Whitecaps Football Shorts # 6

Eric Hassli was unveiled to the media and his new team mates in Vancouver this morning.

He arrived at YVR late last night and at least he’s going to have just over a week to bond with his new best buds and get an insight into Teitur’s tactical plan for the season ahead.

Media comments about the signing have been mixed, with a lot of the negativity coming from back east. Some of it has been levelled at his recent injuries, with others just not sure who the hell he is.

You’d think they would learn from happenings closer to home.

‘Name’ designated players do not guarantee you a playoff spot. Being a known player also doesn’t guarantee you success in any league. Let’s just wait to see what he produces on the pitch before we start critiquing him.

The pressure is on him though. As a DP, what should we be hoping for from him goalswise? 12? 15? 20? Anything not in double figures, assuming he stays injury free the whole season, would be a huge letdown.

At this morning’s press conference he said he feels no pressure as his “job is to score goals”.

Let’s just hope he gets his account started by silencing the Toronto critics on March 19th.

As we reported earlier in the week, the Cascadia Summit proved to be a big success.

The issue of away fans was never too far off the discussion table during the weekend and one of the hot topics was what restrictions might be placed on the travelling supports.

Rumours from some of our friends south of the border were indicating a few worrying issues that may be looming on the horizon.

One topic that appears to have been mooted is moving away fans into the stadiums up to two hours before kickoff and then keeping them in there after the games until the stadium has been cleared.

Security concerns would no doubt be cited if this was to happen but all this will do is prevent fans travelling in the first place.

Another rumoured condition would be that fans would have to travel as a group and not individually, if they wanted to be in the designated away end.

Again, is this to put off people travelling? Many people will not want to travel down this way.

A lot of people, myself included, want to have some vacation time built around some of the games. This would prevent travelling on a group bus that may be organised by the Club or by a supporters group.

All this will lead to is people buying tickets in the home sections. That’s what I’ll do and that’s what’s also going to be the biggest recipe for trouble in these games.

Hopefully just speculation right now or ideas just thrown out there for discussion by the FO’s and various supporters groups, but we’re looking into this and a few other issues and will have a piece about it all on the blog soon.

Paul Barber featured in an interesting article on the Sportspress Northwest website yesterday.

Having someone like Barber in charge at the Caps has brought us a lot of attention and respect from media types on both sides of the Atlantic.

He’s certainly no ordinary MLS CEO. He’s steeped in football and his previous work at the likes of Tottenham and the English FA should see the Whitecaps take giant steps in their aim to become one of the World’s Top 25 football clubs.

He publically states that he gets supporters culture, and so he should, coming from the UK, but the proof will be in how the Caps try and grow the ‘brand’ (I really hate using that word) in Vancouver and western Canada.

Barber clearly has a vision and I’m looking forward to seeing where that takes us in the next few years.

So, just over a week away from the home opener and our first MLS rivals aren’t faring too well.

Toronto were battered by D3 side Charleston 2-1 last night. It was a TFC side missing some of their better known starters, but there are worrying signs already there for some Toronto fans.

It was announced that three more Dutch players were joining their fellow Dutchman Aron Winter at the Club. These newcomers, and a mish mash of team selections pre-season, are going to make team bonding a bit more difficult. This unity and team spirit is something the Caps are already showing in abundance.

Pundits out east are tipping them to have a slow start to the season before gelling as a team and finding some form.

Looks like the Caps are meeting them at a perfect time.

The Whitecaps are going to be revealing their new Club anthem at the opening match. Today’s 30 Days ‘Til Kickoff campaign gave us a taster of what to expect – a hip hop/rock composition.

The initial reaction has been mixed but there’s no way you can judge this until you hear it.

I think it’s a brave attempt by the Club to hit a younger demographic and providing DJ Kemo is a football fan and understands football culture (which surely he will otherwise the Club wouldn’t have selected him) then I think it will be interesting to hear.

Hip hop beats might not scream Vancouver at some people but it works really well in football songs, as do dance beats. One of my favourite football tunes – Sharp As A Needle by Barmy Army – meshes beats with crowd chants wonderfully. Another good example is “Eat My Goal” by Collapsed Lung.

It will be original and not a rip off of a Chelsea song like “White Is The Colour” is. Looking forward to hearing it.

Authored by: Michael McColl

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