Whitecaps FC women claim W-League accolades
Vancouver Whitecaps FC women received double honours recently, being named 2010 W-League Organization of the Year, while also being inducted into the United Soccer Leagues Hall of Fame as a 10+ Club, following 10 seasons of league play.
Whitecaps FC were previously the 2004 W-League Organization of the Year, making them only the second team in history to win the award twice. Long Island Lady Riders won it back-to-back in 1999 and 2000.
2010 was a banner year for the 'Caps. They went undefeated during the regular season and then went all the way to the W-League final, where they lost 3-1 to the league's only other undefeated side in Buffalo Flash. It was the team's best season since the championship-winning year of 2006 when Vancouver also went undefeated.
The man behind the team's success was head coach Hubert Busby Jr., who was named 2010 W-League Coach of the Year in his first season with the club. Many of his players also shared in the limelight, with five Whitecaps FC members named to the All-Western Conference team: strikers Melissa Tancredi and Jodi-Ann Robinson, midfielder Sophie Schmidt, and defenders Martina Franko and Robyn Gayle. It was the second straight All-Western Conference nod for Robinson, who unfortunately missed the playoffs due to university commitments.
Whitecaps FC have been the W-League's most successful team over the past ten seasons, reaching the league semifinals six teams, winning two championships, finishing as runners-up twice, and twice claiming third-place honours. Along the way, Whitecaps FC have also consistently led the league in attendance. The 'Caps have also produced many impressive streaks - none longer than their eight-year 56-match run of never being shut out at home. That finally happened in 2008 to eventual league champions Pali Blues.
The Whitecaps FC 2010 roster included 14 Canadian international players, as well as England international goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain. The team also featured a dozen players aged 21 years or younger who all saw playing time, so the future for Whitecaps FC women looks very bright indeed.