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...

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