Team Profile: Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Updated: Feb 20
Year founded: 2009 (the original Whitecaps were formed in 1974).
First season in MLS: 2011.
Stadium: BC Place, Vancouver, BC.
Honors: Canadian Championship (2015, 2022).
2023 highlights: The Whitecaps spend a good portion of the latter part of the season on their travels, including six in a row on the road during August and September. They counter this with four at home immediately before this run, starting with Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle Sounders. Their busiest month is May, during which they play six games, among them a return trip to Portland Timbers and the first of three meetings with the Sounders. They host CF Montreal on April 1st, and travel to Toronto FC on September 16th. Vanni Sartini's team open at home to Real Salt Lake on February 25th, and finish at home to defending champions LAFC on October 21st.
Head Coach: Vanni Sartini.
Players to watch: Ryan Gauld, Julian Gressel, Sergio Córdova.
Ali Ahmed (Whitecaps 2)
Simon Becher (Whitecaps 2)
Sergio Córdova (signed from FC Augsburg)
Mathías Laborda (free agent)
J.C. Ngando (Generation adidas)
Yohei Takaoka (signed from Yokohama F. Marinos)
Karifa Yao (Re-Entry Draft)
Caio Alexandre (loan to Fortaleza EC) Michael Baldisimo (out of contract) Janio Bikel (option declined) Lucas Cavallini (option declined) Derek Cornelius (transfer to Malmö FF) David Egbo (option declined) Marcus Godinho (option declined) Florian Jungwirth (out of contract/retired) Jake Nerwinski (option declined) Evan Newton (option declined) Leonard Owusu (option declined) Tosaint Ricketts (option declined)
2022 summary: Vancouver missed out on the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons after finishing ninth in the Western Conference. They matched their home record from 2021 (10-4-3), the only season from the last five in which they have played a part in the postseason, but 10 points on the road left them two places and four points adrift of Real Salt Lake in the final playoff position. Lucas Cavallini was leading scorer (9), though Ryan Gauld (8 goals, 9 assists) was the leading light. Sadly, the supporting cast was lacking in a season in which 33 players saw minutes and four different goalkeepers were used.
Facts and Stats: Vancouver's first match in MLS was a 4-2 win over Toronto FC on March 19th, 2011, in which Atiba Harris scored one and assisted on two. Harris is now President of his native St. Kitts & Nevis Football Association. The lone Whitecaps survivor from that first game in MLS is midfielder Russell Teibert. He will begin the 2023 season on 246 regular season appearances for the club.
Milestones in 2023: The home game with FC Dallas on March 11th, the third outing of the new season, will be the Whitecaps 400th match in Major League Soccer.