I have often been asked why our 1979 Whitecaps team went on to win the NASL Soccer Bowl. My easy answer is the chemistry we had throughout the team.
There were teams like New York Cosmos who had better talent in their lineup, but when it came to a team working for each other, there was no one better than us.
Now I’m not getting carried away with our recent form and saying we are favorites to win it all – there is certainly still a long way to go. But there are similarities with the way this team is bonding together.
One of the things I have noticed in the last four games – where the team has only conceded two goals – is how hard the players are working for each other.
Camilo has gotten a lot of accolades this week for his offensive performances, but his teammates will have noticed how hard he is working defensively. I remember a couple of plays on Saturday when he sprinted 30 to 40 yards back to try and win the ball. The whole team is buying into the work ethic required to be among the best.
Martin Rennie has always said he wanted character players in his team. Not only does it look like he’s found that, but it also looks like he has the right blend of youth and experience, and that’s not just in terms of what happens on the field
'Caps go fishing with Pacific Angler
The recent fishing trip could end up being a very important part of bringing the team together. When you have a big squad like we have, with players speaking many different languages, you have to make sure everybody feels part of the team.
Team events build personal confidence and help players feel more comfortable, and that shines through during games. You have to feel great to play great.
Another very inspiring moment was having Canadian legend Rick Hansen deliver a speech to the team before the Chicago game. This was another memorable moment that will have a lasting effect on the boys.
I still feel that this team has another level it can go to.
They have not reached their full potential yet, and that is certainly encouraging because they’ve been getting great results of late.
With the togetherness this team is showing, there will be more fun times on and off the field.