A New Year And A New Era Await Vancouver Whitecaps And The Fans

Happy New Year to you dear reader.

2011 is upon us and a new year is about to unfold. Likewise a new challenge for Vancouver Whitecaps FC awaits and new experiences for the Caps faithful is also in store. It’s exciting times.

For me personally, I look forward to this coming footballing year in Vancouver with both excitement and apprehension.

On the one hand I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am at the prospect of getting to more than one or two away games in a season. It’s what I’m used to, it’s what I miss about watching football in Scotland and away games are one of the most fun and exciting things about following your team.

The announcement of the full MLS schedule can’t come quick enough as far as I’m concerned and I know a lot of others are eagerly awaiting it as well so the trip planning can begin.

It’s looking like we won’t be playing Edmonton in the Voyageurs Cup, barring a surprise win for them in the semis and let’s face it, against TFC anything is possible. I was looking forward to making that drive east with the dog and missus.

This now frees up some vacation time and money for me though, so my travel plans for the 2011 regular season are to now go to the games at Seattle, Portland, San Jose, LA Galaxy and Chivas. Can’t wait.

What kind of team I’m going to be watching is another matter altogether though.

Let’s be frank here. The 2010 Caps were shit to watch. Not much excitement, not many goals. A hard slog at times. I can live with that as long as we’re grinding out the wins. Teitur Thorsdasson has clearly set out his philosophy that being strong at the back is important and it is. It all counts for nothing though if you can’t put the ball in the net and that’s just where the 2010 Whitecaps struggled.

Will Teitur’s Class of 2011 be any different. Well they better be for the money they’re charging now to watch them. To do anything in this League they will need to be scoring a lot more regularly than last season and since we don’t seem to want to actually sign any fucking strikers, it’s looking hard to see this happening right now. Maybe he has a couple of surprise big name forwards lined up as designated players and we can all breathe easy.

Another worry is what kind of atmosphere we’re going to get at the Caps games now. The FO has forced the core Southsiders group to split up and be spread out across the south end of the stadium. This will either lead to fractured chants or a massive unified Southsiders and you know what, it could really go either way right now. If the gameday atmosphere is sterile and too family friendly then I may just bale on the whole thing at the end of the season. I couldn’t survive game after game with the atmosphere of the Galaxy friendly at BC Place back in 2007.

Can we also rely on the front office to be organised and not fuck things up? Judging by the experiences I’ve had with them to date, it’s a big worry. There’s been many occasions where their lack of organisation is the worst I’ve ever dealt with at a football club and knowing some of the experiences I’ve had, this is truly scary!

My biggest worry personally for the year ahead is moving into the “big league”. I’m a small club kinda guy. I like the smaller teams. The smaller crowds. The closeness you have to the Club, the players and the action. You truly feel part of it. It’s your Club. You are important to it. I really don’t know how I’m going to take to being in regular crowds of 20,000 and feeling just like a commodity.

It may make no difference or it may be awful. Either way, I can’t wait to find out and I can’t wait for the season to begin. 78 days and counting.

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Authored by: Michael McColl

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