VANCOUVER – A pair of extra-time goals by former Whitecap Nicholas Addlery gave the Puerto Rico Islanders a dramatic 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium on Sunday evening, eliminating the Whitecaps from the USSF-D2 playoffs and ending their time in the second division.
Although the loss is disappointing, the outlook for the future remains optimistic in Vancouver. The club will quickly turn its attention to MLS, with roster decisions determined over the next several weeks.
After 203 minutes of scoreless action over both legs, Addlery finally put a goal on the scoreboard when he drilled a stunning 30-yard strike past a diving Jay Nolly in the 113th minute.
The Jamaican striker then put the game out of reach, rounding Nolly at midfield in the dying seconds before slotting the ball into an empty net.
“Well, I’m going to be sorry tonight, but already tomorrow I’ll be looking forward,” Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson said. “We will have some meetings now and start planning for next season. Everything regarding the continuation [of the team] will be decided during the week.”
With the MLS Expansion Draft set for Nov. 24, Thordarson’s first task will be to decide how many of his current players he will be keeping.
“There are some players who are definitely good enough to play in MLS,” Thordarson said. “We pretty soon will know exactly how we want to go forward.”
After three straight playoff games without scoring a goal, and only 30 in 28 regular-season matches, it’s clear the team needs to look for some more firepower.
“I’m very happy with the way we defend, and I’m very happy with the way we keep possession,” Thordarson said, "but we need attackers, there’s no doubt."
The countdown to MLS first kick is now on for the Whitecaps faithful. With a USL title in his first season, and exciting playoff runs the following two seasons, Thordarson can only hope that the future continues to bring him success.
“I’m very much looking forward to it, and I think it will be a fantastic thing,” he said.