USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Thursday, February 11, 2016
VANCOUVER, B.C. – After an inaugural season that saw some success despite a steep learning curve for the club’s younger players, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 Coach Alan Koch said his side is looking forward eagerly to the chance to return to the field in 2016.
“We’re excited,” Koch told AFTN.ca’s Michael McColl. “We’ve got a good group of young returning players that we’ve brought back, a couple of quality additions that have come in and some trialists and some players have just come to train with us at this stage. So it’s a bit of a hybrid at the moment, but exciting. Everybody’s excited to get on the field.”
As Vancouver finished 11th in the 12-team Western Conference last season, its success was measured more by players such as Tim Parker and Kianz Froese who opened the season with WFC2, and went on to become key parts of the Whitecaps side that took second place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.
Both of those players, along with standout WFC2 forward Marco Bustos, were called into their respective national team camps this January, highlighting their growth throughout 2015, but in the new season Koch is aiming for more success for the side as a whole. That has seen the side bolster its ranks with players like former OKC Energy FC forward Kyle Greig, and Canadian international Daniel Haber as the side looks to be more clinical in front of goal.
- RELATED: WFC2 Signs Former Energy FC Forward Greig
“The nice thing with USL is that you can watch every single game,” Koch said of Greig. “So at the end of the year we looked, and we always put reports on the players that we play against and see who did well, and he was one of the players. He did well, scored seven goals. I think he could probably score more than seven goals in the league.
“We need a little, well not just a little, we need a lot of experience in our group, but we’re not the type of environment where we’re going to bring in a 30-year-old or a 32-year-old or someone like that. It needs to be someone who is a little closer in age to the guys that we have in our group. As a 25-year-old veteran, if that even exists, he’s one of the veteran players in our group.”
WFC2 announced the addition of two new defenders in Elliot Green and Sem de Wit on Wednesday, who will look to work alongside returning players like Jackson Farmer and Kadin Chung this season. Both WFC2 youngsters have already spent time this preseason with the Whitecaps’ MLS squad in Arizona, which Koch hopes will accelerate their growth as they prepare for another season in the USL.
- RELATED: WFC2 Adds Experienced Europeans to Defense
“The nice thing with us having Carl [Robinson] as the first team manager is he’s said he’s wanting to play young players in the first team and he’s giving our guys an opportunity,” Koch told McColl. “Guys that have come in and worked hard with our group and now some have had the chance to do it down there.“It shows the other guys that didn’t go, if they put the work in this year hopefully they’ll get that opportunity at some stage this year or maybe next year’s preseason.”