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Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2023 Season Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 2023 Bloodlines Kit

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: They’ve methodically collected very, very good pieces in midfield and attack over the past two years, and have done so with a focus on making sure they all fit together. It’s easy to imagine their best players making each other better.
  • Weakness: It’s also easy to imagine them being so bad defensively that they basically don’t attack because they have to spend the entire game on the back foot. That’s what happened for a good chunk of 2022, after all.

Key Departures

  • Lucas Cavallini: Canadian international and DP forward Lucas Cavallini left after his contract expired. The club-record signing managed just 18 goals in three seasons and has since returned to Liga MX (this time with Club Tijuana).
  • Jake Nerwinski: American defender Jake Nerwinski signed with expansion side St. Louis CITY SC in free agency this winter. The versatile fullback made 141 appearances for the Whitecaps.

Key Acquisitions

  • Sergio Córdova: For their final DP spot alongside midfielders Andrés Cubas and Ryan Gauld, the Whitecaps brought in Venezuelan forward Sergio Córdova from German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg. Córdova spent last season on loan at Real Salt Lake, where the 25-year-old posted 9g/2a in 33 appearances.
  • Yohei Takaoka: Reigning J1 League champion and Best XI goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps this offseason from Yokohama F. Marinos. The 26-year-old, known for his excellent distribution, is the club’s likely new starter and will push homegrown Thomas Hasal for minutes.
  • Mathías Laborda: The Whitecaps signed Uruguayan center back Mathías Laborda after his contract with Nacional, where he won three league titles with the storied club, expired. Laborda, 23, made 101 appearances in Uruguay.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - VAN lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 13th in West
  • Charles Boehm: 8th in West
  • Tom Bogert: 8th in West
  • Matt Doyle: 9th in West
  • David Gass: 8th in West
  • J. Sam Jones: 9th in West
  • Sacha Kljestan: 12th in West
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 11th in West
  • Joseph Lowery: 10th in West
  • Melissa Ortiz: 12th in West
  • Danielle Slaton: 12th in West
  • Andrew Wiebe: 8th in West
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 13th in West

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Vanni Sartini
  • Stadium: BC Place
  • Last year: 12W-15L-7T, 43 points, 9th in West
  • Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify