Vancouver Whitecaps (1986–2010)

Vancouver Whitecaps was a Canadian professional soccer club based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded in 1986, the team played its final year in the second tier of the United States soccer pyramid in the NASL Conference of the USSF Division 2 Professional League coached by Teitur Thordarson. The team played its home games at Swangard Stadium in nearby Burnaby, British Columbia. The team's colours were blue and white.

Vancouver Whitecaps
Vancouver-Whitecaps-FC-Logo.svg
Full nameVancouver Whitecaps
Nickname(s)'Caps
Founded1986 as Vancouver 86ers[1]
Dissolved2010 (MLS 2011)
StadiumSwangard Stadium
Burnaby, British Columbia
Capacity5,288
OwnerGreg Kerfoot
Head CoachTeitur Thordarson
LeagueUSSF Division 2 Professional League
2010Regular Season: 2nd, NASL
Overall: 5th
Playoffs: Semifinals
WebsiteClub website

On March 19, 2009, an ownership group led by principal Greg Kerfoot was granted a Major League Soccer expansion franchise which began play in 2011 under the name Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

In addition to its men's side the Whitecaps also field a women's team in the USL W-League, two developmental teams (Vancouver Whitecaps Residency, in the USL Premier Development League, and the Whitecaps FC Prospects, in the Pacific Coast Soccer League), and four youth teams in the USL Super Y-League (Coastal WFC, Mountain WFC, Surrey WFC and Okanagan WFC) ranging in age from U13 to U17 for both boys and girls.[2]

The team was previously known as the Vancouver 86ers of both the Canadian Soccer League, American Professional Soccer League (APSL), and later the A-League. The club later played in two later versions of the second tier A-League known as the USL-1 and USSF Division 2 Professional League in North America.

HistoryEdit

Vancouver 86ersEdit

 
Vancouver 86ers logo 1993–1998

In 1986, a professional soccer team was again launched in Vancouver, the Vancouver 86ers—so named because of both the year of the team's founding and to commemorate the year Vancouver was founded (1886). Eighty-six people also originally put up $500 each to fund the new team as the West Coast Soccer Society.[3] Led by player/head coach Bob Lenarduzzi and his assistant Alan Errington, the 86ers were triumphant in their inaugural CSL match, as they defeated Edmonton Brickmen 4–2 in front of 7,646 fans at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, on June 7, 1987. The 86ers went on to finish second in the Western Division standings that year before bowing out to inaugural league champions Calgary Kickers in the playoff semifinals. The 86ers played in the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) winning four straight CSL Championships (1988–1991) and five consecutive CSL regular-season first-place finishes (1988–92).

In 1988–1989, the team, coached by Bob Lenarduzzi, set a North American professional sports record by playing 46 consecutive games without a loss.[4] Also in 1988 the Vancouver 86ers and Calgary Kickers played six friendly matches each against the Western Soccer Alliance in the month of May.[5]

In 1990, the Vancouver 86ers captured the North American Club Championship after defeating the Maryland Bays 3–2 in the final played in Burnaby. The game was played between the champions of the Canadian Soccer League and the champions of the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). The 86ers however came up short in the first round of the 1992 Professional Cup North American Club Championship. Facing APSL champions Colorado Foxes over two legs, Vancouver suffered a heartbreaking 3–2 defeat in the first leg in Colorado on August 3, 1992, before the Foxes advanced to the final, as a 2–1 second-leg win at Swangard on August 11, 1992, secured a 5–3 aggregate victory for Colorado. Vancouver played in the CSL from its inception in 1987 until the league folded in 1992, and then moved over to the APSL in 1993 which was later absorbed into the USL hierarchy of leagues in 1997 becoming the A-League, later renamed the USL.

Vancouver Whitecaps (USL)Edit

 
Vancouver Whitecaps USL

In 2001, the team began to use the old Vancouver Whitecaps moniker (signifying both the 'white caps' of the nearby mountains, and the waves of the Pacific Ocean).[6][7] In 2003, the name was again changed, albeit only slightly, to Whitecaps FC, which encompasses the men's, women's, and youth development teams within the organization.[8][9] At this time, the Whitecaps logo changed slightly in colour (the light teal-green was replaced with a brighter blue) and the word "Vancouver" was dropped from the image.

In 2006, the Whitecaps organization won an unprecedented double-championship, claiming both the United Soccer Leagues First Division championship trophy, defeating the host Rochester Rhinos 3–0 at PAETEC Park, and winning the W-League women's trophy. The men's team also won the Nation's Cup, a new tournament established by their club as a way to feature the Whitecaps playing against international competition. The 2006 Nation's Cup tournament featured the Chinese and Indian U-20 National teams and Championship Welsh club Cardiff City F.C. (the "Bluebirds"). The gradually added the "Vancouver" back into their name, changing it officially to "Vancouver Whitecaps FC".

The following season, the Whitecaps signed a deal to play an exhibition match against the Los Angeles Galaxy, which featured international David Beckham, and promoted Director of Soccer Operations Bob Lenarduzzi to team president.

October 12, 2008, they claimed their second United Soccer Leagues First Division championship with a 2–1 victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders. Charles Gbeke scored twice with his head in the second half to help secure the title. In 2009, they placed 7th in the league and were eliminated in the final by the Montreal Impact on a 6–3 aggregate.[10]

In November 2009 the Whitecaps, along with several other teams, announced their intent to leave the USL First Division to become the co-founders of a new North American Soccer League, which was to begin play in 2010.[11][12] On January 7, 2010 the U.S.S.F. announced that neither the USL nor the NASL would be permitted to have a second division league,[13] and the USSF would administer a league where the NASL and USL are conferences within the league.[14]

On November 24, 2009 it was announced that Paul Barber, the former Executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur, will become the Chief Executive Operations director of the Caps.[15]

Whitecaps played a 30-match regular season, with 15 home games and a 15 games away in the United States Soccer Federation Division 2 Professional League.[16]

The Whitecaps and Major League SoccerEdit

On July 24, 2008, the MLS announced they were seeking to add two expansion franchises for the 2011 season.[17] One day later, the Whitecaps officially announced that they were pursuing one of the two expansion slots. The Whitecaps also announced that local sports icon Steve Nash will join the Whitecaps ownership team.[18]

"There is no doubt the market for professional soccer exists in Vancouver, as we saw last November when nearly 50,000 fans attended the exhibition match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Whitecaps, " MLS commissioner Don Garber said.[19]

Vancouver's bid was officially submitted on October 15, 2008, along with bids from 6 other cities.[20] Whitecaps representatives Greg Kerfoot and Jeff Mallett met with MLS officials on November 21, 2008 to go over their bid. Don Garber, who was previously involved in National Football League expansion, described the bid presentation as, "one of the best I've ever seen."[21] Garber and MLS president Mark Abbott were in Vancouver on December 7, 2008 to tour BC Place Stadium and learn about the proposed renovations, which were scheduled to be completed in time for the 2011 MLS season.[22]

Vancouver was officially named an MLS expansion city on March 18, 2009, and joined the league in 2011. They began their inaugural MLS season at Empire Field, a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium, and moved into BC Place Stadium[23][24][25][26] when renovations to the stadium were completed.

PlayersEdit

Final rosterEdit

as of October 29, 2010[27]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   USA Jay Nolly
3 DF   CAN Luca Bellisomo
6 MF   CAN Terry Dunfield
8 DF   USA Wes Knight
7 MF   CAN Martin Nash
9 MF    SUI Davide Chiumiento
11 FW   COD Ridge Mobulu
12 MF   CAN Russell Teibert
14 DF   USA Greg Janicki
15 MF   CAN Philippe Davies
16 MF   CAN Kyle Porter
20 MF   CAN Ethan Gage
No. Pos. Nation Player
23 DF   USA Blake Wagner
24 MF   CMR Alexandre Morfaw
25 FW   USA Cody Arnoux
26 FW   CAN Alex Semenets
28 MF   GHA Gershon Koffie
29 MF   TAN Nizar Khalfan
31 GK   CAN Simon Thomas
33 DF   LBR Willis Forko
39 FW   VIN Cornelius Stewart
55 DF   FRA Mouloud Akloul
MF    SUI Bedri Gashi

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF    SUI Alain Rochat (at FC Zürich)[28]

Notable former playersEdit

StaffEdit

ManagementEdit

SportsEdit

MedicalEdit

Year-by-YearEdit

This is a complete list of seasons for the CSL and USL club. For a season-by-season history including the current Vancouver Whitecaps FC MLS franchise, see History of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. For solely MLS results, see List of Vancouver Whitecaps FC seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs CC Continental Average
attendance
Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name Goals
1987 1 CSL 20 9 8 3 37 27 +10 30 1.50 2nd 4th SF Ineligible 5,993   Domenic Mobilio[29] 12
1988 CSL 28 21 1 6 84 30 +54 69 2.46 1st 1st W 4,919   John Catliff[30]
  Domenic Mobilio[31]
22
1989 CSL 26 18 2 6 65 33 +32 60 2.31 1st 1st W 4,572   Domenic Mobilio[31] 12
1990 CSL 26 17 6 3 69 26 +43 54 2.08 1st 1st W 4,218   John Catliff[32] 19
1991 CSL 28 20 4 4 69 31 +38 64 2.29 N/A 1st W 6,347   Domenic Mobilio[33] 26
1992 CSL 20 11 6 3 42 28 +14 36 1.80 1st RU CONCACAF Champions' Cup R1 4,344   John Catliff
  Dale Mitchell[34]
6
1993 2 APSL 24 15 9 0 43 35 +8 45 1.88 1st SF Ineligible 4,866   Domenic Mobilio[35] 11
1994 APSL 20 7 13 0 25 41 –16 21 1.05 6th DNQ 4,742   Domenic Mobilio[36] 7
1995 A-League 24 10 14 0 43 43 0 30 1.25 3rd SF 4,493   Giuliano Oliviero[37] 9
1996 A-League 27 13 14 0 38 38 0 39 1.44 5th DNQ 4,068   Domenic Mobilio[38] 14
1997 A-League 28 16 12 0 50 29 +21 48 1.71 3rd 6th SF 3,558   Domenic Mobilio[39] 22
1998 A-League 28 15 13 0 55 42 +13 45 1.61 4th 15th R1 4,185   Jason Jordan[40] 8
1999 A-League 28 19 9 0 77 31 +46 57 2.04 3rd 4th R1 4,559   Niall Thompson[41] 20
2000 A-League 28 14 11 3 62 41 +21 45 1.61 5th 9th QF 3,959   Darren Tilley[42] 12
2001 A-League 26 16 8 2 44 33 +11 50 1.92 1st 4th SF 5,542   Jason Jordan[43] 9
2002 A-League 28 11 12 5 41 39 +2 38 1.36 5th 10th SF 3,769   Jason Jordan[44] 9
2003 A-League 28 15 6 7 45 24 +21 52 1.86 4th 5th QF 4,292   Ollie Heald
  Jason Jordan[45]
9
2004 A-League 28 14 9 5 38 29 +9 47 1.68 2nd 6th SF 4,833   Jason Jordan[46] 7
2005 USL-1 28 12 7 9 37 21 +16 45 1.61 N/A 3rd QF 5,086   Jason Jordan[47] 17
2006 USL-1 28 12 6 10 40 28 +12 46 1.64 4th W 5,085   Joey Gjertsen[48] 12
2007 USL-1 28 9 7 12 27 24 +3 39 1.39 7th QF 5,162   Eduardo Sebrango[49] 7
2008 USL-1 30 15 7 8 34 28 +6 53 1.77 2nd W 3rd DNQ 4,999   Eduardo Sebrango[50] 16
2009 USL-1 30 11 10 9 42 36 +6 42 1.40 7th RU RU 5,312   Charles Gbeke[51] 13
2010 D2 Pro 30 10 5 15 32 22 +10 45 1.50 2nd 5th SF RU 5,152   Martin Nash[52] 5
Total 639 330 199 110 1139 759 +380 1100 1.72   Domenic Mobilio 167

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, League Playoffs, Canadian Championship, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.
^ 3. Points and PPG have been adjusted from non-traditional to traditional scoring systems for seasons prior to 2003 to more effectively compare historical team performance across seasons.

Pepsi Cup – North American Club ChampionshipEdit

September 26, 1990 Pepsi Cup (APSL and CSL Champions) Vancouver 86ers 3–2 Maryland Bays Burnaby, British Columbia
Dominic Mobilio   14'117'
Dale Mitchell   40'
report Kevin Sloan   44'
Jean Harbor   68'
Stadium: Swangard Stadium
Attendance: 2,643

1992 Professional Cup – North American Club ChampionshipEdit

QuarterfinalsEdit

August 3, 1992 First Leg Colorado Foxes 3–2 Vancouver 86ers Commerce City, Colorado
Medved   70'89'
Eck   63'
report Easton   2'
Mitchell   81'
August 11, 1992 Second Leg Vancouver 86ers 1–2 Colorado Foxes Burnaby, British Columbia
Mobilio   31' report Eck   56'
Hooker   59'
Stadium: Swangard Stadium
Attendance: 3,085

Colorado advances on aggregate, 5–3

HonoursEdit

DomesticEdit

Canadian Soccer League

Canadian Championship

USL First Division

InternationalEdit

  • North American Club Championship
    • Winners (1): 1990
  • Nations Cup
    • Winners (1): 2006

Head coachesEdit

Name Nationality Years Ref
Bob Lenarduzzi   CAN 1987–1993
Carl Valentine   ENG 1994–1999
Dale Mitchell   CAN 2000–2001
Tony Fonseca   POR 2002–2004
Bob Lilley   USA 2005–2007
Teitur Thordarson   ISL 2008–2010 [53]

StadiumEdit

Proposed new stadiumEdit

For some time, the City of Vancouver and the ownership group of the Whitecaps were considering the idea to build the team a soccer-specific stadium called Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. The new stadium was to be built over the railway tracks east of Waterfront Station on Burrard Inlet.

This 16,000-seat stadium would have replaced Swangard Stadium as the home field for the USL's Vancouver Whitecaps.

There was a fair degree of controversy with regards to this location; a Vancouver council session to debate the issue was extended to four nights to allow public input. Detractors viewed the proposed stadium as an incongruous addition to nearby historic Gastown that would block waterfront access and promote piecemeal development of the area. Proponents of the development felt that the stadium would attract new business to the downtown and Gastown areas, particularly since the soccer team tended to attract a family-oriented audience.

On July 11, 2006, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to proceed with the stadium project, so long as the Whitecaps could meet certain conditions regarding land use. On January 22, 2007, the Whitecaps filed a new proposal shifting the proposed site for the stadium project to the current location of the SeaBus terminal, a short distance northwest of the previous site.

With the Whitecaps moving up to MLS, the franchise has signed to initially play at Empire Field, and then BC Place Stadium from 2011 to at least 2015. It was hoped that the new facility would be completed by the 2016 MLS season. Due to the hurdles of getting the new stadium approved, the project has been abandoned with the team committed to playing at BC Place Stadium.

Club cultureEdit

MascotEdit

The Whitecaps' mascot was named Winger. He is a bird who wears a Whitecaps jersey and carries a large drum to encourage the crowd. He often uses signs to get fans in the grandstands to cheer.

FansEdit

The Whitecaps have an independent supporters group known as the Southsiders.[54][55] Founded in 1999, the group is named for their preferred seating area in the south end of Swangard Stadium. The Southsiders, once described as a "rabid supporters group",[56] identify themselves as Canada's oldest supporters association for professional domestic association football.[citation needed]

The group originally called themselves "The Carlsberg Crew," named for the beer company that sponsored Swangard's beer garden. The name was changed to "The Canterbury Chorus" for the subsequent season, as the beer sponsorship had changed between seasons. To avoid changing names every time the sponsor changed, the group chose the name "The Southsiders".[57]

Rival clubsEdit

The Vancouver Whitecaps have two historic rivals, the Pacific Northwest Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. These three teams competed in the yearly Cascadia Cup through 2008. In 2009, the Cup involved only the Whitecaps and Timbers because the Sounders were replaced by an MLS team of the same name.

The Whitecaps also compete on a yearly basis with the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC for the Voyageurs Cup or Canadian Championship. The winner of this series advances to the CONCACAF Champions League.

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit