Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dallas Cup Super Group Preview Vancouver Whitecaps

Dallas Cup Super Group Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps
By Daniel Robertson

The Vancouver Whitecaps return to the Dallas Cup Super group in 2010 for the third straight year looking to build on their incredible run in 2009 that saw them go all the way to the championship game before falling to Sao Paulo. The soon-to-be MLS side has been a force at Dallas Cup in recent years, boasting a 4-2-2 record in eight Super Group games including wins over Monterrey CF, River Plate and Eintracht Frankfurt.

While the Whitecaps are one of the top Canadian club sides, it is two Americans on their Super Group roster that should create the most buzz among US Soccer fans as American starlets Joseph Gyau and Charles Renken, 17 and 16 years old respectively, will be coming to Dallas Cup this year to showcase their talents with Vancouver. Gyau and Renken, profiled by ESPN in 2008 (Here and here) have each been declared the next big thing for American soccer, though not a lot of them has been seen lately, so Dallas Cup could very well be the coming out party for these two young Americans. In an interesting twist, the Super Group for Dallas Cup XXXI features not only their former team, the USA Under-20's, but their future team in 1899 Hoffenheim.

The Whitecaps are far more than two players, however, as they feature some of the brightest young Canadian talent from north of the border. While all eyes will be on Gyau and Renken, it is the Whitecaps #10 Gagandeep Dosanjh that is the engine in the middle of the Whitecaps midfield. Dosanjh, back with the Whitecaps after a loan spell with the Energie Cottbus U-23 side in German, played 16 games for Vancouver's PDL Residency team in 2009 leading the team with 4 goals and adding 3 assists. Gagandeep has Dallas Cup Super Group experience as well having started all 3 games for Vancouver in the 2008 Super Group.

While Vancouver will have Gyau, Renken and Donsanjh leading the attack, they look to be strong in goal as well with Canadian U-17 International goalkeeper Richard Causton between the pipes. Causton started all three of Canada's matches in the CONCACAF U-17 championships in 2009 which included a 1-1 draw with Honduras and losses to the United States and Cuba. In front of Causton will be Jack Cubbon, another defender who plays regularly for the Whitecaps PDL squad. Cubbon is no stranger to Dallas Cup having played in the Super Group last season with Vancouver.

Other players to look out for on Vancouver include Bobby Jhutty who has spent time in Holland with Sparta Rotterdam, Canadian U-17 international Kevin Cobby, and Whitecaps attacking midfielder Russell Teibert who started four matches for Vancouver at the last Dallas Cup including the final vs Sao Paulo and has scored at the international level for Canada.

Vancouver has been handed perhaps the toughest group in Dallas Cup this year opening with Eintracht Frankurt of Germany before facing the two biggest national teams in CONCACAF in the United States and Mexico. Do not count Vancouver out, however, as their Dallas Cup experience combined with undeniable talent could lead to some upsets.

Stay tuned to the Dallas Cup Blog for more team previews and other Dallas Cup news as we count down to Dallas Cup XXXI coming to the metroplex March 28-April 4.

Past Super Group previews

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