Almost two years on from first 'Caps start in Dallas, Andrés Cubas keeps humble approach to playing style


VANCOUVER, BC – On June 18, 2022, midfielder Andrés Cubas made his first start for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

It came against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, oddly enough the same opponent the 'Caps are set to face this weekend as they look to continue their strong start to the 2024 MLS regular season.

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Having made his 'Caps debut in Seattle four days prior to the match against Dallas, the Designated Player looks back on that mid-June day with fond memories.

"I remember I came in during the second half in Seattle for my debut, basically to get to know the league while getting acclimated to the team bit by bit," recalls Cubas. "I had about a week to train with the team fully since I arrived and then the next game against Dallas I made my first start in the hot weather. I'm grateful to the coach for giving me his trust from the start."

The Blue and White went on to claim a 2-0 away victory, thanks to goals from Lucas Cavallini and Déiber Caicedo.

"We won the game, we played a great match and it was beautiful way to start my time here," said Cubas.

"I remember the wonderful free kick, the golazo that Déiber scored and overall, I was happy to start my time here like that, to win the match, it gave me more confidence to keep working day in, day out in my first days at the club."

He also recalls that time being the start of a new chapter in his career on and off the pitch, given how settled he's become to life in Major League Soccer.

"We've almost reached two years since I got here and I've been super happy here because I adapted really quick to the club as well as the league. Also, my family is doing well here in Vancouver, we're all very happy."

"It's a league I really like and I'm enjoying it, while at the same time carrying the responsibility needed to give the best from my part."

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the match was the impact Cubas made in his full debut, as he helped keep Dallas at bay by recording five possession recoveries, four interceptions, two successful tackles, two duels won and tallying 81% pass accuracy. His performance earned him league recognition, as he was named to the Team of the Week for Week 15.

It proved to be a sign of things to come from the diminutive Paraguayan international.

Fast forward to the present day, Cubas has started 58 of his 60 appearances for the 'Caps, has won back-to-back Canadian Championships, helped the 'Caps qualify for the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, and leads the team in interceptions since joining the club with 84.

However, it's not about the accolades or the league recognition for the humble Cubas. Even though in the eyes of many he can be one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, it's not the type of attention he looks for. He just goes about his work like any other human being in their professional career.

"I just do my job, I focus on my game, what the coach asks of me, and caring for my teammates so we can all have fun while doing our jobs and nothing else," explained Cubas. "I don't let myself be driven by the good or bad comments from people outside the club because those will always be there."

"Obviously, it's great for you to get recognized for your work and what you do on the pitch, but as long as I'm fine with myself and people here in the club are happy like the coach, my teammates, as well as my family, those are the people that motivate me to keep getting better."

What also drives the Argentine-born Paraguayan international is his calmness when winning the ball back, which has been a constant throughout his entire career.

"When I was in the youth academy of Boca Juniors, I think I was 10 or 11-years-old, I began to notice that part of my game more and I started to polish it more. It wasn't a player that inspired me to do it, I trained and played and I went out there to win the ball the back. As games kept coming, I got better and got more experience, obviously with that you fix parts of your game to make it better but I think it's something natural I had incorporated in me and it comes out naturally."


When he does win the ball back, he enjoys the thrill of it. Yet not as much as scoring a goal would, he described jokingly.

"It's like a sort of satisfaction that I feel, I enjoy winning the ball back and then in turn give it to my teammates so our team can start possessing the ball but it's something I enjoy, maybe not the same as scoring a goal but when I win it back it's something I feel like I can keep doing. It motivates me to keep giving my best and keep winning the ball back to help the team in the best way possible."

Cubas is coming off another solid performance in Vancouver's recent 2-0 away victory over San Jose Earthquakes. He recorded four interceptions, five successful tackles, and 11 successful duels during the match, showcasing once again why he can be one of the league's best in his position.

This weekend, the ever-eager Cubas will look to help the 'Caps claim another three points on the road in Frisco.

"It would be great to win again away from home, it's something we proposed ourselves to get better at this year. Last year, we didn't win as much away from home and now we've started well this year," said Cubas. "We want to keep going, we're full of confidence after the game we played in San Jose so we've continued working hard this week and hopefully we can bring back the three points."

Catch Cubas and the 'Caps in their second of two consecutive road matches this Saturday, March 16 against FC Dallas, as the team looks to continue their fine start to the 2024 MLS regular season. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. PT - TV/ONLINE: FREE on Apple TV - MLS Season Pass / RADIO: AM730.