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Vancouver Whitecaps 2020 preview: Dos Santos chases MLS playoff bid in second season

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Manager Marc Dos Santos will be hoping that a second season at the helm could boost the teams chances of competing and earning a potential MLS playoff spot.

The club has had another busy off-season with several fresh faces joining Vancouver in the front office and as well as on the pitch with exciting new attacking minded players.

Vancouver has brought in players who want to be a part of the Whitecaps. The club has emphasized the importance of acquiring character players who are team first footballers that will put the work in day in, and day out.

“When we look at a player, we evaluate the totality of what he brings to the team,” Marc Dos Santos said.” Locker room, leadership, commitment in training.”

Whitecaps FC look to conquer Sporting Kansas City in the season opener

When: Saturday, February 29, 7:30 p.m. PT

Where: B.C. Place Stadium

Broadcast: TV — TSN1 – RADIO — TSN 1040

The buzz: On paper Whitecaps FC look like an improved football club. The team made signification additions to help the club offensively. The transfer of Lucas Cavallini brings an instant upgrade to the Caps attack. Vancouver has added help on the flanks with David Milinkovic and Cristian Dájome joining the fold as creative wingers. The Whitecaps will start the season in an aggressive and versatile 4-2-3-1 formation.

Other Key Matches

May 2 at Toronto FC: A clash of Canadian rivals as Vancouver’s young squad battles a Toronto FC team that has been there and done that on the big stage.

June 13 vs. Seattle Sounders FC: The Cascadia rivalry continues with the MLS Cup champions making their lone trip to Vancouver after winning the 2019 MLS Cup.

July 4 vs. FC Cincinnati: The long awaited return of former captain and Whitecaps FC fan favorite Kendall Waston.

July 25 vs. LA Galaxy: The star studded LA Galaxy visit B.C. Place for the first time since the club signed Mexican international striker, Chicharito.

Check out the full 2020 schedule here.

Quotes & Notes

 on the weight of a successful preseason heading into the season: “The team has been working hard and there’s no secret we’ve put the work in, in terms of physical load, tactical, and technically we’re making sure we limit our little mistakes. Of course there’s some tidying ups to do because it’s been a good preseason, but we’re not perfect. We will keep pounding on the little details so we can improve. So far it’s been a great preseason and now it’s about having a good week of training and get going on Saturday.”

Max Crepeau on what the team needs to tidy up: “Just in terms of our press sometimes. If we don’t have it set, and then to go again and be compact as a group and not have a big distance between our lines with or without the ball. Some preventive coverage stuff defensively and stuff like that. Nothing too big. Once you see the scrimmage maybe you don’t see these details, but on the field we have to make sure they’re good and there’s no mistakes there.”

Lucas Cavallini on the excitement of home debut as a Vancouver Whitecap: “Oh, I’m really excited. I can’t wait to step on the pitch on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it. Not only am I going to see fans, but there will be a lot of my family members, friends, who are going to be attending that game. It’s going to be great for me, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Is the Tanque ready for the season?

“The Tanque’s ready.”

Biggest Offseason Moves

In December, Vancouver acquired Lucas Cavallini from Liga MX side Club Puebla on a club-record transfer fee reported to be $6 million. The Canadian international has agreed to a Designated Player contract through 2022 with an option for 2023.
Vancouver acquired winger Cristian Dájome via transfer from Colombian club Bogotá FC. The 26-year-old has agreed to an MLS contract through 2021, with an option for 2022. Dájome will occupy an international roster spot.

Vancouver also added Ghanaian midfielder Leonard Owusu from Israeli Premier League side FC Ashdod. Owusu is signed to an MLS contract through 2022, with an option for 2023.
During preseason Vancouver added winger David Milinkovic on a one-year loan, with an option to purchase, from English Championship side Hull City.

Roster Breakdown (25 players)

Forwards (4) – Theo Bair, 20; Lucas Cavallini, 27; Fredy Montero, 32; Tosaint Rickettes, 32

Midfielders (9) – Cristian Dájome, 26; Inbeom Hwang, 23; Patrick Metcalfe, 21; David Milinkovic, 25; Leonard Owusu, 22; Ryan Raposo, 20; Yordy Reyna, 26; Andy Rose, 30; Russell Teibert, 27

Defenders (9) – Ali Adnan, 26; Derek Cornelius, 22; Gianfranco Facchineri, 17; Érik Godoy, 26; Cristián Gutiérrez, 22; Jasser Khmiri, 22; Georges Mukumbilwa, 20; Jake Nerwinski, 25; Ranko Veselinkovic, 20

Goalkeepers (3) – Max Crepeau, 25; Bryan Meredith, 30; Thomas Hasal, 20

See full roster details here.

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