Vancouver Whitecaps FC
|Full name||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
Blue and White
Vancouver, British Columbia
(based on configuration)
|Head Coach||Martin Rennie|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|2012||Western Conference: 5th
Playoffs: Knockout round
|Website||Club home page|
Vancouver Whitecaps FC is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Vancouver, British Columbia that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS). The Whitecaps are the 17th team of Major League Soccer and replace the USSF Division 2 team of the same name, which was owned and managed by the same group that operates the MLS team, and which played through the conclusion of that league's 2010 season. The MLS team is the third to share the legacy of the Whitecaps name. In the 2012 season, the team's second in the league, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
An ownership group in Vancouver were granted the seventeenth Major League Soccer franchise on March 18, 2009 by MLS Commissioner Don Garber. While no name was provided at the Vancouver announcement, over a year later the club confirmed it would keep the Whitecaps name.
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. He was subsequently relieved of his duties on May 30, 2011 after the Whitecaps won just one of their first twelve matches. Tom Soehn, Whitecaps FC director of soccer operations, replaced Thordarson on an interim basis.
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. 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 tie with the New York Red Bulls on May 30 head coach Teitur Thordarson was fired.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 3.
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.
On October 21, 2012, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to earn a spot in the MLS playoffs.
Colours and badge
On June 8, 2010, it was officially announced the club would continue using the "Whitecaps" name, but with a redesigned logo. The name alludes to the geographic features surrounding the city: white-capped mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean's white-crested 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.
On June 10, 2010, the Whitecaps strip package was unveiled with Bell Canada serving as the inaugural jersey sponsor. 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.
Whitecaps FC plays its home matches at BC Place in Vancouver, which it shares with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Whitecaps FC has played at BC Place since the final month of the 2011 MLS season, having spent the majority of that year at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC has a five-year lease on BC Place which will keep the club there through 2015. For Whitecaps FC matches, the pitch is called "Bell Pitch at BC Place" as part of the club's sponsorship deal with Bell.
BC Place is a 55,000-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. 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. Whitecaps FC artificially reduces the stadium's capacity 21,000 for matches by using white sheets to close off the upper bowl. 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.
Whitecaps FC played most of its inaugural season at Empire Field, a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium to house Whitecaps FC and the BC Lions while BC Place was being renovated. Empire Field was a 27,500-seat multi-purpose stadium that featured FIFA 1-star rated FieldTurf. Whitecaps FC played its final match at Empire Field on September 24, 2011, a 3–1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC. The following week, Whitecaps FC played its first match at BC Place, a 1–0 loss to Portland Timbers on October 2, 2011.
Whitecaps FC does not have a permanent training facility, opting instead to use facilities around Greater Vancouver. However, the club has partnered with the Government of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to built a $32.5 million National Soccer Development Centre on the UBC campus. The facility will be constructed in time for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
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.
The Southsiders' relationship with the team's ownership has not always been amicable. It has evolved since Vancouver received the MLS expansion team. 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. The expansion has also increased membership. 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. Southsider supporters are primarily located on the eastern-half of the southern stands of B.C. Place.
Two additional supporters groups are the Curva Collective and the Rain City Brigade. Curva Collective has grown to be the second-largest supporters group for the Whitecaps.
Another group, "La Doce", formed in January 2011. Their original name in Spanish is "La 12", 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. 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. The team managed to attract 15,500 season ticket holders in its first MLS season and 13,000 for the second.
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.
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. Montreal was a rival in the second division. The three teams have played each other during Voyageurs Cup competitions.
All Whitecaps FC matches are broadcast on television and radio. Regionally, Whitecaps FC matches are broadcast on Sportsnet and Sportsnet One, as Rogers Media has a three-year regional broadcast contact with the club through the end of the 2013 MLS season.Sportsnet and Sportsnet One will broadcast 24 Whitecaps FC matches in each season of the contract. Regional matches are called by Craig MacEwen, who does play-by-play, and former Vancouver 86ers goalkeeper Paul Dolan, who provides color commentary. Dolan replaced former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Martin Nash, who provided color commentary during the Whitecaps FC inaugural season.
Whitecaps FC matches are broadcast nationally on TSN and TSN2, as Bell Media has a six-year national broadcast contract with MLS through the end of the 2016 MLS season. Under this contract, TSN and TSN2 will combine to broadcast a minimum of thirty regular season matches featuring Whitecaps FC, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC. Luke Wileman is the play-by-play announcer for national matches, broadcasting alongside color commentator Jason de Vos.
Radio broadcasting rights are also held by Bell Media under a two-year contract through the end of the 2012 MLS season. Matches are primarily broadcast on TEAM 1410, with some matches being broadcast on its sister station, TEAM 1040. Matches broadcast on radio are called by play-by-play analyst Peter Schaad, and by former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder David Norman, who provides color commentary. Norman replaced Paul Dolan prior to the 2012 MLS season, after Dolan joined the Sportsnet broadcasting team.
Whitecaps FC is owned by a group of four investors; Greg Kerfoot, Steve Luczo, Jeff Mallett, and Steve Nash. The group has a collective net worth over $2 billion. Kerfoot has been the majority owner of the Whitecaps FC since 2002, when he saved the club from contraction after previous owner David Stadnyk left the club, selling it to United Soccer Leagues. He was previously the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Crystal Decisions. 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. 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. 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..
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. After that transaction fell through, the duo contacted Kerfoot about a minority stake in Whitecaps FC. Nash is the older brother of former Whitecaps FC midfielder Martin Nash. 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. 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. In 2009, the group paid a $35 million expansion fee to MLS for the right to join the league.
Players and staff
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of January 21, 2013.
Out on loan
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of January 21, 2013.
|36||Midfielder||Bryce Alderson (HGP on loan to Charleston Battery)||Canada|
Notable former players
This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.
- See also: List of Vancouver Whitecaps FC players
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2013)|
|Head Coach||Martin Rennie||Scotland|
|Assistant Coach||Paul Ritchie||Scotland|
|Assistant Coach||Carl Robinson||Wales|
|Assistant Coach/Scouting Coordinator||Jake DeClute||United States|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Marius Røvde||Norway|
|Staff Coach||Martin Nash||Canada|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2013)|
|Executive Chair||John Furlong||Ireland|
|Chief Operating Officer||Rachel Lewis||Canada|
|Vice President of Finance & Administration||Don Ford||Canada|
|Director, Professional Teams||Greg Anderson||Canada|
|Director, Communications & Broadcast||Carly Jokic||Canada|
|Director, Sales||Colby Fackler||Canada|
|Director, Corporate Partnerships||Phil Adams||Canada|
|Director, Partnership Marketing||Janet Battle||Canada|
|Director, Marketing||Mikkel Strøjer||Denmark|
|Director, Soccer Development||Dan Lenarduzzi||Canada|
|Director, Events||Jamie Levchuk||Canada|
|2011–May 11||Teitur Thordarson||Iceland|
|May 2011–Oct 11||Tom Soehn (interim)||United States|
|Oct 2011–present||Martin Rennie||Scotland|
|2011–||Jay DeMerit||United States|
- Minor trophies
- Winners (1): 2012
|Year||MLS Regular season||Position||MLS Cup
|2011||34||6||18||10||35||55||28||9th||18th||Did not qualify||Runners-up||Did not qualify||Camilo Sanvezzo||12|
|2012||34||11||10||13||35||41||43||5th||11th||Qualified||Runners-up||Did not qualify||Darren Mattocks||7|
Note: Only MLS regular season goals counted
- Appearances: Camilo (70)
- Goals: Camilo (20)
- Assists: Davide Chiumiento (14)
- Hat Tricks: None
- Wins: Joe Cannon (15)
- Clean sheets: Joe Cannon (12)
MLS regular season only, as of May 19, 2013
|4||Forward||Sébastien Le Toux||France||2012||4||–||2||–||6|
|8||Forward||Atiba Harris||Saint Kitts and Nevis||2011–12||2||–||1||–||3|
|4||Goalkeeper||Joe Cannon||United States||2011–||56||0||3||–||59|
|Defender||Jay DeMerit||United States||2011–||53||1||5||–||59|
|Defender||Jordan Harvey||United States||2011–||42||1||6||–||49|
|9||Defender||Young-Pyo Lee||South Korea||2012–||44||1||2||–||47|
Player of the year
|2012||Lee Young-Pyo||South Korea|
Note: Only MLS regular season goals count.
- Group Stage v. Manchester City – 1:2
1:^ MLS franchise granted in 2009. Original NASL team founded in 1974.
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