Back of the Net - The Province


Marc Weber - from The Province newspaper - provides an in-depth look at the Whitecaps, as they enter the 2009 USL First Division playoffs.

Whitecaps brace for onslaught (Sept 27)
The Carolina RailHawks have dealt with the risk and are anticipating a
big reward. The Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping to prove it was a big
miscalculation.

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Whitecaps hold serve (Sept 25)
Randy Edwini-Bonsu has half a great story to tell.

The
Vancouver Whitecaps' rookie forward -- a 19-year-old graduate of their
residency program -- scored his first senior-side goal in the 77th
minute Thursday night at Swangard Stadium, giving Vancouver a 1-0 win
over the Carolina RailHawks in the first leg of their USL-1
quarterfinal playoff series.

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Whitecaps vow to toughen up as playoff battle begins (Sept 24)
The Vancouver Whitecaps are a team built around speed and skill. As they open the playoffs Thursday night at home to the Carolina RailHawks, they want to add spunk and spite to their game, too.

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Match preview
(Sept 24)

The format: USL-1 playoffs are two-game aggregate goals series (no away-goals rule). If the teams are tied at the end of the second leg, then two 15-minute periods (no golden goal) will be played to determine the winner. If they are still tied, a penalty shootout will follow.

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Who would you start? (Sept 22)
Time to play bench boss. With the USL-1 playoffs opening Thursday at home to the Carolina RailHawks, we're asking, Who would you start? For that matter, who would you put on the bench? Here are my predictions:

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Nash says he'll start Thursday (Sept 22)
Whitecaps captain Martin Nash has declared himself fit for Thursday's playoff opener against the Carolina RailHawks at Swangard Stadium.

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Bellisomo's patience could pay off with playoff start (Sept 22)
Luca Bellisomo didn't have to bleach his hair after all. He just had to wait for a few strands of grey.

The Whitecaps' second-year defender played his first minutes at centre back under Teitur Thordarson in Friday's 2-1 win over the Cleveland City Stars. He could start there in Thursday's playoff opener against the Carolina RailHawks, too, as the Caps are riddled with injuries at the back.

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Plenty of ways to put ball in net (Sept 22)
A goal-scoring title doesn't buy what it used to — Charles Gbeke isn't even assured of a starting role when the Vancouver Whitecaps open the playoffs at home to the Carolina RailHawks on Thursday.

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Caps face Carolina in playoff opener (Sept 19)
The Vancouver Whitecaps will open defence of their USL-1 title against the Carolina RailHawks.

The Whitecaps (11-10-9) beat the Cleveland City Stars 2-1 to cap off the regular season Friday night at Swangard Stadium and finished in the seventh and final playoff position. Carolina (16-7-7) locked up second spot with a 2-0 home win over the Montreal Impact.


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