Los Angeles Football Club will dip their toes in midweek action for the 2019 season with a match on Wednesday at the Vancouver Whitecaps. While these teams have more connections than you may imagine, there’s a lot of change up north, so we checked in with Bryce from SB Nation’s Whitecaps site Eighty Six Forever to get the scoop. Many thanks to Bryce for taking the time to answer my questions!
Angels on Parade asks Eighty Six Forever:
1. The conventional wisdom around MLS was that the Vancouver Whitecaps were perhaps in need of blowing things up and rebuilding. They seem to have done it, so how’s it going so far?
While LAFC have started the season unbeaten in seven VWFC have started winless in six. Despite the poor start the fanbase has not started hitting the panic button. Interestingly, fans and media have been quick to provide Marc Dos Santos excuses for the winless start, however, MDS refuses to use them and state that “it’s a process.” It is refreshing. While fans would love to see a win at this point in the season, I think that everyone is patient and sees the direction and the improvement. While they have four losses and no victories, therefore, never outscoring their opponent in a match, they are only at a -5 goal differential.
2. LAFC fans are familiar with Marc Dos Santos from his stint as assistant coach last season. It’s early but how’s he doing? He came in as a highly touted coach, so is he living up to the billing?
MDS came highly touted by fans as well. In fact, I believe the fear of not getting him was why Carl Robinson was removed with only a few matches left in the 2018 season. Marc has a vision and he has been clear to fans and media what that vision is and how he can achieve it. So far, he has followed through. It is not the start we/he wanted, as noted above, but there are reasons to be excited once it all comes together. He won’t begin to be judged by the media until next season, but so far he has the makings of a disciplined and cohesive squad.
3. Vancouver have a lot of new faces so far this season. Which of the newcomers has most impressed you so far and why?
There are three that have really stood out for me, for different reasons. First is the new captain Jon Erice. He has not been flashy as the defensive midfielder but he has been controlled, doesn’t seem to really make mistakes, and is a fantastic leader by example. MDS selected an excellent player to be his captain. Second is center back Erik Godoy. He is tall, strong, and has great soccer IQ. He is rarely in the wrong place because he reads the game so well. He continually seems to be where the ball is going before it gets there. If the ‘Caps can keep the loaned player past this season he can be a great replacement for the departed Kendall Waston (and Tim Parker) with better vision and passing. Third is midfielder Inboem Hwang. The young South Korean was highly touted and was close to signing with midlevel Bundesliga clubs. There were questions about if he was so good why he was playing in the second division. This was because of military requirements. He has been a delight to watch and will be a key contributor to success in Vancouver.
4. (Bonus) Prediction for Wednesday’s game?
The ‘Caps have to travel to Orlando for a noon kickoff on Saturday, so MDS will be faced with rotating his squad during these two matches. While OCSC is the ‘easier’ match, despite being away, I fully anticipate MDS fielding his best lineup on Wednesday and pushing for that first win, and LAFC’s first defeat. HOWEVER, I feel that LAFC is just too good right now and the Whitecaps offense is non-existent. You might be surprised at Vancouver’s ability to stifle LAFC’s powerful offense but they won’t score enough to win. I say LAFC 2, VWFC 0.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!