As 2012 comes to a close, I wanted to take this time to reflect on what an exciting year it has been for all members of our Whitecaps FC family. From fans and supporters, to front office staff, technical staff, players, and partners, we’ve all been doing our part to make this a really special era for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
These past 12 months have seen the club take great strides in only our second season in Major League Soccer. The team has really improved since I first arrived for an end-of-season training camp last November.
This season we set a number of team goals, chief among them was to make it to the MLS Cup playoffs, and we accomplished that – the first Canadian team to do so.
That achievement really hinged on another one of our main goals, and that was to turn BC Place into a true fortress. That’s where the role of you our fans has been especially important, and really rewarding to see. Every game you were loud and energetic, and our team fed off that. In the end that was a really key part of what got this team to the playoffs.
Other big milestones in 2012 included earning our first road victory, setting a shutout streak to begin an MLS season, winning a match by four goals for the first time, and collecting the most regular season points ever by a Canadian MLS team to secure the top seed for the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship.
Now we turn the page to a new year, with new goals.
Among those goals will be beating Portland and Seattle for the first time in MLS and ultimately winning the Cascadia Cup. This is the most passionate region for soccer in the league and we want to have bragging rights.
Another one of our main priorities will be winning the Canadian Championship for the first time and qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League. We’re in a great position to do this next season with the opportunity to host the second leg of the final if we make it.
Success is of course always measured against the best, so beating LA Galaxy is high on our list of things to do. We’ve closed the gap, now it’s time to eliminate it all together.
As you can tell, beating our closest rivals is a big focus for our club, not only for our own progress, but to reward you, our loyal fan base, for your continued support.
2013 promises to be another memorable chapter for us all. Together we’re going to take this club to the top.
The ultimate dream would be to win an MLS Cup in front of a packed house at BC Place. Working towards that dream starts right now as we launch into the New Year with preseason beginning in January.
I look forward to seeing you all again in 2013.
Happy New Year to everyone!
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach