Whitecaps begin life without Thordarson
It took 27 years for Vancouver to get another top-level professional soccer team — and just 12 matches for the Whitecaps to wave goodbye to coach Teitur Thordarson.
Playing for the first time under new coach Tom Soehn, the Whitecaps will try to snap an 11-game winless streak when they visit Chivas USA on Wednesday night.
The Whitecaps, a member of the North American Soccer League from 1974 until the league folded in 1984, won their MLS debut in March, but there hasn't been much to cheer about since.
The club fell to 1-5-6 with a 1-all draw against New York on Saturday.
"We're very frustrated and angry now," French striker Eric Hassli, who scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute, said through an interpreter.
Whitecaps management feels the same way about the club's Western Conference-worst nine points. Although nearly two-thirds of the season remains for Vancouver to improve its standing, Thordarson and goalkeeper coach Mike Salmon were fired Monday.
"We feel that [the] changes are necessary in order to accelerate the process of turning around our difficult start to the season," team CEO Paul Barber said.
Soehn, the team's director of soccer operations and a former DC United head coach, will take over for the rest of the season. He'll be assisted by Denis Hamlett and Colin Miller.
"You take it as what this profession is, and that's that these types of things can happen," captain Jay DeMerit told MLS' official website.
Vancouver needs Camilo, midfielder Davide Chiumiento and Hassli to pick up the scoring, with the team finding the back of the net six times in the last nine games.
Soehn taking over could mean that two-time MLS goaltender of the year Joe Cannon will see more action.
Cannon, a 2010 expansion draft pick, has played once this season - a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia on March 26 when Jay Nolly was out with a shoulder injury.
The Whitecaps, who played to a scoreless draw with visiting Chivas USA (3-4-4) on April 16, open a season-high three-game road stretch. They have managed two goals in five games away from Vancouver.
Chivas will play seven of 10 at home after earning a 3-all tie at Columbus on Saturday. The club has an MLS-high three home losses.
"We have the same game plan [home or away], we want to get at teams and be on the front foot," defender Ante Jazic said. "I don't think that we look at either game [Wednesday or Saturday at home against expansion Portland] as being an advantage or a disadvantage — it's the same to us."
Chivas could be at a major disadvantage with captain Alejandro Moreno expected to miss substantial time due to upcoming international duty with Venezuela in Copa America. It is uncertain whether the veteran forward, who is tied with Justin Brown with a team-high three goals, will be available Wednesday.