Vancouver Whitecaps FC — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


History [ edit ]

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 Thordarson 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 ]

On March 3, 2012, the Whitecaps won their first minor, pre-season cup at the 2012 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic defeating Toronto FC 1–0 thanks to a goal by Camilo.

On October 21, 2012, the Whitecaps became the first Canadian team to earn a spot in the MLS playoffs. [ 13 ] Two days after the end of the 2013 MLS regular season, Rennie’s contract was not renewed sparking a search for the next head coach. [ 14 ]

Colours and badge [ edit ]

On June 8, 2010, it was officially announced the club would continue using the "Whitecaps" name, but with a redesigned logo. [ 15 ] 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. [ 16 ]

On June 10, 2010, the Whitecaps strip package was unveiled with Bell Canada serving as the inaugural jersey sponsor. [ 17 ] [ 18 ] 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.

On June 14, 2012, the Whitecaps unveiled a third kit. The third kit is predominantly "arbutus brown", with sky blue accents, which reflects the unique land full of deep roots and the high-reaching arms of the temperate rainforests of British Columbia. [ 19 ]

Stadium [ edit ]

White sheets are used to artificially reduce the capacity of BC Place for Whitecaps FC matches.

Whitecaps FC plays its home matches at BC Place in Vancouver. which it shares with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. [ 20 ] [ 21 ] Whitecaps FC has played at BC Place since the final month of the 2011 MLS season. having spent the majority of that year at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC has a five-year lease on BC Place which will keep the club there through 2015. [ 22 ] For Whitecaps FC matches, the pitch is called "Bell Pitch at BC Place" as part of the club’s sponsorship deal with Bell. [ 23 ]

BC Place is a 55,000-seat multi-purpose stadium designed for both Canadian football and soccer. The stadium opened in 1983, but underwent a complete two-phase revitalization project between 2009–2011. [ 24 ] The stadium now features the largest cable-supported retractable roof in the world and polytan artificial turf. which is certified by FIFA with a 2-star rating. [ 24 ] [ 25 ] Whitecaps FC artificially reduces the stadium’s capacity 21,000 for matches by using white sheets to close off the upper bowl. [ 26 ] [ 27 ] Club ownership initially hoped to build Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium in Gastown in time for the 2016 season, but the club has committed to BC Place in light of stadium opposition. [ 20 ]

Whitecaps FC played most of its inaugural season at Empire Field. a temporary stadium built at the former site of Empire Stadium to house Whitecaps FC and the BC Lions while BC Place was being renovated. [ 28 ] Empire Field was a 27,500-seat multi-purpose stadium that featured FIFA 1-star rated FieldTurf. [ 28 ] Whitecaps FC played its final match at Empire Field on September 24, 2011, a 3–1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC. [ 29 ] The following week, Whitecaps FC played its first match at BC Place, a 1–0 loss to Portland Timbers on October 2, 2011. [ 30 ]

Whitecaps FC does not have a permanent training facility, opting instead to use facilities around Greater Vancouver. [ 31 ] However, the club has partnered with the Government of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to build a $32.5 million National Soccer Development Centre on the UBC campus. [ 31 ] The facility will be constructed in time for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. [ 31 ]

Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Supporters [ edit ]

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. [ 32 ] [ 33 ]

The Southsiders’ relationship with the team’s ownership has not always been amicable. [ 32 ] It has evolved since Vancouver received the MLS expansion team. [ 34 ] 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 MLS. [ 35 ] [ 36 ] 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. [ 37 ] Southsider supporters are primarily located on the eastern-half of the southern stands of B.C. Place.

Two additional supporters groups are the Curva Collective and the Rain City Brigade. [ 38 ] Curva Collective has grown to be the second-largest supporters group for the Whitecaps located in sections 203 and 204 or the southwest curva. [ 39 ] The Rain City Brigade has a block of about 225 season tickets for their members in section 201 or the southeast curva and marches from Library Square. [ 40 ] [ 41 ]

Another group, "La Doce", formed in January 2011. [ 42 ] Their original name in Spanish is "La 12", [ 42 ] 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. [ 42 ] La 12 fans were primarily seated in the southeast corner of Empire Field. The group has since folded after the 2011 season with many members joining Curva Collective.

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. [ 43 ] The team managed to attract 15,500 season ticket holders in its first MLS season and 13,000 for the second. [ 44 ]

Rivalries [ edit ]

Cascadia Cup [ edit ]

The Vancouver Whitecaps have longstanding rivalries with both Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers. The rivalries predate 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. [ 45 ] [ 46 ]

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