Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New England Revolution: Caps Battle Both Referee and Revs in 1-1 Draw

The Vancouver Whitecaps and New England Revolution battled to a 1-1 draw at Empire Field. Perhaps a draw is a fitting result, as both teams were not only competing with each other, but also with a referee who had delusions of grandeur.  Perhaps if referee Baldomero Toledo wanted to have an impact on the match, he should have been a player, because he certainly affected the course of the match more than any of the players on either side with his heavy-handed and irrational calls. A total of six yellow cards and three red cards, including two straight reds, were shown in a match that wasn’t overly physical and didn’t have many dangerous tackles I would think worthy of a yellow on most nights. (Disclaimer: I’m not a FIFA referee, but I do watch a lot of soccer, so either most other referees are incorrect in how they call the game, or Toledo is). Let's take a look at the cards: Six Minutes: Atiba Harris (Whitecaps)—booked for one of the first tackles of the match. Could have been a yellow, could have been just a foul—heavy-handed to issue a yellow without hesitation this early in the match, especially without any previous warnings or an ...
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Vancouver Whitecaps: Not Your Typical Expansion Team

Typically an expansion team in North American sports is a brand new franchise without any history. The roster is composed of disparate players deemed expendable by their previous club and exposed in an expansion draft, a handful of journeymen signed as free agents and a few rookies. The expansion team is offensively challenged, and doesn’t really have an identity or chemistry. That isn’t the case with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps and their expansion brethren Portland Timbers, like the Seattle Sounders before them, are new to the MLS, but not new to professional soccer. The Whitecaps, Timbers and Sounders all played in USSF-Division 2 (the former USL) prior to moving up to the top tier soccer in MLS. This is a situation more akin to a team being promoted to a higher division in European soccer than a typical North American expansion team.  14 of the 29 players on the roster were with the Whitecaps last year in USSF D-2. 9 of those players have played significant minutes in the three games so far.  M Terry Dunfield (270 minutes) 1 goal, 1 assist M Gershon Koffie (270 minutes) D Alain Rochat (270 minutes) G Jay Nolly (180 minutes) D/M Blake ...
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