Will The Wave Of Success Continue Or Is It Back To The Norm? The Vancouver Whitecaps 2022 Season Preview
That’s the question for the Vancouver Whitecaps 2022 Season. Will they be able to continue the run that saw them finish with 7 wins, 5 draws, and just 2 losses under Vanni Sartini to end the 2021 season? Or will the “Andiamo”, and the loss of Maxime Crepeau bring them back to the franchise that missed the playoffs in 4 of the last 5 years?
Riding A Wave Of Success
It is widely known, across Caps fans and the MLS, the success Vanni Sartini was able to bring to the Whitecaps. After a disappointing loss in the Canadian Championship to Pacific that saw the organization move on from Head Coach Marc Dos Santos things looked bleak for the remainder of the year. Out of nowhere came a charismatic “Ted Lasso Type” coach who wanted to do things a bit differently.
With the addition of Ryan Gauld and the hot streak of Brian White, the team flourished under their new head coach with one of the best records in Major League Soccer to end the season. The wave would wash ashore against Sporting KC in the first round of the playoffs. The Whitecaps were thoroughly outplayed and fell 3-1 to see their storybook run come to an end.
But 2022 is a new year and Vanni Sartini has been able to put his mark on the club since the start of training camp. “Of course, it’s very important…We had 5 weeks to lay the foundation for the season where last year I had 2 days to lay the foundation for the season, a day and a half maybe.” Vanni said laughing.
“I didn’t become the head coach when we started preseason… I became head coach in November so with the staff we thought a lot about the player, which is the best way to play, if you have to some tweaks or anything, we think we arrived prepared… I think that the team is even playing better, it’s more in the system and in the principle than it was last year, of course, we are going to have to see how that translates when we play league games.” Said Vanni Sartini.
Stability to the lineup and a fluid formation could also help the Vancouver Whitecaps find success. It appears the Vanni wants to run a 3-1-4-2 formation and minimize the running that Ryan Gauld would have to do in a different formation. Brian White and Lucas Cavallini could cause trouble for teams all season long in a pair up top as they feed off the service from the Scottsman.
Changing The Culture Of The Organization
Something that Vanni can also focus on is being a coach and not worrying about any other roles within the Whitecaps organization. “I am a coach, I’m not a manager, I like to coach a team and I know that I am good at my job if I can do my job. I wouldn’t be good at my job if I had to sign players, scout players, deal with agents, do everything that we need to do to build a team… The coach needs to be focused on improving the team that he has now.”
Vanni wants to make sure his focus is on the pitch and the players on it, “Being a coach is being a people person, I can’t treat everyone in the same way because I am coaching like 25 individuals. The only thing I would say for everyone in the group is more important than the individual, and that should also be like this in society.” It was clear the Whitecaps had things figured out on the pitch but how about in the front office?
CEO and Sporting Director Axel Schuster is settling into what looks like a normal MLS season. “I think we have been the club that has had more challenges than everyone else over the last two years. We also see that momentum, that possibility, of this new fresh start coming out of the virus and still have showed some good development over the last two years to know show everyone at home.”
It also looks like the organization is finally in a good spot with people worrying about their roles and not being overextended. Axel spoke about how he feels the Whitecaps are in the best spot they have been since he has been in charge.
“Yes, that’s also where I put the bar for myself, we want to grow as an organization, we want to develop things here. That means if we do the job right we should be the best at every point because we want to make the next steps… I would say, yes we are the best, but no time to relax, there are next steps.”
Hopefully, the next step is a playoff victory for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
News, Notes and Lineup Predictions For The Vancouver Whitecaps 2022 Season Preview
The Vancouver Whitecaps will head out to Columbus with a relatively full lineup. Caio Alexandre is out and Brian White remains day-to-day after talking a hard stomp at training. Head Coach Vanni Sartini mentioned he won’t be in the starting lineup but should be available off the bench. Thomas Hasal is fresh off his contract extension and should get the chance to prove he is a #1 MLS Keeper right out of the gate.
Striker David Egbo has been loaned out to Memphis 901 FC for the 2022 USL Season. Which paves the way for a player like Tosaint Ricketts who has traveled with the team to Ohio but remains without a contract. Axel Schuster had no comment on the status of his contract when asked this week. The Whitecaps also exercised a buyout on CB Gianfranco Facchineri and he will not occupy a spot on the team’s 2022 roster or count against the salary cap, the team announced on Friday.
Here is my projected starting 11 for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they take on the Columbus Crew Saturday, February 26th.
Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The season kicks off Saturday, February 26th at 2:30 pm PST against the Columbus Crew. The Whitecaps then return home to take on defending MLS Cup Champions, New York City FC on March 5th. The last two champs will provide a nice test for Vancouver as they look to get back to the playoffs.
Sports Talk Line Network and the 90 + Podcast will be your home for all coverage of the Whitecaps 2022 season! Make sure to check out our weekly wrap-up with Ben Righetti and me, as we break down the match that was. Then later in the week join us and a guest as we break down the Cap’s next opponent. This week we spoke with Patrick Murphy about the Columbus Crew on the 90 + Podcast.
Sports Talk Line Network will also have you covered with full match recaps and lots more articles as the season continues. The Unnamed Sports Show is going to bring you lots of one on one interviews with players, coaches, pundits, and more! Be sure to check out this week’s episode with Whitecaps CEO and Sporting Director Axel Schuster and Head Coach Vanni Sartini. And be sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for the latest news and updates.
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