Vancouver Whitecaps added three more players to their squad following today’s MLS Supplemental Draft (seriously, how many fucking drafts does a League need?).
The Caps first selection, New Zealand internaional defender Michael Boxall, seems like a great pick. He has two full international caps for the All Whites and has featured in New Zealand’s Under 23, Under 21 and Olympic sides in recent years.
All great stuff. Good signing etc etc. But, he’s another defender. Not exaclty an area that we’re currently looking weak in.
I know very little about the other two additions from the draft, Canadian midfielder Joe Anderson and American defender Santiago Bedoya.
So let me get this right. We now have two more defenders and another midfielder. Both areas where we have a multitude of options. Can you have too many? Well you can if you’re trying to find your best starting eleven out of them.
Looking at the current squad on the Caps website, we now have 13 signed players and 20 “in camp”, with the latest three additions going into the latter category for evaluation.
Looking at our signed 13, we have 2 goalkeepers, 4 defenders, 5 midfielders, 1 midfielder/forward (who is more widely recognised as a midfielder) and 1 forward. A forward who can’t actually play for the Whitecaps until September.
The 20 “in camp” players consist of 1 goalkeeper, 5 defenders, 9 midfielders, 4 midfielders/forwards and 1, yes, just one, out and out forward. Even the midfielders/forwards from last season that are still around didn’t exactly do wonders at the lower level. Not getting a lot of confidence here.
So the question on people’s lips right now is where the fuck are the strikers?
Today we are two calendar months away from our MLS debut. I want us to hit the ground running. I want the players to know each other inside and out, to have built up the much needed rapport that we need from the get go. If we don’t start adding some top quality forwards soon, we’re not going to have this.
We also have no designated players. Not the be all and end all of things of course. I’d rather we didn’t piss money away anyway on designated players past their prime and living on their name and past reputation. Invest in players who will be with us, and doing the business for us, for many years to come.
Now maybe this is the Club’s masterstroke. To announce two quality strikers as our designated players in the next few days. Make some dramatic grabs from Europe before they go elsewhere in their transfer window. Add the big names, get those late boost from season ticket sales, everything is ticketyboo.
Or perhaps it’s Teitur’s plan to go with the defensive angle again and to try and bore our opposition into submission like last season’s campaign.
Wikipedia (yeah, I know) has the MLS pre-season transfer window as running from January 15th till April 15th. We need to get things moving soon or the natives will start to get all that bit more jittery.
We’ve paid top money for season tickets for next season and what the Whitecaps need to understand is that we expect a return for that money. I would say anything but making the playoffs can be considered a failure and any fan who would be happy with a situation where we don’t needs to take a long hard look at themself and what they thing the purpose of a football team is. Hey, if our first season is to be a “building season” then charge us accordingly for watching that.
What it all boils down to is that we need strikers and we need them now. Once we sign them, once they start banging in the goals and once we start winning games, nothing else will matter.
The 5,000 fans at Swangard last season may have been supportive of a defence minded side with little to no attacking threat and endless bore draws, 20,000 people at Empire and BC Place won’t be that tolerant and neither will those in the media who are already sceptical about the Whitecaps and the game in general.