Defender was valuable in championship win
BY IAN WALKER
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ...
Defender Wesley Charles was released by the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. The move comes one day after the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines native confronted a teammate at a morning practice at the Whitecaps training facility at Simon Fraser University. It's the second time in less than six weeks Charles's temper had got the better of him, with the latest outburst coming on the heels of a well-publicized confrontation with striker Charles Gbeke during the late stages of a game against Miami FC at Swangard Stadium.
Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi ensured there will be no third such incident.
"This is the second incident in just over a month," said Lenarduzzi, who made it perfectly clear after the June 12 blow-up that any such further actions would result in dire consequences. "As a club, we do not condone any violence on or off the pitch, and take such actions very seriously."
Charles took exception to a tackle by fellow defender Jeff Parke during Tuesday's training session and lashed out in retaliation. Head coach Teitur Thordarson immediately dismissed Charles from the grounds and the veteran international learned of his fate later that day.
Charles, 33, proved to be a valuable asset after joining the Whitecaps on July 11 of last season -- helping the United Soccer Leagues First Division side to its second championship in three seasons.
The move is just the latest in a series of setbacks that have the defending champs struggling to reach .500 with a record of 5-7-3. Vancouver has just two wins in their last nine league games and are tied for the seventh and final playoff spot with the Montreal Impact. The Puerto Rico Islanders visit Swangard on Saturday.
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