Vancouver Whitecaps 2021 Season Preview

It’s year three for the Marc Dos Santos era in Vancouver as he aims to guide the club to the playoffs for the first time during his tenure.

The rebuild has been well underway and could be set to blossom behind Canadian national teamers Lucas Cavallini and Maxime Crepeau as well as plenty of young talents, both domestic and international.

2020 season

  • MLS Reg. Season: 9th in Western Conference (27 pts - 1.17 PPG - 9-14-0, -17 GD)
  • Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: DNQ

Star Players

Lucas Cavallini

Cavallini was Vancouver’s club-record signing ahead of 2020 and didn’t enjoy the fastest start, but six goals over his final 13 appearances of the season give him some momentum heading into 2021.

Ali Adnan Kadhim Nassir Al-Tameemi

The Iraq international is regarded as one of the league’s premier attacking fullbacks and has been able to translate that into 10 assists over 50 career MLS appearances. Adnan will be a constant in the defense and in the attack.

Érik Godoy

This third slot could go to plenty of players in Vancouver, who improved their starting XI this winter, but Godoy has the potential to shine if the club earn meaningful results. The center back, 27, has been strong in his two seasons with the Whitecaps.

Young Player to Watch

Michael Baldisimo
Midfielder · Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Baldisimo broke out in 2020 after getting his first start midway through the season, growing into a first-team regular. The 20-year-old homegrown center mid caught the eye with a tremendous passing range and should figure to get plenty of games for the ‘Caps (and maybe Canada?) in 2021.

Key Acquisitions

  • Caio Alexandre: A Brazilian midfielder, Alexandre will be deployed as a deep-lying playmaker in the heart of Vancouver’s midfield. The 22-year-old Botafogo product is lauded for his passing ability.
  • Bruno Gaspar: Signed on loan from Sporting CP with a purchase option this winter, the well-traveled right back has experience at high levels in Europe with the likes of Sporting, Fiorentina and Olympiakos. Gaspar is a former Portuguese youth international and recently made his senior debut for the Angolan national team.
  • Deiber Caicedo: Caicedo is the latest alum of the 2019 U-20 World Cup to sign in MLS. A dynamic young winger, the 21-year-old can play on either flank and will add another dimension to Vancouver’s attack.

Key Departure

  • Fredy Montero: The veteran forward is the only regular piece to depart Vancouver this winter, signing back in Seattle where his MLS career began. Montero had five goals and five assists in 16 appearances (11 starts) in 2020 for the Whitecaps

Projected Starting XI

vancouver projected xi

2021 Roster

  • Goalkeepers (4): Isaac Boehmer, Maxime Crepeau, Thomas Hasal, Evan Newton
  • Defenders (9): Ali Adnan, Javain Brown, Derek Cornelius, Gianfranco Facchineri, Bruno Gaspar, Erik Godoy, Cristian Gutierrez, Jake Nerwinski, Ranko Veselinovic
  • Midfielders (7): Caio Alexandre, Michael Baldisimo, Janio Bikel, Patrick Metcalfe, Leonard Owusu, Damiano Pecile, Russell Teibert
  • Forwards (7): Theo Bair, Deiber Caicedo, Lucas Cavallini, Cristian Dajome, David Egbo, Ryan Raposo, Tosaint Ricketts

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: In theory, this team should be lightning in transition with Caicedo and Dajome down the wings, and Cavallini — not super fast, but always running — going with them, combined with a central midfield that can spray. They are born to counter.
  • Weakness: Counterattacking teams give up lots of chances, and the ‘Caps have really, really really really really struggled to cut down the quality of those chances over the past few years. If you’re conceding a ton of chances, and a lot of them are good chances … yeah, you might be in some trouble.


  • Charles Boehm: 11th in West
  • Tom Bogert: 9th in West
  • Susannah Collins: 11th in West
  • Matthew Doyle: 11th in West
  • Sam Jones: 12th in West
  • Michael Lahoud: 11th in West
  • Joe Lowery: 11th in West
  • Jillian Sakovits: 13th in West
  • Greg Seltzer: 10th in West
  • Steve Zakuani: 13th in West