As the new season approaches, Whitecaps fans from all over are impatiently awaiting our first home game. It is no shock that last season was disappointing. While of course, there was much to enjoy – Alphonso Davies most notably, it was, nonetheless, a season flocked with problems and uncertainty.
Fast forward to today and we seem to be in a new era. Davies has departed to Germany, Kendall Waston has gone his way and Carl Robinson has been sacked, just to name a few.
So what should we expect this time around?
To put it simply – playoffs.
Our new manager, Marc Dos Santos, seems to be a man on a mission to restore Vancouver’s attacking identity, reliable defence and attractive style of play. The narrative the front office seems to be pushing is that he’s trustworthy and the right one to guide us towards a new era of success.
If we take a dive into his past, that positive narrative is backed by multiple success stories, stemming all the way from Canada to Brazil.
So why playoffs?
Although in MLS, simply making the playoffs is not an exceptional feat (even if we missed it last year), it is important to note that we must see this as a “transition” year. While of course, the occasional miracle season does occur, we could look at Leicester City in 2016 as an example, we must be realistic by admitting that going “all the way” this season is highly unlikely.
The playoffs are that perfect bridge between “not good enough” and unrealistic, in other words – it’s a terrific step in the right direction and a great show of potential of what the team could eventually do.
Making it to the playoffs would be a showcase of a few things. Firstly, that MDS has managed to properly integrate many new players into an up and coming league (MLS). Seeing as the squad has drastically changed over the course of the past 2-3 months, it is crucial for immediate success that players gently integrate into this new MLS “3.0” era.
Secondly, making it to the playoffs requires a certain level of discipline from the players, this will show that MDS has managed to do something Carl Robinson couldn’t – control the locker room.
Lastly, playoffs will bring something to BC Place that hasn’t really been felt in a few years – excitement. The energy and hype that goes into a playoff series is truly unique and would be a fantastic demonstration of what can result from hard work and determination. If Marc Dos Santos manages to push and motivate the players to get into this position, not only will the fans and front office appreciate it, but so will the city.
To summarize this brief piece, this season will be a great display of many things – the managerial ability of Marc Dos Santos, the integration of new players and the new culture the Whitecaps are able to create. Playoffs will be a demonstration of pride, excitement and success. The team here at Between The Sticks have great hope for our new manager and players. We will support them all the way.
To a great season and with confidence, playoffs!
Photo Credit to BlueAndWhiteArmy 2013