Whitecaps Football Shorts # 5

Well we’ve only been and gone and done it. Vancouver Whitecaps today announced that we’ve signed not only a striker, but he’s our first designated player as well.

French striker Eric Hassli is now a Whitecap – pending his international transfer certificate, work permit and the results of his physical!

When Paul Barber mentioned earlier in the week that Tommy Soehn was over in Europe, speculation was rife as to who he would be coming back with. When it became clear he was in Switzerland we hoped for a better return than some Lindt chocolates, as nice as it is.

Rumours were that he would be back with a named player. I’m not quite sure that that’s what we have in Hassli but he looks like he can do the business for us and has a not bad goalscoring record. His 6 foot 4 frame should be a massive benefit to us in this league. It’s an exciting acquisition.

The 29 year old striker joins the Caps from FC Zurich of the Swiss Super League and is a former team-mate of Alain Rochat. He’s played for seven clubs in his career to date, making 223 appearances and scoring 61 goals – that’s one every 3.6 games.

We think he can do some damage in MLS and are looking forward to seeing him in a Caps jersey soon. Just a shame that we could have had him bonding with the team in the pre-season games. Crazy to go for him now, but it’s better than having nothing!

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A lot of the other speculation recently was who was going to pick up the remainder of the Caps games for television broadcast. We found out this week – Sportsnet.

The first year of the three year agreement will see Sportsnet broadcast 21 Vancouver matches this season, more than any other network in Canada. The schedule kicks off with the first away match against Philadelphia on March 26th.

This number will increase to 24 games a season in 2012 and 2013.

Twelve of the matches will be away games, so they’re likely to be the television partner we watch most of this season. What can we expect?

Hopefully more respectful treatment than what they gave the Voyageurs Cup games, where those people not on the full Sportsnet package of channels had to scramble about to see the games.

Eleven of the games will be on the basic cable channel Sportsnet Pacific, so that’s a good thing. A further game will be on City TV and the remaining ten on premium channel, Sportsnet One. I have all the channels anyway, so pleasing to me!

Despite the channel problems for the NCC games, their coverage was always excellent and I’m looking forward to cheering the Caps on in Doolins Pub for the away games this season.

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The Whitecaps ticketing problems for home fans, which we highlighted earlier this week, now seems to have finally been settled.

The Southsiders executive board today advised all their members where they will be sitting at Empire Field and after a few jiggles, it’s looking like everyone that should be in the Southside of the stadium will be.

Good work by everyone involved to make sure this got sorted out but it should never have been an issue in the first place.

Hopefully this will be the end of the ticketing fuck ups. We’ll see.

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Many of have looked on and laughed our asses off in recent seasons, as some Seattle Sounders fans have acted like they’ve created the football supporter culture in the States.

Sure, they’ve done well and the numbers have grown, but having been to Sounders games, they may be big in numbers but they’re certainly not the best in output in the US. The Timbers Army will show them up time and again going forward.

Mouthy bunch of bastards some of them are too. No wonder they’re despised across the continent.

ECS member Mackenzie Clark was on the Extra Time Radio Podcast claiming that Vancouver Southsiders numbers were at the level of ECS when the Sounders went into MLS in 2009.

“Vancouver Whitecaps right now have about 50 supporters”, was the quote in reference to supporters groups. Considering the Southsiders membership is currently over 200, he maybe needs to do a little research.

Considering the shit fanbase the Sounders and ECS had in USL days, you just have to laugh and shake your head. Sad, deluded bastards. I don’t claim for a second that the Southsiders will match the ECS in numbers. It’s not about that though, it’s what you do with what you’ve got and frankly, Seattle’s fans aint all that they think they are.

Shame they let uninformed numpties on the radio these days. If you’re going to diss have the knowledge.

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Finally another plug for my column in the Metro. This week’s topic is Cascadia.

If you haven’t already checked out the previous columns then why not?! Follow these links to put that right…

Atmosphere

Awaydays

Television

Marketing

Mon the Caps

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Authored by: Michael McColl

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