Year of the Dragon

Crouching tiger, hidden dragons

Many predict a fortuitous year for Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and if the Chinese Zodiac is to be consulted it may actually be written in the stars as well.

Chinese New Year, also referred to as the ‘Lunar New Year’, heralds the end of winter and a time for new beginnings. Considered an important holiday in Chinese communities, this year it was celebrated on January 23rd, the same day as the 'Caps first day of preseason training.

It also marks a change of cycle in the Chinese Zodiac with 2012 being the 'Year of the Dragon', widely considered the luckiest year in the Chinese calendar and one of the most auspicious years to be born in. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise for fans to discover that four members of the ‘Caps MLS roster were fortunate enough to have been born in the “Year of the Dragon.” With the 12 symbols of the zodiac cycling every 12 years, 1988 was another Dragon year that proved to be a good one for Whitecaps FC, with none other than Michael Boxall, Michael Nanchoff, and Camillo Sanvezzo being born that year, as well as new assistant coaches Carl Robinson and Jake DeClute. Whitecaps FC striker Long Tan – the first-ever Chinese-born player in Major League Soccer (MLS) – was also born during the ‘Year of the Dragon’, so it’s only fitting then that the 23-year-old Tan has been bestowed the nickname of ‘Dragon’ by his teammates in reference to the mythical creature, a symbol of strength and power.

Another of the most desirable years to be born in is the ‘Year of the Tiger’, which just so happens to be the birth year of Vancouver Whitecaps FC who were founded in 1974. Being both incredibly brave and incredibly competitive, Tigers are natural hunters with a nose for battle. Like most felines, Tigers can pounce without warning and always land on their feet. After a sleepy ‘Year of the Rabbit’ for all of the Chinese zodiac symbols last year, Tigers are much more in tune with the energy, creativity and pace of the ‘Year of the Dragon’. With the combined explosive power of both Dragons and Tigers, one thing for certain is that fans can expect an exciting season in 2012, especially with the help of the four Dragons on the team who may breathe that extra fire into the squad at the crucial moment.

Whitecaps FC enters the season of the Dragon at BC Place on March 10th, 2012 when they place host to Montreal Impact for the MLS First Kick season opener.

Notable Whitecaps FC Dragons:

Chris Bennett 1952 – Whitecaps FC (1974)
Bob Bolitho 1952 – Whitecaps FC (1997 – 1980)
Brian Budd 1952 – Whitecaps FC (1974 – 1978)
Steve Harrison 1952 – Whitecaps FC (1978)
Frans Thijssen 1952 – Whitecaps FC (1983 – 1984)
Bruce Twamley 1952 – Whitecaps FC (1975)
Martina Franko 1976 – Whitecaps FC women (2001 – 2006, 2010-2011)
Marlon James 1976 – Whitecaps FC (2009 – 2010)
Geordie Lyall 1976 – Whitecaps FC (1999 – 2006, 2007 – 2009)
Carl Robinson 1976 – Whitecaps FC assistant coach (2012 - Present)
Jake DeClute 1976 – Whitecaps FC assistant coach & scouting coordinator (2012 - Present)
David Xausa 1976 – Whitecaps FC (2004 – 2005)
Michael Boxall 1988 – Whitecaps FC (2011 – Present)
Eden Hingwing 1988 – Whitecaps FC women (2006-2010)
Krista Kruse 1988 – Whitecaps FC women (2011)
Kaylyn Kyle 1988 – Whitecaps FC women (2006 – 2011)
Micheal Nanchoff1988 – Whitecaps FC (2011 – Present)
Camillo Sanvezzo 1988 – Whitecaps FC (2011 – Present)
Sophie Schmidt 1988 – Whitecaps FC women (2005 – 2010)
Danielle Sweeney 1988 – Whitecaps FC women (2010)
Long Tan 1988 – Whitecaps FC (2011 – Present)
Keshia Wallin 1988 – Whitecaps FC women (2011)
Michael Baldisimo 2000 – Whitecaps FC Residency (2011 – Present)
Gabriel Escobar 2000 – Whitecaps FC Residency (2011 – Present)

The Ultimate Soccer Dragon:

Pele 1940 – Brazilian soccer legend

Whitecaps FC 2012 Major League Soccer season tickets start at $329, plus applicable tax and a $10 processing fee per order. To secure a seat and for additional information about Whitecaps FC MLS season tickets, including loge seats and suites, call 604.669.9283 or CLICK HERE.