Who makes the cut in 2011? - The Province

Rating players' chances of being along for Vancouver's possible MLS ride

Marc Weber

Still basking in the afterglow of Sunday's MLS rally night, we thought we'd jump ahead to 2011. If Major League Soccer is where the Vancouver Whitecaps will be, then the next logical question is 'Who will they be?' We take a look at the bulk of the current roster --those who have appeared in at least 10 games, plus often-injured Geordie Lyall -- and project which players have a chance of being along for a possible MLS ride.

No. 1

Jay Nolly

Position: Goalkeeper

Age by 2011 MLS season: 29

The skinny: Has proven himself as an excellent shot stopper and one of the best 'keepers in the USL on crosses and corners. Saved his best for a big occasion -- the Caps' nationally-televised 1-0 win over MLS side Toronto FC in CONCACAF Champions League qualifying. Goalies have a longer shelf life, too.

Chance: More likely than a Victoria Beckham outfit change at halftime of a Galaxy game (75 per cent).

No. 2

Jeff Clarke

Position: Defender/Midfielder

Age by 2011 MLS season: 33

The skinny: Has hinted that his soccer career is coming to a close sooner than later. When healthy, he's been invaluable for the Caps this season at the back and in the midfield. But he'd be the first to tell you 2011 is out of the picture -- regardless of the league.

Chance: Worse than David Beckham from the penalty spot (1 per cent).

No. 4

Wesley Charles

Position: Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 35

The skinny: Charles, who looks more like Jonah Lomu than Kolo Toure on the pitch, has surprising touch for a big man and has been a real factor at the USL level. In his prime, you could see the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines international in MLS, but 35 is past his due date.

Chance: About as good as SVG beating Canada in 2014 World Cup qualifying (2 per cent).

No. 6

Luca Bellisomo

Position: Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 24

The skinny: One of several younger Whitecaps who have benefited from other's injuries and suspensions this season. Has been solid when called on but isn't blessed with terrific speed and would need to take his game up a few more levels. Should have the chance to do that in the next two seasons.

Chance: About as good as Canada qualifying for the World Cup by 2030 (10 per cent).

No. 7

Martin Nash

Position: Midfielder

Age by 2011 MLS season: 35

The skinny: After a slow start has again shown the form that's long made him one of the best players in USL-1. Passing ability could extend his career as a substitute if his body holds up but, more likely, brother Steve's involvement would be a feel-good reason to keep him in the mix for 2011.

Chance: On par with Steve Nash winning a third NBA MVP award (5 per cent).

No. 8

Steve Kindel

Position: Midfielder/Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 34

The skinny: Like Clarke, he is still contributing -- often not in his preferred position -- but laughs at the notion of making it to 2011.

Chance: On par with him taking up basketball, making it to the NBA as a free agent, and beating out Steve Nash for the starting point guard spot in Phoenix (0 per cent).

No. 9

Alfredo Valente

Position: Midfielder

Age by 2011 MLS season: 31

The skinny: The Caps veteran with the best chance of not only making it to 2011 in one piece, but also being able to contribute when he gets there. He still buzzes around and whips dangerous balls into the box.

Chance: As good as his favourite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, winning the Super Bowl this season (10 per cent).

No. 11

Nicholas Addlery

Position: Forward

Age by 2011 MLS season: 29

The skinny: Has been an interesting study this season, showing impressive skill and a strong work ethic, but struggling to produce goals. Also has a penchant for wandering the globe, having played in Vietnam and Trinidad and Tobago, before stints in MLS.

Chance: Similar to seeing his soccer idol, Robinho, bring a championship to Manchester City before the Abu Dhabi honeymoon is over (15 per cent).

No. 12

Geordie Lyall

Position: Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 35

The skinny: Still has speed to burn, but considering how much Lyall has struggled to stay healthy this season -- he's played in five games -- it's disconcerting to picture his medical chart at 35.

Chance: As likely as Sami Salo playing a full NHL season (1 per cent).

No. 15

Omar Jarun

Position: Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 27

The skinny: A physical specimen who's improved technically as the season's progressed. Still relatively new to the centre back position so his upside is big, but the Palestinian-American has to improve his agility and eliminate poor tackles to avoid being a liability at the next level.

Chance: Far better than peace in the Middle East (25 per cent).

No. 16

Eduardo Sebrango

Position: Forward

Age by 2011 MLS season: 38

The skinny: Sebrango is still one of the fittest Whitecaps, but it's hard to imagine the 'fast Eddie' moniker still applying at age 38. Even Castro had to step down at some point.

Chance: Even less than seeing Fidel and George W. hook up for a Budweiser at Bush's Texas ranch (0 per cent).

No. 18

Mason Trafford

Position: Midfielder/Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 25

The skinny: As head coach Teitur Thordarson put it, Trafford 'came out of nowhere' this season, something he's done a lot of in his career. Clearly not one to be counted out, but still has to take his game up a few notches to be MLS-worthy.

Chance: Slightly worse than someone winning at Old Trafford this Premier League season (15 per cent).

No. 22

Takashi Hirano

Position: Defender/Midfielder

Age by 2011 MLS season: 37

The skinny: Flashes of greatness have been there for the former World Cup participant, but has struggled with consistency, mostly due to injuries.

Chance: 'Lefty Monster,' as he's known in Japan, has a better chance of hitting a batting practice home run over the Green Monster -- with Daisuke on the mound (0 per cent).

No. 23

Vicente Arze

Position: Midfielder

Age by 2011 MLS season: 25

The skinny: Great debut, OK first quarter of the season, but has struggled to earn significant playing time in the second half. Still young with lots of offensive potential, but needs to work hard on his defensive game.

Chance: As good as being recruited to the NCAA after being discovered playing in a Bolivian field with cows around. Wait, that actually happened to him (40 per cent).

No. 24

Lyle Martin

Position: Midfielder/Defender

Age by 2011 MLS season: 26

The skinny: Clearly blessed with athletic ability, blazing speed, and dance moves. Has shown marked improvement in the second half with his crosses and needs to continue to improve his service to forwards.

Chance: Better than Martin's B-Town Shake becoming an overnight club craze (55 per cent).

No. 25

Justin Moose

Position: Midfielder

Age by 2011 MLS season: 28

The skinny: Most pleasant surprise of the season. Feisty, shifty, tricky, and an instant fan favourite. Had a scare with Osteitis pubis diagnosis but seems to be OK. Finally getting to show off more than just his folksy guitar skills after a rough stint with D.C. United of MLS.

Chance: Way better than Jerry Garcia coming back to life (80 per cent).

No. 26

Jason Jordan

Position: Forward

Age by 2011 MLS season: 33

The skinny: Another of the great long-serving Caps whose career is coming to a close. Showed early in the season that he still has a nose for the net but no longer dynamic enough to be a consistent factor -- especially at the next level.

Chance: You'll sooner see Michael Jordan in the NBA again (0 per cent).

No. 98

Charles Gbeke

Position: Forward

Age by 2011 MLS season: 33

The skinny: A midseason trade pickup, he has stepped in and somewhat filled a need for more production up front. Six points in 12 games, but isn't exceptionally quick and doesn't break down defenders often. The Caps have been looking to upgrade at forward in USL-1, never mind MLS.

Chance: You're just as likely to see Teitur Thordarson put down the whistle in an attempt to recapture his former glory as a striker (1 per cent).

Residency team

The skinny: Several of the current residency players will be front and centre in 2011. It's impossible to predict which ones will head to Europe and which will stay with the club, but a few have already made their debuts with the senior Caps this season.

Of that group, F Randy Edwini-Bonsu and M Ethan Gage have shown the most raw talent, both appearing in four games. F Dever Orgill would also have been in the mix but was called away for Jamaica under-20 duties, and D Adam Straith and M Kyle Porter -- currently finalizing a deal to play for Energie Cottbus' under-19 Bundesliga side -- are also strong candidates
© The Vancouver Province 2008