The Vancouver Whitecaps are off to another slow start to the season with a 2-4-1 record. Riding a three-match losing streak and losses in three of the last four, speculation has risen concerning the future of coach Marc Dos Santos.
The 44-year-old is in the final year of a three-year contract that he signed in November, 2018. As the Caps continue to sputter, fans and media are questioning if Dos Santos is the right coach to lead the team.
The Whitecaps are currently on a four-week break from action and return to play on June 18 against Real Salt Lake.
Daily Hive was among the outlets to speak with Whitecaps CEO and Sporting Director Axel Schuster earlier this week from Europe, and he addressed several topics.
Marc Dos Santos’ future
The Whitecaps are 19-34-11 all-time in MLS with Dos Santos at the helm, scoring 70 goals and allowing 112 goals against over that span. Vancouver hasn’t made the playoffs in his first two seasons and currently sit tied for 10th in the Western Conference.
While the defence has improved the season, scoring remains a challenge. The Whitecaps have yet to score a first-half goal and have just one goal from open play.
"There's just something we need to do more to create more opportunities, it's an area where we're struggling (…) we have to find solutions inside of the roster"
-MDS on #VWFC offensive struggles
— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) May 16, 2021
Questionable lineup usage concerning Michael Baldisimo, tactics, and late-game substitutes have left fans scratching their heads. Will Dos Santos finish the season as the head coach?
“We haven’t taken any decision and we haven’t seen a reason to do that, and for that reason I expect him to finish the season,” Schuster explained.
“The coach is always on the hot seat,” Schuster added. “We always want the coach to deliver results. I’m convinced right now that he is the best coach for us.”
Search continues for a number 10
The much hyped and long awaited number 10 attacking midfielder is still a dream. The primary transfer window closed on June 1 with Vancouver acquiring 25-year-old striker Brian White from the New York Red Bulls for $400,000 in General Allocation Money.
The Whitecaps have long needed a true number 10 that can link up and help support lead striker Lucas Cavallini.
Vancouver has made an official offer to a club and a player, Schuster confirmed. The ‘Caps have been interested in several targets, but hurdles continue to persist. It appears having to move to Salt Lake and then eventually back to Vancouver has put the breaks on one potential player.
“We made an offer and the player, I don’t know where he is going, he hasn’t signed somewhere else,” Schuster regaled. “He literally told us two weeks ago, ‘How long do you stay in Salt Lake? My wife wants to continue to work and we don’t see us moving twice.'”
“He said, ‘If you go back [to Vancouver] and I haven’t signed somewhere, it’s not about the numbers, we can speak about it again, but right now I’m not up for it.'”
The MLS secondary transfer window opens on July 7.
Where in the world is Ali Adnan?
Veteran Iraqi left-back Ali Adnan is tangled in a web of red tape and has yet to play a single minute for the Whitecaps this season. The United States Department of Homeland Security has yet to approve his visa and there is no timeline for when Adnan’s paperwork will be finished. It’s a frustrating waiting game that is out of the hands of the Whitecaps and MLS.
“First of all I feel so sorry for him and I think everybody in our organization does,” Schuster explained. “Everyone I have spoken to at MLS is feeling that. I’m not saying anything negative about Homeland Security and US immigration. They have the rules and they have the reason to check that for such a long time.”
@JoeBiden president joe please have your state department issue Ali Adnan a work visa. He’s our star man
— Godoyalist (@Lenardummi) May 13, 2021
The club does not have plans to move Adnan to another club.
Even after Adnan’s visa is approved, don’t expect him in the Whitecaps lineup right away. His match fitness isn’t where it needs to be and that should further delay his 2021 season debut.
Russell Teibert salary increase
In 190 MLS appearances for the Whitecaps, Russell Teibert has three goals and 18 assists.
The longest tenured Whitecaps player had a curious salary increase when the MLSPA released their 2021 salary guide, with Teibert’s salary jumping from $220,000 in 2020 to $387,500 in 2021.
“First of all I cannot confirm that all those numbers are correct,” Schuster said. “They are not, and I think that everybody knows that they aren’t one hundred percent correct.”
“We made a decision with Rusty because we think that he has a lot of value for this club on and off the pitch,” Schuster explained. “He’s with the franchise since it exists in MLS. This club has too much changes in the last years. I think it was a hard time for fans to follow us. It’s important that if you want to build something you have some faces that are standing for the club. I think Rusty is that.”