Vancouver Whitecaps and the MLS transfer window

A weekly sports column from the 100 Mile Free Press

It must be a disappointing year for Vancouver Whitecaps fans.

As of May 9, the team is 11 in the MLS’ Western Conference and 21 overall, just one point ahead of expansion side, FC Cincinnati, and old-timers, New England Revolution. Their lack of wins this season, with just three, isn’t the only cause of disappointment. The ongoing Whitecaps Women’s team scandal is still ongoing and even visiting teams are starting to join fan walkouts at home games.

If this isn’t enough cause for concern, the Whitecaps have decided not to make any moves this transfer window.

Marc Dos Santos, the franchise’s coach, told media that any move that was being thrown around was just a Band-Aid. What he said he was looking for was someone(s) to come in and bring the club to another level, which is true but arguably they need a band-aid as well.

Vancouver’s two main rivals, Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, shored up their team. Both teams signed a new player to a designated-player (DP) contract (each MLS team can sign up to three players outside of the salary cap).

The Whitecaps already have three DP players in midfielder Hwang In-beom and forwards Joaquín Ardaiz and Fredy Montero.

All three have been a mainstay on the teamsheet, however, Ardaiz, a 20-year-old Uruguayan on loan has yet to score a single goal. Montero has scored two, but none in open play. It doesn’t help that the club’s most effective forward, Yordy Reyna, is injured.

The injury opened the door for Ardaiz, however, he has been less than impressive. Dos Santos has even called him out publicly.

Loans can be cancelled, and maybe Dos Santos and company should consider that.

It was the biggest move in the MLS transfer window, costing Portland a reported fee of between $10 and 12 million (by Mexican press). Fernandez comes from Mexican club Nexaxa, where he scored 12 goals in 15 appearances.

That is more than any player on the Whitecaps combined.

Assuming he continues his good form in Portland, that will be a lot of goals the Whitecaps lost out on.

But international stars players are not the only thing that could have helped them.

Out of the forwards who shipped to different clubs in the MLS this window, via trade or transfer, some of them could have put Vancouver in a better position. David Accam was traded from the Philadelphia Union to Columbus Crew. He had a terrible season in 2018, only scoring one goal in 23 games but seems to have responded this year, scoring four in eight games. Again, it’s more goals than all of the Whitecaps forwards.

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