Brett Levis hoping to use first team experiences to help guide WFC2 to USL playoff success: “I love this team, I love playing for them”
It’s been quite the year for the Whitecaps’ Brett Levis.
Beginning in preseason camp with the first team, the Saskatchewan native impressed and has continued to do so during the USL season, scoring four goals and adding two assists in his 23 appearances to date.
A string of excellent performances earned him the chance to play for the ‘Caps in Trinidad in Champions League action at the start of August and a MLS contract soon followed.
Levis is now looking to end his whirlwind year with USL playoff success with WFC2, and the midfielder turned left back is keen to use those first team experiences, and what he’s learning every day in training, to help steady the wobbling WFC2 ship as they look to make an impact in their first ever USL playoff campaign.
“It’s helped me a lot,” Levis admits. “Any time I can step on the field, especially at a higher level, it will help me develop as a player. Whether it’s at left back, or left mid, or wherever they put me, just being on the field will help me develop.
“I’ve been brought up on this team the last two years so I’m very familiar with all the guys. I love this team. I love playing for them. First team, second team, wherever I get the chance to play, it’ll help me grow, and I’m really looking forward to the playoffs with this team and I really hope the first team can gain some momentum in the last few games and hopefully make the playoffs as well.”
It’ll be an almost impossible ask for the MLS side, but the USL team are firmly in the postseason for the first time. Levis is one of the core squad members who’s been there from the start, having previously played for the Whitecaps PDL side before signing a USL contract last February.
Last season’s inaugural season was tough, but the club, the management, and the players learned a lot. That’s been turned into results on the pitch this season and Levis feels the key areas of growth that’s led to the turnaround have been shaped by the squad’s previous experiences.
“I spoke last year a bit, the team kind of got thrown together at the last minute,” Levis admits. “A lot of guys had never played at this level, me included. A lot of guys didn’t have the experience under their belt. Even getting that year of experience and bringing Kyle [Greig] over, who’s played in the league for three or four years, was a huge help.
“We’ve just had a core group and everybody bought in to it, and to what Alan [Koch] was saying and to what Steve [Meadley] was saying. We had one goal in mind, and that was to make playoffs. I’m very happy with the way it’s went. We’re really trying to get that home playoff game and get that complete 180 that we’ve done this year.”
The ‘Caps recent run of form has hit the chances of a home playoff game hard. They could still squeak in to that fourth and final seeding spot if they win their last regular season game against OKC Energy on Wednesday night and a string of other results go their way.
They could also still finish anywhere from 4th to 7th in the Western Conference, still a great achievement after last season, but also disappointing after the team’s excellent ten game unbeaten start.
Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Portland Timbers 2 made it five games without a win, three of those without a goal, and the ‘Caps only have one victory in their last ten matches. Even if a win over OKC doesn’t get them that targeted home playoff game, it will at least start to build some momentum for the postseason push.
“[On Sunday] we got off to a little bit of a slow start,” Levis said. “I think, not me personally, but the team as a whole, once you hear that you’ve already clinched the playoffs, I think it’s almost natural for you to take your foot off the gas a little bit.
“We’re trying to push to get a home playoff game, so next game is very important. It’s our last game. We’re looking to get three points and a home playoff.”
But this certainly looks and feels like a different WFC2 side than that which took the Western Conference by storm at the start of the season. The goals have dried up, and the defence has become leaky. Can they find that spark again at the right time? Levis is confident they can.
“It comes down to consistency,” Levis feels. “Obviously this is a development team. It’s the second team, so I find it’s really hard to find that consistency when players are moving around so much. Me going up and Kyle and Sem [de Wit] going up, and Cole [Seiler].
“There’s so many pieces moving, that there’s not that many games where you play the same 11 back to back, so I think that consistency is part of the game. We have to deal with it and hopefully this last game we can come together as a team, regardless of who’s on the field, and get a win.”