AFTN Soccer Podcast (Vancouver Whitecaps/MLS)

The AFTN football/soccer podcast about Vancouver Whitecaps and Major League Soccer (MLS)

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Oct 6th, 2016 by aftn at 6:57 pm

It's the USL Western Conference semi-final on Saturday afternoon. WFC2 face off against OKC Energy and we have you covered with all the build up here on AFTN in a special USLcentric episode.

Hear from head coach Alan Koch, defender Brett Levis, and captain Kyle Greig, as they look back on last Friday's historic playoff win in Colorado Springs, ahead to OKC this weekend, and share their thoughts on the season so far and what may still be yet to come.

There's a lot of talk to be had, so have a listen.


We're technically on holiday, but there's no rest for the wicked when it's a busy week of football for both the Whitecaps and Canada.

The 'Caps have won two games in a row on the road, qualified for the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League, and Erik Hurtado's scored in consecutive games. Whatever crazy voodoo has been done, it's working. Next up is a must-win game away to Cascadian rivals Seattle. Defeat is not an option if Vancouver's faint playoff hopes are to stay alive.

The 'Caps have stayed on the road, so head coach Carl Robinson held a conference call today to look at Vancouver's recent games, the task ahead against Seattle and to make the playoffs, and he reveals some exciting preseason plans.

Turning our attention to the national team, the Canadian Soccer Association have sacked head coach Benito Floro. No real surprise there, but CSA (and CONCACAF!) President Victor Montagliani held a conference call on Wednesday to explain why and the way forward for Canadian soccer.

We bring you the whole call (well the English parts!) and there's some interesting discussion topics in there for sure.

There's a lot of talk to be had, so have a listen.


It's a five day feast of football this long weekend, for both club and country. It's also a crucial, must perform one for Vancouver Whitecaps and the Canadian national team.

A tough season for the 'Caps still offers some hope of a postseason berth with seven games remaining. It's a tough ask, and after everything that's gone wrong this season, it's a hard one to see coming to fruition. But this is MLS, and nothing is straight forward here.

Just what has gone wrong and how can it be rectified? We chat with Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi to ask him just that and a lot more besides, from youth development, to those wanting him and Carl Robinson out, the perceived cheapness, and the future path the club will take.

In a special interview heavy episode, we also sit down with new WFC2 player-coach Pa Modou Kah to chat about his transition into coaching, his decision to make that change now, and his clear love for imparting his knowledge with the younger players.

And talking of younger players, we speak one of them who has been at the 'Caps for four seasons now, striker Erik Hurtado. It's been a year since he flew out on loan to Norway. What has he learned in that time and did he expect to be back in the first team reckoning when he came back to Vancouver?

Turning our attention to the national team, we hear from Canada coach Benito Floro as he gives a conference call ahead of this Friday's massive showdown in Honduras, with a place in the Hex on the line.

There's a lot of talk to be had, so have a listen.


Another summer, another slumping Whitecaps. I guess it's good to have something stable in life, right?

It's not been a good few week for Vancouver, who are now winless in their last five matches, losing their last three.

We look back at the most recent defeat, Friday night's loss to San Jose, and ponder just where the woeful Whitecaps go from here. What's gone wrong this year and just what has happened to last year's strongest performers and the team's DP's? What changes need to be made to the team and tactics ahead of next week's trip to KC, and is too late to save their season or is there still some hope hidden amongst the despair?

We also hear from the latest 'Caps signing, forward Giles Barnes about what he hopes to bring to the team. We just haven't seen it quite yet.

And with the next Champions League game coming up soon, we finish on a positive note as we chat with two guys who did well in the first CCL game in Trinidad and are both pushing hard for MLS contracts, defender Brett Levis and goalkeeper Spencer Richey.

There's a lot of talk to be had, so have a listen.


It's been a tough couple of weeks in Whitecapsland. Lots of heartache, lots of comings and goings and lots of action.

The AFTN team is back, refreshed (?) from a month's break to digest all the Vancouver Whitecaps happenings these past few weeks.

It's also our Vancouver vs Orlando postgame show, so we kick things off picking over the bones of that 2-2 draw. We also take a look at the signings of Alphonso Davies, David Edgar, and Marcel de Jong, and the departures of Octavio Rivero and Sam Adekugbe.

Is there more movement to come this transfer window? Will we be adding the guy from C.H.I.P.S? Will the vacant DP spot be filled before the end of the season and if so, in what position? And are the current Whitecaps DPs performing at the level required?

After a disappointing home stand, the Whitecaps are heading out for four games on the road. There's a lot of chat to be had before then, so have a listen!


Vancouver Whitecaps returned to MLS action on Saturday. They shouldn't have bothered.

We pick over the bones of the Whitecaps 2-1 home loss to New England Revolution. What went wrong and was there any positives? We also get the thoughts of both head coaches, the 'Caps Carl Robinson and the Revs' Jay Heaps.

We also hear from former Whitecap goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who had an excellent game, and matchwinner Kelyn Rowe, plus we catch up with striker Kei Kamara to talk about those Vancouver trade rumours and just how close he came to becoming a Whitecap - spoiler, very close!

Our main guest this week is another former Whitecap, Residency alumni Dario Zanatta. We chat with Dario about his move to Scotland with Hearts, how well he's done in his first season, settling into a new country, his hopes for the upcoming season and his time with the Canadian national team.

All this and there's still time to look ahead to the Canadian Championship against Toronto. There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


June is very much a feast of football. There's the Euros, Copa America, the Canadian Championship, MLS and USL matches to enjoy. So many games to watch, so little time.

We cover all those competitions in our latest podcast and we kick things off with Vancouver Whitecaps. They've got it all to do in their semi-final second leg against Ottawa Fury, heading in to the game with a two goal deficit on the back of a pretty horrible performance for the most part.

We hear from 'Caps coach Carl Robinson, who tells us what winning the Voyageurs Cup meant and means to him and the club, and we chat with one of the Whitecaps who came away with praise from last week's loss, debutant centre back Cole Seiler, about that game, making his first team debut, his own development and the USL season so far.

There's a lot of Vancouver connections with the Ottawa side and one of them is current Fury goalkeeping coach, and former Whitecaps NASL 'keeper and Soccer Bowl winner, Bruce Grobbelaar. We dig into the AFTN vaults for our chat with Bruce from back in 2012. It may be four years old, and things may have changed for him, but it's a fascinating chat with the legend and well worth hearing again as he talks about his time in Vancouver, Liverpool and Zimbabwe and we look at everything from his wobbly legs to his European success and Hillsborough.

And there's still time to look at Kendall Waston's sending off at Copa America and ahead to the Euros, which get underway this week. Carl Robinson will be cheering on Wales and he chats about what qualifying for their first major tournament since 1958 means for the country and the massive steps Wales have taken to improve the game there. Canada (and Scotland) take note!

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


Another Saturday, another Vancouver Whitecaps sending off, another game where Carl Robinson and everyone else is sick of talking about referees, oh and a second half fight back to claim a point. It was an eventful game against a managerless Houston Dynamo side.

We pick over the bones, then throw them at referee Drew Fischer, as we look back over the main talking points from the match - the goals, the defensive breakdowns, the world class saves, the red cards. So much to say, so little time.

We hear from both coaches, Vancouver's Carl Robinson and Houston caretaker Wade Barrett, about those talking points and venture into the Dynamo dressing room to hear from goalscorer DaMarcus Beasley, goalkeeper Tyler Deric and defender Sheanon Williams about Houston's turbulent week and what the team needs to do to start climbing the table.

And there's still time to hear from Kendall Waston about his red card last week in Portland, look at the Whitecaps' disciplinary problems, the CONCACAF Champions League draw, the Crystal Palace friendly and what the line-up might look like in this week's Canadian Championship first leg in Ottawa.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


What a week that was to be a Vancouver Whitecaps player or supporter. Well, technically it was eight days, but who's counting.

Three MLS matches played. Three victories. A nine point haul that shot them up the standings. All fantastic stuff, but it would have been nice if they didn't make it so nerve wracking for those watching!

A come from behind victory against Portland was followed by a last ditch win against Chicago and finished off with a rollercoaster of emotions of a match away to Toronto. We look back at the last two matches and ahead to this weekend's latest Cascadia Cup encounter with the Timbers.

What stood out, both good and bad, in the wins? hat transformation has taken place with Erik Hurtado? How good was Kekuta Manneh and where's that consistency week in, week out? We also look at Masato Kudo's horror injury and hear from Chicago Fire player Razvan Cocis about what it was like on the pitch when it happened and his own important reaction.

All this and a lot more, including some WFC2 chat 'Caps head coach Carl Robinson talks about the form of striker Kyle Greig and the opportunity the upcoming Canadian Championship and Champions League matches will afford these players.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


Kings of Cascadia, we know who we are.

Another Cascadian derby, another six points. Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 comeback victory over Portland Timbers could be a turning point in the 'Caps season. We'll have to wait and see, but right now, let's just bask in the win.

We look back at the key moments of the match, which players did and didn't stand out on the day, and hear the thoughts on the game from both head coaches, Vancouver's Carl Robinson and Portland's Caleb Porter.

We also head into the losing locker room and hear from Portland's blundering Kiwi 'keeper Jake Gleeson, ten pint man Liam Ridgewell, and former Whitecap miss machine Darren Mattocks.

We also look ahead to the Chicago and Toronto games and give a hat tip to the form of WFC2.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


They may have had some luck, poor finishing by their opponents and an inspired David Ousted along the way, but Vancouver Whitecaps got back on the horse again on Saturday night with a 3-0 win over MLS leaders FC Dallas.

We look back over the win, the standouts, the key moments and what it might mean for the Whitecaps going forward, now that they've broken their three game winless streak and scored their first open play goal of the season.

We hear from both head coaches, Vancouver's Carl Robinson and Dallas' Oscar Pareja, and visit the visitors' locker room to hear from Canadian striker Tesho Akindele, defender Walker Zimmerman and former Whitecap Mauro Rosales.

And there's still time to look ahead to Wednesday Western Conference clash at home to Sporting KC. What changes will Robbo make for that one?

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


The horrorshow that was Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 loss in DC was certainly one to forget. Yes, there were injuries and absences, but that doesn't fully excuse the defensive deficiencies, lack of creativity and the impotent attack.

It was a tough one to watch but what to make of it now that the dust has settled? We look back at the defeat and some of the big questions coming out of it at both ends of the pitch for the 'Caps. Plus we look ahead to this weekend's match at Real Salt Lake. Is there anything out there that gives a sense of a better result against a much better side?

The MLS Whitecaps might be having their struggles, but the USL side are still unbeaten. A large part of that lies in their solid defence and we talk to a key reason behind that, Dutch centre back Sem de Wit.

The second half of our show is dedicated to refereeing. It's been the big talking point all season long, and even with some of the refereeing reigned in this past weekend, there's still some tackles that set social media abuzz.

PRO (the Professional Referee Organisation) general manager Peter Walton had a conference call with media last week to discuss current refereeing directives and the red mist that's been descending down upon MLS. It covered things we feel a lot of the fans, media and players should know and hear, so we're bringing you a big chunk of it on this week's show.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


Another Vancouver Whitecaps MLS match, another week we end up speaking non stop about MLS referees and their DisCo overlords. It's all getting a bit old now.

The ten man 'Caps battled for a point against LA on Saturday. We look back at the big talking points from the game - Matias Laba's red card, Pedro Morales' injury, the play of Kekuta Manneh, and the continued lack of goals - and take a look ahead to this weekend's cross-country crash with DC United.

Onto brighter news, and WFC2's first home match of the season gets underway on Sunday. We look over the young 'Caps strong start to the season and hear from two of the team's big players, striker Daniel Haber and defender Kadin Chung. Both Canadians and both hoping to make the jump to the Whitecaps' MLS squad with standout performances at USL level.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


Vancouver Whitecaps made it back to back MLS wins at the weekend, facing Houston Dynamo very shorthanded and coming away with the 1-0 win.

The defensive side of the Whitecaps game is improving by the week. What's behind the turnaround and is it here to stay? We hear the thoughts of head coach Carl Robinson, goalkeeper David Ousted, and defenders Jordan Harvey and Fraser Aird.

At the other end of the pitch, Vancouver are still struggling to put the ball in the net from open play. Are the goals coming or should we be deeply concerned? Ousted and Robbo give us their thoughts and we share ours.

We look ahead to the visit of LA Galaxy at the weekend and ponder what lies in store from that one and which of their big name players may or may not make the trip north.

Our special guest this week is Houston Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle (find it at the 21.55 mark). We sit down with him for an extended chat about his move to MLS, life at the Dynamo, the challenges the league presents, his career to date as a player and a manager and a lot more.

And there's still time to talk a little bit of Canadian men's national team.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


What a weekend lies in store for football fans in Vancouver. It's a club and country double header at BC Place, as Canada take on Mexico on Friday and Vancouver Whitecaps host Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

And we have a jam packed podcast for you looking ahead to both matches.

With so much to cover we've cut the chat and gone interview heavy.

We hit the Canadian camp and chat with head coach Benito Floro about the Mexico game and what qualifying for the Hex and the World Cup would mean to soccer in Canada.

We chat with newest Canadian recruit Scott Arfield about pledging his international future to #CanadaRed and talk to two veritable old hands now, Toronto FC midfielder Will Johnson and Orlando striker Cyle Larin.

There's no Whitecaps players with the senior Canadian team this weekend, but they are losing four starters to international duty and we chat with two of them.

Christian Bolaños looks back at Saturday's controversial Cascadian derby in Seattle and looks ahead to Costa Rica's two crunch World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, while Tim Parker has his eyes firmly set on the qualifying for the Rio Olympics with the US U23 side.

Those absences will weaken the Whitecaps considerably for this weekend's MLS match against the Dynamo, and it might mean the first MLS minutes for rookie centre back Cole Seiler. We talk to Cole about that prospect and find out how's he's settling in to Vancouver and what he's been learning about his game.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!

Here's a breakdown of where to listen to each guest in the podcast this week:

Benito Floro (04:16)
Scott Arfield (13:46)
Will Johnson (22:48)
Cyle Larin (33:20)
Christian Bolaños (42:01)
Tim Parker (45:58)
Cole Seiler (51:36)


Don't panic Whitecaps fans. We're not in Kansas any more. Well that's the good news. The bad news is that a winless Vancouver side now has to head down the road to take on a pointless Seattle side. So now change there.

It's the first Cascadia Cup clash of the year this weekend and we'll have plenty of talk preview that match up, as well as a look back at whatever that was last weekend in Kansas City.

We'll also look at Vancouver current defensive plight, particularly in the right back position, and get some thoughts from 'Caps coach Carl Robinson on the issue.

And talking of Whitecaps defenders we're joined for this podcast by special guest Fraser Aird to talk about the 'Caps, and his own, start to the new MLS season, making the adjustment from a right winger to a right back, the Seattle game, and playing in an Old Firm derby with Rangers.

And there's still time to look at the Whitecaps Designated Players and ask, are team just simply not scared of them any more?

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


So for the second straight year, MLS First Kick ended up feeling more like a first kick in the nuts of the year for Vancouver Whitecaps, as they went down to a 3-2 defeat to an impressive Montreal Impact side.

We're joined by Harjeet Johal to pick over the bones of the 'Caps season opening loss. What went wrong? What was up with the usually stellar Vancouver defence, Fraser Aird and the lack of tracking back from the midfielders? And what happened to converting more of those chances? We look at all this and a lot more from the game from both a Whitecaps and an Impact perspective.

We hear from both coaches, Carl Robinson and Mauro Biello, about what they thought of their sides opening day performance and what they can take away from the match, and chat with one of Montreal's goalscorers, Dominic Oduro, about the game, his goal and the play of Ignacio Piatti.

And there's still time to catch up with new Montreal midfielder Harry Shipp and find out about how he's settling in to his new team, the weirdness and pressure of not turning out in a Chicago jersey, and his thoughts on the season opener.

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


MLS First Kick 2016 is just around the corner and the excitement is building in Vancouver for what could be a season of great possibilities for the Whitecaps.

Montreal Impact come a calling to BC Place for the 'Caps home opener. They'll be without Didier Drogba, so exactly how much of a challenge with they post to Vancouver? We look ahead to the game and cast an eye over Montreal's line-up, their preseason form and what we can expect from the eastern Canadians in the new season. How will Vancouver counter them and what line-up and formation are we likely to see from Carl Robinson?

There will be a couple of Whitecaps MLS debuts on Sunday and one of them with be from influential Costa Rican playmaker Christian Bolaños. We sit down with the veteran midfielder to discuss what's brought him to MLS now, what role he sees himself playing in Vancouver, take a brief journey through his career, discuss the rise of Costa Rican soccer and find out what he still wants to achieve in the game.

And there's still time to look ahead at the upcoming MLS season. Who will reign in each Conference? Will there be any dark horses? And who is going to take home the Cup this year and what are the chances of it sitting in the Whitecaps trophy cabinet as an early Christmas present?

There's a lot of chat to be had, so have a listen!


Can you believe it? The 2016 MLS season is just over a week away! And it's exciting times with Vancouver Whitecaps as the new season draws close.

Confidence and expectation remains high and we're down with the 'Caps in Portland as they start to wrap up their preseason camp, but there's a lot of questions still to be answered.

We're joined by new AFTN columnist Zachary Meisenheimer as co-host this week to look at some of those questions and the latest news surround the 'Caps camp. Who will win a starters spot? What's been up with Masato Kudo? Where in the world is Darren Mattocks? And will there be some more new additions in the immediate future? We chat about all of these things and get some thoughts from 'Caps coach Carl Robinson.

One of the biggest battles appears to be in the full back positions and our main guest this week is Canadian international Sam Adekugbe, who's looking to beat out Jordan Harvey for the left back role. We chat with Sam about the battle, his own preseason, the competitiveness and depth of the Whitecaps this season and his offseason training stint at Brighton and Hove Albion in the English Championship.

There's also a lot of competition in the center back department as well, and we speak to the player who got his big break last year and grabbed it with both hands, Tim Parker. Is he feeling the pressure in his second season? And will he be heading to the Olympics in Brazil with the US?

One former Whitecap who is looking to get his big break this year is Residency alumni Callum Irving. The former University of Kentucky keeper was passed by in the MLS SuperDraft but is getting his chance at Chicago Fire. We catch up Callum to find out how it's going, that whole draft experience, being a Canadian in MLS and his first senior camp with the Canadian national team.

Line up the balls, pot a maximum and have a listen!


The Road to Rio begins for Canada's women's national team on Thursday when the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament takes place in Texas. Canada looks well placed to make it to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil and we have you covered with a special podcast dedicated to the women's team.

We hear from head coach John Herdman, who chats about his new look roster, the qualification campaign ahead and the future for the Canadian women's program.

We welcome one of the veterans of the team back to show as we chat with Rhian Wilkinson about the pressures of last year's World Cup, the changing of the guard, the exciting new crop of young talent coming through and the future of women's soccer in Canada beginning with this Olympic campaign.

One of the newer faces during the World Cup is now one of the veterans. Allysha Chapman talks to us about her breakout tournament last summer, taking on a leadership role within the team, the Olympic quest and the legacy for the women's game in Canada.

Now our knowledge of the women's game has some gaps, so we turn to an expert to look ahead to the tournament and how Canada might fare, as we chat with journalist, and AFTN regular, Harjeet Johal.

Have a listen!