Our newly minted brethren in Vancouver have a question for the locals, posed at the end of a very nicely done piece of video:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVbz36wAyPs"]YouTube - Vancouver MLS 2011[/ame]
And how are the good burghers of British Colombia responding?
Well, the Whitecaps offered to take up to 5,000 season ticket deposits, starting Friday. Less than 48 hours later they were all gone.
Cleverly, buying season tickets for the current Whitecaps season got you to the head of the line, and as a result they're moving those by the bushel as well. They'll cap season ticket sales at 16,500; anyone want to bet me those will be sold out long before the first ball is kicked?
Joey Saputo just looks smarter every day, doesn't he?
WHITECAPS HONCHO BOB LENARDUZZI IS APPROPRIATELY EXCITED, as well he might be.
Incidentally, it's worthy of note that Lenarduzzi is no Joey-come-lately when it comes to soccer. He was signed by Reading FC in England when he was 15 and went on to play 67 matches with the first team there.
He then joined The Whitecaps in the NASL in 1974 and played with them for ten years, until the league folded in 1984. He holds the (obviously never to be broken) NASL record for most games played with 312, and is the rarest of football oddities, a player who officially appeared at all 11 positions at one time or another.
As for his team moving into BC Place, it's a building he likely recalls with great fondness; he took the field with the NASL Whitecaps in the first sporting event ever played in the place in 1983 and recorded the first goal ever scored there.
And for good measure, he was the first head coach of the Vancouver 86er's in the Canadian Soccer league, winning four consecutive league titles and at one stretch and went an incredible 46 straight games without a loss. He was then hired to coach the Canadian National Team.
As icing on the cake Lenarduzzi is in both the Canadian and US National soccer HoF's, and he was voted one of the Top 30 Players of the Century in CONCACAF.
One of my longtime pet peeves (I do have quite a few, I admit) is that MLS as a whole and the individual teams themselves are all run by a bunch of "Sports Marketing" graduates who see soccer as pretty much interchangeable with baseball, wrestling and stock car racing; sports are a commodity to them.
Elsewhere, football teams tend to be run by football people, guys who have lived and breathed the game their entire lives.
Lenarduzzi is the real deal: a soccer guy down to his socks, and there's not much question that the operation in Vancouver will be done right