Jon Szekeres
Author

Western Conference Preview

Mar 01, 2013 5:37 PM GMT

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS


2012 record: 11-13-10 (5th in Western Conference, eliminated in knockout round)

Additions: M Daigo Kobayashi (Free Agent), M Nigel Reo-Coker (Discovery rights trade W/ Timbers), D Johnny Leveron (Free Agent), Kekutah Manneh (SuperDraft)

Losses: M Barry Robson, D Martin Bonjour, M John Thorrington, M Atiba Harris.

Overview: They managed a marvelous turn around last season, going from worst to a playoff spot, before bowing out in the knockout stage. Now the club has rid itself of a glaring problem in Barry Robson, shored up the defense with more depth, signed a 28 year old former EPL'er in Nigel Reo Coker, and drafted well, with Kekutah Manneh and Erik Hurtado already looking like gamers. Brad Knighton and Joe Cannon form a formidable duo in net, and Daigo Kobayashi will look to replace the creative spark that left with M Davide Chiumiento. The 'Caps could be a very good team, provided defenders YP Lee and Jay Demerit stay healthy, which will be a challenge. Demerit is already battling an Achilles injury, and the club struggles mightily when their Captain does not play. Lee will be looking for more rest time, meaning depth will be a huge factor for the 'Caps this year. They made a giant leap in their second season; all they need now is another step.

Player to watch: Like you need to ask. Kenny Miller has been a high priced bust so far, but is committed to sticking it out with the club and leaving it all on the pitch this year. If he can become a viable third scoring option, then both Darren Mattocks and Camilo will see plenty more room on the attack.

disableDynamicNavigation