2015 MLS season preview: Vancouver Whitecaps

  • Two-time defending Cascadia Cup winners
  • Two playoff appearances in four seasons
  • West’s fifth seed last season
  • [ RELATED: All of PST’s MLS previews for 2015 ]


    Key Player: Kendall Waston

    With apologies to goalkeeper David Ousted, and to the bevy of flashy attackers and playmakers on the Caps, no player was more critical to Vancouver’s late-season success than big No. 4. The 6-foot-5 Costa Rican international showed up for 10 matches, scored twice and pretty much bossed his own end. Now with a full season to man the back at BC Place, Waston should make a run at an MLS Best XI on a very good Whitecaps unit.

    Other names to watch: Mauro Rosales, Ousted, Pedro Morales

    [ RELATED: MLS standings | stats | schedule ]

    Manager: Carl Robinson

    When the ‘Caps hired Robinson to replace Martin Rennie, there was an air of settling. After all, the former Sunderland, Portsmouth and Toronto FC midfielder was Rennie’s assistant, and Vancouver had flirted with big names like Bob Bradley before hiring Robinson.

    But from his first press conference, it was clear Robinson had a vision on how he would fix things in Vancouver, and he set about it right away. The team played well enough to hold off a late charge from the Portland Timbers, and were a bizarre PK call away from winning its first playoff game. When Robinson says something, it happens. A good case in point is when he pretty much said, “I’m going to South America to find a striker.” He went, and brought Octavio Rivero back as the club’s next Designated Player. He deserved Coach of the Year consideration last year, but what Ben Olsen did in DC was a no-doubter.

    Outlook for 2015

    Look, we’ve heard it time and time again: the West is deep and strong, and added Houston and Sporting KC. That said, Vancouver may be missing that huge, huge name but is solid top-to-bottom. Ousted was incredible last season, and Matias Laba is a sneaky-good mid (Thanks, TFC). The Caps should enter the postseason again this year, but will they advance?