Whitecaps FC have a storied history of strikers
Over the years, Whitecaps FC have seen many great goals from many great strikers.
Whether it was the club's first signing in striker Glen Johnson in 1974, the goals that were scored to win the 1979 North American Soccer League (NASL) title, or the first goal to be scored when BC Place first opened back in 1983, the Blue and White have been blessed with players that could regularly find the back of the net.
There have been memorable goals scored during the club's four Canadian Soccer League (CSL) titles and two United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) championship successes. Let us look back and remember some of these players who thrilled us with their goalscoring ability.
It was in 1975 that Johnson became the first Whitecaps FC player to finish in the top 20 of NASL scoring when he ended the season in 15th place with eight goals and seven assists. Derek Possee follow this in 1977 by finishing 11th in scoring with 11 goals and five assists.
One of the best forwards I ever played with was Kevin Hector, who scored 147 goals in 430 appearances with England's Derby County FC. He played his first season with the 'Caps in 1978, finishing fourth in scoring with 21 goals and 10 assists. He went on to form a formidable partnership over the next couple of years with another wonderful striker in Trevor Whymark, who will be remembered by Whitecaps FC fans for scoring both goals in our NASL Soccer Bowl victory in 1979.
During the CSL era, Vancouver 86ers were blessed with two of Canada’s best strikers in John Catliff and Domenic Mobilio. Catliff was a huge target man with an incredible touch. He led the 86ers to multiple CSL championship titles, and is still second in all-time goals scored with 79.
Mobilio was probably the best pure finisher I have ever been with on a soccer pitch. He was not just a goalscorer, he was also a solid link-up forward, who formed a frightening attacking partnership with Catliff. Yet, when he got a goalscoring chance in the box, he was lethal. Mobilio finished his Vancouver career as the club's all-time leading goalscorer with 170 goals in 286 appearances.
In more recent times, local product Jason Jordan had a season to remember in 2005 when he was named USL-1 Most Valuable Player after leading the league in goals with 17. In 2006, the goals of fan favourite Eduardo Sebrango helped the 'Caps to their first USL-1 championship title before the Cuban marksman teamed up with Charles Gbeke to lead the 'Caps to another USL-1 title in 2008. The following season, Gbeke finished as the league's top scorer with 12 goals.
Over the years, Whitecaps FC have been blessed with strikers that have excited us with memorable goals. Those names included Carlo Corazzin, David Cross, Ray Hankin, Niall Thompson, Peter Ward, and a certain Peter Beardsley.
That leaves all of us to find out who will score our first goal in MLS and which striker will lead us to our first MLS Cup title. We have much to look forward to.