolan, who provides colour commentary.[52] Dolan replaced former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash, who provided colour commentary during the Whitecaps FC inaugural season.[53][54][55] In January 2014, TSN (which is owned by Bell Media, a subsidiary of the Whitecaps' founding sponsor Bell Canada) announced that it would take over broadcast rights to these "regional" Whitecaps games beginning in the 2014 Major League Soccer season. Selected early season games aired on CTV and CTV Two's Vancouver-area affiliates due to scheduling conflicts.[56][57]

On radio, Whitecaps games are primarily broadcast on CFTE "TSN Radio 1410" (also owned by Bell), with some matches being broadcast on its sister station, CKST "TSN Radio 1040".[58] Matches broadcast on radio are called by play-by-play analyst Peter Schaad, and by former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder David Norman, who provides colour commentary.[59][60] Norman replaced Paul Dolan prior to the 2012 MLS season, after Dolan joined the Sportsnet broadcasting team.[58][60]

Ownership[edit]

Whitecaps FC is owned by a group of four investors; Greg Kerfoot, Steve Luczo, Jeff Mallett, and Steve Nash.[61] The group has a collective net worth over $2 billion.[62] Kerfoot has been the majority owner of the Whitecaps FC since 2002, when he saved the club from contraction after previous owner David Stadnyk left the club, selling it to United Soccer Leagues.[61][62][63] He was previously the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Crystal Decisions.[64] Mallett, a former chief operating officer (COO) of Yahoo!, who was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, has a significant background in soccer. He played for the British Columbia under-16 provincial team and was on the University of Victoria Vikes squad that lost in the final of the 1982 CIS Men's Soccer Championship.[61] He also spent one year with the San Francisco State University Gators men's soccer team before an injury left him unable to continue playing competitive soccer.[61] After leaving Yahoo!, Mallett purchased a minority stakes in the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball and English soccer club Derby County F.C..[61] Having first met at a charity soccer event in 2005, Mallett partnered with Steve Nash—a two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who was also raised in Victoria—to put together a bid for a minority share of English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in 2008.[61] After that transaction fell through, the duo contacted Kerfoot about a minority stake in Whitecaps FC.[61] Nash is the older brother of former Whitecaps FC midfielder Martin Nash.[63] The fourth partner, Steve Luczo, is the president, chairman, and CEO of Seagate Technology and a partner in Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C., a group who own the NBA Boston Celtics.[61] Luczo met Kerfoot while the two were both employed by Seagate Technology, and Kerfoot contacted Luczo proposing he become part of the club's MLS bid.[65] In 2009, the group paid a $35 million expansion fee to MLS for the right to join the league.[61]

Players and staff[edit]

For details on former players, see All-time Vancouver Whitecaps FC roster.

Current roster[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of March 9, 2014.[66]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Ousted, DavidDavid Ousted      Denmark
2 Defender Harvey, JordanJordan Harvey      United States
3 Defender Adekugbe, SamSam Adekugbe (HGP)     Canada
4 Defender Waston, KendallKendall Waston      Costa Rica
11 Forward Mattocks , DarrenDarren Mattocks      Jamaica
15 Midfielder Laba, MatíasMatías Laba (DP)     Argentina
19 Forward Hurtado, ErikErik Hurtado      United States
22 Defender Dean, ChristianChristian Dean (GA)     United States
23 Forward Manneh, KekutaKekuta Manneh      Gambia
25 Midfielder Lewis, AndreAndre Lewis      Jamaica
27 Defender Sampson, EthenEthen Sampson (HGP)     South Africa
28 Midfielder Koffie, GershonGershon Koffie      Ghana
29 Forward Mezquida, NicolásNicolás Mezquida      Uruguay
30 Midfielder Rosales, MauroMauro Rosales      Argentina
31 Midfielder Teibert, RussellRussell Teibert (HGP)     Canada
32 Midfielder Bustos, MarcoMarco Bustos (HGP)     Canada
33 Defender Beitashour, StevenSteven Beitashour      Iran
34 Forward Clarke, CalebCaleb Clarke (HGP)     Canada
38 Midfielder Froese, KianzKianz Froese (HGP)     Canada
40 Defender O'Brien, AndyAndy O'Brien      Ireland
44 Goalkeeper Carducci, MarcoMarco Carducci (HGP)     Canada
70 Goalkeeper Tornaghi, PaoloPaolo Tornaghi      Italy
77 Midfielder Morales, PedroPedro Morales (DP)     Chile

Technical staff[edit]

As of February 25, 2014[67]

Role Name Nation
Head Coach Robinson, CarlCarl Robinson  Wales
Assistant Coach Pert , MartynMartyn Pert  England
Assistant Coach/Head of High Performance Forrest , GordonGordon Forrest  Scotland
Goalkeeper Coach Røvde, MariusMarius Røvde  Norway
Head of Analysis & Scouting Stenz , DanielDaniel Stenz  Germany

Management[edit]

Role Name Nation
Executive Chair Furlong, JohnJohn Furlong  Ireland
President Lenarduzzi, BobBob Lenarduzzi  Canada
Chief Operating Officer Lewis, RachelRachel Lewis  Canada

Head coaches[edit]

Years Name Nation
2011–May 30, 2011 Thordarson, TeiturTeitur Thordarson  Iceland
May 30, 2011–Oct 25, 2011 Soehn, TomTom Soehn (interim)  United States
Oct 26, 2011–Oct 29, 2013 Rennie, MartinMartin Rennie[68]  Scotland
Dec 16, 2013–present Robinson, CarlCarl Robinson  Wales

Club captains[edit]

Years Name Nation
2011–2014 Jay DeMerit  United States
2014– Pedro Morales  Chile

Whitecaps FC 2[edit]

Main article: Whitecaps FC 2

On November 21, 2014, Whitecaps FC announced a reserve team called Whitecaps FC 2 which will compete in the USL Pro starting in the 2015 season.[69]

Honours[edit]

Domestic competitions[edit]

Runners-up (3): 2011, 2012, 2013

Minor trophies

Winners: 2012
Winners: 2013, 2014

Records[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year MLS Regular season Position MLS Cup
Playoffs
Canadian
Championship
Champions
League
Top Scorer
P W L D GF GA Pts Conf. Overall Player Goals
2011 34 6 18 10 35 55 28 9th 18th Did not qualify Runners-up Did not qualify Brazil Camilo 12
2012 34 11 13 10 35 41 43 5th 11th Knockout Round Runners-up Did not qualify Jamaica Darren Mattocks 7
2013 34 13 12 9 53 45 48 7th 13th Did not qualify Runners-up Did not qualify Brazil Camilo 22
2014 34 12 8 14 42 40 50 5th 9th Knockout Round Semi-final Qualified Chile Pedro Morales 10

Note: Only MLS regular season goals counted

Team records[edit]

MLS regular season only, as of October 27, 2014

Top goalscorers[edit]

# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS Playoffs CC CCL Total
1 Forward Sanvezzo, CamiloCamilo  Brazil 2011–13 39 0 4 43
2 Forward Mattocks, DarrenDarren Mattocks  Jamaica 2012– 16 1 1 18
3 Forward Hassli, EricEric Hassli  France 2011–12 12 3 15
4 Forward Miller, KennyKenny Miller  Scotland 2012–14 13 0 0 13
5 Midfielder , Pedro MoralesPedro Morales  Chile 2014– 10 0 1 11
Forward Manneh, KekutaKekuta Manneh  Gambia 2013– 10 0 1 11
7 Midfielder Koffie, GershonGershon Koffie  Ghana 2011– 8 0 0 8
8 Defender Harvey, JordanJordan Harvey  United States 2011– 7 0 0 7
Forward Hurtado, ErikErik Hurtado  United States 2013– 5 1 1 7
10 Forward Le Toux, SébastienSébastien Le Toux  France 2012 4 2 6

Last updated: October 29, 2014.
CC = Canadian Championship; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Whitecaps FC roster.

Most appearances[edit]

# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS Playoffs CC CCL Total
1 Midfielder Koffie, GershonGershon Koffie  Ghana 2011– 105 2 9 116
2 Defender Harvey, JordanJordan Harvey  United States 2011– 97 2 7 106
3 Forward Sanvezzo, CamiloCamilo  Brazil 2011–13 92 0 10 102
4 Forward Mattocks, DarrenDarren Mattocks  Jamaica 2012– 71 2 7 80
5 Midfielder Teibert, RussellRussell Teibert  Canada 2011– 68 0 10 78
6 Defender Rochat, AlainAlain Rochat   Switzerland 2011–13 67 1 9 77
Defender Demerit, JayJay Demerit  United States 2011–14 71 1 5 77
8 Defender Lee, Young-PyoYoung-Pyo Lee  South Korea 2012–13 65 1 3 69
9 Goalkeeper Cannon, JoeJoe Cannon  United States 2011–13 56 0 3 59
10 Defender O'Brien, AndyAndy O'Brien  Ireland 2012– 50 2 4 56

Last Updated: October 29, 2014.
CC = Canadian Championship; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Whitecaps FC roster.

Player of the year[edit]

Year Name Nation
2011 Camilo  Brazil
2012 Lee Young-Pyo  South Korea
2013 Camilo  Brazil
2014 Pedro Morales  Chile

Golden Boot[edit]

Year Name Nation Goals
2011 Sanvezzo, CamiloCamilo  Brazil 12
2012 Mattocks, DarrenDarren Mattocks  Jamaica 7
2013 Sanvezzo, CamiloCamilo  Brazil 22
2014 Morales, PedroPedro Morales  Chile 10

Note: Only MLS regular season goals count.

International tournaments[edit]

Group Stage v. Manchester City – 1–2

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ MLS franchise granted in 2009. Original NASL team founded in 1974.
  2. ^ Based on configuration.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]