The AFTN road trip has finally rolled into California.
I’m typing this from Coalinga. No, we hadn’t heard of it either! LA tomorrow though. Carson to be exact, as Vancouver Whitecaps take on Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center.
Tommy Soehn’s first match in charge of the MLS Caps is a basement battle. As an indication as to how bad Vancouver’s early season form has been, you only have to consider the fact that even a comprehensive win on Wednesday won’t drag the Whitecaps off the bottom spot in the West.
It might keep us from losing all hope though. For without hope, you’re a TFC fan.
Soehn is no stranger to MLS of course. A player of five years with Dallas and Chicago, Tommy made over 100 appearances before turning to management. A three year spell as head coach with DC United saw him win the Supporters Shield in 2007.
He is no stranger to this League. He knows what it takes to win. He’s given the impression that he thinks it won’t take too much to turn things round. Let’s hope that optimism turns to victories on the pitch.
On my trip down to California, one of the cd’s I’d happened to pack was “Tommy” by The Who. Was due to the fact that I’m going to see Roger Daltrey performing it live in October. No, it seems quite an apt album to have on a three game road trip that’s going to cover Soehn’s first three games in charge.
As are some of the lyrics.
“Tommy can you hear me….Can I help you to cheer?”
Teitur was a fan friendly manager. I do feel, and I stated this a few weeks back on the Southsiders forum, that this closeness to the fans clouded some people’s judgements about the decisions he was making and what was taking place on the pitch.
Teitur fully understood fan culture though and the important of it to the team. He encouraged players to come to fan functions and to show their appreciation after the games.
What does the future fan/club relationships hold in store under Tommy? What kind of reaction will he get from the travelling support in LA, Salt Lake and Seattle? And what kind of reaction will he give the fans back?
Does that even matter, if we get the results on the pitch?
I’m greedy. I want both, but if I’m only getting one, I want an aloof coach that brings success.
“We’re not gonna take it. Never did and never will. We’re not gonna take it. Gonna break it. Gonna shake it. Let’s forget it better still.”
Our start to the season has been awful at times. Our play has merited a better haul than our current points total, but them’s the breaks. It’s been too little, too late far too often this season. If it wasn’t for our late heroics in a couple of games, our points tally would be even worse.
Vancouver Whitecaps are a winning team. We are a successful team with a proud history. WE DO NOT UNDERACHIEVE. And we won’t start to accept that now.
We’ve only failed to make the playoffs twice in our history as a top flight side and both of those were our first two years as a NASL side in 1974.
Only on two other occasions, both as a D2 side in the 90’s, have we not made the playoffs.
We’re not an ordinary expansion side, so doing the same in MLS can’t be tolerated when you have assembled as talented a squad as we have.
This is a new start, so let’s forget about the 12 games that have gone before and start anew.
What will that new look like? What is a Soehn Caps starting eleven? Are some of Teitur’s D2 favourites on their way out of the equation now?
Tommy has been instrumental in bringing certain players to the Club. One such player is Joe Cannon. Does he get the nod ahead of Jay Nolly now? Does Davide Chiumiento get moved to the middle of the park like he has craved?
It will be interesting to see.
The players are the key to our future success. They’re the ones that break a Club AND a manager.
We’ll finish for now with one final lyrical quote from ”Tommy”, just for them:
“Listening to you,
I get the music.
Gazing at you,
I get the heat.
I climb the mountains.
I get excitement at your feet.
Right behind you,
I see the millions.
I see the glory.
I get opinions.
I get the story.”
That’s what it’s like for us watching you from the stands. So do us proud lads.
Mon the Caps.