Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo.svg
Full name Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Nickname(s)
  • Caps
  • Blue and White[1]
Founded 2009; 9 years ago (2009)[2][nb 1]
Stadium BC Place
Vancouver, British Columbia
Capacity 22,120–54,313[3][nb 2]
Owners Greg Kerfoot
Steve Luczo
Jeff Mallett
Steve Nash
Head coach Craig Dalrymple (interim)
League Major League Soccer
2017 Western Conference: 3rd
Overall: 8th
Playoffs: Conference Semifinals
Website Club website
Current season

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Vancouver, British Columbia that competes in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS). The Whitecaps were the 17th team to enter Major League Soccer and replaced the USSF Division 2 team of the same name in the city. The club has been owned and managed by the same group since their USSF days, having graduated to MLS after the conclusion of the USSF's 2010 season. The MLS version of the team is a phoenix club, and the third to carry the legacy of the Whitecaps name. In the 2012 season, the team became the first Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

History

An ownership group in Vancouver were granted the seventeenth Major League Soccer franchise on March 18, 2009 by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.[4] While no name was provided at the Vancouver announcement, over a year later the club confirmed it would keep the Whitecaps name.[5][6][7][8]

In preparation for its first MLS season, the Whitecaps brought in executive talent from around the world. On November 24, 2009, Paul Barber, former Tottenham Hotspur F.C. executive, was announced to join the club as CEO. Others joining him included former D.C. United head coach Tom Soehn as Director of Operations and Dutch national Richard Grootscholten as the Technical Director and head coach of the residency program.

As the head coach of the USL and later USSF Division 2 Vancouver Whitecaps, former Iceland international Teitur Thordarson was confirmed as head coach on September 2, 2010 for the inaugural MLS season.[9] He was subsequently relieved of his duties on May 30, 2011 after the Whitecaps won just one of their first twelve matches. Tom Soehn, the Whitecaps director of soccer operations, replaced Thordarson on an interim basis.[10]

The Whitecaps began play in the 2011 MLS season with their first match on March 19, 2011, against rival Canadians Toronto FC, which they won 4–2. The first goal in the Whitecaps' MLS era was scored by Eric Hassli.[11] After their winning start the Whitecaps struggled, and failed to secure another victory in their next 11 MLS games, drawing six and losing five. In the aftermath of their 1–1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on May 30 head coach Teitur Thordarson was fired.[12] Tom Soehn took over coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season, while Martin Rennie was announced as the new permanent head coach on August 9, taking over officially on November 2.[13]

On March 3, 2012, the Whitecaps won their first minor, pre-season cup at the 2012 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic defeating Toronto FC 1–0 thanks to a goal by Camilo. The Whitecaps finished the regular season with 11 wins, 3 losses, and 10 ties positioning the club, 5th in the Western Conference and 11th on the league overall table. On October 21, 2012, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to earn a spot in the MLS playoffs.[14] Vancouver were eliminated in the knockout round.

In the 2013 season, Vancouver finished in 7th in the Western Conference, 13th in the league table with 13 wins, 12 losses, and 9 ties in the regular season. They were not able to qualify for the post season, in the playoffs as they had accomplished in the season prior. Two days after the end of the 2013 MLS regular season, Rennie's contract was not renewed sparking a search for the next head coach.[15] In their off-season, the Whitecaps were in the midst of controversy with one of their then players, Camilo, who had played for the team since their inaugural campaign, after the Brazilian went on to join Liga MX club Querétaro. The Mexican club believed that he was no longer under contract, while the Whitecaps reported that he was still on a contract with Vancouver.[16] The scandal was resolved with the Liga MX club paying a transfer fee from Vancouver to acquire the Brazilian forward.[17]

In October 2014, the Whitecaps qualified for the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League for the very first time as a result of becoming the highest ranked Canadian team in the 2014 MLS season and due to a reformatting of the Canadian Championship in the following season. A week later they qualified for the MLS playoffs for the second time, an achievement unmatched by any Canadian team.[18]

Colours and badge

On June 8, 2010, it was officially announced the club would continue using the "Whitecaps" name, but with a redesigned logo.[19] The name alludes to the geographic features surrounding the city: snow-capped mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean's white-capped waves to the west.

The official club colours include navy blue ("deep sea"), white, and light blue ("Whitecaps blue"). The "deep sea" blue represents the maritime landscape of the Vancouver area and the "Whitecaps blue" indicates the reflection of the North Shore Mountains in the Pacific Ocean. The lighter shade of blue also alludes to the primary colour of the original Whitecaps, winners of Soccer Bowl 1979. The silver outline pays homage to the team's championship victories since 1974.[20]

On June 10, 2010, the Whitecaps strip package was unveiled with Bell Canada serving as the inaugural jersey sponsor.[21][22] The home shirt is white with horizontal, navy blue pinstripes; the stripes broaden slightly from bottom to top. The secondary shirt is deep blue with an embossed, interlocking diamond pattern which is also deep blue and is reflective in the light.

On June 14, 2012, the Whitecaps unveiled a third kit. The third kit is predominantly "arbutus brown", with sky blue accents, which reflects the unique land full of deep roots and the high-reaching arms of the temperate rainforests of British Columbia.[23]

Kit history

Home, away, and third kits.

  • Home
2011–2012
2013–2014
2015–2016
2017–
  • Away
2011–2013
2014–2015
2016–17
2018–
  • Third
2012–2013

Sponsorship

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2011− Adidas Bell

Stadium

White sheets are used to artificially reduce the capacity of BC Place for Whitecaps FC matches.

The Whitecaps plays its home matches at BC Place in Vancouver, which it shares with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.[24][25] Vancouver has played at BC Place since the final month of the 2011 MLS season, having spent the majority of that year at Empire Field.

BC Place is a 54,500-seat multi-purpose stadium designed for both Canadian football and soccer. The stadium opened in 1983, but underwent a complete two-phase revitalization project between 2009–2011.[26] The stadium now features the largest cable-supported retractable roof in the world and polytan artificial turf, which is certified by FIFA with a 2-star rating.[26][27] The Whitecaps reduce the stadium's capacity to 22,120 for matches by using white sails (known as the "secondary roof") to close off the upper bowl.[28][29] Club ownership initially hoped to build Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium in Gastown in time for the 2016 season, but the club has committed to BC Place in light of stadium opposition.[24]

The National Soccer Development Centre on the grounds of the University of British Columbia

The club played most of its inaugural season at Empire Field, a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium to house the Whitecaps and the BC Lions while BC Place was being renovated.[30] Empire Field was a 27,500-seat multi-purpose stadium that featured FIFA 1-star rated FieldTurf.[30] The team played its final match at Empire Field on September 24, 2011, a 3–1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC.[31] The following week, the Whitecaps played their first match at BC Place, a 1–0 loss to Portland Timbers on October 2, 2011.[32]

The club does not have a permanent training facility, opting instead to use facilities around Greater Vancouver.[33] However, the club partnered with the Government of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to build a $32.5 million National Soccer Development Centre on the UBC campus,[33] which opened on September 22, 2017.[34]

Club culture

Supporters

Whitecaps supporters celebrating 4–2 victory over Toronto FC at Empire Field during inaugural MLS match.

The largest Whitecaps supporters group is known as the Southsiders. The group began in 1999 when fans of the Vancouver 86ers began congregating in the pitch-level beer garden behind the goal at the south end of Swangard Stadium.[35][36]

The Southsiders' relationship with the team's ownership has not always been amicable.[35] It has evolved since Vancouver received the MLS expansion team.[37] Images of the Southsiders are featured prominently in Whitecaps' marketing campaigns. The group's board was invited to the invite-only launch of the kits and logo to be used in MLS.[38][39] The expansion has also increased membership to over 1200.[40] The president of the organization said that it had grown from about 40 paid members to 100 paid in July 2010. He also believes there is no reason why the Southsiders cannot outdo the Seattle Sounders' Emerald City Supporters.[41] Southsider supporters are primarily located in the southeast corner (sections 249-254) of B.C. Place stadium.

Two additional supporters groups are the Curva Collective and the Rain City Brigade.[42] Curva Collective has grown to be the second-largest supporters group for the Whitecaps located in sections 203 and 204 or the southwest curva.[43] The Rain City Brigade has a block of about 225 season tickets for their members in section 201 and marches from Library Square.[44][45]

Another group, "La Doce", formed in January 2011.[46] Their original name in Spanish is "La 12",[46] which can be translated into English as "The 12th" or "The 12th player". La 12 is formed by people from different nationalities that have a preference to support the Whitecaps in a Latin American, Southern European or Eastern European Style. The main feature of La 12 is its cheering style that features constant drumming and longer songs, resembling the way in which fans in South America or Southern or Eastern Europe like to support.[46] La 12 fans were primarily seated in the southeast corner of Empire Field. The group has since folded after the 2011 season with many members joining Curva Collective.

The team sold the first 5,000 $50 season ticket deposits 48 hours after they became available to the public. Remaining season tickets were made available to season ticket holders for the USSF 2 Whitecaps before becoming available to non-season ticket holders.[47] The team managed to attract 15,500 season ticket holders in its first MLS season and 13,000 for the second.[48]

Mascot

The official mascot for the Whitecaps is Spike, is a Belted kingfisher, a bird common to the Vancouver area.[49]

Rivalries

Cascadia Cup

The Vancouver Whitecaps have longstanding rivalries with both Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers. The rivalries predate MLS and have been an integral part of the soccer culture in the Pacific Northwest. Matches between these three teams are arguably the most passionate in all of MLS as each of these teams are well-supported by their respective cities.[50][51]

Canadian rivalries

The Vancouver Whitecaps also have rivalries with Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact. Vancouver's first game in MLS was against Toronto in an attempt by the league to spur a rivalry between the two Canadian teams.[52] Montreal was a rival in the second division. The three teams have played each other during Voyageurs Cup competitions.[53][54]

Broadcasting

Paul Dolan provides colour commentary for Sportsnet.

All Whitecaps matches are broadcast on television and radio. Through the 2013 season, Sportsnet Pacific and Sportsnet One nationally broadcast all "regional" Whitecaps games not televised by TSN or TSN2 as part of its national package of MLS games, broadcasting 24 games per season.[55][55] Regional matches were called by Craig MacEwen, who does play-by-play, and former Vancouver 86ers goalkeeper Paul Dolan, who provides colour commentary.[56] Dolan replaced former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash, who provided colour commentary during the Whitecaps FC inaugural season.[57][58][59] In January 2014, TSN (which is owned by Bell Media, a subsidiary of the Whitecaps' founding sponsor Bell Canada) announced that it would take over broadcast rights to these "regional" Whitecaps games beginning in the 2014 Major League Soccer season. In 2014, selected games aired on CTV and CTV Two's Vancouver-area affiliates due to scheduling conflicts.[60][61]

On radio, Whitecaps games are primarily broadcast on TSN Radio 1410 (also owned by Bell Media), with some matches being broadcast on its sister station, TSN Radio 1040.[62] Until the end of the 2016 season, matches broadcast on radio has play-by-play duties shared between Peter Schaad and Scott Rintoul, and by former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder David Norman, who provides colour commentary.[63][64][65][66] Norman replaced Paul Dolan prior to the 2012 MLS season, after Dolan joined the Sportsnet broadcasting team.[62][64]

Ownership

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is owned by a group of four investors; Greg Kerfoot, Steve Luczo, Jeff Mallett, and Steve Nash.[67] The group has a collective net worth over $2 billion.[68] Kerfoot has been the majority owner of the Whitecaps since 2002, when he saved the club from contraction after previous owner David Stadnyk left the club, selling it to United Soccer Leagues.[67][68][69] He was previously the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Crystal Decisions.[70] Mallett, a former chief operating officer (COO) of Yahoo!, who was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, has a significant background in soccer. He played for the British Columbia under-16 provincial team and was on the University of Victoria Vikes squad that lost in the final of the 1982 CIS Men's Soccer Championship.[67] He also spent one year with the San Francisco State University Gators men's soccer team before an injury left him unable to continue playing competitive soccer.[67] After leaving Yahoo!, Mallett purchased a minority stakes in the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball and English soccer club Derby County F.C..[67] Having first met at a charity soccer event in 2005, Mallett partnered with Steve Nash—a two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who was also raised in Victoria—to put together a bid for a minority share of English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in 2008.[67] After that transaction fell through, the duo contacted Kerfoot about a minority stake in the club.[67] Nash is the older brother of former Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash.[69] The fourth partner, Steve Luczo, is the president, chairman, and CEO of Seagate Technology and a partner in Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C., a group who own the NBA Boston Celtics.[67] Luczo met Kerfoot while the two were both employed by Seagate Technology, and Kerfoot contacted Luczo proposing he become part of the club's MLS bid.[71] In 2009, the group paid a $35 million expansion fee to MLS for the right to join the league.[67]

Current players and staff

For details on former players, see All-time Vancouver Whitecaps FC roster.

Current roster

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of February 10, 2018.[72]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic  New Zealand
2 Defender Doneil Henry  Canada
3 Defender Sean Franklin  United States
4 Defender Kendall Waston (DP)  Costa Rica
6 Midfielder Efraín Juárez  Mexico
8 Midfielder Felipe  Brazil
9 Forward Anthony Blondell  Venezuela
11 Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida  Uruguay
12 Goalkeeper Brian Rowe  United States
13 Midfielder Cristian Techera  Uruguay
14 Forward Marvin Emnes  Netherlands
15 Defender Roberto Domínguez  El Salvador
17 Defender Marcel de Jong  Canada
18 Defender José Aja  Uruguay
19 Forward Erik Hurtado  United States
20 Midfielder Brek Shea (DP)  United States
22 Defender Aaron Maund  United States
23 Forward Kei Kamara  Sierra Leone
28 Defender Jake Nerwinski  United States
29 Forward Yordy Reyna  Peru
31 Midfielder Russell Teibert (HGP)  Canada
39 Goalkeeper Sean Melvin (HGP)  Canada
45 Forward Myer Bevan  New Zealand
46 Defender Brett Levis  Canada
54 Midfielder Simon Colyn (HGP)  Canada
65 Midfielder Michael Baldisimo (HGP)  Canada
66 Midfielder Ali Ghazal  Egypt
67 Midfielder Alphonso Davies (HGP)  Canada
77 Midfielder Jordon Mutch (on loan from Crystal Palace)  England

Out on loan

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of Feb 1, 2017.[72]

No. Position Player Nation
24 Midfielder David Norman Jr. (HGP; on loan to Queen of the South)  Canada
Goalkeeper Spencer Richey (on loan to FC Cincinnati)  United States

Technical staff

As of September 25, 2018[73]

Role Name Nation
Head coach (interim) Craig Dalrymple  England
Assistant coach Vacant
Assistant coach and head of high performance Gordon Forrest  Scotland
Goalkeeper coach Vacant
First team analyst coach Andy Peat  New Zealand

Management

As of July 1, 2015[74]
Role Name Nation
Executive chair John Furlong  Ireland
President Bob Lenarduzzi  Canada
Chief operating officer Rachel Lewis  Canada
Vice president, finance and administration Don Ford  Canada
Vice president, soccer operations Greg Anderson  Canada
Vice president, brand and fan engagement Mikkel Strøjer  Denmark

Former players and staff

Head coaches

Years Name Nation
September 1, 2010 – May 30, 2011 Teitur Thordarson  Iceland
May 30, 2011 – October 25, 2011 Tom Soehn (interim)  United States
October 26, 2011 – October 29, 2013 Martin Rennie[75]  Scotland
December 16, 2013 – September 25, 2018 Carl Robinson  Wales

Club captains

Years Name Nation
2011–2014 Jay DeMerit  United States
2014–2016 Pedro Morales  Chile
2016–2017 David Ousted  Denmark
2017– Kendall Waston  Costa Rica

Whitecaps FC 2

Whitecaps FC 2 was the farm club of the Vancouver Whitecaps that was established on November 21, 2014. Whitecaps FC 2 began competing in the 2015 season, in the USL.[76] On November 27, 2017, the Whitecaps dissolved their reserve side in favour of affiliating with 2018 expansion club Fresno FC.[77]

Honours

Domestic competitions

Winners: 2015
Runners-up (5): 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018

Team records

Interactive chart

See or edit raw graph data.


Year-by-year

Year MLS regular season Position MLS Cup
Playoffs
Canadian
Championship
Champions
League
GP W L D GF GA Pts Conf. Overall
2011 34 6 18 10 35 55 28 9th 18th Did not qualify Runners-up DNQ
2012 34 11 13 10 35 41 43 5th 11th Knockout Round Runners-up
2013 34 13 12 9 53 45 48 7th 13th Did not qualify Runners-up
2014 34 12 8 14 42 40 50 5th 9th Knockout Round Semi-final
2015 34 16 13 5 45 36 53 2nd 3rd Conference Semifinals Champions Group Stage
2016 34 10 15 9 45 52 39 8th 16th Did not qualify Runners-up Semi-final
2017 34 15 12 7 50 49 52 3rd 8th Conference Semifinals Semi-final DNQ
  • DNQ means Did Not Qualify

International tournaments

CONCACAF Champions League

Vancouver has qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League twice, the first in the 2015–16 edition of the tournament.

Scores and results list Vancouver's goal tally first
Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2015–16 Group stage United States Seattle Sounders FC 1–1 0–3 1–4
Honduras Olimpia 1–0 0–1 1–1
2016–17 Group stage Trinidad and Tobago Central F.C. 4–1 1–0 5–1
United States Sporting Kansas City 3–0 2–1 5–1
Quarterfinals United States New York Red Bulls 2–0 1–1 3–1
Semifinals Mexico UANL[78] 1–2 0–2 1–4

Other competitions

Group stage v. England Manchester City – 1–2

Player records and awards

Golden Boot

Top scorer by season
Year Player Goals
2011 Brazil Camilo 12
2012 Jamaica Darren Mattocks 7
2013 Brazil Camilo 22
2014 Chile Pedro Morales 10
2015 Uruguay Octavio Rivero 10
2016 Chile Pedro Morales 9
2017 Colombia Fredy Montero 13

Note: Only MLS regular season goals counted

Most appearances

# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS Playoffs CC CCL Total
1 Defender Jordan Harvey  United States 2011–17 179 4 12 4 199
2 Midfielder Russell Teibert  Canada 2011– 134 1 22 7 164
3 Midfielder Gershon Koffie  Ghana 2011–15 133 3 13 1 150
Goalkeeper David Ousted  Denmark 2013–17 142 2 2 4 150
5 Defender Kendall Waston  Costa Rica 2014– 113 5 8 8 134
6 Midfielder Matías Laba  Argentina 2014–17 113 2 6 7 128
7 Forward Erik Hurtado  United States 2013– 103 0 12 5 120
8 Midfielder Cristian Techera  Uruguay 2015– 100 5 8 6 119
Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida  Uruguay 2014– 99 2 12 6 119
10 Forward Kekuta Manneh  Gambia 2013–17 101 2 11 3 117

As of October 6, 2018[citation needed]

CC = Canadian Championship; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Whitecaps FC roster.

Top goalscorers

# Pos. Name Nation Career MLS Playoffs CC CCL Total
1 Forward Camilo  Brazil 2011–13 39 4 43
2 Midfielder Pedro Morales  Chile 2014–16 25 0 4 0 29
Midfielder Cristian Techera  Uruguay 2015– 23 1 0 5 29
4 Forward Kekuta Manneh  Gambia 2013–17 22 0 1 1 24
5 Forward Darren Mattocks  Jamaica 2012–15 19 1 2 0 22
6 Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida  Uruguay 2014– 12 2 3 0 17
Forward Erik Hurtado  United States 2013– 12 1 2 2 17
Forward Kei Kamara  Sierra Leone 2018– 14 3 17
9 Forward Eric Hassli  France 2011–12 12 3 15
Forward Fredy Montero  Colombia 2017 13 1 0 1 15
Defender Kendall Waston  Costa Rica 2014– 14 1 0 0 15

As of October 6, 2018[citation needed]

CC = Canadian Championship; CCL = CONCACAF Champions League
Bolded players are currently on the Whitecaps FC roster.

Other records

MLS regular season only, as of May 26, 2018

Player of the year

Year Name Nation
2011 Camilo  Brazil
2012 Lee Young-Pyo  South Korea
2013 Camilo  Brazil
2014 Pedro Morales  Chile
2015 Kendall Waston  Costa Rica
2016 Jordan Harvey  United States
2017 Kendall Waston  Costa Rica

Footnotes

  1. ^ MLS franchise granted in 2009. Original team founded in 1974.
  2. ^ Based on configuration.

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External links

  • Official website
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