Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Whitecaps Predictions 2013


A Look at the Whitecaps As They Gear Up For 2013 Season

Vancouver Whitecaps writer, Drayton van As

Via vancouversun.com

With the Whitecaps preseason already kicked off and 3 matches played the 'Caps performances so far have all been positive: With a 4-1 win over New England Revolution, 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo, and a 1-0 win over 4th tier side Arizona Sahuaros. 2013 is already starting to look bright for the MLS 3rd year Whitecaps team. 2013 might be an awkward year for the Vancouver Whitecaps. The midfield maestro the 'Caps crave could be in Daigo Kobayashi but you can't forget Daigo's injury trouble the past 2 years of his career with major hip problems. The 'Caps seem to only be able to bring in 2nd and 3rd division proven players to fill out the roster and bring in draft picks. No real transfers where you tell yourself: "Oh, he WILL be in the starting lineup." Even with that said, there is still time for the Whitecaps to get a few first team proven players. Which there are still gaps in the midfield with only Davidson, Koffie, and Kobayashi being the only proper starting midfielders. 

2013 Lineup predictions:

With the 3 preseason matches all completed Martin Rennie has shown subtle signs for what the Vancouver Whitecaps formation could be. We have been seeing asolid back four, two defensive midfielders, two attacking wingers, and two forwards with one of the two playing more of an attacking midfielding position. We have seen Rennie expirement with the back four and defensive midfield positions with: Rochat playing a proper left defensive midfield role (I personally love this position for Rochat) Young Pyo Lee playing in the vacant left back spot, Camilo Sanvezzo (and or Daigo Kobayashi) playing the central attacking midfield position, and finally Matt Watson playing right back. Watson was the least most successful with seeing him being beat numerous times and taking stupid fouls. 

My Starting 11 predictions:

       Knighton
YP Lee O'Brien DeMerit Harvey
Koffie Rochat
Kobayashi Camilo
              Miller
            Mattocks

Why are my predictions the way they are you ask? Well let's start with Knighton.. looking at the end of the 2012 season Knighton took over the starting position and let's be honest, he 100% looked like a proper MLS keeper, rarely letting in weak goals. Moving ahead to the back four, with Lee's age being the only negative of his game 2013 will 99% be his last season. The two centre backs are also a gimmie with O'Brien and DeMerit playing cruicial roles ending the 2012 season. Left back may be a little different in 2013. Rennie seems to really enjoy Rochat playing a defensive midfield position so we may see Harvey playing more and more matches on the left side of the defense. The midfield is a big question mark for the 'Caps. We may see Kobayashi fitting in on the right side of the field putting Camilo out to the left. Our up and coming 2013 draft picks Hurtado and Kekuta could be nipping at the heels of the wide midfielders and strikers for that starting position, but with that said the starting forwards are pretty much set for the 2013 season.  Sure, Miller had a bad 2012 season but look at the position he was in to come into a team mid season and try to work into the Whitecaps system. But with him fully commited to the 'Caps for 2013 we will see a more confident Kenny. And of course you have to add Mattocks up top who already has 4 goals in 2 preseason matches. 

2013 season transfers so far:
December 14, 2012 - Paulo Jr. (FW) - From Real Salt Lake - 2012 Re-Entry Draft
January 11, 2013 - Brad Rusin (DF) - From HB Køge - Undisclosed transfer
January 17, 2013 - Kekuta Manneh (FW) - MLS SuperDraft pick 4th Overall
January 17, 2013 - Erik Hurtado (FW/MF) - MLS SuperDraft pick 5th Overall
January 23, 2013 - Tom Heinemann (FW) - From Columbus Crew - Free
January 23, 2013 - Corey Hertzog (FW) - From New York Red Bulls - Free
January 28, 2013 - Daigo Kobayashi (MF) - From Shimizu S-Pulse - Free

Transfers out
November 8, 2012 - Etienne Barbara (FW) - Option declined - Later signed with Minnesota Stars FC
November 8, 2012 - Brian Sylvestre (GK) - Option declined
November 8, 2012 - Tiago Ulisses (MF) - Option declined
December 3, 2012 - Atiba Harris (FW) - Traded to Colorado Rapids for 2015 and 2016 international roster slot
December 3, 2012 - Michael Nanchoff (MF) - Option declined - On trial with Portland Timbers
December 14, 2012 - John Thorrington  (MF) - D.C. United - 2012 Re-Entry Draft
January 21, 2013 - Barry Robson (MF) - Released - Later signed with Sheffield United.
January 25, 2013 - Martín Bonjour (DF) - Waived

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