In the end, our ‘Caps narrowly missed the playoffs and the club decided not to renew Martin Rennie’s contract beyond this season. A number of strides were made in 2013, but there’s still room for improvement.
So, what did we learn?
Watch all 25 of Camilo's goals throughout the 2013 season
What more can be said about the season Camilo had in 2013? Our young Brazilian finished the season as the top scorer in Major League Soccer with 22 goals, was named Player of the Week a league-high four times, Player of the Month twice, and has two of his goals - including the incredible scissor kick - up for MLS Goal of the Year.
Playing on the West Coast for a Canadian team and the ‘Caps not making the playoffs means Camilo probably won’t get enough attention for Player of the Year. But in my mind, no player has performed at the level he has. It was a thrill for our fans to watch this magician week in and week out.
Manneh becomes youngest MLS player to score a hat-trick
Looking back on a season, you don’t want to single out players as it’s a team game. However, like Camilo, Kekuta Manneh has really got fans in Vancouver salivating with his performances of late.
It started with some exciting substitute appearances early on in the season and got better as he blew on the scene with a hat-trick in Seattle against the Sounders in a 4-1 victory on October 9. What we are seeing is a star in the making that has performed beyond his years and the sky is the limit as far as his potential goes.
September 21, 2013: Montreal Impact 0-3 Whitecaps FC
Our road form left a lot to be desired this season. We often looked great at BC Place, but struggled to replicate those performances away from home. This isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to Whitecaps FC, but some of our road performances were baffling to many of our fans.
We did seem to turn it around at the end of the season, as we played with some desperation in must-win games against Seattle and Montreal, and we won more road games than ever before. But becoming a better and more consistent road team should be a priority for next year.
Whitecaps FC fall 1-0 to Real Salt Lake at BC Place
Most teams have a dip in form at some point in a season, but ours just went on too long and we were not able to turn it around quickly enough to salvage our playoff hopes.
Injuries or an individual player’s loss of form can contribute to a string of poor results but the best teams have to find ways to turn it around quickly and get back on track. Like in 2012, we started strong again this season but stumbled down the stretch – a trend we need to halt in 2014.
Adekugbe makes MLS debut in regular season finale
When you looked at the players who played in our regular season finale against Colorado Rapids, Camilo, Manneh, Russell Teibert, Darren Mattocks, Gershon Koffie, and a debut for Sam Adekugbe, you can see that the future looks bright for our club.
This season has seen some of our younger players shine and others still looking to find their way. But there is no doubt in my mind that the next coach has a fine crop of youngsters to work with that could put this club on solid foundation the next couple of years.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2013 Season Review
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Building a club requires lots of work on and off the field. My job enables me to be in all areas of this organization and to get a good feel for what is going on.
I work closely with media, partnerships, ticketing, and marketing. I work a lot in the community, which means traveling throughout the province. I get to work close to the first team and I am now a coach in the Residency program. And of course you can’t miss my big head on the videoboard as I have an active role on gameday.
So you can see that I am in touch with many facets of our club and have seen us grow leaps and bounds. We are still young and learning but in our regular season finale I saw a club that has truly connected with its fans, as the players paraded around BC Place with nearly all the fans standing and cheering for them – after we had failed to make the playoffs. It was truly inspiring and why this club will not stand still. Onwards and upwards.