Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo.svg
Full name Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Nickname(s) 'Caps, Blue and White[1]
Founded 2009[Note 1]
Ground BC Place Stadium
Vancouver, British Columbia[2]
(Capacity: 22,000–54,500)
(based on configuration)
Owners Greg Kerfoot
Steve Luczo
Jeff Mallett
Steve Nash
Head Coach Martin Rennie
League Major League Soccer
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Vancouver, British Columbia that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada.

The Whitecaps are the 17th team of Major League Soccer and replace the USSF Division 2 team of the same name, which was owned and managed by the same group that operates the MLS team, and which played through the conclusion of that league's 2010 season. The MLS team is the third to share the legacy of the Whitecaps name.



An ownership group in Vancouver were granted the seventeenth Major League Soccer franchise on March 18, 2009 by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.[3] While no name was provided at the Vancouver announcement, over a year later the club confirmed it would keep the Whitecaps name.[4][5][6][7]

In preparation for its first MLS season, the Whitecaps brought in executive talent from around the world. On November 24, 2009, Paul Barber, former Tottenham Hotspur F.C. executive, was announced to join the club as CEO. Others joining him included former D.C. United head coach Tom Soehn as Director of Operations and Dutch national Richard Grootscholten as the Technical Director and head coach of the residency program.

As the head coach of the USL and later USSF Division 2 Vancouver Whitecaps, former Iceland international Teitur Thordarson was confirmed as head coach on September 2, 2010 for the inaugural MLS season.[8] He was subsequently relieved of his duties on May 30, 2011 after the Whitecaps won just one of their first twelve matches. Tom Soehn, Whitecaps FC director of soccer operations, replaced Thordarson on an interim basis.[9]

The Whitecaps began play in the 2011 MLS season with their first match on March 19, 2011, against rival Canadians Toronto FC, which they won 4–2. The first goal in the Whitecaps' MLS era was scored by Eric Hassli.[10] After their winning start the Whitecaps struggled, and failed to secure another victory in their next 11 MLS games, drawing six and losing five. In the aftermath of their 1–1 tie with the New York Red Bulls on May 30 head coach Teitur Thordardon was fired.[11] Tom Soehn took over coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season, while Martin Rennie was announced as the new permanent head coach on August 9, taking over officially on November 3.[12]

Colours and badge

On June 8, 2010, it was officially announced the club would continue using the "Whitecaps" name, but with a redesigned logo.[13] The name alludes to the geographic features surrounding the city: white-capped mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean's white-crested waves to the west.

The official club colours include navy blue ("deep sea"), white, and light blue ("Whitecaps blue"). The "deep sea" blue represents the maritime landscape of the Vancouver area and the "Whitecaps blue" indicates the reflection of the North Shore Mountains in the Pacific Ocean. The lighter shade of blue also alludes to the primary colour of the original Whitecaps, winners of Soccer Bowl 1979. The silver outline pays homage to the team's championship victories since 1974.[14]

On June 10, 2010, the Whitecaps strip package was unveiled with Bell Canada serving as the inaugural jersey sponsor.[15][16] The home shirt is white with horizontal, navy blue pinstripes; the stripes broaden slightly from bottom to top. The secondary shirt is deep blue with an embossed, interlocking diamond pattern which is also deep blue and is reflective in the light.


BC Place stadium
  • Empire Field; Vancouver, British Columbia (2011) Home stadium for most of 2011 season.
  • BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, British Columbia (2011–present)

Whitecaps FC played most of its inaugural 2011 season at Empire Field, a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium to house the BC Lions, while BC Place Stadium was renovated and fitted with a new retractable roof. Empire Field has spectacular views of the mountains which ring the city of Vancouver, providing an immediately recognizable backdrop for Whitecaps games.

The Whitecaps played its first home match at BC Place on October 2, 2011 against Cascadia Cup rivals Portland Timbers.

The organization initially hoped to build Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium in Gastown in time for the 2016 season, but its owner has reportedly committed to BC Place in light of stadium opposition.[17]

Club culture

The team sold the first 5,000 $50 season ticket deposits 48-hours after they became available to the public. Remaining season tickets were made available to season ticket holders for the USSF 2 Whitecaps before becoming available to non-season ticket holders.[18]

Supporters Groups

Whitecaps FC supporters celebrating 4–2 victory over Toronto FC at Empire Field during inaugural MLS match.

The largest Whitecaps supporters group is known as the Southsiders. The group began in 1999 when fans of the Vancouver 86ers began congregating in the pitch-level beer garden behind the goal at the south end of Swangard Stadium.[19][20]

The Southsiders' relationship with the team's ownership has not always been amicable.[19] It has evolved since Vancouver received the MLS expansion team.[21] Images of the Southsiders are featured prominently in Whitecaps’ marketing campaigns. The group's board was invited to the invite-only launch of the kits and logo to be used in the MLS.[22][23] The expansion has also increased membership. The president of the organization said that it had grown from about 40 paid members to 100 paid in July 2010. He also believes there is no reason why the Southsiders cannot outdo the Seattle Sounders' Emerald City Supporters.[24] Southsider supporters are primarily located on the eastern-half of the southern stands of Empire Field.

Another group, "La Doce", formed in January 2011.[25] Their original name in Spanish is "La 12",[25] which can be translated into English as "The 12th" or "The 12th player". La 12 is formed by people from different nationalities that have a preference to support the Whitecaps in a Latin American, Southern European or Eastern European Style. The main feature of La 12 is its cheering style that features constant drumming and longer songs, resembling the way in which fans in South America or Southern or Eastern Europe like to support.[25] La 12 fans are primarily seated in the southeast corner of Empire Field.


The Vancouver Whitecaps have longstanding rivalries with both the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers. The rivalries predate the MLS and have been an integral part of the soccer culture in the Pacific Northwest. Matches between these three teams are arguably the most passionate in all of MLS as each of these teams are well-supported by their respective cities.[26][27]

The Vancouver Whitecaps also have rivalries with Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact. Vancouver's first game in the MLS was against Toronto in an attempt by the league to spur a rivalry between the two Canadian teams.[28] Montreal was a rival in the second division. The three teams have played each other during Voyageurs Cup competitions.[29][30]


In March 2011, Rogers Media announced that it had signed a 3-year deal with the team to broadcast 24 Whitecaps games per season. Telecasts will be aired on Rogers Sportsnet, Rogers Sportsnet One, and a single game on CKVU-TV, Vancouver's Citytv station.[31] TSN will also air select games nationally as a part of the network's new contract with MLS.[32][33]

Also announced this year, a radio partnership with TEAM Radio, a Bell Media company. Game are broadcast on TEAM 1410 with select games on TEAM 1040.[34] Peter Schaad and Paul Dolan call the action with Joey Kenward, David Norman and Tyler Green a part of the pre- and post-match shows.

Players and staff

Current roster

As of November 17, 2011.[35]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Joe Cannon
2 New Zealand DF Michael Boxall
3 United States DF Bilal Duckett
4 Switzerland DF Alain Rochat
6 United States DF Jay DeMerit (captain)
7 The Gambia FW Mustapha Jarju
8 United States MF Peter Vagenas
9 Saint Kitts and Nevis FW Atiba Harris
11 United States MF John Thorrington
12 United States MF Jeb Brovsky
13 United States MF Michael Nanchoff
14 United States DF Greg Janicki
15 Canada MF Philippe Davies
16 Tanzania MF Nizar Khalfan
No. Position Player
17 United States FW Omar Salgado
18 United States GK Jay Nolly
19 Trinidad and Tobago DF Carlyle Mitchell
20 Switzerland MF Davide Chiumiento
22 United States MF Shea Salinas
23 China FW Long Tan
24 United States GK Brian Sylvestre
25 United States DF Jonathan Leathers
26 United States DF Jordan Harvey
28 Ghana MF Gershon Koffie
29 France FW Eric Hassli
31 Canada MF Russell Teibert
37 Brazil FW Camilo Sanvezzo
Canada MF Bryce Alderson
  • See also: All-time Vancouver Whitecaps FC roster

Reserve Team Players

This list shows players who have played for the team in official 2011 MLS Reserve Division games, but are not part of the senior roster.[36]

As of August 11, 2011.

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Canada DF Derrick Bassi
Canada DF La'Vere Corbin-Ong
Canada DF Paris Gee
Republic of Ireland DF Cian Hughton
Honduras MF Nelson Castillo
No. Position Player
Switzerland MF Bedri Gashi
Canada FW Caleb Clarke
Canada FW Ben Fisk
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines FW Cornelius Stewart
Mauritania FW Doudou Touré


Head coaches


The Vancouver ownership group is composed of four men; Greg Kerfoot, Steve Luczo, Jeff Mallett, and Steve Nash.[38] Kerfoot is the owner of the full Whitecaps FC organization (which owned the USSF 2 team as well as a women's team and several youth and developmental teams) and formerly the CEO of Crystal Decisions Software. Luczo is president/CEO/chairman of the board for Seagate Technology and part owner of the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics. Mallett, a Vancouver native who was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, was formerly the president and COO of Yahoo! and is currently a part owner of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants. Nash, also raised in Victoria, is the starting point guard for the Phoenix Suns and two-time NBA MVP,[39] as well as the older brother of recently retired Whitecaps FC midfielder and current Whitecaps staff coach Martin Nash.


Team records

  • All-Time regular season record: 6–16–10 (Through October 12, 2011)
  • All-Time regular season home record: 6–5–5 (Through October 12, 2011)
  • All-Time regular season BC Place record: 2–1–0 (Through October 12, 2011)
  • All-Time regular season Empire Field record: 4–4–5 (Through October 12, 2011)
  • All-Time regular season away record: 0–11–5 (Through October 12, 2011)

International tournaments

  • 2011 World Football Challenge
Group Stage v. England Manchester City -- 1:2


  1. ^ Founded as an MLS franchise in 2009. Original club founded in 1974.


  1. ^ "Whitecaps FC legend Carl Valentine returns to the club". Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "WELCOME HOME, MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER.". BC Place stadium. Retrieved 2010-11-29. "And to create a more intimate and electric atmosphere, a flexible draping system is being considered that will reduce the seating capacity to 22,000." 
  3. ^ "MLS awards Vancouver team for 2011". 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  4. ^ "It's official: Whitecaps joining MLS in 2011". The Vancouver Sun. 2009-03-18. 
  5. ^ "MLS expected to announce Vancouver expansion team". CBC News. 2009-03-17. 
  6. ^ "Whitecaps to announce they will join MLS in 2011". The Vancouver Sun. 2009-03-17. 
  7. ^ "Whitecaps to announce MLS franchise secured". Canwest News Service. 2009-03-17. 
  8. ^ "– Technical Staff". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  9. ^ Vancouver Whitecaps FC (30 May 2011). "Whitecaps FC announce technical staff changes". WhitecapsFC. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Hassli, Whitecaps pummel TFC in dynamite debut[dead link]
  11. ^ "Whitecaps FC announce technical staff changes | Vancouver Whitecaps FC". 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  12. ^ Martin MacMahon. "Vancouver's Rennie opens camp, names first assistant". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  13. ^ "Whitecaps FC reveal new crest, season ticket information". 2010-06-08. 
  14. ^ "'Caps unveil logo and ticket information". June 8, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Bell named Premier Founding Partner". June 10, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  16. ^ "'Caps enter MLS era with new kit". June 10, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  17. ^ "B.C. Place to see action by October". The Vancouver Province. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  18. ^ "First wave of Vancouver MLS ticket deposits gone" (Press release). Major League Soccer. March 23, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009. [dead link]
  19. ^ a b Weber, Marc (July 21, 2010). "Tradition guides fans to the future". The Province. Retrieved September 20, 2010. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Whitecaps fans vital to their future". The Vancouver Sun. September 6, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Stiff test for Man U at Stamford Bridge". The Province. September 19, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  22. ^ The Province. Tradition Guides Fans Future[dead link]
  23. ^ Constantineau, Bruce (June 8, 2010). "MLS-bound Whitecaps unveil new logo". National Post. Retrieved September, 20 2010. [dead link]
  24. ^ Constantineau, Bruce (July 17, 2010). "That's the ticket – Caps' sales surge ahead of Timbers'". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved September 20, 2010. [dead link]
  25. ^ a b c Weber, Marc (March 16, 2011). "These Whitecaps fans hope to lend rhythm to MLS efforts". The Province (Vancouver). Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  26. ^ Wahl, Grant (May 23, 2011). "A Pacific Passion Play: Big-time clubs left Portland, Seattle and Vancouver 30 years ago, but their fans never did. Now the teams are back in MLS, and their reborn rivalries are turning the region into a hotbed of the sport". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  27. ^ Peterson, Anne M. (August 25, 2010). "Portland, Vancouver, Seattle in 3-way MLS rivalry". Associated Press. USA Today. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  28. ^ Masters, Mark (March 19, 2011). "Unplugged: Don Garber on MLS’s Canadian expansion". National Post. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  29. ^ Atkinson, Hilary (May. 8, 2010). "Whitecaps, Impact rivalry to reach major league levels in 2012". CTV News. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Whitecaps to Renew Rivalry with Toronto FC on Wednesday". The Sports Network(TSN). May 5, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  31. ^ Vlessing, Etan. "Rogers SportsNet Grabs TV Soccer Package". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  32. ^ February 16, 2011 (2011-02-16). "MLS Announces TSN Partnership | Toronto FC". Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  33. ^ "Canada sports network scores soccer deal | Entertainment | Reuters". 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  34. ^ "Partners | Vancouver Whitecaps FC". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  35. ^ "Roster -(Men's First Team)". Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Reserves Schedule". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  37. ^ Martin MacMahon (2011-08-09). "Whitecaps name Rennie as head coach starting in 2012". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  38. ^ Simon Fudge (September 17, 2009). "Steve Nash trains with 'Caps Residency". Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  39. ^ "MLS awards Vancouver team for 2011". March 18, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 

External links

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